Before the Workshop: The Ferranti Mk 1 computer at Manchester, one of the earliest machines that could be programmed to create music. A recording made by the BBC in 1951 includes "God Save the King", "Baa Baa Black Sheep", and "In the Mood".
Before the Workshop: Brian Hodgson, then aged 14, and second from right in the top picture, takes part in hospital radio at Alder Hey, in his home city of Liverpool.
Before the Workshop: In Broadcasting House in 1957, Daphne Oram employs a tape loop, watched by Frederick Bradnum, the writer of 'Private Dreams and Public Nightmares', an experimental 'radiophonic poem'.
Announcement concerning the creation of the Radiophonic Workshop in the Times, dated 24 May 1958. From a picture held by Goldsmiths College.
The Maida Vale studios, as seen from the north. The structure is essentially of steel, set in the ground and with an Edwardian stucco frontage. The Workshop occupied several rooms at the front, to the left of the entrance, as well as others in the centre of the building.
An outside view of the Maida Vale stuidos on a wet day in the early seventies. Originally a roller-skating rink of 1909, it was adapted in 1934 by the BBC to be used a music studio complex.
A view of the main entrance to the Maida Vale studios, as seen via Google Earth in 2003. © Google
The front ground-floor corridor in Maida Vale. Each studio had a blue light to indicate the area was powered, as well as a red light to warn that a recording was in progress. These lights can be seen by the doors on the left-hand side of this picture.
An early picture, taken on the 13th of May, 1958, looking through the window of Room 15 towards Rooms 13 and 14. The room on this side is the recording area, complete with microphone and actor. In the distance there's Desmond Briscoe with a tape loop, with a Motosacoche tape machine beyond him, 'Dickie' Bird the engineer, preparing to record the next sequence, and producer Donald McWhinnie, in charge, standing in front of a Ferrograph recorder. Daphne Oram is at the controls of the 'Albert Hall' mixer, on top of which there are a pair of Programme Effects Units (PEUs), which were very effectve top-cut/bottom-cut equalisers. Note the flowers on the loudspeaker.
Donald McWhinnie listens to a montage of electronic effects as Desmond Briscoe operates filter units, along with the wobbulator controlled by Daphne Oram. Artificial reverberation is being added by Richard Bird, who's adjusting the reverberation time.
Rooms 13 and 14 in 1961, with a pair of monstrous Motosacoche machines. The equipment in the bay to the left provided reverberation, whilst the tape recorder to the extreme right is an early Ferrograph.
Rooms 13 and 14, also known as Workshop 1, looking south towards the small studio in Room 15, which is behind the window to the right of centre.
An early view looking north through Rooms 14 and 13 in May 1958, with work being overseen by Donald McWhinnie, who's making notes on his script. Daphne Oram is cueing up a disc on one of the turntables on a BBC TD/7 gramophone: note the parallel-tracking arms. To the right, Desmond Briscoe is editing a tape on a Ferrograph recorder, alongside 'Dickie' Bird, who's resetting a cue on a tape of prepared sounds. The equipment bays on the left remained in use until the late seventies. The turntables in the foreground don't appear to be a standard BBC variety.
Daphne Oram at the controls of the "Albert Hall" mixer.
Daphne Oram, along with two unknowns at the Workshop, and 'Dickie' Bird on the left, seemingly bored by proceedings.
'Dickie' Bird and Daphne Oram. The equipment racks on the right include some pre-War elements, including older 22-inch wide units.
Daphne Oram at the north-west end of Room 13. The equipment consists of a Muirhead Decade Oscillator (an accurate laboratory oscillator), a Muirhead sine-wave to square-wave converter, B&K wobbulator, a PEU, an unknown box and a tape recorder. Note the slide rule and stopwatch on the desk. The prominent NO SMOKING sign is essential because of the flammability of the film that's viewed and edited in the area. Earlier nitrate films were especially dangerous.
Room 13 in 1958. Daphne Oram plays the Mijwiz, an Arabic twin-reeded double shepherd's pipe, as 'Dickie' Bird operates one of the big Motosacoche recorders. The unit in the centre is a 'linking console', used to control levels when editing and copying tapes. The STC 4038 ribbon microphone, earlier known as the PGS, was first introduced in 1954.
A modern picture of a PEU/1 Portable Effects Unit, as designed for wartime test engineers on the move, with lid and shoulder strap, but also widely used at the Workshop. It offered basic equalisation, with a passive inductive high and low pass filter. © Radiophonic Museum
Daphne Oram operating what appears to be the 'Albert Hall' outside broadcast mixer, but in a different configuration to that at the Workshop, and assumed to be in her own studio at Tower Folly.
Daphne Oram surrounded by equipment in her own studio, which includes Brenell tape machines and Jason oscillators. The realisation of a circular console didn't appear at the Workshop until the 1980s.
Daphne Oram in her home studio in 1962. The skeletal forms of some of the equipment would no doubt infringe modern safety standards. © Daily Herald Archive/NSMM/SSPL/Getty Images
Daphne in her studio. © The Daphne Oram Trust and Metrograph Pictures
Daphne Oram at work in her own studio.
The Oramics machine, devised by Daphne Oram at her own studio, where musical sounds were composed by writing onto clear 16mm film.
Daphne Oram, drawing waveforms on her Oramics machine.
The Oramics machine.
Daphne Oram with her Oramics machine.
Daphne Oram demonstrating Radiophonic techniques on television by means of Brenell tape recorders and Jason oscillator.
Daphne Oram demonstrating Radiophonic techniques with two Brenell tape recorders.
Daphne Oram, apparently talking about Radiophonic techniques, accompanied by what looks like a Ferrograph tape machine.
Daphne Oram running what appears to be a training course.
Daphne Oram in the 1990s.
An 'AC Test Bay', similar to the one in the original RWS technical workshop.
A portrait of Desmond Briscoe, taken in 1965. He worked with Daphne Oram from the Workshop's very beginning and became the first head of the department.
Desmond Briscoe at his desk in 1965. Note the dial-up telephone and 'modern' ball-pint pen.
Jenyth Worsley, 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'.
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. 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.
1962: 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.
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.
Another view of Maddalena playing the Workshop's steel-string guitar. The push-button remote controls on this desk (below the meter) weren't compatible with the BBC standards of the time, requiring a separate control box to be used.
A 1961 magazine advert for Emitape, as used by the BBC at the time, showing Maddalena playing the Mijwiz.
The Workshop's modified zither, in which each string was wound with a custom electro-magnetic pickup system to give a pseudo-stereo effect. © Radiophonic Museum
Detail showing the pickups on the Workshop's modified zither. © Radiophonic Museum
Close-up view of the zither's strings and pickups. © Radiophonic Museum
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, possibly by Charles Clark-Maxwell, a studio manager.
A closer view of the Jason oscillators, B&K wobbulator and Muirhead Decade Oscillator.
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 an interview with'The Wire', '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.
A modern picture of an Albis Equaliser, shown here with the extra unit that the Workshop failed to obtain.
Room 13, with prototype keying unit connected to five Advance oscillators. The wobbulator is to the right. According to the calendar, it's September 1963.
The southern end of Room 12, Workshop 2, in 1961. In the foreground there's an EMI TR/90 tape recorder, complete with monitoring loudspeaker. On the left, in front of the Type B amplifier bays and tape loops, there's an LSU/10 loudspeaker, with an EMI BTR/2 recorder to the right. The Jason oscillators and keying unit, along with the Muirhead Decade Oscillator, Muirhead sine-wave to square-wave converter, B&K wobbulator and oscilloscope, are on the bench at the back. The rear of the mixing desk, at that time angled across the corner of the room, can be seen to the extreme left.
Room 12, looking south, with Type B amplifiers in the rack to the left, BTR/2 tape machine, with additional spool and motor, and Philips machines to the right.
Dick Mills, who joined the Workshop in 1958, sits in front of an EMI BTR/2 tape machine, as he keeps his eye on a tape loop running through a machine operated by John Harrison. This picture was taken in 1960.
In Room 14, standing by two Philips tape machines, Dick Mills and Brian Hodgson compare tape lengths, under the watchful gaze of Desmond Briscoe. The 'Albert Hall' mixer and Albis equaliser can be seen to the right.
The ubiquious and sprung tape loop stand, which all visitors 'fiddled with'.
The three Philips tape machines at the southern end of Room 14. The 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 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. The Workshop had two EMT plates from an early date.
This diagram shows how feedback could be used between the input and output of a tape machine, creating repeated sounds, which rose or fell in level over time, depending on the feedback setting.
Delia Derbyshire, aged 18. ©Clive Blackburn.
Delia Derbyshire, 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. ©Clive Blackburn.
Delia Derbyshire, as she appeared in the Sunday Mercury in 1970.
Delia Derbyshire, speaking for a TV interview in Room 12.
Delia in 1965, when talking for the 1965 'Tomorrow's World' episode.
A 'Tatler' magazine picture of 1965, showing Desmond Briscoe, Dick Mills, Delia Derbyshire, Keith Salmon and Brian Hodgson in Room 12. The mixing desk isn't in its final position: the zither is sitting on it. 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. ©Clive Blackburn.
Delia Derbyshire in Room 12.
The metal lampshade as an instrument, made famous by Delia Derbyshire.
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 a meter on it to the right sets the delay provided by the remote EMT echo plate. Note the very old telephone.
Delia is working on a musical score. The rotary control to the extreme bottom right is a 'Glowpot' gain control, the workings of which were replicated in the 'Longden' desk used in Room 11.
The Leevers-Rich 8-track tape machine, which could only record one track at a time. Later, during the seventies, Harry Hill and Alan Norman of Radio Studio Capital Projects did their best to encourage the use of more Leevers quarter-inch machines, but with little success at the Workshop.
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. He also bypassed many of the amplifiers to reduce background noise.
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.
A wider view of Room 12, with a jackfield for connecting the tape machines and 'leader tape' spools visible to the left. The window to the rear originally allowed Room 11 to be used as a recording area, prior to its use by the Workshop.
Here two Philips machines are both running loops. Note the small pieces of tape, ready to be re-edited into the loop if required.
The loops are being synchronised by temporarily stopping one machine and then opening the fader again to restart it.
Delia in a classic pose, with the rack of Jason oscillators to the right and a large-screen oscilloscope. The device to the rear is a BBC 'PA Stabiliser', useful for special effects.
The BBC PA (Public Address) Stabiliser. This was a RF-based frequency shifter, designed to reduce howl-round in public address systems, but it could also be used for special effects.
A PA Stabiliser, of a variety not known to the author, but presumably a BBC prototype. Picture courtesy of Ollie Clarke.
Delia Derbyshire in Room 12, along with her full panoply of equipment.
The 'Gothic altarpiece', drawn by Barry Bermange to describe the music he wanted to be created by Delia Derbyshite for 'Amor Dei' in 1964.
Delia at the Workshop in 1965.
Delia at the southern end of room 12, where she sits in front of the twelve Jason oscillators, an electromechanical frequency counter and the keying unit, as used to create the 'Doctor Who' theme. The dual gramophone turntable unit to her left is a BBC RP2/1.
Circuit diagram for one of the prototype keying unit with 'decay' controls. This circuit was duplicated for each key and attached oscillator.
Interior of the prototype keying unit, complete with sets of input and output transformers, as well as switches and controls for 'decay'.
One of the prototype keying units and its oscillators in 1962. The keying unit appears to lack the 'attack' and 'decay' switches and adjusters found on other versions. This may be a re-boxed version of the very first prototype.
The Jason oscillators used with the keying units were also available in kit form, as shown in this advertisement.
Delia working with the keying unit. This rather timeless picture comes from Practical Electronics, October 1965.
The mixing desk in Room 12. The quadrant faders shown here were replaced by carbon sliders by the mid-seventies. Note the metal gangers for linking the faders. To the right are preset level controls, echo select, echo mixture and group switches. To the left are four PEUs. In the centre are remote start facilities (not used), cue light, talkback and line-up tone keys, as well as a standard mono Peak Programme Meter (PPM).
A sideways view of the mixer in Room 12, still with its original faders.
An original illustration of the 20 channel mixing desk installed in Room 12.
Delia Derbyshire and Daphne Oram, in a rare appearance together, taken at a BBC party in the 70s, believed to be for the Workshop's 25th anniversary. © Brian Hodgson.
Delia Derbyshire in 1986. ©Clive Blackburn.
Ron Grainer, composer of the 'Doctor Who' theme tune, although the final result was slightly different to his original composition.
An older Ron Grainer.
Tristram Cary in his studio.
Dave Young, an engineer whose abilities far exceeded all his successors, including those of the author. He was also a thoroughly nice man, free of any snobbery, made even more pleasant by his soft Hampshire accent.
A noiseless fader circuit, showing how the idea was developed by Dave Young into the Radiophonic 'Glowpot' mixing desk. He also developed a 'capacitance' fader, although this was never used in a mixer.
The original form of the 'Johnny Longden' mixing desk, one of which was modified at the Workshop to incorporate 'Glowpot' faders and thereafter known as the 'Glowpot Desk'.
Detail of the original Longden desk, which had 12 input channels, as well as echo return, group master and main-fader controls. Each channel could be assigned to one of two groups or an Independent Group, the latter bypassing other controls.
Room 11. Detailed view of the 'Glowpot' desk, originally designed as an outside broadcast (OB) mixer by Johnny Longden, with its modified 'quadrant' faders, some ganged together with metal clips. To the upper left are miniature PEUs, whilst foldback, echo and channel groups are selected on the right. The ADJUST ZERO controls accommodated any ageing of the lamps in the noiseless fader circuits.
Quadrant faders, as used in the 'Glowpot' desk. These don't have continuous resistive tracks. In fact they're switches, each contact being wired to separate resistors.
Simple ring modulator, as used at the Workshop to create the Dalek voices, consisting of four germanium diodes and two 600 ohm audio transformers. A low frequency signal, usually below 30 Hz, was applied to Input 2.
A contemporary photo of a 'Crystal Palace', another device created by Dave Young. The input jacks are to the left (all linked via a clever arrangement of 'normalling'), the output appearing on the jack to the top right. The four jacks in a horizontal line are wired together in case a parallel connection is required. The lever towards the bottom controls the speed of the motor.
A closer and more modern view of a 'Crystal Palace', showing the capacitance 'multiplexer drum' at the top, above the motor control levers and 'gearing'. The engineering, all by Dave Young, is to a very high standard.
Another more recent view of a 'Crystal Palace', showing the jack connectors and construction of its perspex case. Picture courtesy of Ollie Clarke.
The 'Crystal Palace', front view. © Steve Ridley.
The 'Crystal Palace', rear view. © Steve Ridley.
This appears to be the scanner and mechanism of an earlier version of the 'Crystal Palace', equipped with a larger motor. © Patrick Kelly.
Three 'Crystal Palaces' (one on its side), two Jason oscillators and the Albis graphic equaliser in Room 12.
The north end of Room 12 with the twelve Jason oscillators used to create the 'Doctor Who' theme on top of the mixing desk. To the right there are two PEUs, the B&K wobbulator, two 'Crystal Palaces', the keying unit for the oscillators and an electronic organ. The small box with three switches controls the tape recorders.
Another view of Room 12, showing the rack of oscillators, with power distribution on top, together with a vertical jackfield, allowing the outputs to be plugged directly into the 'Crystal Palaces' or into the keying unit.
When Dave Young, retired in 1976, he was given this object by the staff, it having been fabricated within the BBC on instructions from Desmond Briscoe and created using an old '78' record player horn. From what I saw, I suspect he wasn’t entirely impressed with it on receiving it at his leaving 'do', although he took it with his characteristic good grace and humour.
Further detail of Dave Young's retirement gift. The use of the plural term 'Radiophonics' was greatly objected to by Desmond Briscoe, so perhaps this was an intentional 'dig' at him.
This keying unit isn't the one usually said to be used by Delia Derbyshire for the 'Doctor Who' theme. In fact, two final units were built, one by Dave Young, the other by Bob Windsor of the Film Unit as a kind of competition. The one shown here has both 'attack' and 'decay' controls and is connected to a set of Advance H1 oscillators.
Adjusting the output voltage of an Advance H1 audio oscillator.
The control for setting the output frequency of the Airmec signal generator.
Controls on the keying unit for setting the 'attack' and 'decay' times.
Brian Hodgson, aged 23, when he started at the Workshop. © Brian Hodgson, 2009.
A young Brian Hodgson. © Brian Hodgson, 2009.
Brian prepares to create the original sound of the Tardis, as made in 1963 by scraping his front door key down to strings of this old piano. The piano frame remained at the Workshop for many years.
Brian Hodgson operates the keying unit and checks the frequency of the signal produced by the appropriate Jason oscillator. This keying unit is possibly a modified form of the model that originally lacked any controls. Every oscillator had to be tuned by hand. To his left is the wobbulator. The long box above the oscillators is a simply a power distribution board fitted with special E&S mains power plugs, used by the BBC because they were less likely to be stolen.
Brian Hodgson in Room 14, about to be interviewed for 'Tom Tom' in 1968.
Brian in Room 14, speaking about the Workshop. The window fan was very necessary in such a small room that was filled with hot equipment.
Brian and television interviewer in Room 14, speaking to Dick Mills in Room 15: he can be seen through the observation window in the background.
Dick Mills in Room 15, with Brian Hodgson and the television presenter in Room 14.
Brian Hodgson in Room 14. The curved girder is part of the original construction of the building as a roller-skating rink. Note the large number of tapes stacked on the wall by means of large wooden 'pegs'.
Brian adjusting a PEU in Room 14. The two graphic equalisers are Audio Batons, originally developed in 1959 by Blonder Tongue in the US, providing seven filter bands, as well as general high and low-pass filtering. Behind him you can see the Prevost film viewing machine in Room 13, with the 'Glowpot' desk in between. This mixer was later moved into Room 11.
Brian demonstrates the variable speed Leevers-Rich tape machine. The 'Glowpot' desk, on which there rests the autoharp and EMT echo plate control box, is to the left, with with two graphic equalisers, three PEUs and the trolley rack associated with the mixer to the rear.
Dick Mills in Room 15, the recording area, using the strings in the gutted piano as a percussion instrument.
A useful source of percussive noise.
The Autoharp, which was a useful source of sound.
An early picture of Brian Hodgson operatiing unspecified equipment, with Keith Salmon at the mixer controls.
An early picture of John Baker.
A bottle, as used by John Baker for many of his sounds.
A bottle being used by John Baker to create a 'bloop' sound.
It's 1965 and John Baker sorts out the audio connections in Room 12. The jackfield incorporates 'normalling' which means, in theory, that only a few connecting cords are needed. However, this normalling isn’t entirely reliable or ideally configured, so more and more cords are added until a tangle ensues. The small boxes are BBC Type B valve amplifiers. The equipment to the right is older, while the tiny devices top right are fuses for the 50 volt switching system.
John Baker in Room 14 with the Leevers-Rich variable-speed tape machine. The 'Glowpot' desk and its trolley are in the background. Two of the set of Advance H1 oscillators, as used with the second keying unit, can be seen just to the left of John.
The speed control on the Leevers-Rich tape machine. The speed could also be switched in chromatic steps.
An early picture of John Baker, taken in what is probably Room 14, with PEUs and part of the 'Albert Hall' mixer behind him.
Room 12, in the mid sixties. John Baker works on a Philips machine. Presumably it's Dick Mills in the chair, with Delia to the right.
John Baker adjusts the pitch of a sound on the variable-speed Leevers-Rich tape machine on 22nd 1969. This appears to be Room 11. © Getty Images/Chris Ware
Bridget Marrow and John Baker
John Baker sets the sweep oscillator on 22nd March 1969. © Getty Images/Chris Ware
John Baker in Room 13 operating the Prevost 4-plate film viewer.
Splicing the tape on an editing block.
John Baker at work.
John Baker in Room 11. The 'Glowpot' desk is visible under the window.
John Baker at work on one of the Philips tape recorders.
John Baker at work in Room 11.
The Glow-pot mixing desk on 22nd March 1969. © Getty Images/Chris Ware
BBC Website: "Here's John during his last year at the Workshop. The photograph was taken by Dave Edwards in March, 1974, hence the heavy, and very 70s, knitwear."
John Baker. His brother, Richard Anthony Baker, the BBC radio announcer and author, shouldn't be confused with Richard Baker, the BBC news reader.
John Baker conducting. The standard Post Office (PO) issue headphones shown here are uncomfortable and don't provide any sound isolation. They are, however, of high impedance and can be connected to any circuit without causing disruption.
An early picture of David Cain.
David Cain at the Workshop.
David Cain conducts Ronnie Stevens in the making of 'The Tempest'. This picture appears to have been taken in one of the main Maida Vale music studios.
David Cain performs on a violin in Room 14 for a television presenter.
David Cain in Room 14, operating the remote control box for the three Philips tape machines. Note the tape loops hanging on the wall.
David Cain operates the remote control box for the three Philips tape machines, putting all of them into record mode simultaneously. The switches went into opposite positions for play and record mode, with red and green lamps to show each machine's current state.
The art of tape splicing. An angled cut of 45° or 60° gives a gentler transition to the edit but an 89° cut had to be used in stereo recordings to avoid the 'stereo image' from jumping at the edit. A cut of exactly 90° was never used, as this created a click or drop-out at the join.
Measuring out a length of tape using a rule, often calibrated in picture 'frames' and seconds. The vertical object at the extreme right-hand end of the tape deck is a photoelectric auto-stop device, which, when lowered, prevents the tape thrashing around when it winds off at the end. A BBC modification, it's often removed.
Putting the Philips tape machine into record mode. Most machines were later modified with a metal guard ring around the record button to prevent the operator accidentally recording over existing material. The head cover is shown lifted, so as to give better access to the tape.
Pink Floyd in the Workshop's Room 12 on 20th December, 1967. They don't appear to be enjoying themselves.
Pink Floyd at the Workshop.
Pink Floyd outside the Maida Vale studios.
Pink Floyd outside the Maida Vale Studios.
Pink Floyd outside the Maida Vale Studios.
Dick Mills creating a sound effect by hitting the neck of an open bottle on 22nd March 1969, with Malcolm Clarke in Room 14 making the recording. © Getty Images/Chris Ware
Dick Mills with lap steel guitar and zither on 22nd March 1969. © Getty Images/Chris Ware
A mbira, or thumb piano, being played. This form of 'African piano' consisted of a wooden block, onto which were fitted lengths of metal, sometimes bicycle spokes, which were then plucked.
A fire extinguisher and tape spools; individually and together a useful source of sounds.
A small cash register, as used by John Baker in his rendition of "Oh Come All Ye Faithful", a musical comment on the commercialisation of Christmas.
A modern picture of an Eltro Tempophon, similar to the one used at the Workshop, which was bolted to the front of an EMI TR/90 tape recorder. The drum at the centre contains the rotating heads. The pitch control is marked in musical intervals.
A Tempophon, similar to that used at the Workshop, with the spinning heads revealed.
A diagrammatic view of the Tempophon, which employed four rotating heads, allowing the pitch of a recording to be changed without altering the replay speed or, conversely, to change the duration of a recording without altering its pitch.
Malcolm Clarke and Brian Hodgson at work in the Room 12 on 22nd March 1969. Behind Malcolm, in place of the unsucessful Leevers-Rich multitrack, there stands an EMI TR/90 tape machine, onto the front of which is bolted the Tempophon. © Getty Images/Chris Ware
Malcolm Clarke and Dick Mills make sounds with a tambourine, castanets and water.
Malcolm Clarke and (inset), with Dick Mills. The usual materials for sound effects, including an bottles, bells and musical or non-musical items, are used to create initial sounds which can then be processed. 'Giants of Steam', written on the side of the old copper water cylinder, refers to a programme of 1963 about railway engines, for which the Workshop made special sounds.
Room 13, some time after 1969. Brian Hodgson watches a film on the Prevost film viewing machine whilst Malcolm Clarke and Dick Mills look at scripts. The machine is a 'four-plate' type, with two pairs of 'plates', one usually carrying 'sepmag' magnetic film for the soundtrack. In some instances the film is cut in order to make it fit the music.
The Unit Delta Plus studio at Hammersmith, as set up in 1966 by Delia Derbyshire, Brian Hodgson and Peter Zinovieff. In 1969 Brian and Delia joined American-born David Vorhaus, a classical bass player with a background in both physics and electronic engineering, to create the famous White Noise album.
The 'Doctor Who' sound tapes on 22nd March 1969. © Getty Images/Chris Ware
The cover of the original White Noise 'An Electric Storm' album, produced by Delia Derbyshire, Brian Hodgson and David Vorhaus. Later albums were made by Vorhaus on his own. Delia and Brian, with John Baker, also contributed to albums in the Standard Music Library.
One of the bizzarre advertisments for the EMS Synthi sythesiser.
Another EMS advert, this time aiming at a rather esoteric market.
Peter Zinovieff with a 'suitcase' version of the EMS VCS3, pictured by Putney Bridge on the River Thames.
A fish-eye view of the EMS VCS3 and its keyboard.
Desmond Briscoe on 29th March 1971, at the zenith of his career in Room 12, surrounded by Jason oscillators, the wobbulator, two 'Crystal Palaces' and an EMS VCS3. © Getty Images/Michael Putland
Desmond Briscoe on 29th March 1971. © Getty Images/Michael Putland
Desmond Briscoe with the VCS3 synthesiser on 29th March 1971. © Getty Images/Michael Putland
The EMS VCS3, complete with patch panel and joystick on the lower surface. The oscillators are fitted with muiti-turn controls, allowing the composer to set the frequency very accurately. These synths were in wooden boxes and could be difficult to carry and easy to damage.
An example of an EMS VCS3, also known as 'The Putney'.
A modern view of an EMS 'suitcase' Synthi. Dick Mills often used the Workshop's machine at his lectures and at conventions. The joystick at the bottom right could be patched to control any two parameters. The patch panel itself accepted colour-coded pins containing different value resistors. Note the jack connections along the top and the stereo loudspeakers. The multiway connector at the top could be connected to a musical keyboard. ©
A VCS3 'dope sheet', which allows the user to record settings and patch pin arrangements.
Another view of the 'suitcase' EMS Synthi.
Room 12. Dick watches the opening titles of 'Doctor Who', as displayed on a Shibaden open-reel video tape player. The picture quality is usually very poor and in black-and-white, so it's easy to miss a cue. Dick is about to produce effects for the programme using the VCS3 on the right. The three Philips mono tape recorders stand to the rear.
Dick Mills demonstrates the VCS3 in Room 12 for a Pebble Mill presenter. Note the original Eventide Harmonizor on top of the desk, as well as the PEUs and Albis equaliser to the right.
An introduction to the Synthi 100 from EMS, later adapted for the Workshop and known as the 'Delaware'.
David Cain with the EMS Synthi 100 in Room 10.
Paddy Kingsland at the controls of the EMS 'Delaware' synthesiser, at some time after 1970.
Paddy Kingsland in Room 10 in 1972 with his favourite instrument, the guitar, alongside the 'Delaware' synthesiser. © Keith McMillan.
A long-haired version of John Baker working with Paddy Kingsland on the 'Delaware'.
Details of the 'Radiophonic Workshop in Concert' event, held on 19 May 1971 at the Royal Festival Hall to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Institution of Electrical Engineers (IEE).
The 100th anniversary of the IEE. The EMS synthesiser, despite its huge size, looks dwarfed as it stands on the left of the stage at the Royal Festival Hall. Brian Hodgson wrote in 2017: "...the machine used at the Festival Hall was actually Peter Zinoviev’s own machine. The 'Delaware' was still in the process of being installed." Picture courtesy of Paddy Kingsland. © John Lightfoot.
The 100th anniversary of the IEE. The Queen, accompanied by Prince Philip, reads about the Radiophonic Workshop. Dick Mills is just visible, hiding behind the Queen's coronet.
The Queen at the 100th anniversary of the IEE.
Dick Mills holds a presentation disk, in a picture believed to have been taken in the 1970s.
Records produced at Electrophon Studios, run by Brian Hodgson and John Lewis: 'In a Convent Garden' (1973, with Dudley Simpson), 'Zygoat' (1974, with Burt Alcantara and Dudley Simpson), 'Where are We Captain?' (1975) and 'New Atlantis' (1977). Brian later returned to the Workshop as Organiser, then Head.
Brian Hodgson (left) and John Lewis at Electrophon Studios in 1977.
John Lewis and Brian Hodgson, from an Electrophon album cover.
Painting of Brian and his spaniels, by his partner Richard Pointing.
Picture of Brian and vase at his home.
Brian Hodgson.
Brian on the front of 'WheelMeOut'.
As shown in 'WheelMeOut', Brian with Dudley Simpson at the Electrophon studio, Covent Garden, 1973.
A picture of Malcolm Clarke, taken in 1969, provided by Ollie Clarke.
It's 1972 and Malcolm Clarke plays on the Delaware synthesiser, working to video shots for 'Dr Who', as presented on a Shibaden video player, along with Desmond Briscoe, then Organiser, Radiophonic Workshop. This picture is from the BBC's in-house magazine 'Ariel', in an article entitled 'The Electronic Music Makers'.
Malcolm Clarke operating the 'Delaware' in 1974. The small 'Richard Yeoman-Clark mixer', just at the bottom of the picture, was required to accommodate all of the sounds sources, including the 'Delaware' itself, an 8-track tape machine and other tape recorders. Although the 'Delaware' incorporated a mixer of its own, this was only adequate for mixing sounds produced within the actual synthesiser.
The EMS 'Delaware' in Room 10, accompanied by the 'Richard Yeoman-Clark mixer', Studer A80-VU 8-track and EMS double keyboard. A standard BBC jackfield has been attached vertically to the right-hand side of the synthesiser. The large stereo Peak Programme Meter (PPM) is accompanied by an older mono PPM to ensure compatibility for both stereo and mono listeners.
Malcolm Clarke at work in 1972 on the film machine in Room 13, here apparently taking on the persona of Salvador Dali, an artist he much admired.
It's 1974 and a bearded and long-haired Malcolm Clarke intently studies the settings of the EMS 'Delaware' synthesiser, located at this time in Room 10. The small supplementary mixer at the bottom was constructed by Richard-Yeoman Clark. The box on top of the Delaware contains a standard BBC Peak Programme Meter (PPM).
Malcolm Clarke with the Delaware in Room 35, later known as Studio C.
Malcolm Clarke with the Delaware in Room 35. The box to the bottom right is a 'spin wheel', which can be used to generate a control voltage by hand.
A younger and happy Malcolm Clarke in Room 10. Sadly, this talented, good-humoured and imaginative composer died suddenly on December 11th, 2003, aged only 60.
Richard Yeoman-Clark, who enjoyed engineering as well as working on 'Blake's 7', pictured here with the 'Delaware'.
Richard Yeoman-Clark at the controls of the Delaware.
Glynis Jones, who was attached to the Workshop in 1972. She's operating a VCS3 in Room 11.
A cheerful Brian Hodgson in front of the 'Delaware'.
Dick Mills operating the 'Delaware' in Room 10. The oscilloscope and frequency counter are essential for its operation. Note the two large patch panels, which accepted colour-coded pins containing different values of resistors. One panel dealt with control voltages, the other with audio signals. The XLR connectors behind these were intended for external connections. In this picture the mono PPM is connected to an 8-way switch box for checking multitrack levels.
The EMS 'Delaware' with Dick Mills. At this point the machine appears to have moved into Room 35, Dave Young's original office, latterly known as Studio C.
Elizabeth Parker operates the Delaware in Room 35, later to become Studio C. An additional matrix panel has been fitted to the Delaware but the author is unable to recall its purpose. Note the original Eventide Harmonizor on top of the machine.
Elizabeth and the 'Delaware' in Room 35. By this time the Workshop has fitted acoustic boxes to the walls, which reduce resonances in the room.
Elizabeth Parker in what appears to be Room 35, recording slurping noises with the aid of a glass of water. The Technics gramophone turntable, along with a preamplifier, is housed in one of the Workshop's standard Speedframe trolleys. Note the Rogers loudspeaker, an early indicator of the arrival of non-BBC equipment.
Elizabeth operating the 'Delaware', which at this time has gained its additional patch panel.
The conditions in Room 35 are cramped, with a Studer A80-VU 8-track machine and an A80-RC stereo recorder on the left. The original mixer has now been supplemented by a Glensound DK2/21 monitoring unit on a shelf above.
Elizabeth mixes sounds on the 'Yeoman-Clark mixer'. The matrix switching box on the right is used to connect various signals to the input of the multitrack recorder.
A rather happy group picture at the steps of the Maida Vale building, taken in 1987. Top row: Mark Wilson (Technical Co-ordinator), Ray White (Senior Engineer), Ray Riley (Engineer) and Elizabeth Parker. Front Row: Peter Howell, Roger Limb, Dick Mills, Brian Hodgson (Head), Maxine Blythe-Tinker and Malcolm Clarke.
This photograph, although it looks like the 1960s, was taken in Room 12 in 1982. Ray Riley's formal clothing shows how the high standards of the BBC were still maintained.
Room 12, now the engineer's workshop. Ray Riley, Engineer from 1979 until 1993, drills into a random piece of metal for the purposes of this picture, which was taken in 1983. To the right you can see a Studer A80-VU 8-track awaiting maintenance.
Room 12, now the engineer's workshop. Ray White, Senior Engineer from 1979 until 1993, in a contrived photograph of 1983 in which he studies the component parts of the Timecode Memory Unit (TMU), actually under construction by Ray Riley. The drawing shows the printed circuit board on which integrated circuits or 'chips' are mounted.
Desmond Briscoe with, left to right, Brian Hodgson, Elizabeth Parker, Jonathan Gibbs, Dick Mills, Peter Howell and Roger Limb.
The composers in Room 38. Top: John Downer (attachee), Peter Howell, a bearded Roger Limb, Elizabeth Parker and Paddy Kingsland. Bottom: Brian Hodgson (Organiser), Desmond Briscoe (Head) and Dick Mills. The studio contains a Studer A80-VU 8-track, plus a remote control in the form of a blue box, and a Glensound mixer. Desmond is leaning on an old 'Crystal Palace' and the B&K wobbulator.
From the 1987 'Sound On Sound' article 'The Computer & The Sound House'.
Brian Hodgson at the corridor entrance to Studios B (Peter Howell), C (Malcolm Clarke) and D (Dick Mills).
A modern picture of the ARP Odyssey. This machine was a stalwart provider of sounds for many years at the Workshop. Unlike products from EMS or Moog, it provided reasonable flexibility without the need for patch pins or cords. ©
A modern picture,showing the rear panel of an ARP Odyssey. © Tom Carpenter.
An ARP Odyssey patch sheet.
The EMS Vocoder 5000, first produced in 1976, which could split sounds into their component frequencies and re-synthesise them.
Another view of the EMS Vocoder. A difficult machine to use, it was harnessed in different ways, especially by Peter Howell and Malcolm Clarke.
Paddy Kingsland in Room 14, sometime in 1974. The equipment at the southern end of the room consists of a BBC DRD/5 turntable, Studer A62 stereo tape machine and Studer A80-VU 1-inch 8-track tape recorder.
Paddy Kingsland in Room 14 in 1974, then equipped with the old Glensound mixer. The box to the right of the controls is a Programme Effects Unit (PEU), whilst an EMT echo plate control unit resides on top of the mixer. The poster on the door says 'Stereo is here! Let us tell you all about it'. The mixing desk has pan pots on the actual faders, something that Desmond Briscoe claimed to have invented.
Room 14 in 1974, taken by a slightly leaning photographer. Note the push-button matrix router beneath the multitrack machine, allowing various sources to be recorded on the machine. Typical of studios of the time, it's been cobbled together with any available equipment.
Room 38. Paddy Kingsland uses the ARP Odyssey and the EMS Vocoder to treat pre-recorded speech. The studio has a Studer A80-VU 8-track, the original Glensound mixer with jackfield and talkback system and two Studer A62 twin-track machines. A guitar amplifier sits on top of the mixer.
This Studer B62 tape machine, a veteran of the Workshop, was a replacement for earlier valve-based Philips machines. Although compact and convenient for editing, it lacked the 'Rolls-Royce' technical performance of the larger A80RC, which was also used at the Workshop.
Paddy Kingsland, now without his beard, in Studio E, in around 1979. The 20-channel Neve 8066 mixing desk is connected to a Studer A80-VU 2-inch 16-track recorder and to two Studer A80-RC stereo machines. The rotary controls along the middle of the desk can be used to adjust the tape speed of the recorders.
The Surrey Electronics Frequency Shifter, showing how it was repackaged with wider range selection and and extra facilities into a more convenient 1U box. Lower picture © Steve Ridley.
From screen shot from a video known as the 'Good King Memorex Christmas tape' of 1979, in the middle of Sypher dub session. Left to right it's Malcolm, Peter, Elizabeth behind, Dick and, most likely, Roger in hiding.
A picture of Peter Howell prior to the Workshop, who, along with John Ferdinando, produced records such as 'Alice Through The Looking Glass', 'Fragile' and 'Tomorrow Come Someday' as H&F, 'Fly Away' as Agincourt and 'A Game For All Who Know' as Ithaca.
Peter Howell, pictured at the time of Ithaca, one of his early bands.
Some of the albums produced by Peter Howell and John Ferdinando before Peter joined the Workshop.
Peter Howell in Room 38, equipped at this time with an A80-VU 8-track and the original Glensound mixer. Here he's using the EMS Vocoder and the Yamaha CS80 keyboard.
Peter Howell in Studio B, as it appeared in 'Electronics and Music Maker' magazine in March 1981.
Peter Howell mouths the words for the 'Greenwich Chorus', one of his most famous compositions.
Peter Howell in Room 38, complete with CS80 and the EMS Vocoder. The original Glensound desk is still in operation.
The Workshop's 6-plate film editor, as seen in 'Electronics and Music Maker' magazine in March 1981.
Original publicity information for the Fairlight CMI (Computer Musical Instrument). This machine was perfect for creating, modifying and looping real sound samples, returning the Workshop to its original 'concrète' roots.
Peter Howell at the Fairlight CMI in 1981. Today, this machine looks quite archaic, but at the time it was very advanced, even incorporating a light pen that could be pointed at the screen to adjust the settings.
Peter Howell with the Fairlight CMI in 1982. This temporary installation, including a small mixer and a pair of tape machines, was housed in a room to the south of the entrance to Studio D and other areas, and was also used to store the Radiophonic tape library. Peter, of rock music origins, was soon at the forefront of technical innovation at the Workshop.
Roger Limb working with the Fairlight CMI in the early 80s.
Roger Limb with the Fairlight CMI in Room 13. It appears to be March 1983. As well as being a Radiophonic composer, Roger is very proficient jazz musician.
A two-channel voltage-controlled amplifier (VCA), assembled in the Workshop in the early eighties. It bears the name STEREO VCA on the left and RW17/6 on the right. The 6-pole socket on the left could be used with a modified keyboard or other panning control device to position sounds in the stereo image. © Steve Ridley.
Interior of the Workshop-built VCA, incorporating a pair of Allison Research EGC-101 VCAs on their own EGC-205 cards, in turn mounted on a custom-made interface card, plus off-the-shelf 'op-amp' interface cards. © Steve Ridley.
Ken Gale's 'Wavemaker' modular synthesiser was commissioned by the Radiophonic Workshop to replace the EMS 'Delaware’, but was overtaken by developments in MIDI-based technology. The completed parts were boxed and used as stand-alone units. ©
A picture from the 'Doctor Who 20th Anniversary Special Edition' of 1983. Peter Howell is in Studio B. Behind him, on the far left, is a 'home made' voltage-control joystick unit, which is connected to two racking boxes containing 'Wavemaker' modules.
From 'Electronics and Music Maker', March 1981, showing Desmond Briscoe, Mike Beecher, the founding editor of the magazine, and Brian Hodgson.
Dick Mills working on 'Doctor Who' with a Shibaden video machine, as shown in'Electronics and Music Maker' magazine in March 1981. The black and white screen picture, shown inset here, was often rather poor.
It's 1982 and this is the first public advertisement for a Radiophonic music producer.
The cover of the book written by Desmond Briscoe and Roy Curtis-Bramwell in 1983 to celebrate 25 years of the Workshop. The cover shows the Tardis, Fairlight CMI screen, a Roland CR78 drum machine and some of the objects used to create sounds.
Sarah Sutton in 1983, posing with a Dalek as part of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop's 25th anniversary celebrations and the 20th of 'Dr Who'.
A picture of Dick Mills from the 'Doctor Who 20th Anniversary Special Edition' of 1983.
Anthony G. Morris asked Desmond Briscoe's advice and this was the kind reply he received. "What wonderful advice. Those were indeed the days." © Anthony G. Morris
Roger Limb in Studio E in 1983, using the old 'Giants of Steam' copper cylinder to good effect. Note the limited equipment; three effects devices, including an Eventide Harmonizor, a guitar amplifier and two synthesisers, an Oberheim OBX8 and an Arp Odyssey. The two A80-RC recorders and the 16-track are supplemented by a Revox A700.
Roger Limb in Studio E in 1983, using the old 'Giants of Steam' copper cylinder to good effect. Note the limited equipment; three effects devices, including an Eventide Harmonizor, a guitar amplifier and two synthesisers, an Oberheim OBX8 and an Arp Odyssey. The two A80-RC recorders and the 16-track are supplemented by a Revox A700.
Roger Limb in Studio E in 1982, making sounds on the old copper cylinder. The Arp Odyssey is to the right, along with XLR-Hypertac adaptor boxes and the Revox A700 tape machine.
Studio E in 1985
A modern picture of the Roland Jupiter 4 synthesiser. This machine used analogue technology controlled digitally, providing better stability and ease of use than earlier synths. ©
The OSCar synthesiser, another digitally-controlled analogue device. This machine was rough and ready in many ways, but it produced those 'raw' sounds that could be skilfully blended to create something entirely different: it was especially popular with Malcolm Clarke. ©
Jonathan Gibbs, composer and one-time Organiser, who developed Syncwriter, a synchronisation system based on the BBC Micro computer.
A latter-day picture of Jonathan Gibbs, who, after his success at the Workshop moved on to Radio Programme Operations.
Malcolm Clarke working on 'Dr Who and The Cybermen'.
Malcolm in Studio C, sometime around 1982. By this time he had a good collection of keyboards, including this small Casiotone organ.
It's 1982 and Malcolm Clarke appears to be doing yet another children's programme. Note the extra 'penthouse' fitted to the Soundcraft mixing desk, which provides tape remotes and varispeed controls.
Brian and Malcolm connecting wires at Longleat in 1983.
Malcolm Clarke operating the Emulator II in Studio C, in 1985. Note the BBC Micro, attached to the Workshop's Syncwriter device, which allowed music to be correctly synchronised with original video recordings via MIDI.
Malcolm Clarke in Studio C in 1993. The room is equipped with a Soundcraft 2400 console and 'monolith' for additional equipment. The keyboards to the front include a pair of S50 samplers.
Malcolm Clarke in Studio C. He saw Radiophonic music as an art but always managed to maintain a sense of humour. Much of his work was highly imaginative and ground-breaking.
Malcolm Clarke in demonstrative mood in Studio C, some time after 1991. The large racking unit to the right, devised by Ray Riley, contains synthesiser modules, Sony U-matic video player, Apple Macintosh computer, keyboard and MIDI interfaces. The taller rack to the rear contains effects devices. The mixing desk is the Soundcraft 2400. Note the old 'Crystal Palace', now disused, on top of the loudspeaker, as well as Malcolm's large collection of multitrack tapes under the console.
Malcolm Clarke as seen in a television documentary.
Peter Howell's studio, as seen in a 'Sound On Sound's article of 1987, 'The Computer & the Sound House'.
Elizabeth Parker in Studio H, formerly room 11, in 1982. The desk is a Soundcraft Series 2, fitted with a narrow penthouse containing illuminated buttons for controlling the tape machines and adjusting their speed. There are 16 input channels and 8 output groups, the latter of which feed the multitrack.
Elizabeth Parker in 1982, crammed into Room 11, along with the original Soundcraft Series 2 mixer and Soundcraft SCM381-8 8-track recorder, along with Roland 100M, Roland Jupiter Compuphonic and Yamaha synthesisers.
The Soundcraft 8-track recorder, model SCM381-8, originally used at the Radiophonic Workshop but shown here at Mark Ayres's studio in 2011. These machines worked well, although they had inadequate motor power for spooling. © Mark Ayres, 2011.
A Bel BC-3-8T 8-track noise reduction unit, which works in a similar way to dbx, providing a doubling of dynamic range in tape recordings, but using average rather than RMS signal detection. This unit, which was used at the Workshop, is shown here on one of the original circular consoles, now in Mark Ayres's studio. © Mark Ayres, 2011.
The 'Wavemaker' polyphonic music system, including the Digital Recording Module (DRM), as shown in 'Electronics and Music Maker' magazine in March 1981. This, along with other rack-mounted units created by Ken Gale in Poole was to replace the EMS 'Delaware' machine, but the project foundered as MIDI technology developed.
Elizabeth Parker working in the 1980s.
Dick Mills, the Workshop's master craftsman of special sounds and effects, working in studio D with a tape loop on the Studer tape machines.
Dick Mills in 1985 at the controls of the Soundcraft mixer in Studio D.
From the 1987 'Sound On Sound' article 'The Computer & The Sound House'.
Ray White at work, sometime in the 80s. An equipment rack for one of the Soundcraft studios is to the rear, in front of a table with its BBC computer.
A Macintosh screen shot, showing an early form of music editing. From the 1987 'Sound On Sound' article 'The Computer & the Sound House'.
The Yahama DX7 revolutionised synthesised sound: not only was it fully digital, but it also exploited a technique known as frequency modulation (FM), emulating what occurs with natural sounds, thereby creating highly musical tones.
The Yamaha DMP7, first made in 1987 (and the later DMP7D), was MIDI-controlled digital mixer, several which became the core of the new circular studios, although they were latterly fitted in other studios.
The overall layout for the new 'circular' Studio B. Every attempt was made to create a comfortable working environment, including a small office area.
An overhead view of the circular console layout in the original Studio B, in which all of the equipment is in easy reach of the composer.
Equipment racks, as used in Studio B, with ancillary boxes and the DD1000 mulitrack in the lower cupboards.
The basic digital connection system for the mixers in the 'circular' studio B. The connection system adopted for the DAT recorder allowed recordings to be transferred digitally to and from the DD1000 digital multitrack.
A simplified diagram of the analogue and digital signal paths employed in the original 'circular' Studio B. The connections between the DMP7 and DMP7D mixers, via a Custom Interface Unit (CIU), employed Yamaha's proprietary digital interface.
An example of the many simple interface boxes the engineers had to produce. This one was used in Studio B, allowing the composer to isolate the digital audio feed from the 'multitrack' (MT) DMP7 mixer to the input of the 'aux' DMP7D mixer.
A diagram showing digital audio connections in Studio B. The new DD1000 digital multitrack connected to the 'multitrack' DMP7D mixer via an IFUD2 interface, which in turn fed an 'aux' DMP7 mixer and 'main' DMP7D, the latter also connected to four other DMP7s via a custom interface unit (CIU). This complex arrangement often caused confusion.
Wiring detail of the digital cable used to 'cascade' DMP7 mixers.
It's 1993 and Peter Howell is playing the KX88 keyboard in Studio B. The main and auxiliary DMP7D mixers are to the right of the computer monitor.
Peter Howell in Studio B. A pair of S550 samplers, a Proteus and a pair of DAT recorders can be seen in the rack to the rear. There's an Arp Odyssey on top of the left-hand rack, which also contains a CD player, D550, TX802 and a pair of TG55s.
Another view of Studio B. The monitor on the left is connected to the S550 samplers. Peter was always abreast of technology and worked to develop different ways of using equipment in the new circular consoles.
Peter sets up one of the S550s prior to recording a sample.
Plan and elevations for the new Studio F, as built for Elizabeth Parker. The walls were covered in standard BBC 'acoustic boxes'.
The opening of the new studio F, in a framed picture given to Andrew Dunne when visiting the Workshop. To the rear: Elizabeth Parker, Ray White, Richard Attree, Mark Wilson, Dick Mills, Malcolm Clarke, Peter Howell, Ray Riley and Roger Limb, with Brian Hodgson in the chair. Photo courtesy of Andrew Dunne.
It's 1989 and Elizabeth Parker is in Studio F, the most spacious of all the Workshop's studios.
Elizabeth Parker in Studio F, sometime around 1993. The pair of DMP7D mixers in the foreground are used to create the final output.
Richard Attree in Studio H in 1993. Richard was the first and last composer to be recruited from outside the BBC. He did much original work, including award-winning programmes that were created entirely within the Workshop.
Richard Attree discusses work on a programme.
Richard Attree in Studio H, formerly room 19, now equipped with a Soundcraft 2400 console, the last of its kind to be fitted at the Workshop.
A view across the Soundcraft 2400 desk in Studio H. The rack contains various devices and a U-matic video tape player, as well as a BBC VITC timecode reader on top.
Roger at work. The video recording played on the U-matic VCR could be viewed via a switchable monitor on the 'monolith', as well as on the larger screen behind the desk, the latter of which is shown here. Roger was a very productive composer, carefully tailoring his work to suit the customer.
Roger seated at the 'monolith' in Studio E. The video recording appears on the left-hand screen, the centre screen being connected to the computer. The U-matic VCR is to the right, with a TX816 synthesiser in the rack above.
Roger Limb in Studio E in the early nineties. The 'monolith' includes a Yamaha TX816 synthesiser and DMP7 mixer. The rack to the right contains a selection of effects devices. There's a Sony U-matic video player on the left.
Radio One's Programme Presentation Suite (PPS 1), initailly designed by Ray White from November 1989. This £120,000 scheme was to be based on an Atari computer for sequencing and composition, two Akai DP3200 routers, Akai samplers, an existing Audiofile system and a Yamaha DMR8 recorder/mixer, although the latter was eventually replaced by an Allen & Heath Saber mixing desk.
A flowchart showing the mechanisms used in the creation of programmes or in other work involving in the services provided by the Workshop.
Dick Mills in Studio A, complete with the NoNoise system, which is connected to the control display screen, as well as equipment for producing 'Doctor Who' sound effects on the left. Additional sound processing equipment, as well as the CD writers, are in the racks on the right. The NoNoise facility was retained by Programme Operation following the closure of the Workshop in 1996.
The power distribution in Studio A was particularly complex, because of the large number of devices. A 'star' wiring configuration, as shown here, avoided the usual earthing problems.
Peter Howell in Studio A, with sound effects equipment on the left and NoNoise system on the right.
Dick Mills in front of the NoNoise CD-R drives in Studio A. Note the white gloves, a precaution to avoid contamination of the blank discs.
Malcolm Clarke, Ray Riley and Dick Mills at the entrance of the Maida Vale studios in 1993, at the time when 'retirement' was imminent.
The layout of the Workshop rooms in 1993. The original Workshop I, rooms 13 and 14 (latterly known as studios F and E, combined in the 30s, with room 13 used for film editing by the Workshop) had been exchanged for Room 19 (latterly studio H) for use by orchestral management, while E and F were moved to areas formerly used by the BBC Film Unit. Rooms 11 and 12 were, for a while, known as Studios H and G.
The right-hand section of Studio B in 1993. An old Macintosh SE/30 computer seems to have sneaked into the studio.
Brian describes how the technology at the Workshop has been transformed, but perhaps he still longs for the pioneering days.
'The technology has moved on beyond all recognition … You fight with the musical problems: in the old days you fought with the equipment'.
It's 1993: Brian Hodgson and Delia Derbyshire discuss the creation of 'Doctor Who'. This is a rare and touching image of two of the great Radiophonic pioneers. At this time the original Studio A was equipped with a dubbing facilty, incorporating two Studer A80-VU twin-track tape machines with timecode centre tracks, a timecode reader with a large display and a timecode regenerator box.
Delia enthusiastically explains how the 'Doctor Who' theme was created. Tragically, Delia passed away in Northampton, England, on July 3rd 2001, but her music and her impact on those around her remains.
Dick Mills describing the process of how he helped Delia Derbyshire create the 'Doctor Who' theme tune from individually edited pieces of tape, each containing a single note. This picture captures Dick's endless enthusiasm and support for the Radiophonic Workshop.
Tapes of incidental music for 'Doctor Who', as archived in 1993.
Brian Hodgson in the Radiophonic tape archive.
Brian Hodgson points out the tapes he produced for 'Doctor Who', the rest being produced by Dick Mills.
The Radiophonic logo, adopted in later years.
Studio X, as occupied by John Hunt in 1995. The AMU-8S monitoring unit, with its twin PPMs is to his left. Some of the equipment formerly used by Dick Mills has been removed, the studio now being used by Programme Operations purely for the processing of recordings.
A close-up view of the equipment at the centre of Studio X.
A view of Studio X after 1993, now with a plethora of extra devices on top of the racks to the right.
A later view of Studio B. The fire door to the old Studio A is to the left of this picture.
A wider view of Studio B, some time after 1993. The Studer A80 tape machines are gone, presumably replaced by the equipment on the table to the left.
The remains of Studio C, formerly occupied by Malcolm Clarke, but later used by Tony Morson. The Studer A80 is no longer in use, these tape recorders having been replaced by DAT machines.
Another view of the equipment remaining in the old Studio C.
Studio H, some time after 1993, and still organised as a 'hybrid studio', with a its Soundcraft mixer and Yamaha DMP7s.
Another view of Studio H, which at this time still has at least one Studer A80 tape machine. The hybrid studio arrangement never lent itself to tidiness.
This appears to be the remains of Elizabeth Parker's original Studio A, with yet another A80 tape machine out of use, as well as parts of one of the circular consoles.
The demise of Studio B. Looking east across the stripped circular console towards the emergency door into what was the original Studio A.
Another picture of Studio B, shortly after its closure, sometime around 1996.
Studio F, denuded of its console and equipment. All that remains are the acoustic boxes, which, in each alternate box, have a large number of holes or a small number.
Only the impression of the circular desk remains. The desk itself became part of Elizabeth Parker's private studio.
"Sic transit gloria mundi". An unidentified studio containing remnants of the Workshop, including an Arp Odyssey. All will be forgotten in time, which is the nature of things.
The ground floor corridor of the Maida Vale complex, where the Radiophonic Studios could be found, as seen in 1993. 'As one door closes another opens'.
Malcolm Clarke on the steps of the Maida Vale studios on 17 May 2003. Picture courtesy of Ollie Clarke.
The 'old hands' meet again at the Maida Vale canteen on 17 May 2003. From left to right: Pete Bully (MV engineer), David Cain, Malcolm Clarke, Roger Limb and Dick Mills. Picture courtesy of Ollie Clarke.
Mark Ayres explaining the assembly of Radiophonic music.
Mark Ayres at work.
The database of all the Workshop's output, as produced by Mark Ayres.
CDs of 'Doctor Who' sounds and music.
CDs containing material produced by the Workshop.
Richard Attree putting in a dynamic performance at his own studio.
Elizabeth Parker in her own studio. Little of the Radiophonic equipment remains, apart from the circular console, originally built for Studio F.
Paddy Kingsland in his own studio.
The central interconnecting jackfield for the Workshop, installed sometime in the late eighties but apparently still extant in 2008, despite the Workshop having closed. The XLR connectors at the bottom were used for microphone circuits.
It's 2008 and Dick Mills, accompanied by Radiophonic archivist Mark Ayres, walk southwards along the long corridor of the Maida Vale studios. Behind them, on the right, is the door of what was room 10, the opening of which had to be enlarged to accomodate the EMS 'Delaware' Synthi 100 synhesiser.
Dick and Mark in the BBC Symphony Orchestra Offices, on the site of what was Room 11, the dividing walls between the other rooms having been demolished follwing the closure of the Workshop.
Dick and Mark in what was Room 12. Not a hint of its former purpose remains.
Deep in the bowels of Maida Vale studios, Dick and Mark examine the last remaining fragments of the Workshop, including 'Delia's' famous lampshade.
Dick and Mark inspect 'Delia's' lampshade, which for her was an important source of sound.
Dick and Mark with the remaining Radiophonic equipment, including a Studer A80, EMS 'Putney' 'suitcase' synth, EMS VCS3 with keyboard and EMS Vocoder.
A surviving 'Crystal Palace'.
The 'Giants of Steam' hot water cylinder now looks even more squashed.
Dick Mills operating the EMS 'Putney' 'suitcase' synth. The surviving VCS3 can be seen in the foreground.
Dr. David Butler, of the University of Manchester, examines one of a collection of 267 tapes, originally kept in Delia Derbyshire's loft.
Tapes rescued Delia Derbyshire's loft, after her death. Note the tape box with the words 'Ron Grainer'.
One of the tape boxes found in Delia's loft. The return address is that of the Workshop's office.
Brian Hodgson speaking about the Workshop.
Paddy Kingsland in 2008.
Dick Mills in 2008.
Peter Howell in 2008.
Roger Limb in 2008.
A 'Crystal Palace' on display at the Science Museum, London.
A Ferrograph tape machine, of the type used in the early days at the Workshop, here shown at the Science Museum. Note the splicing tape and the splicing block with a long taper, which provided a smooth fade between edits on a mono compilation.
Dan Wilson and his massive collection of B&K wobbulators at his Hideaway Studio. © Dan Wilson.
The Roundhouse Concert, 2009. Preparing for the gig, with Mark Ayres on the left, Peter Howell to the right (behind the man in red) and beyond him Roger Limb with Paddy Kingsland. © Dick Mills.
The Roundhouse Concert, 2009. Preparing for the gig. Peter Howell is with his orginal instrument of choice, the guitar. Delia's lampshade is on top on the Roland 100M modular synthesiser to the left and a VCS3 can be seen on the right. © Dick Mills.
The Roundhouse Concert, 2009. A very happy Dick Mills, wearing his white coat, stands at the controls of a VCS3, which still bears its original BBC security label. © Dick Mills.
The Roundhouse Concert, 2009. Paddy prepares to perform. © Dick Mills.
The Roundhouse Concert, 2009. A wide view of the auditorium.
The Roundhouse Concert, 2009. The show begins, with Dick Mills and the VCS3.
The Roundhouse Concert, 2009. An image of a younger Dick Mills is presented on the screens.
The Roundhouse Concert, 2009. Dick addresses the audience.
The Roundhouse Concert, 2009. Roger, Paddy and Dick, the latter armed with Delia's lampshade.
The Roundhouse Concert, 2009. Paddy Kingsland reintroduces Roger Limb to a VCS3. © Dick Mills.
The Roundhouse Concert, 2009. Paddy and Roger enjoying their part in the show. © Dick Mills.
The Roundhouse Concert, 2009. Roger on double bass, Paddy on guitar and Peter on keyboards. © Dick Mills.
The Roundhouse Concert, 2009. Paddy gets into the swing. © Dick Mills.
The Roundhouse Concert, 2009.
The Roundhouse Concert, 2009. A view of equipment of various vintages, including an EMS Synthi 'suitcase'.
The Roundhouse Concert, 2009. Roger and his double bass. © Dick Mills.
The Roundhouse Concert, 2009. Roger jazzes it up. © Dick Mills.
The Roundhouse Concert, 2009. Mark Ayres appears to be looking for heavenly assistance. After organising this event he probably needs it. © Dick Mills.
The Roundhouse Concert, 2009. Peter at the keyboards, with the old copper water tank in front of him. © Dick Mills.
The Roundhouse Concert, 2009. Delia's 'Ziwzih Ziwzih OO-OO-OO' is heard, one of many fitting monuments to those who created the sounds and music of the Radiophonic Workshop. © Dick Mills.
Dick Mills,also an expert on tropical fish, bears an award.
Dick Mills, on receiving an Honorary Doctorate of Science at the University of Bradford on Wednesday, 2 December, 2009. © Dick Mills.
Dick Mills, on receiving an Honorary Doctorate of Science at the University of Bradford on Wednesday, 2 December, 2009. © Dick Mills.
Dick Mills, on receiving an Honorary Doctorate of Science at the University of Bradford on Wednesday, 2 December, 2009. © Dick Mills.
Brian Hodgson celebrating 50 years of Doctor Who in 2013.
'Captain' Dick Mills presents Radiophonic works at Portmerion in September 2013. ©
Workshop staff performing at the LEAF concert in Shoreditch, London, in November 2013.
The Radiophonic team at the Maida Vale studios on 16 December 2013 for a live music broadcast on Radio 6 Music. Peter and Roger on the left, Mark Ayres, Dick and Paddy to the right.
The Radiophonic team at the Maida Vale studios on 16 December 2013 for a live music broadcast on Radio 6 Music.
The Radiophonic team at the Maida Vale studios on 16 December for a live music broadcast on Radio 6 Music. Paddy, two BBC staff, Dick, Mark and Peter.
The Radiophonic band at Real World Studios.
Brian Hodgson with Lily in 2023.