Two UVU students recently took first place against university students from around the world with their one-of-a-kind mixing board design at the 125th annual Audio Engineering Society’s Student Grammy Award competition held in San Francisco.

The two digital media students, Sean Wolsey of Springville, Utah, and Jeremy Redd of Orem, built a prototype for their built-in microphone amplifier and equalizer circuit-in-one, creating a one-of-a-kind mixing board. This is the second time the two students have placed at the competition.
“Our students are competing against some of the most respected audio programs in the world in this international competition,” said Mike Wisland, professor of digital media at UVU. “This is what makes these awards so significant. We are taking awards away from schools that are significantly more funded than we are.”

Wolsey and Redd were drilled for 45 minutes on their entry and impressed the judges enough with their presentation to come out on top of other students from high-ranking schools. “McGill University in Montreal is one of our biggest competitors. I’ve seen their mixing board and it costs more than our entire digital media program,” Wisland said. “It’s nice to know that it’s not always about the expensive equipment. It’s what you know and how you use it.”

The UVU Department of Digital Media has consistently placed or won in this international competition over the past six years against Banff Center for the Arts, McGill University and New York University, as well as universities from Belgium, Czechoslovakia and Germany. “It has been a great tool to get these students out in the real world and even have their work commented on and ripped apart by the big professionals. You can’t pay for that kind of feedback,” Wisland said.

Other UVU students who participated were Gary Sevison of Orem, Trevor Van Soolen of Salt Lake City, Bryan Sansom of Salt Lake City and James George of Orem. Approximately ten former UVU students were also at the competition competing at the professional level. “It’s quite fun to keep up with the students and what they are doing,” Wisland said. “The funding for this trip goes a long way with these students’ exposure — they just keep coming back.”

The trip was funded by a Perkins Grant from UVU Career & Technical Education.