Higher Education

Blast Radio Studios

Broadcast facilities were created for the Ealing School of Music, Art, Design and Media at the University of West London. The development was part of a £50 million pound campus regeneration scheme for the University aimed at improving students’ learning and social experience. The BA (Hons) Radio and Multimedia Audio Production course equips students with creative and technical skills relevant to the production of audio for radio, and the wider broadcast and entertainment industries.


Blast Radio came about as a result of the decision to create a degree course. The studios that the university radio broadcast course was operating from were located in a loft space at Ealing Film Studios and were very small. The Media Studies department at the university had a plan to develop the radio course they were delivering into a degree course.


Initial talks focused around what they could do with the available space and what they would need to deliver the course. It was agreed that two studios would be required, a teaching studio and a practice studio.  The University applied for an annual broadcast licence for the students to broadcast live.


The radio broadcast studios had to reflect industry standard facilities to provide an accurate reflection of facilities the students would go on to encounter.




Reflect latest ideas
Support teaching practices


VA worked closely with the school academics, technicians and principle contractor Willmott Dixon to create studios that reflected the latest ideas and industry practices so students gain real world, applicable experience.


In order to develop the course content, we supported the university by liaising about what we would be providing and how they would use it. This meant that they were able to develop the course content in parallel with the studio development, giving them tangible course content and a tangible construction project for us.


Two radio broadcast studios were created, one larger teaching studio with cameras over the desk and screens as aids to support teaching, and another smaller studio for students to use independently.


The two studios were identically equipped and centred around a Lawo Crystal mixer with Vistools and uses the Tieline Commander for external reporting and contributions. Protools with RedNet to ingest music from other parts of the campus and record live studio productions, Myriad for play-out, Burli for news capture and script editing, phonebox for phone-in contributions, DJ kit comprising Pioneer CDs and record decks and mixer, Neuman microphones, PMC two two 5 monitor speakers, Adder integrated KVM switches to seamlessly link the kit in the CAR/Racks Room to the studio desk and wall display screens.

Both Studios are identically equipped and centred around the Lawo Crystal

With today’s studios needing to remain flexible and operate 24/7 it was important to make sure that Blast studios could deliver optimum performance from a host of different users. The studios were built for the future to guarantee longevity yet still looked and sounded impressive so there was a lot of detail to the design and build.


Whilst the studios were being built the university had to get the course approved. Part of the approval was having a team of broadcast professionals and academics visit to ensure everything was fit for purpose. The course achieved its accreditation.