At AMS, we’re always excited to turn the calendar over to a new year. Why? Because that means it’s NAMM season! So we packed our bags and headed for the West Coast to attend the industry’s biggest conference and see all the new music gear and goodies coming to the market.

There was a TON of stuff to see! If you want to check out all the product demos and interviews we got to create, head over to our NAMM 2024 YouTube playlist (opens in new tab). And while we definitely got a chance to check out some amazing gear, there were a few standouts from the show. Here were our top 10 favorite things we saw at NAMM 2024.

There was music EVERYWHERE

Yes, gear is cool and all. But the real reason for the season is music! And there was plenty of it at the 2024 NAMM show. Our absolute favorite part of the show was that everywhere you looked, people were playing music.

Of course, plenty of people were trying out gear and playing on the show floor. But there were also plenty of designated stages that showcased some high-profile performers. Yamaha and Ernie Ball both had some amazing stages with great musicians. We got to see Emma Grace and our buddy Cory Wong (opens in new tab) to name a few. Many of the shows were so packed that we couldn’t even film!

It’s always fun to see people play music. That’s the entire reason we do what we do!

The new Alex Lifeson Lerxst Limelight announcement

New guitar models are always exciting, but they’re extra exciting when they’re released in collaboration with a legendary artist like Alex Lifeson!

NAMM 2024 was the official announcement for the all-new Alex Lifeson Lerxst Limelight signature guitar! This awesome guitar was a collaboration between Godin and Lifeson to create a modern iteration of Lifeson’s iconic Hentor Sportscaster that reigned supreme back in the 1980s.

Not only did we get to see the covers taken off for the first time at the NAMM 2024 show, but we even got to head up to Canada and talk to Alex Lifeson about the creation of the amazing guitar! Check out the AMS Alex Lifeson interview on our YouTube channel.

Ernie Ball vending machine.

Ernie Ball string vending machine – of course

One of everyone’s favorite things from the 2024 NAMM show was the Ernie Ball vending machine. It was big, it was pink, and it was right in the lobby of the Anaheim Convention Center. If you need new strings to jam on all the cool NAMM gear, you could grab them before you went into the showroom. We’re not sure how many strings it sold, but it was definitely a hit for everyone to take pictures with.

Talking to all the engineers and designers

How often do you get to talk to the minds behind the gear? If you’re at NAMM, the answer is all the time! And that’s easily one of our favorite parts of going to shows like this.

We got to talk to all sorts of experts about the design process, the features, and just how much fun the products can be. Many of them even had a hand in building the products.

For example, heading up to the Strandberg booth, we found Ola Strandberg himself! Once we mustered up the courage to actually talk to someone so influential in the guitar world, we had a nice little chat about the ridiculous Bodin lineup of guitars. What a nice guy (and great guitar builder)!

Getting KO’ed at the Teenage Engineering booth

Teenage Engineering always makes the most ridiculous music gear. And they didn’t disappoint at NAMM 2024. Their booth was set up like an old-school arcade with their latest product, the EP 133 K.O. II Workstation.

This thing is bonkers. It can really do it all right from its little calculator-esque design. It takes everything you know and love from the original PO-33 K.O. and makes it even better! We can’t even list all the features because the page would be so long! It really will deliver a “knock out” punch to any musician looking for the ultimate in portability and power. It’s a must-have for DJs, turntablists, producers, or really just any musician who likes to create.

Going into virtual reality with Sennheiser

Do you ever wish you could step into your DAW to arrange tracks and place monitors to give you precise control over every aspect of your mix? Well, Sennheiser really upped the ante with their NAMM showcase of their crazy VR software dearVR.

Pop on your VR headset, and you’re transported right into your DAW. Get 360-degree panning of a mixing room, arrange monitors, and arrange tracks to make your music sound exactly the way you want.

If you ask us, the Sennheiser dearVR might just be the most innovative, out-of-the-box thing we saw at NAMM 2024. It’s not quite ready for studio use yet, but we can’t wait to see the actual production version!

The super-cool SEQTRAK from Yamaha

Wandering over to the Yamaha booth, we saw a big crowd gathered around. Naturally, we were curious what was going on. Well, Yamaha brought their A-game to NAMM with the all-new SEQTRAK. It’s a super-portable music creation station that lets you “unlock your creativity anywhere!” (That’s the slogan.)

Not only did we get to see the demo of the SEQTRAK (which is what was drawing all the crowds), but we also got to talk to Yun, one of the real-life developers who worked on the SEQTRAK. He gave us an amazing rundown of everything this little machine can do — and it’s nothing short of incredible! Definitely one of our favorite stops at NAMM 2024.

Ridiculous Mod pedals from Game Changer audio

There are always ridiculous new pedals coming out to add crazy effects to your sound. But Game Changer Audio (as their name might suggest) took the idea of crazy effects pedals to the next level. You have to see these Mod pedals to believe them!

Not only do they sound amazing as standalone effects pedals, but they also offer an insane amount of customization. For example, you can use the mini patch cables to make the effect only apply to louder sounds. Your regular playing might not have a chorus effect, but when you hit that big power chord it comes in.

You can also adjust effects based on pitch and other variables! Really, these things are just insane.

Gear in context at the Mackie booth

It’s one thing to see the crazy new gear at NAMM, but it’s quite another to see it in its element. That’s where the Mackie booth really shined through.

They had all their amazing new gear displayed, but it wasn’t just out on a table. They actually took the time to build sets that showcased the gear doing what it was meant to be doing. The new MainStream (opens in new tab) was set up in what looked like a streamer’s game room. The DLZ Creator was set up ready for a podcast.

It was super cool to see how the gear actually functioned in real life. Thanks, Mackie!

Getting a history lesson from Celestion

There aren’t too many companies that can say they’ve been around for a full century. But Celestion can now officially make that claim!

With 100 years of history, Celestion made sure to make their booth almost like a museum, celebrating all the decades of innovation. They had a big double-decker tour bus, vintage speakers, and of course, plenty of new gear — like the new Celestion 100 speakers that faithfully recreate the amazing British-sounding speakers that made them famous.

Happy anniversary, Celestion! Here’s to 100 more years of amazing speaker technology.

Wrapping up NAMM 2024

NAMM 2024 was an absolute blast, and we’re super grateful to all the vendors, musicians, and participants we got to talk to. We always love to talk about gear and help musicians make music.

Don’t forget to check out our NAMM 2024 YouTube playlist (opens in new tab) with all the amazing videos we made along the way and shop the latest gear right here at American Musical Supply.