The NAMM 2024 Report : Day 1

Matt Vanacoro is on the scene at NAMM to provide you with a daily summary of his favorite discoveries in musical gear. Here is his report for day one.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! NAMM 2024 is definitely building on 2023’s success and expanding. Many pro audio and music companies that haven’t been presenting since before Covid have returned, and the show feels bigger than ever! With Universal Audio, Native Instruments, and Samson all back, this promises to be one of the best shows in a few years. Here are my top 3 things I saw on Day 1 of NAMM 2024.

Positive Grid

The good folks at Positive Grid have been well known for their amp modeling software and innovative amps. I’ve got a few Spark amps myself and I find them great for putting a lot of kit into a small package. Positive Grid is bringing all of this knowledge to the Spark Live 4-channel Smart Amp and PA system and I couldn’t be more stoked about this. Spark Live looks amazing and gives artists a great way to run several musicians through one compact amp with pro processing and workflow. You can hook up a guitarist with amp modeling, a bassist, vocalists, line level keyboard player - the sky’s the limit! It’s also battery-powered so you can be fully off the (positive) grid! 

The show floor was a little noise for me to get a real read on this, but I’m going to be watching it *very* closely. It seems like the perfect setup for a band or ensemble that has to play a smaller gig and wants to be set up in under 5 minutes. I’m a big fan of the way the Spark amps work with the companion app, and the Spark Live seems to carry this tech forward.

Positive Grid Spark


Not to be outdone, Mackie is dropping their own ‘complete PA in a single box that can be battery powered’ as well. The Mackie ShowBox is interesting because it eschews the iOS control paradigm and embraces a breakaway ‘control module’ that is like a portable handy mixer. There are 6 inputs on the Showbox (4 individual and a stereo 1/4”) and there is a USB-C port for connection directly to a computer. It looks like 2024 is going to be the year of the ‘all-in-one PA system!

With 400 watts, Onyx mic pres, bluetooth connectivity and 12 hours of battery life, the ShowBox is definitely going to be a hot item for solo artists and bands playing smaller venues.

Mackie Showbox



Audient is pushing ORIA, an audio interface designed from the ground up for a surround / immersive / Dolby Atmos workflow. This is *really* interesting timing as Apple Music just released the news that artists with music on Apple Music that is produced in a spatial / surround format will receive increased royalties to reflect this.

ORIA is designed to control and monitor larger arrays from 2 channel up to 9.1.6. If you’re composing for film, gaming, VR, Apple Vision Pro, and more. The 16 outputs and USB-C connectivity will get you there. You can also use ORIA as a standalone monitor controller with your favorite audio interface via the ADAT inputs. The smart software makes calibration and setup of intimidating array sizes possible for the home studio owner.

Audient ORIA



Synthesis 101
The Filter
by Bob Moog Foundation

"Matt Vanacoro is one of New York's premier musicans. Matt has collaborated as a keyboardist in studio and on stage with artists such as Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater), Mark Wood (Trans-Siberian Orchestra), Mark Rivera (Billy Joel Band), Aaron Carter, Amy Regan, Jay Azzolina, Marcus Ratzenboeck (Tantric), KeKe Palmer, C-Note, Jordan Knig..." Read More


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