BBC Radio Theatre
The BBC Radio Theatre is used extensively for recording BBC Radio Productions in front of public audiences and required a new theatre recording control room and sound reinforcement.
The 250-seat theatre space and recording studio is part of the original grade 1 listed 1930s building which has retained many of its art-deco features. The recordings include full orchestras, rock and pop bands, spoken word and comedy shows
Recording Control Room
The theatre recording control room is based around an SSL C200 mixing console. The C200 has 112 microphone inputs, 96 analogue assignable inputs and outputs and 96 digital inputs and outputs. All microphone circuits are multiplexed onto fibre optical cable before being routed to the central DSP.
All line level audio is connected via a large krone frame in the central racks room to facilitate easy changes in configurations and equipment. As the C200 performs all of the audio routing functions there are very few jackfields for a studio of this size. There is an SSL sub-mixer for tape-ops and FX playout and a producer position with full outboard FX racks. All of the equipment is housed in furniture designed and built by IVC Technologies in close liaison with the BBC.
The studio is truly tape-less with the main recording media being a PC based 48 track Protools system. Removable 2 track recording is done on a bank of Fostex CR500 CD burners. There is also a complex building wide intercom system and ISDN/Telephone phone facilities.
Main monitoring is on PMC MB2A active monitoring with additional sub-bass cabinets.
Theatre and Sound Reinforcement
The theatre space itself has large facilities panels at various locations around the stage and auditorium both at low level and at high level. Facilities at high level are accessed via drop down lighting trusses with flexible cable laid onto flip-flop style cable trays.
All mic, line and video tielines are terminated in racks at sub stage level. Mic lines are multiplexed into optical fibres to be sent to the main SSL C200 console, line level audio and video tielines are terminated onto local jackfields.
Mic and line level circuits are split fed to a live PA mixing position where live mixing for bands can be done, currently this is done on a Soundcraft K2 mixer.
The main left/right sound is handled by a D+B audiotechnik line array with a cardiod sub arrangement for enhanced sub bass frequencies at lower SPLs. The arrays are driven from D+B D12 digital amplifiers. There is also provision for 6 x D+B M4 stage monitors.
There is a distributed PA system for speech which is handled by D+B E0 speakers driven by D+B EPAC amplifiers. The whole of the D+B system is remotely controlled by any PC running their ROPE C can-bus software.
Additionally there is an extensive cue-light system and talkback facilities from the stage to the control room.