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2011 TEC Awards

Dec 30, 2010 4:43 PM, By Cynthia Wisehart

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The voting is complete for the 26th annual TEC Awards. Next month, the TEC Foundation for Excellence in Audio will present to the winners for the first time during NAMM on Jan. 14 in Anaheim, Calif.

It’s always been a fun evening, hosted in the past by Harry Shearer, Father Guido Sarducci, and others, and graced by guest appearances by Sting, Stevie Wonder, Janet Jackson, George Lucas, Herbie Hancock, Les Paul, Peter Gabriel, and Neil Young. This year, Lindsey Buckingham will be there to receive a lifetime achievement award.

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But really, the star of this evening is the technology&emdashpretty unabashedly so&emdashcomplete with Academy Award-like projections of the nominees. Longtime producer Hillel Resner does everything except turn the camera on the winning box of steel and circuit boards to document the reaction.

The nominated technology splits into categories that cover recording, both live and studio. For our purposes, there are several sound-reinforcement categories that matter, including Sound Reinforcement Loudspeaker Technology (nominees include Bag End, EAW, Electro-Voice, the JBL VerTec series, QSC Audio K series, and RCF); Microphone Technology/Sound Reinforcement (nominees include AKG, Audio-Technica, Earthworks Audio, Heil Sound, Neumann, and Shure); and Wireless Technology (nominees include AKG Wireless iPhone App, Lectrosonics SMV series transmitters, Shure Personal Monitor System, and microphones and systems from Audio-Technica, Sabine, and Sennheiser).

The TEC Awards will also honor Sound Reinforcement Consoles (nominees include Allen & Heath, DiGiCo, Innovason, Soundcraft, Yamaha, and the Avid Venue). In Small-format Console Technology, the nominees speak to the increasing number of small, easy-to-use mixers for nonconcert environments such as houses of worship, education, corporate, and government settings. Nominees include desks from Audient, Euphonix, Mackie, SSL, Sound Devices, and PreSonus.

Our crowd will also potentially be interested in the Ancillary Equipment (power amps vie for honors against monitor system controllers, headphones, an electronic tuner, and acoustics software).

By now you might be thinking “pass,” but I have gone many years and always enjoyed it. This year, our Senior Consulting Editor George Petersen will also induct a Hall of Fame in his own veteran style. And it helps endow an array of scholarships in audio arts and sciences at universities as well as TEC’s own annual scholarship. It also contributes to hearing-loss causes, so hopefully the students that TEC supports will have longer careers and more workplace education and protections.

NAMM seems to be shaping up into one of the more contractor-friendly sessions this year, in part because our industry increasingly needs to support and capture live performances, whether they are worship bands or CEO addresses. For me, all the beautiful instruments are a bonus, as is Lindsey Buckingham.

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