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Communications, Drama and Film

Roborough Studios

Originally built as the University Library in 1940 (see History tab), Roborough offers three large rehearsal spaces, fully equipped for lighting and sound. The spaces can be opened up into one huge flat-floored performance space. There are also two meeting/seminar rooms (RSMR and RSSR), a computer suite and podcast studio, and technical control rooms.

The three studio spaces that make up Roborough Studios all have full stage lighting capability. Lighting can be controlled from within the space, or from the central control room which overlooks the largest studio - RS2.

Lighting Specifications

  • ETC Ion control desk in the main control room
  • 2 x Zero88 FLX control desk used in studios
  • 3 x 24 way Chilli Pro 2.4kW (10A) dimmer racks located in the dimmer room (72 dimmers in total) with full patching to all outlets in the studios via powercon patch panels
  • 168 individual 15A sockets on internally-wired bars in all studios, and around floor level
  • DMX patch allowing control of all equipment from any studio
  • 24 Chauvet Rogue R2 LED moving wash light (8 in each studio)
  • 2 Chauvet Rogue moving profile in RS2
  • 28 Source Four Fresnels 750W
  • A large variety of lanterns of many ages, mostly manufactured by Strand Lighting
  • Large range of Rosco gels in stock, with a range of 24 standard gels always available.
  • Large range of gobos in stock
  • Various lighting effects (flicker flame, effects discs) and a number of practical lighting fittings in stock.
  • Smoke machines and hazers

The rig height in Studio 2 (the main space for large group performances) is 5.4m.

For access we use a Braviisol Sprint mobile platform or one of three Zarges Skymaster ladders. Students receive training from the technical staff before using access equipment.

Current lighting rig plans and further information can be found on the Technical Resources page.

Sound and AV

A wide variety of sound & AV configurations are possible in Roborough Studios.

The studios are equipped with high resolution 6000 lumen data projectors, which are hung from the center of the lighting rigs and focused onto the outer walls. They each have an equipment rack housing a HD video switcher, which can change inputs between Laptop, Bluray/DVD or the attached AirServers. The AirServers each allow wireless video/audio streaming from up to 8 simultaneously connected mobile devices / laptops. Wireless protocols include Airplay, Chromecast and Miracast.

By default, the projection systems are connected to a Windows laptop located on the equipment racks, which can be moved into any corner of the rooms. The laptops are connected to the University wi-fi system for registered users. Conference or workshop guests can log in to the Guest wifi system. The systems can also connect to one of our Macbooks for media playback or to the control room Mac for use during performances, seminars, workshops etc.

Each equipment rack also contains a high quality sound system which can accept microphone inputs, Bluetooth connection and an external input (e.g. from iPod / MP3 player or laptop). A pair of speakers complete the system.

We also have 2 x 40inch LED screens on movable trollies, which we can roll out and connect for various purposes.

A more complex system is available for use in larger scale events / productions:


  • 2 x Yamaha CP2500S 500W amplifier
  • 1 x Yamaha CP7000S 1.4kW amplifier (sub)
  • 1 x DB Technologies MPA504 500W amplifier
  • 1 x Samson Servo 120A amplifier [foyer speaker & 'god' mic]
  • 1 x Omniphonics amplifier [control room show relay]


  • TecPro wired headset system with 8 beltpacks / headsets

Mixing Desk

  • Behringer X32


  • A variety of hand-held mics are available, along with three lavalier radio mic kits, four handheld radio mic kit and various pick-up mics.
  • Behringer S16 Digital snake for line audio sends/returns to X32 Mixer over CAT5
  • One in-ear-monitor kit available.

Audio & Playback

  • 27inch iMac running Qlab 4 multimedia software for sound & video playback through up to 16 outputs
  • Roland V-4EX Vision Mixer


  • 4 x RCF Art300 300W full-range speaker
  • 2 x RCF Art312P 300W full-range speaker
  • 2 x RCF Art600 300W bass speaker
  • 2 x 1kW Subwoofer
  • 4 x JBL Control 1S 90W full-range speaker
  • 6 x DAP MC12 wedge speaker
  • Variety of unboxed speakers for special uses


  • At least three facilities boxes in each studio space containing microphone, 2 speaker, 2 CAT5 network and headset outlets. 

More information

There are three separate studios with vinyl dance floor, projection and sound system. The partition walls between the studios can be removed (by technical staff only) to enlarge the spaces for performance work. All studios are equipped with full stage lighting rigs and blackout curtains. 

Detailed access information is available on the AccessAble website.

Studio dimensions

  • RS1 - Dimensions: approx 8.75m x 8.75m (plus storage area) (112.30sqm total)
  • RS2 - Dimensions: approx 12.5m x 8.75m (plus window area 6.5m x 3m) (151.70sqm total)
  • RS3 - Dimensions: approx 8.75m x 8.75m (plus storage area & scenery store) (103.70sqm total)
  • See plan with dimensions below.

Studio plans

Additional facilities

  • Ground floor: Podcast Studio & Computer Suite / Green Room, Roborough Meeting Room
  • Upstairs: Roborough Seminar Room, Control Room and other technical offices and workshops
  • Wireless internet for registered staff & students and guests
  • Adjacent to the foyer are male & female toilets / changing rooms, each with a shower, and also an accessible toilet


Parking outside Roborough is not permitted - please park on Prince of Wales Road (at the bottom of the hill up to Roborough). Outside working hours, you can park in the Queens Building car park. 
You can unload directly outside the building. There's ramped access into the foyer and then flat floor access to the three studios and other ground floor rooms.

History of the Studios

The video below shows the unveiling of the foundation stone of the University Library, known as the Roborough Library, in 1937. The library opened in 1940, and evolved into the reading room of a new library building (now the Research Commons) in the 1960s. 

In the mid-1980s, the new Library was built, and the need for the Roborough Reading Room disappeared.

The Drama Department moved in to the building in 1985, after a lighting system was installed, and for 20 years, enjoyed the single huge studio space, with curtains dividing it up.

In 2005, the Roborough Studios were fully refitted, with new technical facilities and a more useful division between the practical spaces. There are now three separate studios, with folding soundproof partition walls between them, enabling more groups to make better use of the space.

Roborough Studios photo gallery