Over The Road Show Report
This year's Over The Road Show, running concurrently with the APRS once again proved a success. In only its second year the show already displayed signs of expansion. Apart from the founder members Don Larking Audio Sales and Movement Audio, several other companies took part (including E&MM) with many new and interesting products on demonstration.
MTR are fairly new to the industry having been established for about 18 months and have managed to gather together an interesting range of equipment. New products from them were numerous and included the SX3-L, a 3-way crossover unit fully variable between 18 Hz and 20 kHz and retailing at £210. Also being demonstrated was the full range of extremely high quality, low budget studio effects from the Danish company TC Electronics.
Pride of place went to the attractive new Star Sound Dynamix D3000 Series of 8 and 16" track consoles. These mixers, aimed at the 8 and 16 track studio market feature ALPS and Penny & Giles fader options with bargraph LED displays mounted in an angled hood to the side of the unit and are equally suited to both stage and studio use. The 16/8/2 version should retail around £1,800, a none too unreasonable figure considering the features.
Cutec's 1200 mixer and CD-424 digital delay line with sub delay controls were evident alongside their 4 track cassette recorder, MR402 and stereo graphic equaliser with built-in 10 band spectrum analyzer.
MTR were also demonstrating their full range of Shiino Vesta-Fire modular rackmounting signal processors — the new studio series; the RV1 stereo spring reverb, housed in MTR's own value for money aluminium coated 19" effects rack.
Bel displayed their range of relatively inexpensive studio equipment which is slowly expanding and continues to cultivate a very good reputation for quality. New for the show was an update on their mixing consoles, now with reverb on monitor channels and an optional patchbay. There was also the prototype of a new digital delay line, the BD-60 which heralds a new line of digital signal processors from Bel, and features a 2 second delay at full bandwidth (20-16 kHz) and 4 seconds at half bandwidth (8 kHz) for around £600.
A stereo compressor-expander from Drawmer was on show consisting of the standard Drawmer compressor with peak limiter and side-chain listen facility as well as a built-in noise gate.
Moving into the main hall there was a complete set-up from Fostex being demonstrated throughout the day, including A-8 eight track and the X-15 portable four-track cassette. In total contrast to this was the new Trident Series 80B 24-track mixing desk set up with the Trident TSR multitrack machine being demonstrated throughout the show by engineer/producer Phil Chiltern — the perfect way to discover the possibilities of such a system. Although Soundtracs weren't displaying any new products there was news that they will shortly be bringing out some very exciting modular studio quality mixers at competitive prices.
The extensive noises coming from the Movement Audio camp were emanating from the Movement Percussion Computer, launched on an unsuspecting public last year and still arousing interest from the trade and public alike. Previewed for the first time was their new digital drum kit, retailing at below £1,000 with touch sensitive pads and digitally sampled sounds, available in 19" rack modular form.
Another brand new product from Movement on show was the Mimic; a monophonic sound sampling unit with Capacitive coupled, digitally scanned keyboard whose outward appearance is very similar to the Wasp synthesiser. Retailing around £350 it caused quite a stir with the public with healthy interest being shown by studios also.
Movement's display also included the full range of Allen & Heath desks, the complete Tascam range (including their 16-track machine), the JBL studio monitor range and a vast amount of keyboards from Yamaha, Sequential Circuits and Roland.
All in all it was an interesting show which looks set to stay. The Kensington Town Hall venue is ideally suited to such'a venture and should be better signposted next year hopefully. The opportunity to try out equipment not easily available to the general public is welcomed wholeheartedly and it would seem that there is definitely a future for both the APRS and the Over The Road Show. We look forward to next year's event in anticipation.