-Highlights from Nashville Summer NAMM 2014

First of all, we are back from Summer NAMM and that means that we are getting back into the swing of normal operations around here! Most importantly, all orders will ship within our usual time frame of 48 hours. Thank you for your patience over the past few weeks as we have caught up, and we look forward to helping you with your setup. Please use our contact page if you have any questions.

Also, our custom cable page has been temporarily disabled due to a recent surge in SPAM submissions. We are currently working on a solution and hope to have it up and running again soon. For now, please use our contact page to submit any custom cable orders.

Now, on to the fun stuff. We had another amazing year in Nashville! We met a ton of great people, including a lot of musicians, store owners, promoters and other fellow designers and manufacturers. It is always inspiring to meet and talk with everyone in the music business. This year, we wanted to highlight some of the great people we meet and some of the fun business opportunities Rock On Audio will be pursuing in the next year.

While setting up our booths on the day before the show, we met Tom Shaper, the creator of a fun new instrument, the Jasper Bridge Guitar. It is an interesting new take on how to play guitar that involves hammering the strings with a drumstick (from the back side of the strings). Along with many others at the show, we were able to give it a whirl at his booth. It was a blast, and we definitely recommend checking out his website.

Meet Tom Brislin. He stopped by our booth, and mentioned that he has been looking into an IEM solution for some time. After discussing how he usually wires up his keyboards and vocals, we decided that Tom would be a great guy to have on our beta testing team for the Sixer Mixer. He often runs his keyboards in stereo, and would really love to mix in a set of stereo room mics, and so having a few more channels is a must. We look forward to working with him more, and getting his feedback on the initial prototypes.

One of the funnest parts of going to a NAMM show, is that you never know what you are going to see! Here, we have the first acoustic guitar to have a whammy bar! Preduce Hendricks is the inventor of this beauty. He let us have a go, and it was really fun to play!

It is a little strange at first to hear an acoustic guitar strummed and then hear the pitches bend, but also awesome at the same time! You can follow his story at his facebook page. Looks like he just got another patent filed in early August. Congrats Predice and best of luck with the new business!

Since our return from Summer NAMM, we have continued to work on the Sixer Mixer prototype design. We received some very positive feedback from everyone that stopped by the booth, and look forward to working together with our beta testing team to further fine tune the design. We are currently finishing up the DSP core and user interface code, and hope to have some working prototypes built up and ready for beta testing in October, with a release of the final product sometime this winter. Please check out the The Sixer Mixer Forum Thread to learn more and join the conversation.

Again, thanks for your patience as we have caught up from the Summer NAMM rush, and we look forward to helping you with your orders asap!

-The Rock On Audio team


-Summer NAMM 2014

We are excited to be exhibiting at Summer NAMM this week! We will not be shipping any orders until we return next Wednesday, so please be patient. If you place an order while we are away, we will do our best to get it shipped off first thing Wednesday morning (7/23).

Also, we will not be 100% available during the next week, so please understand that we will do our best to respond to your emails or phone calls asap.

If you're in Nashville this weekend and are planning to attend the trade show, please stop by our booth (#260). We will be showing off our new six channel IEM personal mixer, called the "Sixer Mixer".

It is still in prototyping phase, but we hope to release the product live sometime this fall.

Again, thanks for your patience and we look forward to helping you with your orders asap!

-The Rock On Audio team


-Hand Soldering Blenders

During our last soldering session of Tasty Blenders, we thought it would be fun to take some pictures and share some of the assembly steps involved in making a Tasty Blender.

Before we begin any hand soldering, the assembly starts with surface mount parts.

Pictured above is a panel of 6 Tasty Blenders right before they go into the oven to re-flow. All these parts live on top surface of the circuit board, and that's why they're called "surface mount" parts.

We used a pick and place machine to get most of this work done very quickly.

In the picture above, Bob is setting up some reels to begin running the machine. If you'd like to see more pictures from that awesome day of electronics, click here.

After we're done populating the surface mount parts (and cleaning the boards), it's time to fire up the irons!

In this shot, Tyler is soldering on the first thru-hole part. It's called a "thru-hole" part because the part is pushed through a hole in the circuit board. We use solder to form the electrical connection and hold the part in place. Here, Tyler is soldering a pair of headers that hold the display in place. These headers elevate the display so it's flush with the face-plate. Without these, the display would sit too low, and you wouldn't be able to see your settings!

At this stage, we also add a little extra solder to the connection for the power jack input.

A few months ago, we had a couple customers contact us because their Blenders were no longer powering up. We immediately sent them replacements, and they were up and rocking again shortly. They returned their units to us, and it turns out the connectors had been slightly ripped off the circuit board. Although these failures seem to be isolated, we have now implemented this extra step to ensure a very strong connection on the power input. After assembly is complete, we now also put a healthy dab of gorilla glue under the connector to hold that sucker on there!

The final step is soldering into place the control knobs and the audio connectors.

Tyler is so fast at those display headers that he came over to help Mike with some of the audio jacks. What a great team player!

To see all the pictures from this epic day of soldering, please check out the complete photo set on our Flickr page. I hope you enjoyed seeing what it takes to assemble the Tasty Blender!

Thanks again for all your business and support!
Rock on,
Pete Lewis

To see all older posts, click here.

"It works perfect for my in ears in an easy all-in-one package. No more wasting batteries!!"
-Mad Dog Boys, BC Canada

"The ability to take signal from practically anywhere on stage is invaluable!"
-Steve Sperry, guitarist/vocalist, Lubbock TX

"It's totally unobtrusive -no belt pack, which scores big points."
-Peter Healy, guitarist, Leipzig, Germany