VA transformed a dance studio into a 5 room music studio complex for the University of Winchester to support their expansion of audio recording and mixing for music production and film post-production.
The University commissioned Veale Associates to review their proposals and examine course structures and content to ensure the facilities satisfied student access and work demands. VA then designed the studio complex to comprise of two 5.1 control rooms, two live rooms and a Foley room. Extensive re-modeling was also undertaken to the access corridors to provide a new Studio Controller’s office and feature timber sound wave.
The studios were finished to a very high standard and incorporated the new University branding. The high ceiling in Live 1 provided an opportunity to design a custom acoustic diffuser manufactured by Wood-Skin and the studio equipment centred around 2 Audient ASP8024HR consoles with monitoring by Amphion and Unity Audio. The studios were fitted out with Protools and Logic and featured a Focusrite RedNet system to provide networkable audio across the entire complex.
Kerrang! Radio required a contemporary broadcast facility comprising of 3 on-air studios, 2 production studios, a news studio, racks room and multifunctional office, zoo area and meeting space. Live music and connectivity was of primary importance throughout so music sessions could be held anywhere and recorded or broadcast live from the studios.
High visual communication and interaction was required to reduce the physical barriers, and glass measuring 3.4×1.7m was installed to the front of the studios. This presented a number of challenges; the logistics of moving it, sound insulation and impact upon room acoustics, this resulted in the design of custom formulated glass.
VA were responsible for delivering an air conditioning system that reused and reconfigured the existing installation. Equipment in studios and racks runs 24/7 and heat has to be removed to prevent overheating and failure. To maintain station output and operations during power outage an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) and standby generator were incorporated into the electrical design. All mission critical equipment is UPS supported and the entire facility maintained by a standby generator.
“Being a vibrant and energetic brand, it was important to bring interesting materials and finishes into the design. Floor tiles were left raw to bring a modern and industrial edge and perforated stainless steel panels were installed over treatments in the studios, together with the huge sheets of glass used in the studios there were a number of acoustic challenges that needed to be overcome, but VA achieved this and the project was a huge success.”
VA were asked by Jasmin Lee, daughter of 10 Years After guitarist Alvin Lee, to carry out refurbishments to her recently acquired studio complex. 30 years previously, VA designed and built a recording studio for Alvin at his Buckinghamshire home, the renowned Hook End Studios.
Jasmin Lee’s historic studios were previously Tony Visconti’s “The Good Earth Studios” where the likes of David Bowie, T. Rex and Thin Lizzy recorded.
Veale Associates were given just 6 weeks to economically redesign and refurbish the main studio and improve the acoustics where necessary. Wall coverings were changed and silver laminate accents added to give a more modern look. A solid oak floor was fitted along with a twinkling star-cloth ceiling feature.
The adjacent control room was updated with state of the art equipment including an SSL Duality and a new inter-connecting window installed to improve isolation between the spaces.
Since opening, Dean Street has been used by many artists including Adele, Kaiser Chiefs, Tom Odell, Ed Sheeran, Paul Weller, Paloma Faith, Florence + The Machine, Robert Plant, Noel Gallagher, Miles Kane & The Wanted.
At 6am on the 7th September 1992 Classic FM went on air for the first time to 80% of the UK from their new Camden premises. Veale Associates designed and managed the project, ensuring they could begin broadcasting within nine months of being awarded the license. A main BR railway line ran 80 yards away from the building located next to the canal, creating problem vibrations through the 1930’s mass concrete, and the canal water level was 5 feet higher than the studio floor.
In 2005 Classic FM’s owners GWR merged with Capital Radio forming GCap Media, this amalgamation brought with it the relocation of the Classic FM studios to GCap’s high profile Leicester Square premises. Once again VA designed and delivered Classic FM’s new facilities.
Studio tours are a feature of the flagship premise, as part of the Classic FM relocation a new waiting area, entrance and office space had to be created, and a new glazed lobby was created to provide a direct view into the studios. The Classic FM brand and style had to be prevalent throughout reflecting and illustrating their diversity whilst retaining their sophisticated, clean and tranquil appearance.
“Having created Classic FM’s first broadcast facility in 1992 it was a pleasure to be asked to deliver their new studios together with a high impact entrance, waiting area and studio corridor. The flagship Leicester Square building accommodates a range of stations with diverse styles and identities throughout, and VA has been responsible for designing many of these stations’ studios including Capital Radio, XFM and Capital Gold. This gave us a good fundamental knowledge of the building making it possible to deliver the project within a very short 3 month timeframe.”
BFBS currently broadcasts to 23 countries and to some extremely remote destinations. The television service broadcasts UK television to over 15 24-hour channels and to 17 countries, across 15 time zones and even includes a service to HM ships.
As part of a major refurbishment programme between SSVC (Services Sound and Vision Corporation) and the MOD, the project included an extensive technical upgrade to broadcast hardware, power distribution, data connectivity and play out systems, and an update to the BFBS broadcast studio facilities including the refurbishment of 3 radio studios, 3 production booths, a talk studio and a television studio with green screen.
The studios have to remain flexible, operating 24/7 and delivering optimum performances from a host of different users, whilst being future proofed to guarantee longevity.
One of the biggest challenges to SSVC, being a charity, was to contain costs in a professional world and have enough resources to fulfil the project. Eddie Veale says “I am proud of what we achieved and BFBS is very pleased with the results.”