The world-famous Academy, which has trained actors Richard Attenborough, Ralph Fiennes and Alan Rickman amongst others, is to open the new facility later this year. It will house three theatres, built to public performance specification, which will feature three Soundcraft K3 consoles. A separate complex will contain the sound recording facilities; a Soundcraft B800 is to be installed in the largest of three purpose-built recording studios, which will host courses in radio production as well as training theatre production students.
RADA's new technical facility, part-funded by an Arts Council National Lottery grant , has benefitted from management expertise from three external sources. On behalf of BBC Consulting and Projects, David Seditas has acted as a consultant on the Sound Recording Studio Complex, while Theatre Projects has advised on the building and equipping of the three theatres. The overall project has been managed by Buro Four Project Services, an independent project management consultancy.
The equipment specification has been a co-operative process between the respective consultants and Colin Brown, Head of Sound at RADA. "The Soundcraft K3 consoles were strongly recommended by Theatre Projects," explains Colin. "The K3 is a popular mixer in theatres, which means that students can learn their techniques on a model that they will see in the real world. The input LEDs allow you to see a signal coming into the desk, which is useful in a teaching situation, and the theatre input module allows you to select individual busses, which is a major advantage over other consoles.
"For the main recording studio, David Seditas from the BBC and I recognised that we needed a straightforward analogue desk, with a clear and easy-to-use layout. The Soundcraft B800 has ergonomic features like the input level meters; students can see the signal coming in so they don't get lost. Yes, the B800 is an unusual choice of console for the Sound Recording Studio but it gives us high quality for a cost-effective price. All the Soundcraft desks are extremely robust, and will stand up very well to demanding use."
All Soundcraft consoles are being supplied and installed by The Oxford Sound Company.