At the age of nine, Trevor Marshall was
given a crystal set.
He pulled it apart to see
how it worked, put it back together, and it never worked again.
That inquisitive young boy is now an electronics wizard responsible for
most of the equipment used by SA rock groups.
Trevor was last year given an award for his work in the rock field.
And two weeks ago he received a Bachelor of Engineering degree from the
University of Adelaide.
Whenever he goes to a rock show, Trevor wears ear plugs.
He is very keen on getting some sort of noise legislation to cover rock
"I have been waiting for years for legislation to cover noise levels. I
often feel, however, that it is self-inflicted." he said.
I think that if people think the music is too loud they should buy
earplugs. Even moist cotton wool is OK. This will relieve the
"You still get the stomach pounding and all the other effects from the
music - but no headache."
He said many groups had to play at the same volume all the time.
"A lot of amplifiers can't be
suit the venue." Trevor said.
Many groups underestimated what equipment they needed, he said.
"Group members try an amplifier out in the shop then get it into a hall
and find it's not loud enough." he said.
Trevor said there was also a tendency to do-it-yourself.
"This is quite commendable, if it comes off. It would seem to be that it
would be more sensible to buy a finished product from a shop." he
He suggested that groups shop around for equipment instead of buying the
first thing available.
"Equipment has to be carefully looked at and tested. Reliability of gear
is something groups should look for." he said.
Every group these days seems to want a Moog synthesiser.
Trevor is rather sceptical about synthesisers. He did a prototype of a
build-yourself Moog for a big-selling electronics magazine.
"I would expect them to drop in price to about $500 within 18 months." he
"At the moment you would have to pay somewhere between
$1,400 and $1,500 for a good one.
Trevor said they had limitations.
A synthesiser was a one-note instrument which meant it was basically
meant for solos and not backing work.
They had to be retuned continuously and were very hard to set up and get
the exact sound on stage.
Some of them were hard to control on stage and were sensitive to
The main advantage of a synthesiser for a group was that it could go
between notes and produce sounds which could not be got from a
normal instrument. Rock is making a comeback on television.
Both Channel 9 and Channel 2 will start rock shows within a week of each
At 6 p.m. on Saturday Channel 9 will start a series of half-hour rock
shows dealing with different personalities.
The first show, to be hosted by Paul Hodges of 5KA, will deal with the
Beatles and include film clips of the group.
On March 9 at 6.10 p.m. the ABC starts "Rock On," - an Australian show
made up of film from this month's Rymill Park rock concert.
Each show will go for 40 minutes and will feature Hush, Kevin Johnson,
Smiling Hard, Fragile, Brandee, and Taxi.