Creative and Technical Achievements in Audio, Music and Sound Celebrated at the 36th Annual NAMM TEC Awards

January 25 2021, 01:10
Winners of the NAMM Technical Excellence and Creativity (TEC Awards), honoring the best in professional audio and sound production, have been announced in a virtual event on the final day of NAMM’s Believe in Music week, a global online gathering to unify and support people who bring music to the world. Presented by NAMM on Believe TV, the annual event recognized the highest achievements in the pro audio and sound worlds of music making, live performances, video games, television and films.

Universal Audio picked up the day’s biggest collection of prizes in the Technical category for its Apollo x 4 (Computer Audio Hardware); Neve 1084 Preamp & EQ Plug-In (Signal Processing Software-Dynamics/EQ/Utilities), and the company’s LUNA Recording System (Workstation Technology/Recording Devices). Two pro audio brands who each have a long history of sound gear innovations took two awards a piece, also in the Technical category. They are JBL and AKG both recognized for professional gear in several categories including Amplification Hardware-Studio & Sound Reinforcement, Headphone/Earpiece Technology, and respectively, as well as additional categories listed below.

AKG earned two awards with its AKG Lyra USB microphone in the category of Microphones, Recording, together with the popular AKG K361/K371 in the headphones category (pictured above). JBL Professional was awarded for the JBL EON ONE Compact personal PA in the category of Sound Reinforcement Loudspeakers, and with the JBL DSi 2.0 amplifiers in the category of Amplification Hardware.

"On behalf of the entire Harman team, I would like to say it’s an honor to have been recognized by the industry across these four very important audio categories," says Karam Kaul, Vice President, Audio, Harman Professional Solutions. "These wins are a reflection of our commitment to producing innovative audio solutions, and of the immensely talented teams at Harman Professional."

"Despite the global pandemic, the industry continued to innovate, creating one of the largest collectives of product Nominees in the 35-year history of the awards. And given the world engaged in virtual interaction on an unprecedented level, the products honored helped connect us all by delivering music and sound across the world," shares Eric Geer, TEC Entries & Nominations Supervisor.
Many projects in Creative categories were recognized as well, including the Disney+ show featuring the evergreen Star Wars-theme: “The Mandalorian, Season One” (Television Sound Production). A salute to the posthumous legacy of Prince won out in Remote Production/Recording or Broadcast for “Let’s Go Crazy: The Grammy Salute to Prince, CBS.” A full list of winners in Creative Excellence is below.
For the first time, award content, including category and a 35-year retrospective videos, were streamed live to Believe in Music attendees for free. Viewers enjoyed companies and experts who were feted in 22 Technical Achievement categories and seven Creative Achievement categories.

Recently, the TEC Awards also announced the induction of five historical audio products into the TECnology Hall of Fame. The honorees were selected by a panel of audio experts, including authors, educators, engineers, and other professionals. The TECnology Hall of Fame honors audio products and innovations that have made a significant contribution to the advancement of audio technology and production. The inductees included the Western Electric 639A Ribbon Microphone (1938); RCA Mark II Sound Synthesizer (1957); 3M M56 16-Track Recorder (1968); Constant Directivity Horn, Don Keele (1975), and the Near Field Monitoring, Ed Long (1977).
Sponsors for the awards event included The Les Paul Foundation, , Antelope Audio, C.F. Martin & Co., EastWest Sounds, Electro-Voice, Retro Instruments, sE Electronics, Allen&Heath, Apogee, Austrian Audio, Broadjam, d&b audiotechnik, Genelec, Harman, Leapwing Audio, Mackie, McDSP, Meyer Sound, OWC, Pioneer DJ, Sessionwire, Shure, Tracktion, Universal Audio, WonderWonder Sound, Cinema Audio Society, EIPMA (Entertainment Industry Professionals Mentoring Alliance), G.A.N.G. (Game Audio Network Guild), GeerFab Audio, Grace Design, IsoAcoustics, iZotope, L-Acoustics, MPSE (Motion Picture Sound Editors), Shenzen Maono Technology, Softube, Sonic Scoop, Strymon, Studio Expresso, ThumbStopper, WSDG and Hotone Audio.
Here is the full list of the winners of the 36th Annual NAMM TEC Awards:
Technical Achievement
Amplification Hardware - Studio & Sound Reinforcement
JBL - DSi 2.0
Audio Apps & Hardware/Peripherals for Smartphones & Tablets
Eventide - Blackhole
Computer Audio Hardware
Universal Audio - Apollo x4
DJ Production Technology
Native Instruments - Traktor Kontrol S3
Headphone/Earpiece Technology
AKG - K300 Series
Large Format Console Technology
Solid State Logic - Origin
Microphone Preamplifiers
Neve - 1073OPX
Microphones - Recording
AKG - Lyra
Microphones - Sound Reinforcement
sE Electronics - V Series for Drums
Musical Instrument Amplification & Effects
Ampeg - Heritage 50th Anniversary SVT
Musical Instrument Hardware
Moog - Matriarch
Musical Instrument Software
Celemony - Melodyne 5
Production Essentials 
Audinate Dante AVIO Adapters
Signal Processing Hardware  
API - 2500+ Stereo Bus Compressor
Signal Processing Hardware - 500 Series Modules    
AMS Neve - RMX16
Signal Processing Software - Dynamics/EQ/Utilities 
Universal Audio - Neve 1084 Preamp & EQ Plug-In
Signal Processing Software - Effects  
Waves - Abbey Road Saturator
Small Format Console Technology    
Allen & Heath - Avantis

Sound Reinforcement Loudspeakers 
JBL - EON ONE Compact

Studio Monitors         
Genelec - W371A Adaptive Woofer System
Wireless Technology  
Shure - Axient Digital AD3 plug-on wireless transmitter
Workstation Technology/Recording Devices
Universal Audio - LUNA Recording System

Creative Achievement
Studio Design Project 
Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music, Tisch School of the Arts, NYU-FM Design
Film Sound Production           
“1917,” Universal Pictures/DreamWorks Pictures/Entertainment One
Interactive Entertainment Sound Production            
“Star Wars Jedi - Fallen Order,” Respawn Entertainment
Record Production/Album     
Hyperspace, Beck, Capitol Records
Record Production/Single or Track   
Fear Inoculum, Tool, Tool Dissectional and Volcano and RCA
Remote Production/Recording or Broadcast
“Let's Go Crazy: The Grammy Salute to Prince,” CBS
Television Sound Production 
“The Mandalorian (Season 1),” Disney+

Presented annually by NAMM during The NAMM Show, the TEC Awards recognizes the individuals, companies and technical innovations behind the sound of recordings, live performances, films, television, video games and other media in 22 Technical and 7 Creative Achievement Categories. The Les Paul Innovation Award is given at the event in tribute to musical artists and others whose work has exemplified the creative application of audio technology. Through its Hall of Fame, The TEC Awards also honors the pioneers of audio technology and the music industry’s most accomplished producers and audio technicians. The NAMM Foundation’s TECnology Hall of Fame celebrates innovations and ground breaking technical achievements of the past.

To watch the video announcing all the TEC Awards nominees and the winners for all the categories, visit
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