Chapel FM News | February 2014

Chapel FM News | February 2014

Follow the link for the full 3D experience of the picture above—have a look around upstairs in the Old Seacroft Chapel...

We’ve stuffed the Chapel!

Four months into the build, we are definitely into a very different phase. For the first few months it was all about stripping things back and uncovering the place—removing pews and pulpit; taking all the plaster of the walls; hacking the old render away, etc etc. It felt like we were on the verge of ripping the building apart but it meant we could see where all the cracks and problems were and patch up and repair the structure where it needed it.

It didn’t fall down anyway!

But now it’s time to put things back. Not just that—we’ve got lots of new stuff to put in the Chapel and I’m afraid the place is going to burst at its (newly renovated) seams. First off there’s the newly created loft space up above that lovely old ceiling. Well the loft is full! It’s mainly to do with the ventilation and heat exchange system for the building (although hopefully we’ll find room for the FM aerial for when we start broadcasting). Our planning consent came with strict rules about not letting any of the sound we make in the building disturb our neighbours. That included not opening the windows. With up to 100 people in the building we need to have a system that ensures fresh air circulates efficiently but silently so that even Ed won’t be able to hear anything when he sits behind his new mixing desk with his headphones on...

Don’t worry—he’s not sad. That’s just Ed concentrating! And if you wondered his new desk will be a Behringer X32…

So that’s the loft. But let’s talk about the walls. First off there’s the insulation. Massive piles of the stuff everywhere. Now this is undoubtably a very good thing. We have bitter experience of just how cold that Chapel can get. And how long it could take to heat up (about a week actually!) I have been mithering our architect about getting a fancier heating system with remote controls and all that jazz. He keeps telling me not to worry. With the place fully insulated, the boiler (just a domestic model) should heat up the whole building in about ten minutes he reckons. I’m growing to love my insulation, especially once it all gets covered up.

And then there’s Neil. Neil works for our electrical sub-contractor and he is working on 'first fix' at the moment (well—for all I know he’s now on second, third or fourth fix). What I do know is that Neil has got a lot of cables to try and shove into the walls of this building. Starting with power of course. But then there’s data as well; Cat 6 everywhere so you can connect up computers as well as all kinds of other things that you seem to be able to connect using Cat 6 these days (the security system, CCTV, the phones, even the projectors). But it doesn’t stop there. We’ve got DMX cables to control the stage lighting system and HD-SDI (that’s R59 rather than R6 if you’re bothered) for the remote controlled camera set-up in Studio 3. And I haven’t even mentioned the audio cabling yet…

Eleven thousand nine hundred and fourteen metres of the stuff. I'm not kidding—twelve kilometres worth of audio cables are going into that lovely little chapel (seven and a half miles in old money). Indeed if we laid it out end to end, then I reckon Ed could just about stay at home in Bramley with his headphones on and still hear what was happening in the Old Chapel!

And of course the key is making sure we don’t get any of it in the wrong place, or worse still just forget something. We were on site last week (when I took the panoramic photograph) looking around for the speaker placements in Studio 3. There they were on the walls, with little white power cables poking out next to them. But there seemed to be something amiss! Later that day I ordered another 300 metres...of Van Damme studio grade speaker cable. Definitely over twelve kilometres now. 

It’s the little things eh!


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