Studios, Facilities and Equipment

Photograph of two students working with music software on computersThese pages provide an overview of our state of the art electroacoustic studio and concert facilities, bespoke built as part of the £16 million Bramall Music Building. These are used for a variety of tasks, including multichannel electroacoustic composition, mixed instrumental and electroacoustic composition, programming and DSP, interface development, multimedia work, etc.

This is a brief guide to the studios, and does not give a complete list of facilities. The equipment and software are subject to a continual programme of improvement, and studio configurations are sometimes customised to accommodate specific projects. The following information should therefore be taken as a guide only.

BEAST in the Elgar Concert Hall

BEAST's new 'home base' is the 450 seat Elgar Concert Hall in the Bramall Building. Designed by acoustician Nicolas Edwards (Symphony Hall Birmingham, Royal Shakespeare Theatre) this cutting edge space is arguably the best and most flexible of its kind in the UK, and was made specifically with the needs of multichannel electronic music in mind.

Bramall-alt-stage-2

BEASTdome and MiniBEAST

BEASTdomeIn November 2013 we formally launched the new BEASTdome system, a 30+ channel sound system semi-permanently installed in the Bramall's Dome Rehearsal Room, with support from the University's Alumni Fund.

As a few people can set it up in less than 30 minutes, we are able to offer unmatched access to a large scale multichannel system to students, researchers and visitors. 

BEASTdome hosts MiniBEAST, an informal concert series curated by postgraduates and staff. It runs weekly in term from 11:30-12:30 on Wednesdays.

beast-dome-simulation

Portable Equipment

Mobile equipment for recording and studio use includes: a Fostex FR-2 sound recorder, M-Audio Microtrack recorders, Sound Devices 744T recorders, DAT recorders, Alesis ADAT and hard disk recorders, DACS and RME microphone preamplifiers, MIDI controllers, MOTU audio and MIDI interfaces, a variety of microphones (manufactured by Neumann, AKG, SE Electronics, Sennheiser, Shure and Soundfield), a Panasonic AG-DVX100 video camera and Apple laptop computers.The equipment in the BEAST system is also available by arrangement to postgraduates for off-site concerts and installations.

Other Opportunities

BEAST also regularly gives concerts in the 300 seat CBSO Centre in the heart of Birmingham (as part of The Series presented by the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group), in the Barber Institute on campus, and at other locations within Birmingham such as the Ikon Gallery.

BEAST regularly tours, presenting the works of Birmingham postgraduates around the UK and Europe. In recent years we have been invited to events including Red Sonic (London), the Sound Around Festival (Copenhagen), and the Inventionen Festival (Berlin). 

For general information on facilities within the Music Department, see here.