The 'Hands On Show' Report
The Clive Hotel, Primrose Hill was the recent venue for one of the year's best exhibitions. The 'Hands On Show', organised by Turnkey, once again proved a resounding success, with major displays of recording equipment - all of which you could touch!
Unlike other shows where the public are only allowed to oggle, this show gave people the opportunity to get their hands on the equipment. The concept is beyond reproach, as it is inconceivable that the public would be able to try out a Soundcraft desk, say, and a Fostex X-15 under the same roof anywhere else!
Most major manufacturers of home recording gear were represented, and all openly displayed their products so that people could judge things for themselves, instead of being railroaded by some heavy-handed salesman. Technical assistance was always close at hand from representatives of the companies, who offered advice as well as answering relevant questions.
A live concert of the famous Synclavier was the undisputed highlight of the show, attracting a capacity audience to the seminar room. For those who wished a change, the seminar room was also the venue over the two days for some enlightening lectures and workshops.
Andy Munro (of Turnkey 2) examined the theories and techniques of home acoustics, whilst Dave Ward of Gateway Studios talked sense about patchbays, impedances and insert points on mixers. Atlantex's own Bob Wilson explained thoroughly the functions and uses of most of today's signal processors, whilst James Betteridge and Paul Wiffen passed on their respective experiences of the world's of recording and electronic music. The exchange of information during all seminars helped clear up many of the mysteries that surround recording, of that I'm certain.
Some of the most useful demos were those given of the Portastudio and Fostex Multitracker. Headphones were available so that you could listen, as Andrew Stirling of Turnkey guided listeners through the various stages of recording a home demo tape. Mark Shreeve provided the musical input, as a 'live' demo was made of tracks from his recent 'Assassin' LP, using synths, cassette decks and processing devices, all of which served as an educational eye-opener for many young people, whilst the seasoned recordists amongst them were reminded of just what is possible from such an inexpensive, simple and compact recording set-up.
The whole show was an enjoyable event and is fast becoming a true Mecca for home recordists. Here's looking forward to next year and the promise of even more equipment to get your 'hands on'!
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