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.

“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.

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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.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Guitar Center Professional Helps Outfit Cycle Scene

Ashburn, Virginia’s Cycle Scene features installed sound and lighting systems worthy of a high-end nightclub, designed by and sourced through Guitar Center Professional. Photo by Jonah Joffe, GC Pro. © 2015.

— State-of-the-art audio and lighting components provide patrons with an immersive “club” experience, setting the facility apart from other area fitness establishments —

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CA, March 26, 2015 — Cycle Scene put a new “spin” on the indoor cycling studio when it opened in Ashburn, Virginia, at the beginning of March with installed sound and lighting systems worthy of a high-end nightclub. Designed by and sourced through Guitar Center Professional (GC Pro), the outside sales division of Guitar Center that focuses on the needs of professional users, the equipment was installed and programmed by Angelo Kokkinakos of GC Pro affiliate Koko Brothers Entertainment, a Baltimore, Maryland-based audio, video and lighting design and integration firm.

“The spin industry is blowing up now, and every cycle studio has to be hotter than the next one to capture market share in the area,” explains Jonah Joffe, GC Pro Account Manager at Guitar Center in Falls Church, Virginia. Joffe worked with Cycle Scene owners Clay and Jenn Sharman to create the right vibe at the new 6,000-square-foot high-tech fitness facility. “These folks were going for a dance club in a cycle studio, so it was super important that we got the audio and lighting right.”

The Cycle Room, outfitted with 60 custom-built stationary bikes, features two 75-inch display monitors, each flanked by a pair of QSC Audio AcousticDesign AD-S12 600W surface mount speakers that each house a 12-inch woofer and 1.4-inch compression driver. A single QSC KW181 18-inch self-powered subwoofer adds low frequency extension to the system. The Stretch Room, dedicated to strength training, core fitness and yoga, is outfitted with a pair of QSC AD-C821 8-inch, 200W ceiling speakers, while a smaller QSC AD-Ci52T two-way speaker, featuring a 5.25-inch woofer with 1-inch tweeter, is installed in the reception area. Four QSC AD-S6T surface mount cabinets, each incorporating a 6-inch woofer and 1-inch dome tweeter, cover the extensive hallway, a popular gathering place. Two QSC four-channel amplifiers—one PLD4.2 and one PLD4.3—provide power to the passive speakers.

A Rane HAL1x 16 in/16 out multi-processor is installed for optimization and management of the facility’s multi-zoned sound system. “I got to experience HAL for the first time,” says Angelo Kokkinakos. “We did all of the dynamic processing and EQ inside of HAL. It’s a great tool; we were really happy with it.”

The system is controlled by Rane Digital Remote DR1 and DR3 wall panels installed in each of the three zones together with connector panels enabling the introduction of external audio sources. “The user interface is just so simple, with a keypad and a simple LCD display to select your input source and volume,” says Kokkinakos. “The end user just has a single rotary knob to increase or decrease volume for the mic—it doesn’t get much easier than that.”


A pair of Shure SLX14 wireless systems, with UA221 antenna combiner, and SM31FH Fitness headsets are available for Cycle Scene’s instructors. The HAL DR remote interfaces are so intuitive that the instructors can focus on their jobs without having to learn how to operate a complex audio system, says Joffe. “Each source selection and volume knob has a digital readout, so we made it really, really easy—it says: Headset Mic 1, Headset Mic 2, Music. Anyone can use this system very easily. Not only that, because of all the processing we’ve got behind it, it sounds incredible in there.”

To meet the expectations of the owners, says Joffe, “We went with Chauvet moving head lights—just like dance clubs use, but in a smaller version, and we had Angelo do custom programming so it would look just like a dance club. The client is super happy with the lighting.”

The Chauvet DMX-addressable light fixtures installed in the Cycle Room include two Intimidator Spot LED 250 50W moving head units and two LFS-75DMX 75W LED framing spots. All four fixtures are suspended from two 12-ft. box truss spans, which are each illuminated by two SlimPAR Quad 3 IRC four-color LED lamp. A total of 18 COLORband 3 IRC three-zone LED strip lights provide a wash down the rear and side walls. A Numark Orbit Wi-Fi panel combined with a Chauvet Xpress 512 PLUS interface controls the lighting rig, which was programmed using Chauvet’s ShowXpress software. All control components are neatly housed in an electronics machine room hidden away from the general public, providing a more aesthetic look to the installation.

“We don’t usually see a lot of moving head fixtures in these cycle rooms,” comments Kokkinakos. “But when we programmed the lighting rack it came down to subtle, slow, simple, predictable movement along the walls, keeping it off the bikes, and making it more of an atmosphere than a distraction. When we first revealed the lighting to the client, they were thinking that they would leave all the fluorescent ceiling lights on all the time in there. But when they saw the effect, they said, ‘This is plenty of ambient lighting for us to conduct a class in here, and such a great atmosphere, why would we ever turn the other lights on?’ Pretty much the only time they turn the other lights on now is just to clean the room.”

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.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

GC Pro Helps Source Gear for Las Vegas Clark County Library District “Learn to DJ” Program


A view of three different DJ stations in use for the Las Vegas Clark County Library District’s “Learn to DJ” program, with gear sourced through GC Pro. Photo courtesy of Salvador Avila. © 2015.

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CA, February 24, 2015 — The Las Vegas Clark County Library District’s “Learn to DJ” program (a part of their broader TechArt Studio initiative and part of the federally-funded STEM program scholarships) has been going strong since 2013. The program was recently brought to a higher level with gear upgrades sourced through Guitar Center Professional (GC Pro), the outside sales division of Guitar Center that focuses on the needs of professional users. GC Pro Account Manager John Stevens worked closely with Enterprise Branch Manager Salvador Avila, who runs the class, to assemble a full complement of all new DJ gear, lighting and headphones to serve this free, twice-weekly class, for students age 13-17.

This interactive, hands-on experience introduces and exposes young people to DJ skills, including scratching, mixing and lighting. After mastering the many functions of the controller and software, students are able to create their own mix, burn it to a disc and share it with family, friends and fellow DJs. More generally, the program helps kids develop skills in computer use, music composition, public speaking and event/equipment management. There is also a separate class for adults, meeting twice monthly. The classes are held at the Enterprise Library branch at 25 E. Shelbourne Avenue, Las Vegas, NV 89123.

Avila runs the class, where he is known as “Coach.” He states, “Libraries all over the country are having a hard time attracting teens, and they are approaching the problem in unique ways. Here, in one of the entertainment capitals of the world, it made sense to start a DJ program for young people. We started with one controller, one set of speakers, a set of lights and a laptop, and our program members quickly outgrew this setup. I recommended to the Public Services Administration that makes library decisions that we convert one of the conference rooms into a full-time DJ studio with five stations, and they agreed to it! It was a risk, but it paid off.”

Avila and Stevens decided on an extensive equipment list, and the program ended up purchasing Numark NS72, Pioneer DDJ-SX and Numark NS6 controllers, with Pioneer DDJ-SX2 controllers soon to join the arsenal; Chauvet Obey™ 70 lighting controller; Alto and Mackie speakers; a selection of microphones and more.

Avila notes, “I have a curriculum in place, but it’s based on the students’ own comfort level, their own competency. If you’re new, first you have to learn how to do cues and loops, and master those two things. Once I feel that you have mastered those two functions, we move on to looping and scratching techniques. Once you’ve mastered that, we introduce effects. It’s a journey. I have kids that have been attending since day one. They can attend as long as they like.”

He adds, “I got involved with Guitar Center and GC Pro because I like loud music, and they have the professional-grade loudspeakers that I like. When I went there to build my own home DJ setup, John Stevens was so knowledgeable that I developed a relationship there. Once the program was getting off the ground, I went back to John and he walked me through the process of what would be the right equipment and accessories, for the age group that I was dealing with. That’s how I became a GC Pro customer, mainly because of the great Account Managers and the right advice.”

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.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

GC Pro Helps Creative Giant Yessian


A control station at one of the locations at multi-facility studio operation Yessian – carefully outfitted and managed to give consistency across all their facilities, with help from GC Pro. Photo by Ric Kallaher.

— With facilities in New York, Detroit, Los Angeles and Hamburg, Germany, Yessian needs a consistent source of technology products, platforms and advice to enable its many studios to be seamlessly interoperable —

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CA, February 12, 2015 — You may not know Yessian, but you know their work. Led by brothers Brian Yessian, Creative Director and Partner, and Michael Yessian, Head of Production and Partner, the company creates audio for commercials, films, videos and theme parks for clients worldwide. A collective of producers, composers, music supervisors, research/creative pros and recording artists, with offices and studios in New York, Los Angeles, Detroit and Hamburg, Germany, Yessian’s recent projects include Dos Equis’s “Masquerade” commercial, as well as music and sound design for theme park rides at Movie Park Germany in Dusseldorf and the Wuhan Movie Park in China. It’s no simple task managing the technical infrastructure behind Yessian’s widely distributed collection of studio facilities, but they have a key partner in that endeavor: Guitar Center Professional (GC Pro), the outside sales division of Guitar Center that focuses on the needs of professional users. GC Pro has worked with Yessian for 10-plus years, assuring that Yessian’s facilities are at the leading edge, as GC Pro helps them maintain critical technological consistency across all of their facilities.

“Technical consistency between the studios is critical,” observes Jeff Dittenber, Sound Designer at Yessian. “Each studio might have its own collections of things like microphones and pre-amps, but when it comes to the core systems like digital audio workstations and work surfaces, such as the Pro Tools HD systems we use, you have to have consistency across all of the studios. And that’s something that GC Pro has been helping us with for years.”


A tracking room at one of the locations at multi-facility studio operation Yessian, outfitted with help from GC Pro. Photo by Ric Kallaher.

Michael Yessian adds, “When you’re making technology decisions at this kind of scale, it’s like an enterprise proposition — you need proposals and a plan. We need to think it out carefully, because we need to be able to transfer sessions back and forth seamlessly over our VPN, and we need the same plug-ins for each studio. GC Pro has been a big help with that, because they have access to anything we need and at competitive prices as we manage a global studio system.”

GC Pro has been of assistance not only in sourcing products and systems but also for keeping Yessian’s studios apprised of new technologies and products as they come along, including the recently introduced Avid S6 control surface installed at the company’s New York studios. “Paul Johnson, the sales person in GC Pro’s Southfield store, has been great at keeping us aware of new things that make our studios more efficient,” says Dittenber, adding that Johnson has also negotiated and managed trade-ins and trade-ups for new equipment. “It would be hard to imagine not having GC Pro to help us with the studios,” says Michael Yessian. “They’re an incredible resource.”

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.