Nashville, TN (September 30, 2021) — Gibson has long been a part of Nashville culture, so it was only a matter of time before the famed guitar maker created a retail destination for its fans and players. The new Gibson Garage complex sports a central concert stage ringed by retail of all Gibson brands, repair and restoration, and a custom shop. Nashville integrator Systems Innovation installed a complete QSC solution at the site, including a Q-SYS Core 110f processor to distribute audio.
The stage, which features powered K12.2 and K10.2 loudspeakers with KS212C cardioid subwoofers, can receive audio from the Core or an on-site TouchMix-30 Pro digital mixer. In parallel, the Core feeds satellite rooms via an eight-channel CX-Qn 4K8 power amp driving passive speakers, including 20 surface-mount AD-S.SAT and five AD-S.SUB, two AD-P4T pendant speakers, and two AD-S802T column speakers, as well as six CP12 portable active speakers. Attero Tech panels provide input to the entire system, with volume and audio source independently controllable in each room from Q-SYS Touch Screen Controllers.
“When Gibson first approached us, they thought the stage was going to be mainly a singer-songwriter affair with smaller bands,” said Justin Eby, who headed up the design for Systems Innovation. “The TouchMix, with its input presets and ease of use, is perfect for that. Once the place opened, they saw the potential for big-name artists and larger events, for which they’ve been bringing in production companies. If a company sets up a larger-format mixing console, they can plug into any of the Attero Tech patch points via analog or Dante. If it’s Dante, we have a preset that gives them direct control of every one of the main speakers. But, since the Core 100f has DSP that handles room-tuning EQ and all the time delays for the satellite speakers, that is totally unaffected by anything happening at the console level and engineers don’t have to reinvent that wheel at each show. Even the stage lighting is controlled over Q-SYS.”
Powering the satellite areas is the CX-Qn 4K8 amp. Each of its eight channels feeds the speakers in a different room via a 70-volt line. Despite the system’s structural complexity, it needed to be simple to operate by employees who might not be trained sound engineers. The Q-SYS touchscreen interfaces offered that flexibility, as Eby explained: “Originally we programmed a lot of advanced functionality into the touch panels, such as a little mixer where you can adjust everything. But given the wide variety of people using it, things needed to be simpler, so we just set up an interface with presets.”
The TouchMix-30 Pro is configured similarly to handle spur of the moment jams. “Let’s say we have an artist back in the green room who spontaneously decides to go out and play a few tunes for the crowd on a Tuesday afternoon,” said Mark Agnesi, director of Brand Experience at Gibson. “We have a preset for guitar and vocal. We have a preset for two guitars. We have a preset for a trio, and for larger bands. The ease of operation for getting a mix dialed in is very quick and efficient.”
The result is a facility that met the client’s needs and provides visitors with a memorable experience. “I was terrified of this room at first,” recalled Agnesi. “It’s a cavernous concrete space with pillars every ten feet or so, and the entire back wall is glass. I was dreading what could happen in there sonically. Instead, I’ve been honestly blown away. We’ve had performances from our press days all the way through Summer NAMM. We also had our Gibson Live Around the World show on grand opening day, which combined acts there and remotely from Gibson showrooms around the world. The QSC system works. It works incredibly well.”