NAMM Announced 8 TECnology Hall of Fame Inductees

The NAMM Foundation has announced that eight culturally significant musical inventions, ranging from 1954-1998, will be inducted to the TECnology Hall of Fame on Jan. 21 during The NAMM Show in Anaheim, California. The ceremony will be presented by The NAMM Museum of Making Music and will be hosted by veteran pro-audio journalist George Petersen.

The hall of fame was founded in 2004 to honor and recognize audio products and innovations that made a significant contribution to the advancement of audio technology. Each entry must be at least 10 years or older to be considered for the honor.

The 2017 TECnology Hall of Fame Inductees include:

Decca Tree:
The 1954 Decca Tree microphone redefined the approach to capturing stereo sound in both the concert hall and the studio. Named after the studio (Decca Studios in London) and what creators Roy Wallace and Arthur Haddy thought it looked like — a tree — the Decca tree microphone stand used three omni-directional microphones, oftentimes with left and right outriggers, and is still used as a setup today by pros and hobbyists alike.

Neumann U67 Condenser Microphone:
The multi-directional condenser microphone was the first of its kind, compensating for proximity of studio musicians who preferred to sing directly into the microphone. Upon its release in 1960, the U67 would gain a reputation as a "workhorse" in major studios. Its sound was forever defined for generations of studio musicians.

The Wah-Wah Pedal:
Discovered nearly by accident by Brad Plunkett of Warwick/Thomas Organ Company, the wah-wah pedal has defined some of the most notable guitar riffs over the past 50 years. Top hits from leading acts including Cream, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Guns N' Roses and many others can be attributed to its signature wax and wane effect.

The TASCAM 80-8:
This eight-track analog recorder expanded home recording possibilities in the late 1970s. At its time, this ½-inch reel-to-reel format was the most popular multichannel recorder in the world and became the standard for small professional and home studio use.

The Wendel Drum Machine:
In 1978, studio engineer Roger Nichols developed the Wendel to sample audio and drums. In 1979, he put his machine to the test on "Hey Nineteen" on Steely Dan's album, Gaucho. His invention gave birth to a new class of musical technologies, and today he is considered the pioneer of digital drum replacement.

API Audio Lunchbox 500-series:
The modularity of the Lunchbox system let pro-audio professionals customize their rig with API components. Its convenient size gave users the ability to pick up and go as needed. The company would then go on to offer variations of its popular 500 series. Other companies later adopted the format which led to an entire new industry 500 series processors, including their own TEC Awards category in 2014.

Neutrik Speakon connector:
Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2017, the Neutrik Speakon has become the standard for professional live sound speakers. At their release, both the cable and chassis versions of the connector met international regulations, featured a solderless connection, and defined a streamlined signal chain experience.

AEA R44-C ribbon microphone:
Designed in the 1930s, the R44B was deemed the most multi-purpose microphone available for sound professionals. In 1998, Audio Engineering Associations brought the microphone back to the market with the R44-C.

The TECnology Hall of Fame Ceremony will take place from 2-4:00 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 21 in Room 202A, several hours before the NAMM Foundation celebrates the pro-audio community at the 32nd Annual NAMM TEC Awards.

Winners in the categories of Outstanding Technical Achievement and Outstanding Creative Achievement will be announced during the TEC Awards show. Aerosmith co-founder and lead guitarist Joe Perry will receive the prestigious Les Paul Award and perform several songs, while the band's engineer and producer Jack Douglas will be inducted into the NAMM TEC Hall of Fame.