Winners Announced at the 37th Annual Technical Excellence & Creativity (TEC) Awards


Winners in 21 technical and seven creative excellence categories were announced at the 37th Annual NAMM TEC AWARDS, Saturday, June 4, from the global NAMM Show in Anaheim, CA. Presented annually by NAMM, the event recognizes the exemplary achievements and innovations behind the sound of recordings, live performances, films, television, video games and multi-media. Comedian, actor and musician Fred Armisen returned as host for the evening event.

DA-88 Recorder

Housed in a compact, 4-rackspace chassis, the TASCAM DA-88 digital 8-track deck can record 108 minutes of digital audio on a standard Hi-8mm videotape. Unlike the process of synching two or more analog recorders, DA-88s did not require the use of audio tracks or expensive external synchronizers for multi-machine lockup; a single cable could provide sample-accurate synch.

OB-X Synthesizer

Synth pioneer Tom Oberheim has a long and storied career in the development of electronic music instruments and tools, ranging from guitar amplifiers in his early days, to creating Maestro’s classic RM-1A ring modulator and PS-1 phase shifter pedals. He was the first ARP Instrument dealer on the West Coast. He showed his first 2-note synth at the AES show in 1974. This was followed by his 2-, 4- and 8-voice synths under the Oberheim brand and in 1977, created the OB-1, the first programmable monophonic programmable synthesizer.

PCM Recorder

Ironically, the first digital tape recorder did not come from an industrial giant like Sony, but from the R&D laboratories of the Technical Research Institute of Japanese public broadcaster NHK (Nippon Hōsō Kyōkai). The project was spearheaded by Dr. Heitaro Nakajima — no stranger to cutting edge product development, having (among other projects), developed the prototype for what became Japan’s first condenser microphone — Sony’s C-37A in 1955. Years later, Nakajima also was instrumental in Sony’s co-development of the compact disc with Phillips Electronics.

M50 Microphone

At the same time that Neumann unveiled the M49 (its first remotely controlled microphone), the company also launched the M50, a single-pattern omnidirectional tube model designed specifically for the needs of classical music recording.

Leslie Speaker

Initially, the Hammond organ was intended for the church and home markets, but it was the debut of the semi-portable (meaning only 400 pounds!) model B-3 in 1954 that brought this instrument to the forefront of jazz, R&B and rock-n-roll. The B-3 was the right instrument at the right time, but its soulful versatility and great voicings (combined with Don Leslie’s rotating speaker design) that soon made the instrument a mainstay in every genre of pop music.