Introducing Studio Blue

After winning £40,000 from the Big Alumni Project fund in 2018, University Radio York (URY) started the next stage of their project: to build a new studio here on campus.

The Project

The aim for the project was to complete necessary work to refit URY’s studios to industry standard. Once the project was finished, it would provide a state of the art space not only for Station Members, but to anyone at the University of York who needs to record audio.

On Monday 7th January 2019, University Radio York completed their project and unveiled a new second studio, named ‘Studio Blue’. Station Manager, Alex West said, “It’s been incredible to see how it’s developed in just over a year from a simple idea to apply for some funding, to an all new working studio.”

Studio Blue photo credit: Tom Bellis

Team Work

The first step of the project was making both studios to an equal standard. The studio, which features entirely new hardware and software, was refitted solely by URY members, with the exception of the painting and decorating. Students worked to solder over a thousand connections for custom wiring, mounted monitors, speakers and audio treatment, and created a custom box (fully designed and implemented by a single student) that allows Sonifex buttons to trigger URY’s in house play-out system. It includes a brand new Sonifex S2, m!ka Mic Arm TVs ready for visualisation, SM7B microphones, and a custom presenting desk made by Knotty Ash Woodworking Ltd.

“It’s been a huge labour of love”

Naomi Gilbert, URY 40k Coordinator

Naomi Gildert was coordinating the project in her role of ‘40K Coordinator’. “This has been a fantastic opportunity for our members to get hands on experience designing and building a studio and to learn more about broadcast engineering. Studio Blue before the refit rocked a Sonifex Sovereign that was so unreliable, most people’s advice for using it was to ‘fade everything up and pray what you want to play comes out from somewhere’. It was only used for pre-recording when we were desperate and was in dire need of a refurb. It has been a huge labour of love that has been almost entirely sponsored by Greggs bacon butties and we are so thrilled with the result. We now have two identical studios that can be used by members interchangeably and simultaneously and we are well on our way to becoming the hub of audio recording needs for the University of York.”

Station Manager Alex West added: “It is a testament to the incredible commitment, dexterity and genius of our Engineering and Computing Teams that this was possible, and I am so so proud. I can’t wait to try it out! Thank you so much to all who donated to the Big Alumni Project and voted for us to win – we couldn’t have done it without you!”