UDX Conference and UDX Gallery, Tokyo
Akihabara UDX opened in Tokyo’s high-tech Akihabara district in 2006, with restaurants, shops, conference rooms, an event space, theater, clinic, parking, and more. Its all-embracing array of functions and spaces has made it a new Akihabara symbol. In May 2017, 11 years after the complex’s initial opening, the UDX Conference rental meeting rooms on the 6th floor and the UDX Gallery event space on the 4th floor were renovated and updated with the installation of five Yamaha TF1 digital mixing consoles and two Yamaha MRX7-D signal processors. To learn about the system and the process that led to adopting Yamaha equipment for the installation, we spoke to Mr. Takuya Akasaka of INFIELD Inc., the company that operates the facility, and Mr. Eiji Kawashima of ESPATECHNO,Co.,Ltd. the company responsible for the audio/video system.
Please begin by describing UDX Conference and UDX Gallery for us.
UDX Conference is a formal rental conference room, and UDX Gallery is a large event space. UDX Conference covers an area of about 350 square meters with a ceiling height of 2.85 meters. UDX Gallery is 725 square meters in area with a ceiling height of about 4 meters.
How are UDX Conference and UDX Gallery normally used?
UDX Conference is used for seminars, workshops, and, of course, conferences. UDX Gallery is used for a wide variety of events including exhibits, presentations, seminars, and even catered receptions.
We understand that a goal of the renovation was to move to a digital system. Was the previous system all analog?
Both video and audio were all analog prior to the renovation. The video system did not support HDMI input or a 16:9 aspect ratio. But since the facility is in Akihabara, customers expect the most advanced technology. It was mostly customer demand that led to the renovation, and we decided to implement the most advanced digital technology available.
Before the renovation the audio system was based around a single analog mixer, and rooms were combined or divided by patching through an analog patch bay. If audio adjustments were required in a room where the mixer was not located, staff would have to access the mixer even if it was in a room where another event was in progress.
We were continually making pre-event line checks in order to avoid such situations as much as possible, and that made day-to-day operation quite labor intensive. Now that we have installed a Dante digital audio network, patching for room combinations or divisions can be done instantaneously and assuredly at the press of a button.
Tell us about the new TF1 and MRX7-D system.
There are six UDX conference rooms, and three of those rooms are now equipped with TF1 consoles. All three TF1 consoles are connected to the MRX7-D in the lounge area rack via the Dante network. Three room combination presets have been created to allow instantaneous switchover via the MRX7-D: Room A+B+C is Scene 01, Room A+B with C independent is Scene 02, and all three rooms operating independently is Scene 03. The UDX Gallery setup is similar, with TF1 consoles in the Type S and Type N rooms connected to the MRX7-D via Dante, and preset scenes that allow the audio system to be quickly reconfigured as required.
Have you received any feedback from customers regarding the TF1?
It is our customers who actually use the equipment. If operation is difficult, even if all of the required functionality is available, they will not want to come back a second or third time. We provide orientations on how to use the equipment before our customers actually use the facilities, and have thus far not seen any cases where a customer was confused or unable to operate the system. The touch panel is particularly easy to understand and use.
Another advantage is that the user account function makes it possible to prevent unwanted changes to specified controls. We can set up user accounts so that access to parameters that should not be changed is blocked for outside users.