Mix 92.6 is an Ofcom-licensed Community Radio station broadcasting across FM and online. The station is run entirely by volunteers and broadcasts 24 hours a day, seven days a week to cover all types of programming. Starting, in 1993 the station moved from their previous premises to their current studio located in the STANTA building in St Albans, Herts. When designing the new premises, the team at Mix 92.6 opted for Vicoustic’s Vicbooth Ultra as a modular studio-oriented solution.
Taking the lead on this project for 92.6 was Dave Neal, a long-time volunteer who is currently working in the engineering team for the station. Dave is an industry veteran with nearly 40 years of professional experience working in the professional audio industry, having worked at brands like Studer, Revox, BSS Audio, DDA, and Soundcraft. With a background in audio and electronic engineering, his skills have been well utilised at Mix 92.6. It was his expertise that was relied upon to research and decide on the tools needed for the station’s new location.
One of the main challenges Dave faced during this project was the original studios custom-build of timber and acoustic treatment were fitted to an odd-shaped space, and thus were unable to be taken to the new location. When planning for the new studios it was decided that the new solution should be “off-the-shelf”, in the instance that the station needed to relocate again. This meant finding a studio that was the right size, had the right features, and was above all acoustically suitable.
The Vicbooth Ultra appealed to Dave immediately, “It was specific to recording studios and was something that we could build ourselves with no mess. The sustainability aspect of it also appealed as we have a very popular ‘Environment Matters’ programme. Should we ever need to move premises in the future, we knew it could move with us. The online configurator tool gave us a price indication which did match our budget”.
HHB Communications is the distributor for Vicoustic’s Vicbooth Ultra and has a demo system set up at their headquarters in London. Having been in the pro audio industry Dave was familiar with HHB, “After reaching out I was quickly put in touch with Matthew Whittaker at HHB and we went from there. Being represented by HHB gave me absolute confidence that it would not only be a great product but that I would get top-level service from the company.”
While not custom built, Vicbooths modular focus offer a variety of options. For Mix 92.6 that meant additional ventilation fan units along with additional sound treatment panels. With an online configurator tool Dave found choosing windows, doors, and other options easy. Even though they had to rely on a team of volunteers working in their free time to assemble the booth, they were able to get the studios up and running in good time.
Now that the studio is fully functional, Dave had this to say about the Vicbooth, “It’s been better than we hoped. The integrated cable management has made system installation much easier, and the acoustic isolation is just right for us. It’s a solid booth.
Our volunteers have been blown away by the quality of the booth and are really looking forward to going live with their programmes from it. We’re just finishing off all the last touches now including some led strip lights on the outside to show when the studio is live, and it looks great!”
HHB’s Matthew Whittaker, Account Manager, worked closely with Dave to ensure that the Vicbooth would be just right for the station. “Community radio plays such an important role at both a local and grassroots level, and it was important that we ensured Mix 92.6 had the right solution and guidance from us for their requirements. We are so pleased that the Vicbooth has been such a good solution for the station!”