Journalism students got to record their own radio drama during a tour of the BBC studios in Birmingham.

DMU meets a dalek

The De Montfort University students also saw The Archers recording studio during their visit on Tuesday.

The tour was offered to up to 15 students as a field trip on Tuesday 1 March during Enhancement Week, and started at 10.30am.

Members of the tour were shown around the foyer, where there was a life size dalek, a lift resembling the tardis and three dresses from Strictly Come Dancing on display.

Some people recorded a horror genre radio play, with a pre-written script. Some were in charge of sound effects while others were the voice actors.

The story was about a group of friends staying at a haunted house, and will be made available to the people involved in a few weeks’ time.

Just a few Archers props

The Archers recording studio contained a wide variety of props for creating both indoor and outdoor sound effects, including different sinks, a door for opening and closing, a coat for putting on or taking off and stairs with three different types of flooring.

According to the tour guide, intimate scenes are recorded by the actors involved kissing their own hands – although those who know each other have no qualms about kissing properly!

Depending on the sound effects used, some scenes are recorded separately. Sounds that cannot be manually created, such as cows, birds, weather noises, etc are recorded in a room connected to the main studio by a large window.

When the sound quality is particularly important, with no echoes or background noise, the actors are recorded in a soundproof room.

The tour also included the BBC 1 West Midlands studio. The people behind the scenes have a few techniques to make the studio appear much larger than it actually is, such as using particular camera angles and having the scene filmed on a low platform, rather than at floor level.

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Here’s a slideshow of the visit, including a door prop, kitchen sinks and an oven for creating sound effects.

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