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Beat the Buzz: turn URY Digital

A project by: University Radio York ((URY))


WE RAISED £2,566

from 59 donors

This project received pledges on Fri 19 Jun 2015
Plagued by poor sound quality and old analogue equipment we finally want to beat the buzz and turn URY Digital

Hi! We are raising money to Beat the Buzz and turn URY's audio path digital. This will give our listeners higher audio quality and enable URY to be at the forefront of technological innovation for student radio.

This project would replace some of the oldest components in URY which are beginning to degrade, creating an audible buzz on all of our output. We want to not only replace this equipment, but fully upgrade to digital audio.

Who are URY?

  • University Radio York is the student radio station for the University of York. We are run by students, for students.

  • We provide a platform to students to try out radio broadcasting, have fun, hone their skills and perhaps continue into the broadcast industry - as many of our alumni have done.

  • We are the oldest legal independent broadcaster in the UK, at very nearly 50 years old, and throughout that time have been innovators in the field of broadcast technology.

Our Story

URY broadcast 24/7 in term time, with member’s shows normally from 9am-3am. For many years, URY has been plagued by a mixed frequency buzz on the output, which many engineering teams have tried to find and kill, with little success. A lot of members use recordings of their shows to put towards portfolios for further education or jobs in broadcast. However, due to the fundamental connections within URY, this buzz makes it to the audio logs.

In quieter songs, listeners often message in asking why there is buzzing on the stream. Furthermore, recent feedback from the Student Radio Awards judges mentioned the detrimental effect it has on the entries, for which URY is often one of the most decorated stations.

We have already started on this project, thanks to previous grant applications, our most recent grant has enabled us to partially replace the links between our studios and transmission site, and whilst this has improved matters, it is not a robust solution and was mainly put into effect due to one piece of key equipment dieing completely.

This funding will allow us to finally finish the project and for all our members to see the benefit of it, let’s Beat the Buzz, and turn URY Digital.

How are we going to spend your money?

This money raised will go directly on improvements to the studio, linking our two studios, production office and transmission site with digital audio links by using Focusrite Rednet. This means instead of unreliable and fragile lengths of cable, susceptible to all sorts of interference, the audio is sent instantly over a network. Installing this zero-latency IP system would be a first for any student station in the UK.

We hope that by bringing our audio connections up to a higher, modern, digital standard, we can not only beat the buzz, but significantly improve the quality of URY’s broadcasting. Most importantly, it would last, without the regular repairs needed to the analogue equipment it should save the society repair costs for the significant future, helping us to continue to grow and do what is best for our members.

The funding will impart all members of the society, improving the audio quality and enabling easier set-up for sessions, special events and outside broadcasts or for specific programs.

So please help us to continue making amazing radio, and donate today!

 Our Rednet 2 already in use

Our Goals

Our minimum target will allow us to purchase a Rednet 3 and an audio interface for our transmission site. Enabling us to move our two existing Rednet 2s into the studios, and fully link studio and transmission, removing the analogue interconnects.

With our full target we can have a better set-up in Studio 2 for sessions, and give us more flexibility in our usage of the system for OBs.

With even more funds we can expand the system, and upgrade other parts of our audio path, giving our computers new audio interfaces that can fully utilise the audio network, create a dedicated OB system, who knows!  We have secured quotes from Focusrite for the equipment and are excited about the improvements that will be possible with your help, 

Give to us and we'll give back to you

We have a variety of fantastic rewards available for you if you donate, have a look through and pick your favourite!

Help us succeed!

Please donate today!

But we don't just need money to help us succeed! We need your help. Even if you can't give us a penny, you can promote our campaign to your friends, colleagues, housemates, family or even random strangers!

We need as many people as possible to be talking about our project. Everywhere you can think of – on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, by email, telephone, in a chat over the fence or on your blog.

In fact, share it with everyone you know as the more people who know about it, the more likely we are to make this work out brilliantly. And remember to follow us to keep up to date with how we are doing!

We’d love it for you to be part of what we do! Please sponsor us today and help turn URY Digital.

1 year, 10 months ago

Hi Everyone!

A new term is just about to start and thanks to the amazing donations from everyone, it'll be a new term where URY is internally going to be digital!

We're currently working on getting all the rewards out to all of you that will be awaiting them (We've tried the t shirts out and they're actually rather flattering) so the others should be arriving soon, then once they're in we'll work on getting them all sent out.

We'll have a longer video update, showing you all our fancy new boxes and where they are in the studio very soon, once term has begun and URY has fully reformed for another year of making radio and of course, having a lot of fun while doing it.

And of course, if you happen to be in York and want a trip down memory lane and check out the studios, just ask!


Alex Light

Station Manager

2 years, 1 month ago

Hi Everyone!

A quick update now we are just over one week in. We’ve blown away by the response we had on launch day, and the word is beginning to get out there to alumni, friends and members.

So please keep sharing, tweeting, and generally pestering everyone you know who might be able to give, or just might have an interest in what we are doing here.

To answer a couple of questions, firstly, why Focusrite? Well, over the past year or two we’ve built up a really good relationship with them, they make really high quality equipment, and two of our recent members work there. This has enabled us to beta test a couple of their newer systems at events they have got involved with. It also means consistency within our setup so things should all work nicely.

Secondly, What’s happened to the studio? In 2011, it was entirely rebuilt thanks to grants from the Alumni Association, which is what has funded us so far in the project, with a new custom built desk, Sonifex S2 broadcast mixer, some fancy touch screens and a few other bits and bobs. Most recently over Easter we started setting up HD cameras for visualisation, and had a bit of a clear out, which is why the room is a little bare at the moment.

If you’d like to come and visit any time, then you are more than welcome, just get in contact.

So to finish, thank you SO much to everyone who has donated and supported so far, but we’re not there yet - so please help spread the word and get all your friends to help too!

Assistant Station Manager

YuFund matchfunded £500

University Radio York ((URY))

generated 127 clicks and caused 7 donations totalling £176.50


generated 172 clicks, donated, and caused 1 donation of £50.00

Amy Wong

caused 1 donation of £50.00

Hattie Patten-Chatfield

generated 151 clicks and caused 1 donation of £10.00

Andy Durant

generated 119 clicks and donated

Stephen Clarke

generated 111 clicks and donated


generated 101 clicks and donated

Ali Woods

generated 98 clicks


generated 82 clicks and donated

Adam Bell

donated £200.00

George Lane

donated £50.00


donated £50.00

Joshua Kerr

donated £50.00

David Lindley

donated £50.00

Caterina Soave

donated £50.00


donated £50.00

Rob Stonehouse

donated £25.00

Darren Webb

donated £25.00

Emily Duff

donated £15.00

Emily Hall

donated £15.00

Ben Bason

donated £15.00

Alan Raison

donated £15.00

Thomas Cheyney

donated £13.50

Anna Henners

donated £10.00


donated £10.00

Andy Lake

donated £10.00

Liz Pascoe

donated £10.00


donated £10.00

John Wakefield

donated £10.00

YUSU DramaSoc

donated £5.00

Greg Ebdon


Matt Gray






Susie Braithwaite

followed this project

Jonathan May

followed this project

Ralitsa Padalska

followed this project and signed up to help

Naomi Gildert

signed up to help

Eiron Page

signed up to help

6 anonymous donations totalling £80.00

Only project creators and their sponsors can post comments.

Keep us updated on how it goes!

URY was easily the best aspect of my 3 years at University and gave me the friends and skills I needed afterwards in the spooky real world. There is something for everyone and that's what makes it the best society on campus! I hope these donations go towards helping a future URY Committee beat the buzz and have just as much fun as we did!

York student media is the best, and URY was my first involvement with it. Loved my brief time there, doing innumerable radio plays and a madcap Friday morning bits-and-pieces show. Best wishes for the future!

Hope it all comes together for you all, so important to keep such a wonderful place going!

Good luck!

If it wasn't for URY I wouldn't have a job. Or any friends. So donating was the least I could do...

I spent a lot of time in throughout uni there, in fact if I wasn't in lectures or bed, I was probably in URY. Good luck with the upgrade, though I'd advise documenting what you install to give your successors a head start! :D Matt (URY's Chief Engineer 2006-2008)

Good luck all! I have fond memories of being on and around URY, hope this goes some way to achieving your goal. Alan (former Head of Computing)

I spent many, many hours during which I should have been either studying or sleeping sat in the orange-walled studio of URY playing CDs and MiniDiscs, talking in between and having a ridiculous amount of fun doing it. My donation to this project is just a small payback for the opportunity to play at being a DJ for three years in the early noughties. Thanks URY! Jonathan Bufton (2002-5).

Best of luck! I have recordings from my old shows with that buzz on them so know how annoying it can be! David :)

Good luck everyone x

URY gave me a dream and you can't put a price on that. Well. I donated £10. But you know. It doesn't FULLY reflect the impact it has had on my life.

Good luck getting the target. A great project for a great society!

Forever grateful for the platform URY gave me. Long may it continue to be a great platform for others. Beat the Buzz!

I think I spent more time at URY than in my faculty! One of the best societies I was ever a part of. Good luck!

URY was the most fun and most rewarding thing I did while at university and I owe the station a great deal. I hope you guys get to go digital. Just make sure to play some good music when you do.

Quite simply one of the best societies at York. All the best, big love. Andy Lake

URY has been more than just a hobby, it has become a passion and seeing this project to completion has become a serious goal, so the station is there for future generations to enjoy and get as much from as I have!

Good luck - good to see URY still going strong.

URY has been one of the best things from my time at Uni. So much fun, so many outrageous times, so many memories!

I've loved my time at URY over the last 3 years.. so here's for going digital!