Audio part of new university media facility

Birmingham City University has opened a new five-studio media hub, featuring audio suites, a radio studio and wireless microphone capability.
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Birmingham City University has opened a new five studio media centre, featuring audio suites, a radio studio and wireless microphone capability.

The project was brought about by the relocation and modernisation of three departments within the university; the Faculty of Performance, Media and English, the Faculty of Technology, Engineering and the Environment and the Birmingham Institute of Art and Design.

All three now have access to five studios and supporting facilities, as opposed to the previous single studio set up. The new media centre was installed by CVP, which selected a range of technology and equipment, including Sony cameras, OLED monitors and wireless microphones and Avid Pro Tools.

Of the five TV studios, which are all acoustically isolated, three have control areas with audio capability. The largest of them, Studio A, has a gallery area with a separate sound control room based round a 152 IO Studer Vista 5 console with a Pro Tools system working on Mac Pro featuring a selection of plug-ins. Studios C also features Pro Tools and a Vista 5 but with 64 inputs and 72 outputs.

Studio D is a dedicated news area with a combined vision and audio control area, featuring a Soundcraft Si Compact 16 mixer, plus Pro Tools. Wall boxes in each studio provide sources for the galleries. Microphone selection includes Sony UWP-X8 handheld wireless mic units and UWP-X7 lavaliers, with Sanken Cos 11 mic heads, Sennheiser E840s and RØDE shotguns.

Presenter talkback is carried over Sennheiser EK200 in-ear monitors. All studios communications are through a networked Trilogy Gemini intercom. The media centre houses four craft editing suites, one of which is a dedicated Pro Tools room. This has a C24 controller and a 5.1 loudspeaker system based on Genelec 8030s, which also feature in the audio areas of Studios A and C, along with 8020 nearfield monitors. Studio D's control room has 8020s only. There is also a general-purpose audio studio (pictured) with a voice booth.

The control room is set up for 5.1 and features Pro Tools with C24, a Pioneer DJ submixer and Technics turntables. Radio is catered for with six studios each with three Axia desks. CVP's head of systems integration, Philip Hatch, explains that these can be used for self-operation or one studio can act as the control area for another. Other equipment includes Sonifex HY-03 telephone hybrids.

"The facilities were designed to full broadcast standards because the University is aiming to hire them out commercially as well as use them for teaching and training," comments Hatch.

CVP is also providing technical support and consultancy on a two-year contract.



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