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Article from International Musician & Recording World, July 1985

A brief glimpse at what will astound the recording world this year

12, 13 & 14 June. Kensington Exhibition Centre.
Tickets: APRS, (Contact Details)

Although the APRS (Association of Professional Recording Studios) exhibition is primarily aimed at professional studio owners and designers, it is also undoubtedly of great interest to musicians as it gives an unequalled insight into the sort of machinery that one might expect to find denting the deep-pile carpet behind the doors of the more serious recording studio.

In terms of sheer size, this year's show is about 10% up on last year's bash. This is actually due to exhibitors requesting more stand space and in fact the number of stands remains more or less the same. Not surprisingly, one trend is towards the video production market, as an increasing number of manufacturers make efforts to tie their products in with VTR's and edit suites for what is termed VAPP — video audio post production.

Magnetic tape manufacturers might possibly feel a few tremors of impending doom on receiving news of an extraordinary new product being launched at the show by signal processor giants, AMS. Going by the name of 'Audiofile', it is a hard disk-based 16-bit stereo digital audio recording system with advanced editing and lock-to-picture capabilities (VAPP and all that) and a maximum record time of many hours. Could this be the beginning of a new era?

Calrec (Audio Design Calrec) will, amongst other things, be showing their latest mixer technology in the forms of both their UA8000 music console, and an assignable analogue, digitally controlled console. This latter unit might be instructive to those interested in the idea of assignability which has been taken to the N'th degree by the Neve DSP digital console.

Fairlight, in the guise of distributors Syco Systems, look set to provide probably the biggest news of the show with the Fairlight 3, which rumour has it will be a full-bandwidth version of the sampling supersystem. Everyone is being very close-mouthed about the Aussies' latest exploits, but other epoch-making gadgets to be shown either here or in the very near future may include a computerised fullfunction recallable mixing desk for considerably less than the SSL it'll obviously be in competition with; updates to video editing and effects gear; and more on the Voicetracker 5 their anything-to-MIDI box.

Harman UK is always well worth a look, and this year their range promises to include very interesting new products from Tascam: This includes the launch of a new 6:4 mixer, the Tascam M106. Designed to compliment the existing M2A the M106 offers more facilities such as additional phono inputs for turntables, VU metering, cue and effects sends plus the ability to be rack-mounted.

Klark Teknik's new super reverb

Returning to that much revered digital domain, Klark Teknik are to show for the first time their new programmable DN780 'Added Density Reverb' system. Amongst its impressive list of claims are 20 factory reverb presets including various gated reverb sounds, plus five special effects programmes and a further 50 user memories for storage of your own special spatial creations. Away from the hardware, KT will also be announcing the birth of a new division: Klark Teknik Acoustic, the first product from which is to be the 'System 2.1' close source active music monitors — in other words they're only little and are intended to be positioned close to the listener's earholes. An interesting new departure from a company who have a very serious grip over the signal processing world.

JBL's near-field monitors, on the Marquee stand

Marquee Electronics will be showing the JBL SLT-1 close-field monitors which came out way above the rest in our recent mini-monitor round-up — ideal for home recording, if you can afford them. Also worth a longing look on this stand is the new Eventide Harmoniser 969: what a clever machine.

If your interest has been aroused by news of the Neve DSP all-digital console, you might like to take a look at the disc mastering console on their stand which is based on the same technology. Also on display will be their new 8129 mixer designed for television post-production and featuring the latest version of the ever-fascinating NECAM automation system. This is the one that actually has little motors to physically move the faders for you as the levels are changed. Do be careful where you put your cup of tea down.

Sony will be amongst those promoting the DASH (Digital Audio Stationery Head) format at the show with their 24 and two-track digital recorders. Also present will be their complete compact disc mastering system and a new mixer of some kind about which there was little information available.

In addition to a fully operational system including their CM4400 computerised mixing console Soundtracs will be launching into Europe a new range of four and eight-track mixing consoles. Entitled the 'T' Series, they are expandable from a basic 16:4:4 format up to 32:8:8 with add-ons.

Multi-track and mix down in cassette format from Studiomaster

RSD were showing a mock-up of their new Studio 4 MkII four-track/two-track cassette system at this year's Frankfurt exhibition, and are hoping to be able to have a working model ready for the APRS. If they manage to beat the clock those attendant will witness a single unit comprising both a four-track cassette machine and a separate two-track one, meaning that you can record multitrack and mix down to stereo all within the same unit. The MkII will be a simple deck without any of the sophisticated mixing facilities found on its predecessor.

The main news from the everpresent Turnkey is the introduction of some new Fostex equipment with, and I quote, "Music/video connections". They were all a bit cagey about the precise meaning of this cryptic clue, but no doubt there will be some music-to-picture connotations in there somewhere. You'll just have to wait and see.

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Studio Of The Month

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Roland SDE-2500

Publisher: International Musician & Recording World - Cover Publications Ltd, Northern & Shell Ltd.

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International Musician - Jul 1985

Recording World

Show Report by Jim Betteridge

Previous article in this issue:

> Studio Of The Month

Next article in this issue:

> Roland SDE-2500

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