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Christmas 1983 - what did you get? Back then my interests included music and girls; natural history was something I enjoyed on the telly, but never experienced or looked for in the real world.
Christmas 1983 I was 15, and I know exactly what I got; a particularly special present that I'd clamoured for and that my parents must have felt was worth saving for. Expensive presents were not the norm in my happy childhood, I must have been a very good boy that year! It was one of these ....
The Tascam 244 Portastudio - a four-track cassette machine. It used both sides of the tape from the same direction, with each stereo channel on each side becoming one track. It allowed us to record the drums, bass and backings and then to play over as a more finished track. Importantly, we always used one track to record a sync signal so we could add further sequences timed in with the existing tracks. It also allowed us to 'bounce' tracks, so we could mix two tracks to one and add another allowing us to record demos. With this, and a couple of basic Boss foot pedals for delay and reverb, we were set for some great times creating sounds, crafting our songs, recording backings and eventually playing a few gigs. And locally there was no-one else doing this in the same way at the time; I'm sure other bands had synths that were played with other instruments but it was another couple of years or more before we had other local electronic bands. Later in our journey we played alongside other bands in all-electronic nights.