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.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

GC Pro Helps Studio Owner and Producer Yaniv Farber Outfit His New Studio Space

The control room of Yaniv’s Studio, the new facility run by Yaniv Farber in Southern California and outfitted by equipment sourced through GC Pro. Photo courtesy of Yaniv Farber © 2014.

— Farber is translating his success in the tile and stone business in Southern California into an expanded professional recording studio enterprise, and GC Pro is there to outfit the new facility from start to finish —

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CA, July 9, 2014 — For over 20 years, Yaniv Farber’s main business has been Sandy Ceramic, Inc., a high-end tile, granite and marble installer in Southern California. But aside from that, Farber's passion has been music, which he had recorded and edited on small home studio platforms. This year, he decided to make a big move; in a renovated building on his property he created the elegant facility Yaniv’s Studio. And it was outfitted from top to bottom with equipment sourced through Guitar Center Professional (GC Pro), the outside sales division of Guitar Center that focuses on the needs of professional users.

Products purchased for the studio by Farber through GC Pro include an Avid Pro Tools HDX system, Apogee I/O converters, Tube Tech MP2A dual-channel tube mic pre, Focal SM9 monitors and a microphone collection that includes a pair of AKG C414 XLII’s and a C 451 B 65th Anniversary model; a Blue Bottle Mic; Neumann TLM 49, U 87 AI, TLM 67 and M 147 mics; a Sterling Audio ST6050 Ocean Way Signature Series Microphone; and Sennheiser MD 441 and MD 421-II microphones.

The live/tracking room of Yaniv’s Studio, the new facility run by Yaniv Farber in Southern California and outfitted by equipment sourced through GC Pro. Photo courtesy of Yaniv Farber © 2014.

“I decided to go for it,” Farber says, simply and earnestly. “I’m trying to make a business of it.” He has a lot of personal resources: in addition to his experience as a musician, engineer, editor and producer, his time in the construction business included working on other studios as they were being built, which gave him knowledge and insights for his own studio design, which includes a vocal booth and several iso booths. “It’s designed for my work but also to be available for other artists, engineers and producers to work in,” he says. “Most importantly, we can do live sessions here. It’s a great-sounding room to record in.”

What’s also great, Farber adds, was working with GC Pro. “Ziv Gross at GC Pro, he’s my man!” he exclaims, noting that the GC Pro Account Manager helped him choose gear, tweak his acoustical design and assemble some of the systems. “Then there’s the technical support, which is always there. Working with GC Pro has been a great experience.”

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.

Friday, June 27, 2014

GC Pro Works with Make-A-Wish® Southern Nevada to Help Make Dreams Come True for Aspiring Young DJs


Make-A-Wish® Southern Nevada program participant Diego, performing with his new DJ gear at a recent 5K event held by the organization. Photo courtesy of Make-A-Wish® Southern Nevada.

— GC Pro uses its incredible depth of inventory, its vast resources and the compassion of its employees to provide accessible products for children in the Make-A-Wish® program —

— Two young aspiring DJs now have professional-level rigs that they’re already putting to use at gigs, with all equipment, assembly and training
provided by GC Pro —

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CA, June 27, 2014 — Guitar Center Professional (GC Pro), the outside sales division of Guitar Center that focuses on the needs of professional users, has been regularly collaborating with Make-A-Wish® Southern Nevada, a chapter of the national organization that grants the wishes of children diagnosed with life-threatening medical conditions in the United States and its territories, to provide access to musical instruments and professional audio equipment for children in the program. Most recently, the GC Pro office in Las Vegas worked with the southern Nevada chapter to make the dreams of two young DJs come true. In the cases of Kyle and Diego, two youngsters suffering from debilitating, life-threatening conditions, GC Pro fulfilled their wish list.

The new rigs for each DJ now include a Numark NS7II DJ Controller with case and stand, QSC K12 powered speakers and KW181 powered subwoofer, an Apple MacBook Pro laptop computer, Pioneer HDJ2000 professional headphones, Ableton Live 9 software, a Sennheiser E835 microphone and an Akai Professional EIE PRO 24-bit Audio/MIDI interface with USB hub. All of this equipment was provided fully assembled, configured and installed by Michael “Mickey” Lomboy, a member of the GC Pro Affiliates Program, with training also provided by GC Pro personnel – all part of how GC Pro supports Make-A-Wish’s acclaimed charity work.

“These kids are amazing,” says John Stevens, the Account Manager at GC Pro’s Las Vegas office who acted as the liaison for the project and for other similar collaborations since June of 2013. “They’re up against some serious illnesses — Kyle is permanently in a wheelchair and Diego has a serious neurological condition. But they are both really focused on becoming DJs. We wanted them to have the tools to achieve those dreams.” And that’s exactly what’s happened — both kids are already using the gear to play shows and concerts in front of substantial crowds.

Miriam Ceballos, Wish Granting Coordinator at Make-A-Wish Southern Nevada, had praise for GC Pro’s contributions to their cause. “We work with many vendors on these projects, and I can say that every time we’ve worked with GC Pro it’s been a pleasant and fulfilling experience, for us and for the kids,” she says. “DJ wishes have become very popular lately, and GC Pro knows exactly what the kids want and need, and it’s always right there when you need it. Sometimes the kids know what they want, and whatever it is, you know GC Pro has it in stock. And if the kids aren’t sure, GC Pro is there to help them figure out what works best for them.”

John Stevens notes that working at GC Pro is always fulfilling because, he says, “Every day you’re making someone’s dream come true, to be an artist, an engineer, a producer, a DJ. But with Make-A-Wish, it takes that feeling to a whole new level. When you see the kids smile and light up when they get that equipment, it pulls at your heartstrings. It’s the best feeling I’ve ever gotten here at 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.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

GC Pro Customer Heitor Pereira Creates “World Cup, It’s Time!”

The FIFA World Cup is one of international sports' biggest events, happening every four years and garnering a massive audience of soccer (aka "football" outside the USA) fans around the world. Beginning June 12, the 2014 World Cup will be held in Brazil, one of the sport's biggest hot spots. It's only fitting that longtime GC Pro customer and friend, Brazilian composer Heitor Pereira, was tapped to help create a special song for the event.

Working with ASCAP, Pereira co-wrote and created the song “World Cup, It’s Time!” as part of the ASCAP Songwriter Residency, a partnership with acclaimed after-school program America SCORES. Heitor Pereira is more well known as a blockbuster film composer (The Smurfs, Despicable Me), as well as the guitarist of English soul band Simply Red. He recorded the song with twenty 6th grade America SCORES students from Charnock Elementary School in Los Angeles, CA. “World Cup, It’s Time!” was recorded at Remote Control Productions, the renowned Santa Monica scoring company owned by Hans Zimmer, and is available to stream or download for free with the rest of the "ASCAP Songwriter Residency: Volume 6" album here.

Enjoy the video of the song's creation and learn more about the project below.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Oscar-winning Film Mixer Steve Maslow Plugs In Penteo 4 Pro

Pictured in a Warner Bros. session is award-winning re-recording mixer Steve Maslow. Photo by David Goggin.

-- Upmixer Now Supports AAX --

Los Angeles, CA, April 24, 2014 -- Multiple Oscar- and Bafta-winning re-recording mixer Steve Maslow has upgraded to the new Penteo 4 Pro plug-in that discretely converts stereo to 5.1, offering exacting control over sound image placement to create high-quality, natural-sounding surround.

"If I get 2-track source music, I use Penteo," Maslow comments. "It's impressive to take a 2-channel mix and make it come out of 5 speakers. I just finished a film called 'Tammy'. Every cue in that movie, from source needle drops to music score was all 2-track. The opening cue was a stereo record by the Allman Brothers that was released in 1986, and it worked great. I used Penteo from reel 1 to reel 6 and everything worked flawlessly."

When asked how he previously accomplished upmixing from stereo to surround, Maslow explained, "I would take the left and right track of a 2-track and run them through a couple of panners, fold it in a little bit so the left and right contributed to the center just a little bit. Then I would take a boom box, take a feed from the left and the right and return it to a fader to get the bottom end for the boom. That would give me left, center, right, boom. For left surround, right surround I would try to get a very short reverb to feed to the surrounds. That was the problem -- it would always put some sort of echo into the track."

Maslow, who is a 3-time Oscar winner and 2-time Bafta-winner, has worked on hundreds of films, including the recent "Non-Stop," starring Liam Neesen, last year's "The Great Gatsby," and classics such "Raiders of the Lost Ark," "The Empire Strikes Back", and "The Last Waltz."

"I used Penteo on last year's 'RED 2' with Bruce Willis and Hellen Mirren," Maslow recalls. "There was a lot of 2-track source music and even some of the score was 2-track. For me, Penteo is a very useful tool. I wouldn't do another film without it if 2-track music comes in. It really makes you look good when you can take a 2-track mix and create a 5-channel mix."

Maslow elaborates on the use of Penteo 4 Pro, "For the film I'm working on now, the music was 2-track strings, 2-tracks brass, 2-track percussion, so then I have to think about how I'm going to work with that. I can't just put them all left-right. Sometimes I used to take the percussion and put it in the center, but with Penteo, I just feed all the 2-channel mixes in and it comes out as a 5.1 score. That's what I want and it really sounds good."

In addition to mouse-operated controls, Penteo 4 Pro is the first up-mixer to support multi-touch controls, allowing a sound designer to control more than one Penteo feature at once, thereby creating a natural mixing experience through simple hand contact. Penteo 4 Pro is the world's first multi-touch plug-in designed for use with the Raven MTX Surround console.

"I find that a lot of 2-track mixes are very narrow and by using Penteo it gives me the hard center that I like," says Maslow. "When you're playing with a 2-track you just get left and right and a phantom center, not a hard center. Penteo gives me a hard center with that bottom end that I like, and it just fills the room up better than a 2-track does. Any two track that comes to me now is going through Penteo."

It is customary for a re-recording mixer to deliver a preliminary mix and then get feedback on revisions. "I usually am asked to make changes, but on the last show I just finished, I didn't get one note from the music department. Not one comment when we screened the film and they listened to it. Usually I would get some notes, but I got nothing, no critical notes at all. They loved everything, so it does make me look a little better because of the way the music comes out."

Once a film with a surround soundtrack is ready for distribution, it must also be compatible in stereo, as well. Penteo 4 Pro is 100-percent ITU down-mix compatible to the original stereo. The plug-in features an intuitive visual interface modeled after vintage gear, and offers six automated preset modes as well as advanced manual controls for fine-tuning.

For more information on Penteo 4 Pro, please contact your GC Pro representative here.

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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.

About Audiotech Digital Limited (ADL)
Penteo transforms any stereo recording, soundtrack, DJ mix or live television broadcast into perfect 5.1 surround sound. Developed by ADL, Penteo 4 Pro remains faithful to the original stereo mix; no artificial sound manipulation is used. The Penteo 4 Pro plug-in creates a perfect surround experience for all stereo media with zero sonic artifacts, crisp and discrete center-channel, and only Penteo is 100% ITU down-mix compatible to the original stereo. Penteo has been used by major studios on hundreds of films, TV shows and music recordings and supports AAX64, RTAS, VST and AU formats. Discover the world of Penteo at perfectsurround.com.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

GC Pro Revs Up the Audio for Shelby American Bash


Few names in high-performance automotive design carry the weight of Shelby American. The company has been creating high-performance cars since the early 1960s, after founder Carroll Shelby retired from his brief racing career. Since then, cars like the Shelby Cobra as well as his famous Ford Mustang-based Shelby GT350 and Shelby GT500 have set the benchmarks for drivers with the need for speed.

Each year at the Shelby Motor Company headquarters in Las Vegas, Nevada, the company holds an annual event called the Shelby American Bash, where Shelby vehicle owners from across the country can come together and compare their vintage and new Shelby models. The event features live music and other events where audio needs to be loud and clear over the roaring of those race engines. For the past two years, GC Pro along with Guitar Center's Las Vegas Townsquare location have supplied the audio and lighting gear to make the event a huge success. Additionally, GC Pro staff assisted in setting up and doing the live sound engineering for bands performing at the event.


The 2014 Shelby Bash was particularly significant, with this being the 50th anniversary of the Ford Mustang. This year's event also commemorated the first time the Shelby Bash has been held in the newly relocated headquarters of Shelby American. Shelby's new HQ is located just off the strip, next door to Guitar Center’s Townsquare location. The new facility houses all operations of the Shelby American Motor Company, consolidating multiple buildings near the Las Vegas Motor Speedway into one single location that is easily accessible to tourists and motor enthusiasts.

For more information on Shelby American, click here. To learn how GC Pro can provide the gear and services you need for your most important live sound events, visit gcpro.com.