News - Recording & P.A.
Good news for musicians who've begun to despair of finding anything of practical interest in London's Hi-Fi Mecca, the Tottenham Court Rd. area, is that leading recording suppliers Turnkey have just opened an innovative new retail shop for home and pro studio recordists at 14 Percy St., W.1.
A major feature of the new Turnkey shop is its unique 'hands on' aspect, which allows musicians and producers to both try and sample equipment from most of the world's top makers - including the use of video tapes designed to help prospective customers get to grips with the basic techniques of multi-tracking. Once viewed, yet more videos take you through individual machines, step by step - an enticingly different way to assess the virtues of equipment from top manufacturers like Fostex, Teac/Tascam, Yamaha and others.
For those whose thoughts are moving beyond the basic 4-track on cassette market, 8 and 16 track gear is on fully operational demo., including mixers from names like Soundtracs and Soundcraft. Even if you've already got your recorder, accessories aplenty are on sale, down to the smallest plugs, leads, connectors and so on, through to mikes, signal processors and just about every home or studio 'goodie' imaginable.
Prize exhibit which you can't buy? - it has to be the genuine 4-track Studer which the Beatles recorded Sgt. Pepper on - still functioning perfectly and the ultimate object lesson on just how good you can get with a 'mere' four tracks of tape!
The Turnkey Shop is at (Contact Details).
Rumours of an upcoming revolution from Akai have been circulating since the first samples were spotted at 1984's Frankfurt Trade Fair - but it has taken until now for the Akai system to reach these shores and a suitable retail network to be established.
So why all the fuss? Well, the Akai is a far cry from conventional 4-track on cassette multi-trackers, or even 8/16 reel to reel machines, offering a combined 12 channel mixer/12 track recorder unit (the MG1212, destined to sell for not much short of £6,000) complete with its own unique format tape cassettes, running 1/2" tape at two speeds - 19 cm/sec or 9.5 cm/sec, using DBX noise reduction. The mixer section offers a 3-stage parametric tone/Eq control setup and employs a computerised system providing punch-in/out between any two points on the desired track, auto playback mute and so on, allowing for precise locate and repeat of tracks to be edited/dubbed, Eq adjustment etc.
With its extra 2-track sync facilities, computerised routing system and more, the Akai would already be impressive enough, but there are also two further new Akai units, designed to either interface with or run separately from the MG1212 - these are the Midi equipped Akai AX80 'Programmable Poly Synth', the MS08 'Music Processor' and the MR16 'Rhythm Oscillator Bank'.
The Akai package should fit together (for those who can afford it) like a dream - offering a complete computerised Midi-interfaced music/recording system with extremely flexible applications.
Watch out for an upcoming review of the new Akai system in 'IT'. Meanwhile, more information from Akai (UK) Ltd., (Contact Details).
Fancy a few days (or longer) spent recording your next meisterwerk on the South Coast, in a handsomely equipped 16-track studio which doesn't cost the Earth? Need some help with creative ideas when you want them - not when you're told you need them? Interested in pressing and promoting your own albums and/or singles? If so, then a new 'package deal' from Boummouth/Boscombe's rapidly growing Studio 95 could be just what the doctor ordered!
Studio 95 (housed in a converted funeral parlour, but no ghosts are part of the guarantee!) is situated in the centre of Boscombe, close to the main roads to Bournemouth, bus and train routes etc., and offers a good range of facilities, equipment and expertise - the hardware including a Soundtracs 16.8.16 desk, Tascam 85.16B multi-tracker, DBX, Rebis noise gates, DDL, Stereo reverb. Chorus, Flanging, Compressor/limiters etc. Mastering is onto a Teac 32.2 and there are the usual 1/4" and cassette dupe facilities.
But there's much more to Studio 95, it would seem, than mere recording equipment. What this highly original 'home from home' setup can offer the semi-pro band is nobody's business (including some great instruments and amps, from a Premier 'Black Shadow' drum kit, through gear from Korg, Roland, Musicman, Sessionette, H.H. Ovation, Gibson, Fender et al) down to a deal with a local hotel, who are offering very comfortable-sounding surroundings at bargain prices.
A major feature of Studio 95 appears to be a huge control room (some 204 sq. ft.!) which must match well with the 69 sq.ft, keyboard room, 144 sq.ft, main recording area and 90 sq.ft, drum booth. And the cost of all this? Well, (including an engineer and free use of instruments) Studio 95 will set you back just £10 on a single hour basis, £9.00 per hour or part for 3 hours or more, £8.00 per hour or part for 5 hours or more or £7.50 per hour for a 10 hour day. Special 'package deals' are offered, too, suiting everyone (Studio 95 say) from the inexperienced band needing a fair bit of help, to the outfit wishing to produce their own sounds, through solo artists needing backing musicians (easily on tap in such a 'live' part of the country, apparently) - in fact the team behind Studio 95 can even help with instrument tuition, concert promotion, songwriting for lyricists - the list seems endless!
Running Studio 95 are Claudette Evans and Nicky Ross, with whom your 'IT' team recently met-up to discuss what they had to offer for 'IT' readers across the U.K.
To us it looks like they have a fine set-up, and we'd be interested to hear from any readers who've sampled this intriguing blend of recording/promotion/accommodation etc. for themselves.
Musicians who fancy checking-out Studio 95 should contact either Claudette or Nicky at Ross Evans Promotions, (Contact Details).
New P.A. gear from Surrey-based Canary includes a wide range of products for the working band - from brand new MOS-FET power amps (just a few hours off the production line when our accompanying pic. was shot!) through mixers and dual-purpose mixer amps.
Starting with Canary's new P.A. power amps, these comprise the PA 150 (75 watts a side, with balanced inputs on both jacks and XLRs), at an RRP of £305, plus the PA 400 model (200 watts a side into 8 ohms plus LED peak load display) at RRP £425. There's also a new D.I. box, with a high impedance guitar level input, low balanced output, ground lift and battery powering at just £39.95.
The Canary 'Compact Range' of mixer amps offers 10-2 and 6-2 consoles with full facilities for live work. Available with Bi-amping at 75 watts, with stereo MOS- FET circuitry and Tri-Amp version (with a 75 watt foldback amp built in) - all models are 19" rack mountable. Prices are £225 for the 6-2 stereo model, £395 for the 6-2 bi-amp, £495 for the 6-2 tri-amped type, £335 for a 10-2 stereo mixer, £505 for a 10-2 bi-amp and £605 for the 10-2 tri-amp model.
Finally, Canary have a new range, the 'Sterling' series mixers. These offer full facilities, including long-throw faders, mike and line inputs per channel, 4-band Eq, 2 foldback and 2 echo sends, solo facility, PPI, 4-band tone on outputs, 6 LED displays, talkback facility, stereo headphone monitoring and an optional meter bridge. Prices are £725 for the 12-4-2, £895 for the 16-4-2 and £1150 for a 24-4-2.) More details on Canary products from distributors Formula One Music, (Contact Details)
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