Frankfurt Music Fair 2017 – My Report


Last year I was mainly a visitor at the Musikmesse in Frankfurt. This year I´m helping at MANICDrum´s booth.
They show various snares with different hardware constellations and the brand new Masters Limited Mirage series. A total of three complete drumsets are shown:

The latest latest double bass kit Retro Mamba attracts attention with its turquoise-white design. By the way, this color is presented by many manufacturers this year. No less impressive is the the Mahogany Set Infrasonic with 26″ bass drum and the Maple Jazz kit with 18″bass drum.
MANICDrum once again showcases its wide range of sounds, equipment and looks.

Last year’s trade fair newcomer MANICDrum is grateful for the confirmation from visitors and colleagues. The breakthrough innovations MANIC presented last year after years of development are improved in many small details. The result is a broader attention and appreciation this year.

The special feature of the MANICDrum SYSTEM ONE SYSTEM is the very precise working connection of a flexible hoop and clamps on the lugs. This combination of the hardware components allows a new kind of tuning for every drummer. The strengths are the possibility to undo any detuning. So nothing can go wrong! If I do not like a tuning, I can undo it immediately and can continue experimenting from the previous tuning.
On the one hand, not only were many drummers interested (like the enthusiastic Rick Latham) for the countless possibilities of sound changes.

Particularly gratifying is the increased interest of the specialized press and representatives of other manufacturers. They listen carefully to the explanations on how to use the increased possibilities of the MANICDrum hardware and how it makes them available to each drummer.
I explain the details in the morning in a live stream for the German specialist magazine STICKS.

Here some of the presented snares with the newly developed lugs:

The detail enhancements also include a more stable design of the rim shot elements, which can be ordered from different materials, in the hoop. Here detail shots of these parts made of steel, copper, brass and wood:

Later John Good drops by the MANIC booth and confirms the quality of the presented products and the high degree of innovation.


And when you leave your “own” hall 11, you meet familiar faces: On Saturday I meet Michaela and Gerd Stegner of stdrums. They are also present at the vintage fair in nearby Möhrfelden-Walldorf. A photo, of course, is a must!
Michaela und Gerd Stegner

Mic Scharf presents a set from his “Klangmacherei” (>> sound creation workshop <<) at the booth of Agean Cymbals. I had met him at the first CrashIt fair in Mannheim. He has brought a set of two-layer mahogany drums with reinforcement rings. With it´s beautiful velvety brown look and perfectly processed, the set is nevertheless subjected from powerful to wild scrutiny by the audience. Fortunately after four days it is undamaged. I would like to have the ease of mind of the extremely relaxed manufacturer Mic Scharf. We meet here and there over the four days of the fair and the farewell on the evening of the last day is heartfelt. Until the next CrashIt in autumn in Mannheim, Mic!


Aerodrums & Aered

Right next door, I get in contact with the guys from AeroDrums, who are an attraction for many visitors throughout the fair. Also interesting are my discussions with Richard Lea from ​​AeroDrums, who already presented Aered – a promising notation program for drummers – before the fair. I’m looking forward to the integration of Aerodrums and Aered! And when does one ever has the opportunity to express the wishes for new features to the programmer personally …

Links: und


The name Afroton, which I discovered in the list of exhibitors, attracts me to Hall 8. And it really is worth it! On the one hand, I get to know new instruments and meet interesting people. But in turn:
I´m catching a glimpse of a water-filled bowl with two handles pointing upwards (and not to the side). It´s function is not clear to me until Dasitu Kajela-Röttger from Afroton explains how it works:
The sound is created by friction. The player rubs the top of the “handles” with his hands. A soothing tonal sound is created. In addition, you can see the vibrations in the water. The German name: “Waterspringschale” (>> water spring cup <<).

Afroton and the designer and developer Deniz Gungor, who is present at the exhibition booth, present an highly distinguished and excellent instrument: Aquadrum. I could not imagine an innovation in this field of percussion instruments to date. Deniz Gungor has taught me the better. He has made the tongues of his instrument tunable! A real improvement, because you are usually not tonally flexible because each tongue of a sphere drum has its individual tone and the instrument does not exceed a certain size. In the concert you have to play in the same key(s), or you have to bring a variety of different instruments, which is rather impractical with the already high number of instruments in a percussion concert. An idea that has found a perfect implementation, awarded with the gold medal for the patent at the 43rd International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva.
Deniz Gungor

Afroton is a very individual and enriching part of the fair, which I unfortunately had not noticed so far. Until next year!

Links: und

TUNA KNOBS by pepperdecks

A small detail with practical advantages: Rotary controls for smart devices, which are placed on the glass by suction cup and thus enable the user a haptic operation on the digital interface. This is very handy, since rotary controls are more difficult to operate in the digital world than on a real device. Often this is solved by a linear movement of the digital rotary ontrols, but that is often confusing in the workflow. Not every app behaves identically. With the adjustable rotary knobs you can work very precisely, without ever having to look: A weakness of smart devices brilliantly compensated by the TUNA KNOBS.
Simple idea, great solution!

With Tascam one could see that old tech can be renewed and made more useful. From the outside, the rack-capable (3 units) device looks like a well-known CD player with cassette deck and plays from CD, cassette and USB stick. Recordings in mp3 format (44.1kHz, 128kbps) are possible from the sources Line, CD and USB. It can be stored on cassette and on USB stick. This allows the uncomplicated transfer from compact cassettes to mp3 files.


Interface, Instrument, Controller – ARQ can be all of this. Zoom has presented the new instrument some time ago, now I can try it myself and test its wide range of possibilities in programming and handling.

Link: Zoom

YAMAHA Allstars
The YAMAHA Allstars are available 3 times a day on all four days. From 10:30 am to 11:00 am, they can be seen at the Yamaha Main Stage at the Portalhaus, from 12:00 to 1:00 pm on the Center Stage and in the afternoon again in the Portalhaus.
If the halls of the trade showcase technology and effects, the Allstars will let the music speak for themselves. I am struck by the joy and serenity with which the Allstars feed each others lines and communicate on the stage musically and non-verbally. At the performances in the Portalhaus you can look the musicians in the eyes and on the fingers. For me an extraordinary experience!

Nelly Ben Hayoun
A ingenious lecture, which inspires the listeners who are unfortunately in too small a number, takes place in Hall 11.1. Nelly Ben Hayoun presents her numerous and very different projects and gives a lecture entitled “The industry needs visions to free itself”.
Nelly Ben Hayoun@Musikmesse_2017

And so she talks about chaos, the design of the impossible, the design of experiences, countercultures, Space Viking and the University of the Underground. Her techniques are critical design, theatrical practices and performance of politics. The boundaries between performance, fine arts, critical discussion and protest are fluid. In the Theater of Cruelty events of world history are reenacted to gain a better understanding of history. It applies the form of the Greek tragedy (of which Aristotle reports in his work Poetics) in other contexts, for example, to give NASA a more open approach to the tragedies of space travel, thereby enabling it to increase its acceptance (in respect to its overall effectiveness) in the population.

A slide of her presentation: “In 1958 we had the BLOB, in 2016 we have Google Trends”.

She reports on her work in NASA’s SETI program and on her stubbornly running process to found the ISO (International Space Orchestra) at NASA. For seven years, she ignored every “no”, understood it as a “yes”, which could not be pronounced yet, learned the organization structure of NASA by heart, knew every one who worked there and tirelessly and perseveringly applied this Hammering Method so vehemently, that in the end, she prevailed and the ISO was founded. The orchestra consists of NASA staff and has till today played with Sigur Rós, Beck, The Prodigy and Bobby Womack.

In the further course of her lecture, she touches on different topics like Baudrillard’s hyperrealism, her activities at CERN, the possibility to create dark matter in the kitchen for everyone, the living room volcano, the armchair that simulates a rocket launch in a very realistic way and wich is certified by real astronauts as an absolutely realistic experience (The Soyuz Chair), the Supersonic Boom, the Micronation Revolution, her work at WeTransfer as Chief of Experiences, her own Barbie doll, the three types of main cities that characterize counterculture Social, cultural and economic) and completely breaks the schedule, since, as she herself says, “could continue for hours.”

After 1 hour of Nelly´s “total bombardment” I feel inspired and a little exhausted. While talking with her she provides helpful hints for my own projects. Enhancing the immediate personal experience for every single individual is her first goal here also.

Gerry Brown

Great to finally be able to watch an inspirational drummer from my early youth:

Gerry Brown

35 Jahre drums & percussion

German drum magazine drums & percussion celebrates it´s 35 year anniversary during a reception. Many German drummers are present: Anika Nilles, Claus Hessler, Wolfgang Haffner (moderating), Jost Nickel, Manni von Bohr and Patrick Metzger.

Steve Stevens

Steve Stevens played at this year´s final event with Franky Perez (vocals, keyboard) of Apocalyptica, Ben Woods (guitar), Uriah Duffy (bass) of Whitesnake and Michael Bennet (drums) who played with Slash, Stevie Wonder and Bruno Mars.Special Guest: Gus G. (Ozzy Osbourne).
Uriah Duffy 1
Franky Perez 1
Gus G.

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