United Kingdom (July 30, 2013)—Members of the legendary BBC Radiophonic Workshop (RWS) have regrouped for a series of electronic music events this year, including the recent BBC Proms, which celebrated the 50th anniversary of the famed science fiction TV series, Doctor Who. For the events, the RWS has been making use of a Behringer X32 Digital Mixer and EuroLive Active Loudspeakers.
Established in 1958 to provide sound effects and original music for BBC radio, the RWS went on to create music and soundscapes for some of the BBC’s radio and TV programming, including Doctor Who. Although the BBC decommissioned RWS in 1998, original members Paddy Kingsland, Peter Howell, Roger Limb, Dick Mills and Mark Ayres are working together again on a new album and a series of live events. The project will include collaborations with popular musicians who have all drawn from the RWS’ work over the years.
RWS’s current rig features a Behringer X32v Digital Mixing Console, two S16 Digital Snakes, the Powerplay P16 Personal Monitoring System, Eurolive B812NEO Active Loudspeakers and B1800-PRO Active 18” subs.
To celebrate the return of RWS and the anniversary of Doctor Who, the RWS joined a 200-strong cast of musicians for the BBC Doctor Who Proms at London’s Royal Albert Hall on July 13. The concert, broadcast live on BBC Radio 3, will also be shown on BBC television in November as part of the Doctor Who anniversary celebrations.
The RWS will also be curating and headlining a mini-festival celebrating the Workshop’s legacy and its return to the stage at the London Roundhouse in November. The event will feature a recreation of the Radiophonic Workshop in 5.1-surround sound that onlookers will be able to interact directly with. The on-stage mix, FX and monitoring will be handled by the X32 console and the S16 and P16 stage units.
Other RWS events this year include an appearance at Festival Number 6 in Port Merion, Wales and other festival appearances across Europe. The RWS’s new album, featuring a number of collaborations with guest musicians, will be released in 2014 to coincide with a series of vinyl and CD reissues of its frequently sampled back catalogue.
In planning the live performances, Mark Ayres, chief tech for the RWS, remarked, “Designing the system we needed was a daunting task. The RWS combine vintage analogue synthesizers with live musique concrete, discovered sounds and the latest computer technology. Creative mixing and live sound treatments are as much a part of our performances as the playing of our old modular synths. In the Behringer X32, we found the ideal on-stage mixer, and we found that our other needs have been easily met by the addition of the Behringer S16 stage boxes, P16 monitor distributors and associated personal monitor stations.”