Recollections of BBC engineering from 1922 to 1997
The British Broadcasting Corporation
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Designs Department - Studio Apparatus (Sound) Section

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Sound Equipment for LBH

In 1961 an extension to London’s Broadcasting House was opened and its construction involved, for Designs Department, the production of sound control desks, despatch positions, a radio newsreel studio, a mixer suite and continuity suites.  This was the last major installation of sound equipment to be based on valve amplifiers. 

In 1962, newly designed transistorised sound equipment, designated the “type C”, was installed in the drama studios in the basement of the new extension to Broadcasting House.  Other transistorised items produced during the year included a new radio microphone, considerably more compact than the valve model which it superseded, and an associated FM receiver of improved sensitivity and stability. 

In 1970, a continuity system was completed, using Type D modules, for use in the Broadcasting House sound continuity suites.  The equipment included control desks for the continuity announcer or programme presenter, and for the technical operations and programme staff.  Facilities included the selection, combination and control of four monophonic or stereophonic remote sources and locally originated announcements, disks and tapes. 

Sound Equipment for Bush House

In 1964 Designs Department developed a sound control desk which was installed at bush House for use by External Broadcasting Services.  This single desk replaced four continuity positions at each of which a separate operator had formerly assembled the programme for one of the external broadcasting networks. 

Sound Equipment for TVC

In 1967 the first operational sound control desk to use a new system of modular units, type D, went into service in Studio 8 at Television Centre.  These units were developed as part of an effort to standardise the equipment of desks for both radio and television.  All the modules were twin units, carrying the equipment required to control two channels, groups or other circuits.  They were of narrow configuration, so that a maximum number were within reach of an operator, and the use of inter-changeable sub-panels gave a degree of flexibility in the nature of the facilities provided.