Thursday, October 16, 2014

Best of AES 2014: Mackie DL32R


GC Pro has returned from a tremendously successful 2014 Audio Engineering Society (AES) show, held at the Los Angeles Convention Center not very far from our headquarters in Westlake Village, CA. We'll be taking a closer look at a number of products that we found especially interesting, useful, or just plain cool. Here's a new product that encompasses all three qualities: the Mackie DL32R 32-channel wireless digital mixer with iPad control.

Everything from Anywhere
We live in amazing times, especially if you work in pro audio and live sound. Take the Mackie DL32R... a 32-channel digital mixer that you control via your iPad. But wait; it's also a direct-to-drive multitrack recorder/playback tool. But wait; it's also jam-packed with digital signal processing. But wait; the whole thing is contained in a 3U rackmount enclosure. So while we were a bit skeptical toward Mackie's "Control everything from anywhere" claim with the DL32R, we have to admit: that's pretty much exactly what it does, and now your live sound venue, house of worship, or studio can do it too.

32-channel wireless digital mixer
The DL32R starts with 32 Onyx+ recallable mic pres with wireless control. It's got the professional interfacing you need, including 14 fully-assignable XLR outputs and a stereo AES digital output. All settings on the DL32R can be recalled for future use. Its 3U rackmount design is perfect for both touring or a permanent installation, and it has an expansion card slot.

Wireless Mixing: the FOH mix position is now wherever you are
You can ditch that cable snake, because you're not going to be tied down to anything with the DL32R. The reason? It operates wirelessly, giving you complete control from your iPad. Need to walk around the room and check null points and dead spots? Carry your iPad and adjust your mix while you move through the room. Need to set up a personal monitor mix? You can use multiple iPads, iPhones, or iPod touches (up to 10 separate iOS devices at once), and let the performers tweak their own IEM or stage wedge mix. Now your only question is where to put that mixer (answer: wherever you want).

Multi-track recording & playback
The DL32R offers 32x32 USB 2.0 audio interfaces for Mac or PC, as well as 24x24 recording/playback direct to USB 2.0 hard drive. Do you get wireless control over all direct-to-disk recording/playback functions via the iPad? Of course you do. And how can you use this capability? How about recording your live shows for later mixdown? Or perhaps playing back intermission music and backing tracks? Or doing virtual sound checks to tune the venue before the band has even arrived? This capability might allow the DL32R to be the centerpiece of your studio. You can even use Mac or PC audio plug-ins in a live environment.

DSP? Yeah baby!
The DL32R is packed with digital signal processing and flexible routing that you'll need for live sound, including 36 input channels with 4-band PEQ + HPF, gate and compression. You also get 32 stereo-linkable input channels, 28 output busses with 4-band PEQ + HPF/LPF, 31-band GEQ, comp/limiter and alignment delay, and much more.

Master Fader control app
Your main way of connecting your ears and your brain to the DL32R is via the Master Fader app, an intuitive and easy-to-master app for your iPad. You get fast navigation with view groups and overview, and a quick setup with tons of factory and user-definable presets. You can limit access as needed to prevent any unwanted adjustments (like, by the guy who wants to use your iPad to update Twitter). And like any app, Mackie can quickly offer updates via the Apple App Store.

About the only thing you need to provide to take advantage of the DL32R is an iPad and a Wi-Fi router. Along with those, you really can control everything from anywhere. Well, reasonably speaking. Don't try and mix a show in Cleveland from Chicago. That's just bad form.

GC Pro Knows Live Sound!
From bars and nightclubs to restaurants and houses of worship, GC Pro's representatives are experts on helping you put together the ultimate live sound system within your budget. The Mackie DL32R seems like an excellent addition to just about any live sound environment, so contact us now and get more information, or pre-order it today!

Best of AES 2014: Neumann U 47 fet Collectors Edition


GC Pro has returned from a tremendously successful 2014 Audio Engineering Society (AES) show, held at the Los Angeles Convention Center not very far from our headquarters in Westlake Village, CA. We'll be taking a closer look at a number of products that we found especially interesting, useful, or just plain cool. The first is the new U 47 fet from one of the most respected and venerable names in audio technology: Neumann.

The History
The Neumann U 47 is perhaps the most respected professional studio microphone in history. Produced from 1949-1965, the original U 47 was a tube-based microphone, and its legendary status was cemented by the recordings of an entire generation of singers and bands. From 1972-1986, Neumann manufactured a new transistor-powered version of the U 47 which also was tremendously popular, and became the mic of choice for such varied artists as AC/DC, Kate Bush, Bruce Springsteen, R.E.M., the Pretenders, a-ha, Dire Straits, Metallica, and many others. More than a vocal microphone, the U 47 fet gained an excellent reputation for handling the low end on sources like kick drums, basses, and even guitar amp cabinets. Since that time frame in the mid-80s, there have been many mics that have tried to emulate the distinctive response of the U 47 fet, with varying degrees of success.

The Return
Launched at AES, the new U 47 fet Collectors Edition was created by Neumann's design team, who went back to the original production documents and schematics for this modern classic. As a mic designed for collectors, it includes a special wooden case, and a certificate of authenticity with each mic. As you'd suspect, the new U 47 is a condenser microphone with a set cardioid direction, and uses fet 80 circuitry like its predecessor. Neumann has once again turned to the classic K 47 large-diaphragm capsule that was used in both the original tube and fet-based version of the mic. This K 47 capsule offers well-known the pleasing bump in the range above 2kHz which seems to work sparkly magic on everything that runs through it.

The U 47 fet also includes a low-cut filter at 140Hz to get rid of unwanted rumble, and a -10db pad to work with high SPL sources. Finally, it has the integrated bracket that's made it so recognizable in studios around the world, as well as the classic nickel finish.

GC Pro: Your Classic (and New Classic) Microphone Resource
The new Neumann U 47 fet is already destined to continue the legendary status of its forerunners, and GC Pro will have a limited number of these top-tier studio mics available soon. To set up a demo, or to inquire about any of our wide range of world-class mics in the GC Pro mic locker, contact your GC Pro representative now.



Wednesday, October 8, 2014

GC Pro Helps DCP Productions Take Commercials On The Road

The interior of the mobile rig for DCP Productions, outfitted with gear sourced through GC Pro.

— Boutique Baltimore commercial production house created a mobile production rig that, like their six-suite studio, was built with both equipment and expertise from GC Pro —

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CA, September 22, 2014 — Don Cherel, the Founder and Director/Producer with DCP Productions, created the iconic Motorcycle Money Man for commercial client GEICO, along with spots for Planet Fitness, the Washington Nationals MLB team and the Washington Capitals NHL team. Now DCP Productions, like their mobile GEICO creation, itself is ready to go on the road, with a flypack rig that will let it shoot, record, edit and mix on location, vastly increasing the boutique shop’s productivity while giving it access to new sights, sounds and talent. And that road rig, like DCP Productions’ six-room video and audio production facility in Baltimore, was sourced with a combination of technology and expertise provided by Guitar Center Professional (GC Pro), the outside sales division of Guitar Center that focuses on the needs of professional users.

Eight-year-old DCP Productions’ business model is predicated on Cherel’s “concept to completion” notion, which enables clients to work with one entity for concept creation; original music creation; and pre-, field- and post-production. “By simply eliminating the layers of multiple companies in the advertising development process, DCP is able to create content and transform it into quality advertising media much less expensively and faster than traditional ad agencies,” Cherel explains. “That savings is passed on to the client.”

The new mobile rig, which tackles its first official project in July for the next GEICO campaign, is made up of two 12-space racks that hold gear including a Universal Audio® Apollo high-resolution interface, an Avid Pro Tools system with Thunderbolt connectivity, an Avid MC Mix controller, an API 550 EQ, Crane Song Falcon compressor and two Rupert Neve Designs 542 tape emulators.

All of this equipment was sourced through GC Pro Account Manager Mitch Shaivitz at GC Pro’s Baltimore-area office. The mobile rig’s make-up grew from Shaivitz’s conversations with Cherel about what the producer/director wanted to accomplish. “I called up Mitch and said, here’s what I want to do,’ and he came back with equipment suggestions that matched our workflow at the studio,” Cherel explains. “This mix of equipment and systems really make the mobile rig an extension of the studio — our workflow remains the same on the road and in the studio, so the end product is totally consistent.”

“Every product choice was well thought-out,” says Cherel. “With the exception of cameras and lenses, virtually every piece of equipment we have, in the studio and on the road, came through GC Pro. “They have the products and the expertise. But mostly, they get what we’re trying to do.”

For more information, please visit www.gcpro.com.

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About Guitar Center Professional/Guitar Center
Founded in 2001, Guitar Center Professional is the outside sales division of Guitar Center that focuses on the needs of professional users. Its clientele includes recording studios, audio engineers, producers, recording and touring musicians, live sound venues, post production facilities and more. Emphasizing extraordinary individualized service via local account managers, GC Pro offers expert consultation and a comprehensive selection of the world’s finest equipment for music and audio professionals. More information on GC Pro can be found by visiting www.gcpro.com.

GC Pro Chosen to Design Extensive A/V Setup at New Flagship Guitar Center Store in Manhattan’s Times Square

The Platinum Club at Guitar Center’s new flagship Times Square store.

— Guitar Center looks in-house to its professional division, who helped design and install the A/V complement for the new superstore, with the help of GC Pro Affiliate Program member Malvicino Design Group —

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CA, September 15, 2014 — Guitar Center recently opened the doors on its new flagship location in New York City’s Times Square with a star-studded opening weekend and a level of spectacle right at home in what is arguably Manhattan’s busiest and most conspicuous district. Guitar Center’s 262nd retail location is an ultra-modern musical instrument and technology center covering over 28,000 square feet. In-store elements include Guitar Center’s Platinum Club (showcasing high-end luxury guitars, along with a live performance venue and control room); a Fender custom shop where unique guitars are featured; a full DJ experience department; a boutique pedal selection in a stunning 360-degree display; and 28,000 square feet of guitars, drums, keys, DJ, recording, live sound and more. The store also now serves as the permanent home to two legendary pieces of rock history: Eric Clapton’s iconic “Blackie” Fender Stratocaster and ES-335.

For the complicated task of helping design, manage and install the A/V components to meet the needs of such a technology-specific space, Guitar Center sought an organization with the right expertise to get the job done, on budget and on time – luckily, they had one in-house: Guitar Center Professional (GC Pro), the outside sales division of Guitar Center that focuses on the needs of professional users. Throughout the project, GC Pro worked with Affiliate Program member Horacio Malvicino and his firm Malvicino Design Group, who designed and installed the detailed A/V setup.

“Guitar Center management asked to have GC Pro involved in order to ensure a proper customer experience from an audio-visual point of view,” stated GC Pro Vice President Rick Plushner. “We were honored and excited to be asked. Times Square is the crossroads of the world, where people from all over the planet come to visit and shop. Horacio came in early on in the project and knew exactly what we were trying to accomplish, and he designed the backbone and the technology infrastructure in a superb way.”

A multi-screen Panasonic video display graces the outside of the building on 44th St., composed of screens sourced through GC Pro. Upon entering, visitors begin to descend an escalator, immersed in the sights and sounds of an excited crowd waiting for their star to take the stage. A complement of QSC speakers and a Q-Sys system, along with a massive LED display screen, helped create this effect. “It’s as if you’re a rock star coming into a stadium to perform, and so we were asked to help create that experience,” stated Plushner.

Within the store is the Platinum Club, which features a live stage and full control room for multi-track A/V recording and production. GC Pro furnished an Avid S3L console and JBL monitors/loudspeakers for the live space, with an Avid S6 console in the control room. “There’s a whole host of digital and analog outboard gear in there as well, with proper monitoring,” added Plushner. “It’s a real control room to do proper recording, and we’re excited about what opportunities that’s going to bring for the company.”

Malvicino stated, “I’ve been lucky to work with GC Pro on several major design and installation jobs over the years, and it has been a great experience for me personally and professionally. This Times Square GC project presented some new opportunities and challenges, and I’m proud to have been able to help bring make their vision a reality.”

For more information, please visit www.gcpro.com.

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About Guitar Center Professional/Guitar Center
Founded in 2001, Guitar Center Professional is the outside sales division of Guitar Center that focuses on the needs of professional users. Its clientele includes recording studios, audio engineers, producers, recording and touring musicians, live sound venues, post production facilities and more. Emphasizing extraordinary individualized service via local account managers, GC Pro offers expert consultation and a comprehensive selection of the world’s finest equipment for music and audio professionals. More information on GC Pro can be found by visiting www.gcpro.com.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Free Pass to the AES Show from GC Pro


The 137th AES Convention is gearing up to take place October 9-12 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, located in the revitalized L.A. Live district. Returning to Los Angeles after nearly 12 years, the AES Convention will bring together the world’s largest gathering of audio professionals. Attendees will be offered opportunities to hear from top audio industry figures while also sharing in the latest research and technology information through informative papers, tutorials, workshops and special events.

GC Pro would like you to be our guest at this exciting event! Simply click the link below, fill out the registration form, and then come join us at AES in Los Angeles, October 9-12. Exhibits-Plus badges are your FREE ticket to getting into the AES Exhibition. PLUS you can attend all of the following:

• Special Events
• Project Studio Expo
• Live Sound Expo

Once you're at the AES Show, GC Pro invites you to come to our GC Pro/Focusite Demo Theater, a special room where we'll be showing off the very latest in audio technologies, including hands-on demos with the Slate RAVEN. We look forward to seeing you there!

CLICK HERE FOR YOUR FREE AES PASS

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

GC Pro Helps Banker-Turned-Metal Maven Mitch Cox Realize His Vision at Conclave Studios

The console and engineer control center for New York City’s new Conclave Studios, with a gear setup designed by Malvicino Design Group and outfitted by GC Pro. Photo courtesy of Malvicino Design Group. © 2014.

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CA, July 22, 2014 — New York City has lots of recording studios — the Williamsburg district of Brooklyn alone reportedly has 60 or more. But Mitch Cox hadn’t found one that catered to heavy metal and hard rock the way the aspiring record producer and entrepreneur wanted to, so he set out to build one. “When you’re designing a studio for maximum flexibility, to try to please everyone, you make design and equipment choices based on that, and those are inevitably compromises,” says Cox, “In this studio [Conclave Studios], we made design and equipment choices around the classic metal sounds.” Assisting Cox in his vision has been Guitar Center Professional (GC Pro), the outside sales division of Guitar Center that focuses on the needs of professional users. Conclave Studios came about around a meeting between Cox and Milo Pullman, a GC Pro Account Manager working out of Guitar Center’s Union Square store location. After listening to Cox’s vision for his studio and his business, Pullman suggested a meeting with Horacio Malvicino, a noted recording studio designer and a GC Pro Affiliate Program member. Within a matter of weeks, what had been Cox’s vision suddenly had a team to build it. After several months of searching, they found a former recording studio on the far edge of Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, in a massive, glass-walled building overlooking the Hudson River.

Horacio Malvicino – whose Malvicino Design Group has done nearly two dozen studio designs as an Affiliate of GC Pro, including Live’s new Think Loud residential facility in York, Pennsylvania, the newly completed Seven Pillars near Abilene, Texas, and Noisematch Studios in Miami, saw Conclave Studios as a unique task – “It’s always a challenge designing a facility in a big city, where isolation and sound control are critical. Especially,” he adds, “if you’re talking about heavy metal music.” The overarching lesson that Malvicino took away from his research comes down to a single word: diffusion. Custom-made diffusors line the wall and ceiling of the 22x14-foot recording room, which also features acoustical clouds suspended from the ceiling with absorptive inserts, controlling flutter reflections between the floor and ceiling; the room also has reversible panels that have absorptive material on one side and reflective surfaces on the others, providing variable acoustics that let the room’s inherent reverb time vary between 0.7 and 0.95 seconds. (Not a huge range, says Malvicino, but enough for the type of music the room is intended for.)

The tracking room at New York City’s new Conclave Studios, with a gear setup designed by Malvicino Design Group and outfitted by GC Pro. Photo courtesy of Malvicino Design Group. © 2014.

As Malvicino worked on the studio’s design, he also consulted with Cox, Lagudi and Pullman on what technologies to include in the studio. While there’s gear in there that any recording pro would appreciate – including Focusrite and Midas mic preamps, dbx and Empirical Labs compressors, and a microphone closet filled with names like Sennheiser, AKG, Neumann and Audio-Technica – there’s plenty of digital real estate, too, including an Avid Pro Tools HD Native system and plug-ins from Waves, Antares, Sonnox and Metric-Halo. And although they looked at vintage consoles, the team decided on something more modern for the 23x18-foot control room: a 24-channel Neve Genesys desk with 1073 pre-amps, 1084 EQs and Encore automation with Total Recall. Monitoring is handled by two Genelec 1037C Tri-amplified Monitors for mains and Yamaha NS10's for nearfields.

Cox, who is driven and was tracking within days after the facility’s completion, cites the studio’s dbx and Empirical Labs compressors, which he says give metal and hard rock drums and guitars their edge. Conclave Studios offers Cox’s interpretation of a metalhead’s dream signal chain, starting with a Peavey 6505 amp head through a Mesa Boogie 4x12 cabinet. But he’s not dogmatic about it. “We just want to become the center of metal here,” he states. “It’s not about making money; it’s about the music, so we’re here to accommodate whatever these artists need and what best suits their sound.”

Cox appreciates the input he’s gotten from Pullman and GC Pro. “They’re exceptionally knowledgeable and flexible, but what I especially like is that they stay with you,” he says. “They understand that the process of building a studio from the ground up is a long-term relationship and requires patience. If someone’s just trying to sell you a product, that’s not going to work. So much of this was working through all the details and nuances of the design. That’s what Milo and Horacio did.”

For more information, please visit www.gcpro.com.

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About Guitar Center Professional/Guitar Center
Founded in 2001, Guitar Center Professional is the outside sales division of Guitar Center that focuses on the needs of professional users. Its clientele includes recording studios, audio engineers, producers, recording and touring musicians, live sound venues, post production facilities and more. Emphasizing extraordinary individualized service via local account managers, GC Pro offers expert consultation and a comprehensive selection of the world’s finest equipment for music and audio professionals. More information on GC Pro can be found by visiting www.gcpro.com.

GC Pro Helps Faith Church Make a Quick Move

The new Faith Church location in Hammond, Indiana, featuring acoustical treatment and other gear sourced through GC Pro. Photo by Ryan Nigh, GC Pro. © 2014

— NW Indiana’s multi-site Faith Church was moving to a new location on a tight deadline, and GC Pro helped the church convert a reverberant rented gym into a highly intelligible worship space —

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CA, July 15, 2014 — Faith Church was originally founded in 1963 in South Holland, Illinois, and like many growing churches these days, its expansions have taken the form of additional “satellite” locations instead of ever-larger main church buildings. They moved to Dyer, Indiana, in 2002 and launched their first satellite location in September 2007 in Cedar Lake, Indiana. A second satellite launched in the spring of 2009 in Valparaiso, Indiana, and two years later on Easter 2011, they opened a campus in Hammond, Indiana; in September 2012, Faith Church crossed over the state line to launch its campus in Beecher, Illinois. Most recently, the church changed locations in Hammond, moving from its original rental space there to a larger one at the Hammond Academy of Science and Technology, where they have contracted to use the school’s gymnasium on Sundays for services. “We have six locations now, and while four of them are in buildings that we own, in two of them we have a rental model, which we find works well at a time when construction costs are rising,” explains Bryan Ford, Faith Church’s Technical Operations Manager. “It gives us a lot more flexibility as we grow.”

Like most gyms, the Hammond Academy’s acoustics are highly reverberant, the opposite of the kind of extremely intelligible environment needed for worship services. Faith Church turned to Guitar Center Professional (GC Pro), the outside sales division of Guitar Center that focuses on the needs of professional users, for a solution. GC Pro brought in Accutronics LLC, a regional acoustical consultancy and A/V installer, which along with GC Pro Account Manager Ryan Nigh evaluated the location’s acoustical needs. GC Pro then specified, and Accutronics designed the layout for and installed, nearly 100 Auralex ELITE ProPanel and Cloud ProPanel acoustical panels on the 120 X 80-foot gym’s walls and ceiling.

“It worked out perfectly, and the entire process was transparent to the client,” says Mike Love, Owner of Accutronics. “We looked at the building, Ryan drew up a proposal and sent it to Auralex, which sent us back a list of the right product materials and placement patterns to use for this specific project, and we installed them without hassle.”

Of a total of 95 Auralex acoustical panels, Accutronics installed 40 of them on the gym’s ceiling to reduce flutter echoes and the rest on the walls to absorb reflected sound. As a result, the gym’s reverb time dropped from eight seconds to 1.3 seconds. “That’s a huge reduction in reverb time,” says Love. “And that‘s the kind of result you get when you work with an organization like GC Pro. In this case, the client got an accurate assessment of their situation, an expert solution design, exactly the right products to address the problem and expert installation. Only a company like GC Pro can provide that kind of comprehensive service.”

Faith Church’s Bryan Ford could not agree more: “The difference in the sound is enormous — it’s dramatically improved. They were able handle the entire project from start to finish, and they were also able to meet a very tight deadline and get us into our new church on time. When we opened three weeks ago, we got comments on how good the sound was. We have a lot of music, so we needed to control the sound as much as possible. That’s exactly what happened, so we’re glad we picked GC Pro.”

For more information, please visit www.gcpro.com.

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About Guitar Center Professional/Guitar Center
Founded in 2001, Guitar Center Professional is the outside sales division of Guitar Center that focuses on the needs of professional users. Its clientele includes recording studios, audio engineers, producers, recording and touring musicians, live sound venues, post production facilities and more. Emphasizing extraordinary individualized service via local account managers, GC Pro offers expert consultation and a comprehensive selection of the world’s finest equipment for music and audio professionals. More information on GC Pro can be found by visiting www.gcpro.com.