Dirk Meyer

Two decades ago, I embarked on a journey into electronics, initially as a software developer. Along the way, I discovered the art of crafting effect devices for electric guitars along with Helge, igniting a passion that led me to delve deeper into complex DSP solutions.

For the past twelve years, I’ve honed my expertise as a professional embedded software developer and PCB layout designer. Now, I’m excited to merge these skills into the creation of the NAM player — a testament to years of dedication and innovation in electronic design.

Join us on this journey to redefine audio excellence with the NAM player. It’s gonna be a blast!

Helge Adamo

Twenty years back, I stumbled into music electronics out of necessity—being a broke student with gear that needed fixing. But what started as a makeshift repair job evolved into a full-blown obsession, thanks to Dirk’s partnership.

Together, we’ve delved into the DIY world, fixing gear, yes, but also dreaming up new stuff. I’ve found a real kick in not just making things work but making them look cool too, from designing artwork to testing prototypes.

Now, with the NAM player, it feels like the peak of our journey so far. It’s the result of years of tinkering and teamwork—a testament to our dedication to pushing the limits of music tech.

Fabian Schwartau

Since I was young I have been into electronics and software. Signal processing became one of my interests during my studies in electrical engineering. Since then I have been working on projects, where signal processing was a more or less important part. Although those projects usually were related to radar and microwave signal processing, the basic algorithms are similar to those used in audio processing.

I have a decent passion in rock and metal music, but never properly learned an instrument. So, this is still on my long to-do list. Nevertheless, I am proud to create the NAM player together with Dirk and Helge to give something back to the music community with the hope that some creative minds will make something I love with it.

Dimehead, a creative combination of [Di]rk [Me]yer and [He]lge [Ad]amo, was founded back in 2011 as a hobby project. Over the last decade, Dirk and Helge developed dozens of pedals, amps, effects, and MIDI switching solutions. This includes popular devices like the Schumann PLL clone, DIY kits like the ISL888P or the first Tap Tempo Extension for the PT2399 delay chip, and DSP solutions for other manufacturers.

In 2023 the Neural Amp Modeler (NAM) was released by Steven Atkinson, and immediately got Dirk’s attention. Shortly after the idea rose to bring NAM into a stage compatible dedicated device. A few people also tried similar things, like running NAM on a Raspberry Pi. But a demonstration is still far from a dedicated device and the processor was at its limits computing power wise, even at high latency.

Dirk got Fabian on board to help with understanding the NAM core algorithm and optimizing it to get the most out of the hardware. This allowed us to run NAM and many other things like a 60s convolver on an energy efficient processor with just a single sample of delay instead of other large block DSP algorithms.

After months of programming and testing we were convinced that it could be done and started developing the hardware. A few weeks later the first prototype electronics arrived and we were able to run NAM in real-time for the first time. A few more iterations of the hardware followed to get everything ready for production. A lot of thought also went into the user interface to make it as user friendly as possible.

Parallel to the iteration of the hardware a lot of people, musicians, and audio engineers were asked to test the device and give feedback, which was promptly implemented. Another important topic was the creation of good guitar cabinet (IRs) and amplifier (NAMs) captures for the factory presets. We resorted to multiple recording studios for this task to get the most realistic behavior of our models and record a wide variety of devices.

As Fabian’s company was not too far off from the topic and we wanted to get to market quickly, we decided to run DIMEHEAD as a brand under MKFS electronics — at least for now.