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Radiophonic Workshop Gallery


Daphne Oram running what appears to be a training course.

Jenyth Worsley in the north-west corner of Room 12, with an EMI TR/90 tape machine behind her and Leevers-Rich 8-track to the right, the window looking through into Room 11. She's leaning on a Ferrograph tape recorder with a tape loop running round a chair. Jenyth, a studio manager attached to the Workshop in 1961, was famous for her work on Radio Schools 'Music & Movements' series especially the 'The Magic Carpet'. Dick Mills recalls her being discovered by Desmond cutting up paper dress patterns on the floor of Room 12!

It's 1962 and Maddalena Fagandini is using the Melodica, which you blow like a harmonica, but play with a conventional keyboard. Two Ferrograph tape machines occupy the table, connected directly into the jackfield on the wall above, as required.

It's 1962 and Maddalena Fagandini plays the Melodica, along with Jenyth Worsley on the then non-functioning Mijwiz. Note the abundance of tape loops hanging from the wall.

Desmond Briscoe playing the Mijwiz. Picture courtesy of Ollie Clarke.

A block diagram showing how sound effects can be added to a programme. In some instances an echo plate was used instead of an echo room.

In Room 12 in 1962, with the mixing desk, still with its original 'stud' faders, positioned diagonally across the corner of the studio. Maddalena is playing the Workshop's steel-string guitar, which, according to the writing of the time 'has an electro-pickup unit under the strings, just above her left index finger, ahead of the fret'. The guitar later gained proper pickups and an amplifier inside an 'Eddystone' box. The quadrant 'stud' faders, which produced clicks when used on tonal sounds, were later replaced by linear 'carbon' faders.

The three Philips tape machines at the southern end of Room 14. The optically-operated auto-stop sensors on all three are in the disabled position. These machines later find their way into Room 12.

Schematic showing how one or two tape machines can be used to create one or two delays. Using three machines, as in Room 12, is even more effective. And the tape can also be formed into a loop, so as to create sounds that can be allowed to build up or decay at a desired rate.

A Brüel & Kjœr Type 1022 Beat Frequency Oscillator (BFO), as used at the Workshop, and also known as a 'wobbulator'. This piece of audio test equipment created an output by means of frequency modulation between two sine waves and was employed by the Workshop to create unusual sounds. The audio input and output connections were via non-standard coaxial sockets.

Another version of the B&K wobbulator, similar to that used at the Workshop. The main dial determined the centre frequency, with the rate and depth of frequency modulation set by the controls to the lower left. The device also contained a compressor and controls to set the output level. Picture by courtesy of Jeffrey Siedler.

Desmond Briscoe stands in front of a set of Jason oscillators. To the right is a wobbulator and the Muirhead Decade Oscillator, the latter being adjusted by an unknown person.

Desmond Briscoe on the Albis graphic equaliser in 1960. The Workshop didn't purchase an optional unit that covered the lower frequencies of 31.5, 38, 45.5, 54.5, 65 and 78.5 Hz, as well as the higher frequencies of 7500, 9000, 10800, 12960 and 15550 Hz. As Brian Hodgson said in 'The Wire' interview, 'They basically had, in 1958, £2000, of which they spent £600 on a third octave filter - half of one, in fact, they couldn't afford the whole thing'.

A modern photograph of an Albis graphic equaliser, identical to that at the Workshop. The balanced input and output connections are to the right, via screw terminals, above a rotary control for adjusting the amplification. The the 24 frequencies are: 94, 113, 136, 163, 196, 235, 282, 338, 406, 487, 584, 701, 841, 1010, 1210, 1450, 1740, 2090, 2510, 3010, 3620, 4340, 5210 and 6250 Hz. From a picture supplied via Andrew Dunne.

Delia Derbyshire, aged 18, in a picture from Clive Blackburn.

Delia Derbyshire, in pink, whose greatest claim to fame is the realisation of Ron Grainer's theme for the 'Doctor Who' series in 1963.

Delia Derbyshire in the seventies, in a picture from Clive Blackburn.

Delia Derbyshire, speaking for a sixties television interview in Room 12.

A magazine photo of Desmond Briscoe, Dick Mills, Delia Derbyshire, Keith Salmon and Brian Hodgson in Room 12. The mixing desk is its original position, diagonally across the north-east corner of the room, but was later placed against the north wall. For technical reasons this image has been digitally processed. Picture courtesy of Brian Hodgson.

Delia operating the desk in Room 12. The two in the background are possibly Brian Hodgson and Dick Mills. The mixing desk is located in its original position, diagonally across the north-east corner of the room. This picture comes from Clive Blackburn.

Delia Derbyshire, whose musical skills and techniques musique concrète were stretched to the limit, along with those of Dick Mills, in the creation the 'Doctor Who' theme.

The metal lampshade as an instrument, made famous by Delia Derbyshire. After being struck, its changing harmonic sound could be used in many ways.

Room 12, with Delia and Desmond Briscoe. some time after 1962. The tape remote control box is on top of the mixer, along with a dynamic talkback microphone. The Leevers-Rich 8-track appears on the extreme left. The control box with the angled meter on it to the right sets the delay provided by the remote EMT echo plate. Note the very old telephone. The rotary control at the very right-hand end of the desk is the prototype 'optical' fader devised by engineer Dave Young and later used in the 'Glowpot' mixing desk.

A closer view of Delia at the controls of the desk in Room 12. The mixing desk incorporated four Programme Effects Units (PEUs), which can be seen to the upper left. It also incorporated four sets of 'BBC 50V' remote control buttons for the tape machines, although these were never used: the little mobile box on top of the desk was used instead.

The Leevers-Rich 8-track tape machine, which could only record one track at a time, which made it almost useless.

Detailed picture of the Leevers-Rich multitrack, as seen in 1962. The inputs and outputs were connected via the jackfield to the rear. A small reel of quarter-inch 'leader tape' is lying on the deck plate. The 'Lift' lever at the front allowed the tape to be moved to and from the tape heads during spooling, making it easier to locate a point in the recording.

The jackfield, the usual battleground of connections, as it appeared in Room 12 in 1962. The author added 'innerring' or 'normalling' wiring behind the sockets in the seventies to minimise the amount of plugging.

A Philips tape machine being used to create a loop. Short loops, normally used to generate a rhythm, were created by running the tape around the 'dolly' at the back of the deck, as shown here. Longer loops required a loop stand. Note the short pieces of tape on the left, which were produced whilst making the loop.

Room 12. Delia edits a tape as Desmond stands in front of the Leevers-Rich 8-track and reads the script. The adjustable 'script racks' above the Philips tape machines have three studs, often used to hold green, red and yellow 'leader tape'. Each machine has a splicing block at the front and a splicing tape dispenser on the side. 'Opening' the rotary output fader, controlled by the large knob on the front of each machine, usually starts the tape moving as well. These machines are fitted with carbon-track faders to avoid fader 'stud noise'. This studio, seen here in 1965, looked much the same a decade later.

Here two Philips machines are both running loops. Note the small pieces of tape, ready to be re-edited into the loop if required.