Contrary to poular belief this is the first mixing desk that was installed at the Virgin Manor Studios in Kidlington on the outskirts of Oxford.

It was replaced by the Helios desk after a few years, but this is the desk that was used for Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells and many other early Virgin Music releases.

In the late 80s I was asked to locate the desk so that Mike Oldfield could recreate the guitar sound that he used on Tubular Bells. Eventually I tracked it down and found it in bits in a barn (complete with traces of straw).

I mounted two of the input modules and one of the stereo compressors in a 19" rack for Mike to use and then have had the rest of the desk sitting in my shed for 30 years, always meaning to renovate it.

The desk had been fully dismantled when I found it and the main motherboard had been attacked with a hacksaw.

I have decided that the time is now ripe to revisit this as a project.

The desk was built by Walsall Timing Developments who went on to become Audio Developments, a company that still is operating,and is based on a smaller design from the late 60s. The schematics I have are dated from 1968.

It had 20 input modules and 4 stereo compressor / limiters. There were 16 multitrack busses and monitoring was acheived on a small mix-down section.

As Mike has 2 input modules and one of the stereo compressors I am left with 18 modules and 3 compressors to renovate.

Richard Barrie, a recording studio technician with more than 40 years experience, can be contacted at

info@richardbarrie.com               www.richardbarrie.com