Hands on Show Report
A pictorial diary of what happened this November at the best UK recording show.
The weekend of November 10th and 11th saw the Clive Hotel, London, play host to the annual Hands On Show. As ever, the show, which was organised by Turnkey, attracted a good crowd of recording fanatics all eager to check out the equipment and attend the many seminars and live recording demonstrations. Exhibitors at the show brought a full range of products with them for everybody to get their hands on and HSR were hovering around in full force selling back issues, binders, sweatshirts and answering a host of queries from the many people who approached our stand.
The show gave visitors a chance to assess many recently introduced products like the new Tascam Porta One multitrack cassette recorder, the Electrospace Spanner, a full range of HIT amplifiers and the Soundcraft Series 500 and 600 mixers. Further products on display drew a lot of interest including the new CM4400 digital routing mixing console from Soundtracs and the Powertran MCS-1 sound sampling unit. This MIDI controlled sampler was skilfully demonstrated by Kendall Wrightson who seemed to be spending his time getting people to say 'aahh' into a microphone and then proceeding to let them play tunes with their own sampled voice via a Yamaha DX7's keyboard.
This year FWO Bauch introduced the Revox service clinic and many people took the opportunity to bring along their trusty Revox A77s and B77s from many a mile to let Mike Bernard check them out on his test rig. Each tape machine was given a thorough testing and re-calibrated on the spot.
Another out of the ordinary exhibitor at the show was the Gateway Studio stand where Dave Ward's G-Team were on hand to give people the rundown on the various Gateway recording and synthesiser courses (see 'Competition' in this issue) and encouraging visitors to play with the various synthesisers and other equipment around their stand.
As the show was busily in progress upstairs, a range of other more educational events were taking place downstairs. Throughout both of the days, a series of seminars were given on various topics. Andy Munro from Turnkey Two spoke about acoustic design for the home studio, Dave Ward gave several talks on mixers and microphones, Bob Wilson of Atlantex expounded on the subject of choosing effects units, and finally two members of our very own magazine, namely Paul Gilby (Assistant Editor) and Paul White (Technical Editor), manned the stage for an hour and a half of light relief in the shape of a 'live' readers' question time.
Last but not least, the Turnkey live recording session attracted capacity crowds who were confronted by Andrew Stirling's guiding words as the engineer and musicians laid down The Turnkey Blues' on the eight track Fostex recording set-up.
This year's show was as successful as ever and underlined the burgeoning interest in home and studio recording in this country. At times though, the show was packed to bursting point and with poor old Tannoy having to take another room in the hotel away from the main show area, it begs the question of whether or not the Hands On Show has finally outgrown the Clive Hotel as a venue?