Proposal

Introduction

Proposal ID 2015-077
Submitted April 22, 2015
Owner ryanv441
Department Husky Union Building
Category Frontier Technology
Funding Status Fully Funded
Metric Score 3.97

Contacts

Primary
  • Name
  • Title
  • Email
  • Phone
  • Mailbox
  • Ryan VanderVegt
  • Building Services Supervisor
  • ryanv441@uw.edu
  • 2065431680
  • UW BOX 352230
Budget
  • Name
  • Title
  • Email
  • Phone
  • Mailbox
  • Jane Mateson
  • Assistant Director of Finance
  • matteson@uw.edu
  • 206 685-7292
  • UW BOX Box 352230
Dean
  • Name
  • Title
  • Email
  • Phone
  • Mailbox
  • Lincoln Johnson
  • Associate Vice President and Director
  • llj@uw.edu
  • 206 221-6323
  • UW Box 352230

Descriptions

Abstract

This proposal is to purchase a Yamaha QL5 digital mixing console and Rio1608-D d remote stage box system for use in the HUB venues to support the growing demands of student programming.

Category Justification

For years the professional audio industry has been dominated by analog technologies. Mixing consoles have grown in size to support the ever expanding number of inputs. Racks of process gear have grown in size to accommodate the needs of performers. Many productions would require several processing racks the size of refrigerators. All of this analog equipment also required crates of cabling to make sure everything could be interconnected which often meant running unsightly cabling across the floor of the venue limiting the usability of the space.

In the 1990’s digital audio experienced a huge surge in the industry as computer processors were better able to handle the processing load required for live audio. The concept of a digital mixer that can accommodate flexible signal routing to eliminate additional cable runs and house multiple signal processing units and replace the refrigerator size racks of equipment was now an attainable goal.

The first series of digital mixing consoles were extremely expensive and difficult to operate leaving them relegated to only the most professional productions. Industry leaders such as Yamaha began to develop new software and design consoles that would be more user friendly. The end result are some of the best mixers ever made. The new digital mixers are easy to use and packed full of digital processing to allow audio engineers extreme flexibility and creative options for mixing professional productions.

The digital mixer is now considered industry standard for professional productions and venues. The Yamaha QL5 represents the leading edge of the digital mixer revolution that combines the linear workflow of a traditional analog console with the flexibility, processing power and connectivity of a modern digital mixer.

Adding this mixer to HUB equipment will bring the HUB up to date with current industry standards and elevate us to a level of technology that our colleagues at the Compton Union Building (CUB) at Washington State University have had for years. It will enable the HUB to support a wider range of student programming in a professional manner and train student sound operators on widely used cutting edge equipment that they will encounter throughout the rest of their careers.

Background

During the HUB remodel in 2010-2012 the building was updated with full range “concert level” sound systems in the Ballroom and Lyceum large event spaces. Much time and consideration was put into the design and placement of the speaker systems to make the spaces sound the best they possibly could. Unfortunately, there was not a great deal of thought given to the operation of these amazing speaker systems and we were left with a mixing and processing system that limits the usability of the space and does not provide the level of sophisticated production techniques required for the events that students are planning and the performers they are bringing to campus.

Every year the HUB hosts hundreds of large events put on by RSO’s and ASUW/GPSS groups. These events range from cultural performances, plays, skits, live concerts, auction fundraisers and fashion shows. All of these programs would benefit greatly from this equipment. It will allow HUB venues to be set up with a greater level of flexibility to accommodate different event formats. It will allow the HUB to provide more professional audio services to the events and provide a smoother experience for all involved. It will also give us the opportunity to continue the HUB’s mission of student development by exposing students to cutting edge technology and helping them learn what it takes to create a professional production.

Benefits to Students and the University

Students at the University of Washington have grown up in a world where they expect high production values at their events and the student community is constantly pushing for new ways to express their creativity though unique events on campus.

The benefits of this digital mixing system are two-fold. First, it will enable the HUB to accommodate more unique student events and programming and provide better solutions to the technical challenges faced when planning student events. Second, it will create an opportunity for student sound operators to learn how to use this equipment, provide technical support for these productions, and experience using cutting edge, industry standard equipment which is a skill set that these students will carry with them though the rest of their professional life.

Having this professionally recognized equipment available at the HUB will also make it easier to attract big name artists and speakers for student centered programming that will provide a unique Husky experience to all students at the University.

Departmental Endorsements

A large component for enhancing the student experience here at UW is providing a proper and professional foundation of tools and support. As a 20 year event planner here on campus who produce 10-15 events a year I always strive to provide the best equipment and sound system baseline for any event that I am involved with. Whether it is a student group performing classical songs from their home country, a well known author speaking to packed ballroom, or popular DJ providing the soundtrack to a group’s social evening, we only get one shot at making a strong and professional impression. Inadequate sound can be a devastating handicap to the look, feel and enjoyment of a public event. When your invited speaker is a Supreme Court justice, a famous author or nationally know activist you really need to know that your logistics are covered and the best quality sound will be provided.

I strongly encourage and support the proposal to purchase a Yamaha QL5 digital mixer. I know that the addition of this mixer will enhance mine and my student’s event planning here in the HUB and will open numerous opportunities to produce top notch, industry standard sound reinforcement for all of the HUB’s events. Please consider approving this request.

Trevor Whiton,
Senior Adviser
Student Activities Office

Installation Timeline

The equipment would be ordered in early July. Installation would occur in August, if not sooner, with sound testing and student training to follow installation.

It is our hope to use the equipment immediately for many major student events that occur over fall and thereafter during the rest of the academic year.

Resources Provided by Department

The HUB employs a full-time event staff including a full time Audio Visual technician that will maintain and supply training on the use of this equipment to the students who will run the equipment.

The equipment will be integrated into existing HUB systems that are required for full operation of the equipment however the equipment is also flexible enough to be used in other ways that are also supported by existing HUB equipment.

The HUB employs 35 student employees who set up audio visual equipment and operate events. Student employees at the HUB will receive hands-on training with this equipment and those who are interested will be trained in the full operation of this equipment as it pertains to running sound at events in the HUB.

The HUB will provide storage space for all the equipment, inventory the equipment per University policy, and fund insurance for the equipment to safeguard the investment.

Access Restrictions (if any)

This equipment will be limited to use in the HUB as it will be used in direct support of events hosted in the HUB.

The equipment will only be operated by trained student employees as successful operation of the equipment requires basic training.

Use of this equipment will be free for student groups and ASUW/GPSS entities that wish to use it for their event programming in the HUB.

Student Endorsements

I work at the HUB as a sound tech. Having a digital sound board would make performance sound events easier to staff and allow for a higher quality event. Currently if there are multiple acts or bands, we sound check them and set their mix, but we have to change the mix manually for each band. A digital board would allow us to save each bands mix and then all we have to do is switch between them. This means a band would get exactly the mix they set during sound check for their show. This is really cool because it would allow us to do events with more bands or big name bands which would help the HUB be a real venue for bigger bands which I think is good for everyone. A digital board is easier to set up, easier to use, simpler to train new students how to use, and allows for all around more professional execution of events of all sizes adding prestige to the UW.

Digital boards are industry standard so if we want to get mainstream bands and events we need professional grade equipment. The HUB already has a digital sound system so it would work well with the equipment we already have. I think a digital board would be a very good addition to the HUB, increasing our capabilities, attracting bigger bands, and allowing us to do everything we already do sound wise better.

Alex Kubiniec
Senior, Atmospheric Sciences
HUB Event Services Lead
HUB Event Services Sound Technician

I am speaking as both a student and an employee of the University of Washington when I say that I fully endorse the purchase of a Yamaha QL5 and it’s peripherals for use by the event services staff members of the Husky Union Building. I would like to express my stake in this prospect from both aforementioned perspectives, concerning my professional and academic life.

First off, as a student, I see this purchase of equipment as a learning opportunity. The amount I have learned as a student at UW, inside and outside of the classroom, has been invaluable to me. My interactions with people and the opportunities that have been opened to me would not have been possible if I was not a part of this community. I view the opportunity to use this equipment as a crucial tool for learning something my coworkers and I are passionate about but do not have traditional, educational resources to take advantage of. I personally hope to one day pursue a career in the world of professional audio, combining the knowledge and experience from my formal education with one of my life long passions. This is extremely hard to do without years of hands-on and/or real-world experience and training, which is customarily not offered by a vast majority of universities. This QL5 for me personally would mean the opportunity to gain a meaningful understanding and experience with the highest-quality, industry standard equipment available today, arming me with the skills I need to keep moving forward.

As an employee of the University and the HUB specifically, my coworkers and I work our hardest to provide quality customer service for all of our clients. From my position specifically, this means seamlessly integrating any of our clients’ audio needs into their event with minimal to no extra work on their end. While I am happy to fulfill almost any request made by a client, our current analog-digital hybrid system is somewhat complex and requires more troubleshooting time than it necessarily should. The purchase of the QL5 system would mean a completely digital, robust, streamlining addition to my coworkers and my workflow, affording us the opportunity to make our customers’ events run smoother than we are currently equipped to do. I sincerely believe that the modular nature of this new system would allow us to expand our capability, and leave our clients satisfied in a timelier manner.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Dillon Byron
Junior, Pre Major (Arts & Sciences)
HUB Facilities Service Assistant - Sound Technician

I began working at the HUB at the beginning of my Sophomore year, a month before the grand opening, as an Event Service Staff. I originally wanted a more technically-inclined job that matched with my Electrical Engineering coursework, but I thought working at a brand new HUB would be exciting. Quickly, I discovered the job had much more technical work than I previously thought, so I immediately gravitated towards the electronic systems used for large events. This became a smooth transition to becoming a HUB sound technician, where I was in control of a complex sound system using a 32-channel analog mixer. I had never used an audio mixer before, but I knew that being a sound technician was my ideal on-campus job.

As a result of my tenure as a HUB sound technician, it afforded me a better practical understanding of my Electrical Engineering coursework, a better appreciation for live sound, and a broader view of music.

The QL5 digital mixer is far superior to the analog board the HUB currently uses. It is also a better learning tool due to many useful and imaginative features. Currently, digital mixers, such as the QL5, are an industry standard. Any student operating one in a positive environment, such as the HUB, can find employment after graduation pertaining to the digital mixing knowledge he or she acquired.

Helping purchase the QL5 digital mixer will not only increase the sound quality of large events at the HUB, it will also provide audio knowledge and future employment opportunities to the student staff.

Christian Carpio
Senior, Electrical Engineering
HUB Student Building Manger - Sound Technician

As a student at the UW, I've found that the HUB is, without a doubt, the place to go when it comes to hosting activities of all shapes and sizes. Being an employee at the HUB as well, I have seen first hand several of the extraordinary events that have taken place here, bringing together countless numbers of other UW students, as well as other members of the UW community. Through both working these events, and participating in some myself, I have seen the amount of work that goes into making these events successful.

However, a major aspect of these activities that is overlooked is the audio and video setup that so many of these activities rely on. Looking specifically at the audio aspect of these events, these setups can become extremely complicated especially for events that involve large performances, or multiple individuals speaking at one time. These complicated setups can put a lot of stress on the Sound Technician working at these events, considering a major aspect of the events success is riding on this individual. This stress can be alleviated by providing the Sound Technician with a more advanced sound board, allowing the Sound Technician to organize setups better and remove possibilities for errors. The QL5 is a perfect example of a sound board that would allow a Sound Technician to organize their mixes and save them, assign and label specific inputs, among several other incredibly helpful functions.

Ultimately, seeing as the budget for this board would come from the STF fee payed by students, it is the students who should reap the benefits of this investment. By providing the Sound Technician a more advanced sound board, such as the QL5, the thousands of events that take place in the HUB can be operated much more smoothly, and the many students and student groups who use these spaces can be more creative with their events, given the flexibility that the QL5 offers in creating mixes for their events. Given the number of students that take advantage of spaces in the HUB and require assistance from the Sound Technicians, it is clear that purchasing a sound board like the QL5 would be a smart investment that would keep the HUB up-to-date for the foreseeable future.

Jaron Bruke
Sophomore, Electrical engineering
HUB Event Services Shift Lead - Sound Technician

Items

Group Funded Item Unit price Quantity Subtotal
None

Yamaha QL5 digital mixer

$12,110.84 1 $12,110.84
Description

32 fader digital mixing console with built in Dante networking

Justification

Yamaha digital mixers have become the industry standards. Core features and performance, including natural sound supported by sonically superb internal processing capabilities, operation that easily adapts to the demands of just about any working environment, and built-in Dante networking that facilitates flexible system configuration, are all key elements of the QL series mixing consloes. QL series consoles offer all-in-one mixing, processing, and routing capability for small to medium scale live sound, corporate speech events, installations, and much more.

Yamaha QL series digital mixing consoles represent a new level of refinement. They offer an evolved experience in accessible mixing, plus sonic purity with sound shaping capabilities that will give the most imaginative engineer unprecedented creative freedom. The QL series embodies the leading standards in live sound in their most advanced, most expressive form

Yamaha RIO1608-D

$3,522.73 2 $7,045.46
Description

16ch dante digital network remote I/O mic pre amps

Justification

R Series I/O racks employ Dante network audio protocol for exceptional flexibility and freedom in setup and placement, while delivering natural, musical sound that brings out the full sonic potential of mixing consoles and other system components. They also allow redundancy for the utmost reliability in any application.

Digital remote I/O is key to allowing flexibility for set up of the sound system in HUB venues. This system eliminates messy cable runs and allows flexibility in set up of the sound system

Gator case for QL5

$1,003.91 1 $1,003.91
Description

Case for Yamaha CL5 with doghouse and casters

Justification

A high quality case is needed to protect and transport the mixing console.

This case will add years to the life of the console and is essential for safe storage of the console when not in use

Shipping

$165.42 1 $165.42
Description

Shipping fees

Justification

Shipping fees for large item(s)

Tax

$1,951.25 1 $1,951.25
Description

Tax

Justification

Washington State sales tax

Total requested: $22,276.88

Total funded: $22,276.88

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