ORBEM
Mixer 3B and Recording Channel H30
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Mixer 3B in 1981 - Page 2

TO's position
This is the TO's (Technical Operator's) position, which was to the right of the desk. The first 7 outside sources were selected here from the 200 source multiple using motor driven uniselectors. The top left panel "marked" the source and the selectors were driven by the keys below, the selected source being shown in the black window. The 2nd marking panel was a spare and the 8th switch was for monitoring. The last 3 outside sources were switched from control room and this position was not separately staffed for run-of-the-mill programmes.


The studio

In the studio Beyer M160 mics have replaced the original 4038's, two of which were suspended from the ceiling by the mechanism visible at the top of the picture.




The small window to the right of the next picture looked into a tiny lobby which had doors to corridor, studio and cubicle.

The studio


As can be seen in these shots, 3B's studio was not exactly huge. This was not normally a problem, but, as Alma Cadzow recalls, the musical requirements of the 'Today' programme could present a challenge:

"it was a Saturday morning version of 'Today', which was more of a magazine than a news programme. There used to be a ten-minute news with tape inserts beforehand, then a five minute break, I think, then 'Today' itself.

"Bob Holness was presenting, I was on panel. The producer brought a couple of chaps into the studio and one of them began assembling what turned out to be an alphorn. It soon became obvious the thing was too long to fit into the studio. The producer insisted it had to be played -live - to introduce the programme.

"Eventually we rigged a microphone in the corridor outside, the alphorn player was installed there and instructed to start playing when the red light came on. A very reluctant continuity operator was persuaded to dispense with the customary warning red flashes before going to air. At transmission time, on went the red light and there was a heart-stopping pause as the player took a deep breath before starting to play. At a suitable point the horn was tastefully faded out - but, of course, we'd had to leave the studio doors ajar in order to lead out the mic cable, so he was still faintly audible
during the subsequent interview before someone sneaked out through H30 and waved him to a stop.

"The interview itself was wonderful - it became clear that the interviewee had a very sketchy command of English, and poor Bob struggled through some strange answers to his questions. The SMs were in tears of laughter and a small crowd gathered in H30 as word got round....."

View into H30


The view from 3B's cubicle into H30. The seating in front of the window provided a useful place for a snooze during quiet night shifts, the double doors into the channel propped open so that the phones could be heard!