Roborough Studios

Originally built as the University Library in 1940 (see History), Roborough offers three large rehearsal spaces, fully equipped for lighting and sound. The spaces can be opened up into one huge flat-floored performance space.

Lighting

The three studio spaces that make up Roborough Studios all have full stage lighting capability. Lighting can be controlled from within the space, or from the central control room which overlooks the largest studio - RS2.

Lighting Specifications

  • ETC Ion control desk in the main control room
  • 3 x 24 way Chilli Pro 2.4kW (10A) dimmer racks located in the dimmer room (72 dimmers in total) with full patching to all outlets in the studios via powercon patch panels
  • 168 individual 15A sockets on internally-wired bars in all studios, and around floor level
  • DMX patch allowing control of any dimmer rack from any studio
  • A large variety of lanterns of many ages, mostly manufactured by Strand Lighting
  • Four Vari*Lite VL2201 moving head wide-angle profile (RS2)
  • Two Mac 300 wash moving light (RS2)
  • Manual control by up to three Strand 100 Series or 200 Series manual desks in the studios
  • Large range of Rosco gels in stock, with a range of 24 standard gels always available.
  • Large range of gobos in stock
  • Various lighting effects (flicker flame, effects discs) and a number of practical lighting fittings in stock.
  • Smoke machines and hazer.

Lighting Plans and Information

The rig height in Studio 2 (the main space for large group performances) is 5.4m.

For access we use a Braviisol Sprint mobile platform or one of three Zarges Skymaster ladders. Students receive training from the technical staff before using access equipment.

Sound and AV

A wide variety of sound & AV configurations are possible in Roborough Studios.

Every studio has an equipment rack for use in sessions or rehearsals containing a mixing desk with effects, CD player, USB media player, DVD/VHS player, iPod connection and amplifier. Each rack can accept up to 3 microphone inputs and an external input (e.g. from iPod / MP3 player or laptop). A pair of speaker connections completes the system.

There are also three projection trolleys, each with a data projector, laptop (Windows 7), amplifier and JBL Control 5 speakers for general session use.

A more complex system is available for use in larger scale events / productions:

Amplifiers

  • 2 x Yamaha CP2500S 500W amplifier
  • 1 x Yamaha CP7000S 1.4kW amplifier (sub)
  • 1 x DB Technologies MPA504 500W amplifier
  • 1 x Samson Servo 120A amplifier [foyer speaker & 'god' mic]
  • 1 x Omniphonics amplifier [control room show relay]

Comms

  • TecPro wired headset system with 6 beltpacks / headsets

Effects / Outboard

  • Behringer Ultra DI-Pro
  • MOTU 828Mk2 Firewire sound card

Mixing Desk

  • Behringer X32
  • Soundcraft Spirit 8 Mixer (20 into 8 into 2)

Microphones

  • A variety of hand-held mics are available, along with three lavalier radio mic kits, two handheld radio mic kit and various pick-up mics.
  • One in-ear-monitor kit available.

Playback

  • PowerMac running Qlab 3 multimedia software for sound & video playback through up to 8 outputs
  • CD player
  • Minidisk player

Speakers

  • 6 x RCF Art 300 speaker
  • 2 x RCF Art 600 speaker
  • 2 x JBL Control 1
  • 6 x DAP MC12 wedge speaker
  • Variety of unboxed speakers for special uses

Installation

  • At least three facilities boxes in each studio space containing microphone, 2 speaker, 2 CAT5 network and headset outlets. 

Three separate studios with vinyl dance floor and sound system. The partition walls between the studios can be removed (by technical staff only) to enlarge the spaces for performance work. All studios are equipped with full lighting rigs. Projection trolleys are stored on site and can be accessed by trained students or staff and deployed anywhere within the rooms.

Studio dimensions

  • RS1 - Dimensions: (112.30sqm)
  • RS2 - Dimensions: (151.70sqm)
  • RS3 - This room also contains a scenery store. Dimensions: (103.70sqm)

Studio plans

Additional facilities

  • Ground floor: Dressing Room and Green Room
  • Upstairs: Seminar Room, Control Room and other technical offices and workshops
  • Wireless internet for registered staff & students and guests
  • Adjacent to the foyer are male & female toilets / changing rooms, each with a shower, and also an accessible toilet

Parking

Parking outside Roborough is not permitted - please park on Prince of Wales Road (at the bottom of the hill up to Roborough). Outside working hours, you can park in the Queens Building car park. 
You can unload directly outside the building. There's ramped access into the foyer and then flat floor access to the three studios and other ground floor rooms.

History of the Studios

The video below shows the unveiling of the foundation stone of the University Library, known as the Roborough Library, in 1937. The library opened in 1940, and evolved into the reading room of a new library building (now the Research Commons) in the 1960s. 

In the mid-1980s, the new Library was built, and the need for the Roborough Reading Room disappeared.

The Drama Department moved in to the building in 1985, after a lighting system was installed, and for 20 years, enjoyed the single huge studio space, with curtains dividing it up.

In 2005, the Roborough Studios were fully refitted, with new technical facilities and a more useful division between the practical spaces. There are now three separate studios, with folding soundproof partition walls between them, enabling more groups to make better use of the space.