Thursday, May 21, 2015

Memorial Day Software Deals!


Fact: you use software for music/audio creation. We're just going to assume this. If you don't, feel free to disregard the rest of this post and go back to degaussing your analog tape heads. But if you're among the 98% of musicians, producers, and engineers of today, you do turn to software-based tools that allow you to do your most creative work.

Therefore, you should note that for Memorial Day Weekend 2015, Guitar Center Professional is offering huge savings and amazing deals on a slew of software that you want and need. Get in touch with your GC Professional rep between now and Monday for the best price on software titles by manufacturers including Native Instruments, Ableton, Propellerhead, Image Line, Spectrasonics, UVI, Celemony, and many more. Now is the time to move into the latest versions of Komplete, Omnisphere, Reason, Live, Melodyne, and other great software titles.

These special deals can only be found in our stores, but all you have to do is get in touch with your GC Professional account representative for details. Do it now, and get into the software you've always wanted, for the best pricing!

Contact GC Professional Now

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Pushing the Broadcast Limit: Q&A With Hank Neuberger


Hank Neuberger is an acclaimed recording engineer and producer with credits including Cheap Trick, Ohio Players, Pete Townsend, Nine Inch Nails, Lady Antebellum, Dave Matthews Band, Leonard Cohen, Ramsey Lewis, Anthrax, John Prine, Jerry Butler, Guster, and the cast album for the TONY Award-winning musical “Million Dollar Quartet.” He is the President and Founder of Springboard Productions, specialists in Festival Webcast production. He has served as Chairman of the Board for both The Recording Academy and the MusiCares foundation.

1. What was the last project you released?
The Austin City Limits Music Festival live webcast on redbull.tv, syndicated widely on such outlets as Apple TV, Xbox, Samsung Smart TVs and rollingstone.com, among others. Currently I’m right in the middle of planning our next set of productions, which start with Coachella and Bonnaroo. The Austin City Limits Festival is one of the biggest festivals in the country. It’s two consecutive weekends now. It’s been going since 2002. Some of the artists featured last year were Calvin Harris, Lorde, Skrillex, Childish Gambino, Chromeo and more. At that event I’m the video producer, so my company Springboard Productions is responsible for all the video on the site, and the live webcast. I bring a crew of between 80 and 100 people, and all the video and audio equipment. We capture the video from four or five stages, supply it to the IMAX screens, and also produce a multi-channel live webcast. And that’s my job.

2. What is the most challenging aspect of the current business climate from your perspective?
The business model is dependent on outside sponsorship. The festival promoters are not going to produce these webcasts without sponsorship. So my job is to help make that relationship successful between an outside sponsor, who’s getting in the digital space, and the promoter of the festival, and that requires both technical and creative focus. We also handle artist relations, we do clearances, we’re involved in transmission – every aspect of putting this program together. I’m very fortunate to have also produced live webcasts from Coachella, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza and many other festivals over the last 10 years. While the technology has evolved dramatically, the business model is unchanged—my clients, the Festival Promoters, still rely on sponsors to underwrite the high-quality multi-channel, multi-day, multi-stage webcast production – and I have to make that work. My scope includes all the “deliverables.” The promoter relies on us to deliver back to the sponsor what they agreed to, and that is typically a multi-channel webcast with the top artists from the festival. I’ve been fortunate to work with all the top artists over the years that are at the festivals. We’ve webcast Coldplay, Arcade Fire, McCartney, Kanye, Prince, Radiohead, Jay Z – all of the world’s top artists that perform at festivals have appeared in our webcasts, and now that I am really thinking about it, I’ve done probably 50 festival webcasts in 10 years.

3. How has your production workflow changed in the past few years?
My training is as a recording engineer, mixer and recording studio builder and manager. I’ve done that my entire professional career. I started in the festival world by recording and providing audio downloads of jam band artists from the early Bonnaroo festivals. And one day a festival promoter was starting a new festival in Chicago and they were reviving the name “Lollapalooza,” and they said to me “we have a sponsor that wants to webcast that, do you know how?” And I took a deep breath and said, “SURE.” And that was in 2005. So that’s how I pivoted from purely audio to video and audio and webcast. And it’s come a long way in ten years. That’s really the bulk of my work nowadays. Springboard Productions is primarily a festival webcast production entity. We deliver shows to cable networks too – AXS, Palladia and Fuse, for instance – but I would say it all starts with the webcast. The production complexity has only increased over the years, with more and more deliverables. These days at a festival, we often require a crew of 100, working 14 hours a day or more. We are generally supplying all the video services at the Festival, with our program feeding the iMag Screens for the fans, a closed-circuit Fest Network around the site, and three simultaneous channels of live performances, with hosted interviews, in the webcast for no less than nine hours a day. These days, we also frequently have multiple transmission delivery ingest points to target. It’s more complex every year.

4. Have you discovered any new gear or software this year?
One big change is that we no longer use Satellite Uplinks for any of our transmission. The vulnerability to weather interference, the compression introduced, and the long broadcast hours inspired us to develop our own mobile unit with on-site encoding for Transmission-over-IP. This has delivered higher quality and greater reliability at a lower cost.

For the audio at festivals, we put a multi-track Pro Tools setup, either a truck or a flypack, at every stage to do a custom broadcast mix. We find that mix is generally superior to simply using the front-of-house mix in most cases. But it’s really because the front-of-house mixer is mixing for the live audience under the sky at the event. Our mix is obviously going to be different than what works at the venue, and it is what would be appropriate to come through your laptop or your phone or your Apple TV. So that’s why I think it generally is superior. So we always try and have multi-track mixing at all the stages that we’re shooting. As an interesting side bar, we are constantly discussing when we’ll be able to deliver surround sound on these webcasts. We’re not there yet, the host platforms haven’t supported it yet, but with the imminent virtual reality delivery from the festivals I expect that surround sound will be expected. And for me, personally having been involved in the first GRAMMY® Awards broadcast in surround sound, I’d love to do all the festivals in surround. We can easily mix our festival audio in 5.1. It’s delivering it all the way to the end user in the home with consistency that has not been quite as easy on the current platforms. But I think the imminent application of VR technology may kick-start that and make delivering 5.1 more practical. It’s Festival Season, the best time of the year!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Avid S6 Events Coming to Boston & Houston


Guitar Center Professional and AVID invite you to get an in-depth, hands-on demo of the revolutionary performance, superior ergonomics and intelligent studio control of the new Avid® S6 control surface.

See how the AVID S6 can help you:
• Mix faster and more easily through superior ergonomics and visual feedback
• Save money with a modular design that can scale as your business grows
• Use EUCON 3.0 to take deep, integrated control of your studio

Space is limited to only 15 attendees per session, so RSVP today for one of the three local demo sessions in Boston or Houston.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

GC Professional Elevates Avalon in Alpharetta, GA


The multi-purpose Plaza at the Avalon mixed-use community in Alpharetta, Georgia, featuring audio components sourced through Guitar Center Professional. Photo courtesy of North American Properties (NAP). © 2015.

— GC Pro designed and sourced the new system for Avalon, one of the largest mixed-use communities in the Southeast, while a member of GC Pro’s acclaimed Affiliates Program handled system installation —

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CA, April 22, 2015 — The outside sales division of Guitar Center that focuses on the needs of professional users, Guitar Center Professional (GC Pro), outfitted one of the largest mixed-use developments in the Southeast, Avalon, with a multi-use sound system to elevate the overall guest experience. Developed by North American Properties (NAP), Avalon opened late last year in the Atlanta suburb of Alpharetta. The $600 million, 86-acre live, work, play community includes 500,000 square feet of retail, chef-driven restaurants, Class A office, luxury rental homes, single-family residences and a planned full-service hotel and conference center. One of Avalon’s biggest differentiators is its promise to be more than just a place to shop or dine – it’s a place to be, which is why NAP decided to equip Avalon’s outdoor Plaza with a state-of-the-art sound system. The Plaza is now a fully functional performance stage, which enhances the Avalon experience, whether it’s in the form of an outdoor concert, fashion show or chef demonstration. Audio products and systems for the project were specified by Guitar Center Professional's Atlanta, GA-based account manager Jason Block.

“We’re thrilled to provide an elevated sound experience for our guests who come to Avalon as their ‘third place’ – a place to spend time and enjoy life with family and friends outside of work and home,” said Wayne Rigsby, Manager of Guest Experience for NAP.

The Plaza’s sound system is composed of two Danley OS-80 and two OS-115 all-weather speaker cabinets powered by three Crown XTI amplifiers, a Crown DCI amplifier which powers several speakers surrounding the large fountain and all managed by a dbx DriveRack 4820 speaker processor. The system is protected by two Furman CN2400S networked power sequencers and two APC commercial grade UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply) units.



The sound can be managed from anywhere, thanks to the integration of a Savant automation system that enables control over Wi-Fi through an Apple iPad. The sound system was installed through GC Pro’s Affiliate Program, which matches a customer’s installation and integration needs with the best available systems integrators. Commercial Sound & Video installed the sound system, while Profound Dimension did the programming of the Savant automation system.

The Owner of Commercial Sound & Video, Nathan Miller, says the Danley speakers are a good choice for the space, sonically and aesthetically. “It’s set up so that a band or a performer can simply plug in and play,” Miller said. “GC Pro had the ability to provide every item that was necessary to make this happen including remote control access of the system via the iPad and Savant automation.”

A similar system, whose components will also be sourced and installed through GC Pro, will be installed at another nearby North American Properties development, Atlantic Station, in the near future.

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

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About Guitar Center Professional/Guitar Center
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.

Enter for a Chance to Win a Shure QLX-D Wireless System


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Shure's new QLX-D is a perfect wireless audio system for houses for worship, live venues, auditoriums, outdoor events, and more. The QLX-D offers networked control, AES-256 encryption, and simplified setup and operation for outstanding digital wireless sound. Enter by May 31, 2015 for a chance to win this terrific wireless solution. Get more info on the Shure QLX-D here.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Audio Alchemist Tour Hits Los Angeles on April 23


Hey Los Angeles... it's your turn to check out the free audio industry event that everyone is talking about. The Audio Alchemist tour has been heading around the country, hosting events that allow for hands-on gear demonstrations, networking, fun, and craft beer and Thai food. Who doesn't like craft beer and Thai food? No one, that's who. So on Thursday April 23 from 7-10PM at 4th Street Recording in Santa Monica, plan on having a memorable and truly enjoyable evening.

This event includes gear demos from Manley (including the Variable Mu, ELOP, Massive Passive, Voxbox, TNT and more), Glyph Technologies, Dangerous Music, and more. Plus, respected industry professionals including Michael James (Hole, L7, Jane's Addiction, many more), Rob Chiarelli (P!nk, Christina Aguilera, Will Smith, many more), and Marek Stykos (20+ year gear guru) will be on hand to talk about their experiences using this great gear in world-class studios.

THURSDAY APRIL 23, 7-10PM
4th Street Recording
1211 4th Street
Santa Monica, CA 90401

To reserve your spot at this special Audio Alchemist event, call GC Pro at 877-687-5404.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

San Diego: GC Pro/Audio Alchemist Tour on April 21


Do you like to get hands-on with killer audio gear? Do you like craft beer and Thai food? Do you like gladiator movies? Disregard that last question, but plan ahead to April 21 for a huge opportunity for fun, networking, and expanding your high-end audio experience in San Diego, CA. Guitar Center Professional and Audio Alchemist have teamed up to bring you a fantastic evening of food, drink, and audiospeak at Capricorn Studios on Tuesday April 21, 2015. Audio gear that's chosen by the world's great recording facilities will be on hand, ready to demo. Delicious consumables will await your discerning palate. Plus, this whole event is absolutely free. Look forward to the following:

• Experience how Manley’s investment-grade audio jewelery has been leveraged on the majority of the Billboard chartbusters. Manley Variable Mu, ELOP, Massive Passive, Voxbox, TNT and more will all be in the house.

• Discover why a hard drive is the inviolate caretaker of your personal creative real estate and that all hard drives are not created equally; nor are they insured against cataclysm by warranty and data recovery coverage like Glyph Technologies.

• Learn why Dangerous Music’s monitoring management is the most critical component of your system: “Because you can’t mix what you can’t hear." Discover how analog summing with a 2-Bus, 2-Bus LT or D-box will breathe your mix to life.

• Climb inside classic tracks like “Hotel California”, that you’ve auditioned in the studio, elevator and dentist’s chair, but will feel for the first time on the Guzauski-Swist GS3A reference monitors.

• Audition Retro Instruments to explore the true legacy of vintage audio fused with just enough modernity to push past typical creative confines and uncover unique solutions that effortlessly track/mix your vocal, instrument, soundscape and song every time.

• Improve any speaker system by nailing the three principles of monitoring: Placement, Isolation & Focus. Instantly benefit from Isoacoustics simple, yet elegant solutions to maximize your current equipment arsenal.

TUESDAY APRIL 21, 7-10PM
Capricorn Studios
927 E Street
San Diego, CA 92101

To reserve your spot at this special Audio Alchemist event, call GC Pro at 877-687-5404.