So we arrived at the (cavernous) LA convention center and had 2 hours to set up before showtime. Doug and I are considering a new career in interior decorating. Behold the fabulously-transfomed booth 1003:
Talk about stagefright. I mean I've done countless papers and exhibitor booth duties at AES shows, but never with my own product and my own company. Scare-eee (for me anyway). Like jumping out of an airplane. But ah, such a silly boy. Everybody loved it, even some other microphone designers. Actually, that was my first experience, even before the show opened.
Across the aisle was PMI microphones. I was admiring their desk-mount mic stands and it turns out they were only someone else's they were using for the show. They had a ton of mics, all different sizes and designs, including one really cool one that looked like an iPhone.
So this one guy from PMI comes over and says he was intrigued with the RM1. So I gave him a little tour and a listen. He loved it, was very impressed (we used the Doug Fearn preamp and a good pair of Sony studio cans). He also told me something that would play back a lot during the show, which ran from 10am to 6pm: He said he knew it was very hard to get such a complete "look" and totally-integrated design concept. Like, say you want an art-deco mic. I realized then that one of the things that mic designers do to differentiate from all the zillions of other mics available is to have a unique-looking mic. I was floored when he paid me this compliment. So I told him my secret: the RM1 was not "designed". The finishes I chose were to make it "Everlasting". But how it looks is another thing. I told him the RM1 is pure form-follows-function. How it looks is a pure and honest manifestation of its function. The RM1 looks like it does because that's how it needs to look to work right. It's like I told the mic how I wanted it to work and it told me "this is how I have to look". This is profound. After the show was over for the day, I remembered a lot of very similar reactions. I realize now that the RM1 elicits a deeper gut reaction because of its display of "this is how I work". People like it but they don't really know why.
I thought this guy was one of the sales guys for PMI. "No, I designed all these mics". Brent Casey. Floored me, even before the show officially opened. I thanked him profusely, a real genuine and, from another designer, real generous and honest comment. Here's Brent chekkinitout:
Doug has a big fan club and it was lucky for me because they were also interested in the RM1. You know Doug? A finer man is hard to find, and I'm lucky to have had him as a friend for so long., Here we are in the booth:
Being on my feet for 8 hours was a unique physical challenge. I thought I was in good cardio shape but not for doing that. Worth it tho. A lot of people were interested in the RM1 and were intrigued with the engineering behind it. There were a lot of schools represented, for teaching recording and production. A lot of studio owners too. Two magazines came by requesting mics for doing a review; John Baccigaluppi from Tape Op (I've read this, have copies at home, really cool mag) and Mike Metlay/Paul Vnuk Jr. from Recording (one of the big ones). No; the magazines didn't come by and visit, the guys did. Duhh.
By show closing I was pretty full of encouragement. Lots of potential here. On his (or her) first alive in public, we were proud parents and no longer afraid of flying. Today is part 2. Tired but elated, And ain't we got fun?! My old buddy and colleague Allen Sides (Ocean Way Recording) came by and was amazed to see I had created a microphone (and not a speaker). It's been a long time so we had a great time doing a little reunion in the booth and a nice little round of conversation with Doug. Allen's got his own studio monitor system on display, no doubt sounds Most Excellent. I'll go see it today. Allen was intrigued with the RM1; I'll get him one and will get a great and useful review of it. All in all a great day.