One of my first stops at NAMM was the Gibson booth; as soon as you walked in, there were five “stations” set up, each with a Dark Fire, laptop, software, and headphones. There’s something about getting to sit down at a trade show and just play guitar, and I took full advantage of the situation! And also, it felt like I was “home”…playing Dark Fire takes me back to being in my studio, coming up with patches, writing new songs, and just plain having a good time.
Jon Chappell from Harmony Central was with me, and got a chance to play Dark Fire. He too was very impressed, and I got to show him some of the less obvious features. He put on the headphones, and immediately got lost in the music. Knowing that Dark Fire was in good hands, I went to my next set of appointments.
Then came Friday, and the Dark Fire Community meeting. It was held in the Gibson bus, which was parked just up the street from the convention center. There were four Dark Fire owners, some dealers, many members from the design team (Tronical, Echo Electronics, Ableton, Native Instruments), and Gibson’s CEO, Henry Juszkiewicz. In fact, here’s a photo with Gage Shinoda, a proud Dark Fire owner, and Henry.
Steve Conrad (Elantric) was there, of course, which you already knew if you followed his thread about the party in the Dark Fire forum. Here he’s getting his guitar autographed by Chris Adams, the head of Tronical.
Here’s another shot from inside the bus, with Steve in the extreme left, Chris and Antonio from Tronical (standing), and me sitting down with a Dark Fire.
Next, here’s a picture of Chris Adams testing out his latest invention: A “beautiful people attractor” spray. Apparently it works! But seriously … that’s Dave Amato (from REO Speedwagon) and his girlfriend on the left, with Chris Adams and his wife Gwen on the right.
The best thing about the meeting was that it was a chance to talk about the future of Dark Fire and the wish list Steve had compiled, as well as the opportunity to re-connect with those working on the project. And, Dark Fire owners got to meet the people behind the technology.
I didn’t know whether Henry would be able to make it to the meeting; obviously, he’s pretty busy at NAMM shows. But he made the time, which was a good thing. After all those months sweating deadlines, troubleshooting circuits, and testing the guitar, I’m sure it did him good to see people who use and love the guitar—it helps restore perspective as to what this is all about. One thing I learned at the meeting was that the Dark Fire saga is not yet finished; there are additional improvements and ideas floating around. In fact, I asked Henry if he was interested in my coming up with more Dark Fire-specific programs, and he seemed taken aback that I would even wonder if he wanted more programs. This is all very encouraging, because as much as I like Dark Fire, I know it can be taken further—and I know I can take it further, too.
Well, I’m going to go back to playing Dark Fire for a bit. I’ll report back on whatever I learn about Dark Fire that’s new and interesting in the days and weeks to come.