Guitar Center Professional is celebrating its 10-year anniversary throughout 2011. As part of its development, the company has expanded its system design, integration and installation division, which has been rapidly expanding across the U.S. through regional centers. We look at 10 of the more notable facility build-outs to come from the GC Pro family of studio services.
Germano Studios Studio 1
(New York City)
Main Equipment Provided: Majority of the analog and digital outboard gear; all near-field monitors, power amps, microphones, keyboard synthesizers, bass and guitar amps, and ancillary pieces (cue system, headphones, guitar/microphone/keyboard/speaker stands, cables, patch cords, instrument cables, interfaces, etc.).
Level of Involvement: Supplier of the equipment; studio owner Troy Germano handled design/installation/integration.
Final Remarks: “I deeply rely on Rick Plushner and his team for many of the studio’s ongoing equipment needs and future-purchase strategizing, and also for my other company, Studio Design Group,” says Germano. “I’m presently in the process of building a facility in Tampico, Mexico, and GC will again be supplying the majority of the equipment. They will also be involved with a facility that I will be designing and building in Los Angeles in 2012. It is worth mentioning the people around Rick; they are the ones who make it happen for an owner/operator like myself. Those people are Richard Ash, Niyi Adelekan, Neil Jason and PK Pandey.”
Photo: Shelby Taylor Taylor Designs
Blade Studios (Shreveport, La.)
Main Equipment Provided: GC Pro handled all equipment needs other than the SSL Duality, for which the studio dealt directly with SSL. Blade Studios’ rep, Jeffery McDaniel, out of Dallas, has “been fantastic in getting the studio everything it need in a timely manner,” says Chris Bell, chief engineer/producer/mixer.
Level of Involvement: GC Pro was used as the broker for all the studio’s equipment.
Final Remarks: “GC Pro was great to work with because it was a one-stop shop,” says Bell. “We could call on them anytime and they would get us anything we needed, including vintage gear, which is sometimes hard to source out.”
Farris Wilks control room
Farris Wilks (Cisco, Texas)
Main Equipment Provided: Assembly of Yahweh Seventh Day church: JBL Array Series, Avid VENUE SC48 digital live sound console and Pro Tools LE system, microphones, Aviom in-ear monit or system, related equipment. For home recording studio: 32-channel Neve Genesys digitally controlled analog console, Avid D-Command and Pro Tools|HD system, Ocean Way HR2 monitoring system.
Level of Involvement: After doing basic measurements for the studio, GC Pro account manager Jeffrey McDaniel reached out to his regional manager Derek Snyder, who recommended that McDaniel get in touch with Horacio Malvicino, managing director of the Malvicino Design Group. McDaniel scanned his studio drawings and sent them to Malvicino, who put together a plan for the studio and presented it to the team at last year’s AES convention.
Final Remarks: “We have been able to use them across the board, from live sound to studio sound, and we didn’t have to shop around the state or the country looking for different expertise in live and studio sound technology,” says music director Kevin Reed. “Instead, we had a one-stop solution and one salesperson, who knew what we needed or knew who to ask. The church sounds great and the studio is in the final stages of completion, and it’s been a dream come true for all of us.”
Ray Stevens (left) and engineer Ben Surratt
Ray Stevens Personal Studio (Nashville)
Main Equipment Provided: Avid ICON D-Control and Pro Tools|HD3 system, mic pre’s, compressor/limiters, outboard EQs, Genelec near-field monitors and Hearback cue system. GC Pro also helped coordinate the design and purchase of the Sound Construction console and an auxiliary equipment rack.
Level of Involvement: GC Pro met with the studio to discuss needs and studio layout, and made many recommendations for equipment, installation and integration. The studio worked with GC Pro to finalize the design, equipment list and integration.
Final remarks: “We had an excellent experience working with them,” says staff engineer Ben Surratt. “They handled the purchase, installation and usual breaking-in period with ease. Their ties to Avid are very helpful, and they have a very professional staff and very capable. I would recommend them again without hesitation.”
GC Pro account manager Jason Cropper (left) and Dale Becker flank Bernie Becker (seated), with Bernie Becker’s new 16-channel AMS Neve Genesys console from GC Pro, at Bernie Becker Mastering, Firehouse Studios, Pasadena, CA.
Bernie Becker Mastering, Firehouse Studios
Main Equipment Provided: 16-channel AMS Neve Genesys console with 16 channels of dynamics and Encore moving-fader automation
Level of Involvement: worked with GC Pro’s Jason Cropper.
Final Remarks: “Jason Cropper was extremely helpful to us throughout the purchase and the installation process,” says Becker. “We actually bought a good amount of gear after the console’s purchase, as well, to work side-by-side with the console. Apart from business, he’s a stand-up guy, too, which is always helpful.
Jungle City (New York City)
Main Equipment Provided: outboard equipment, speaker systems and headphone systems.
Level of Involvement: PK Pandey was involved while the studio owners decided on gear and he worked closely with the Walters-Storyk Design Group team and the integration team to put the studio together.
Final Remarks: “I love working with PK,” says studio owner Ann Mincieli. “He started GC Pro!”
From left: Derek Snyder, GC Pro business development, Western region; and 424 Post principals and co-founders Kami Asgar and Sean McCormack
424 Post (Culver City, Calif.)
Main Equipment Provided:32-fader Avid D-Control Level of Involvement: GC Pro outfitted the original three Pro Tools systems in 424 Post’s original space; in their new location, 424 Post now offers 15 systems provided by GC Pro. In addition to the Pro Tools systems and purpose-configured ICONs, 424 Post purchases the majority of its equipment through GC Pro. Assistance in construction and integration in current location editorial suites.
Final Remarks: “We are three partners—Tim Tuchrello, Sean McCormack and myself—and we all deal with different parts of post,” says co-founder Kami Asgar. “Bill [Learned, GC Pro account manager, Southern California] and Derek [Snyder, GC Pro business development, Western region] at GC Pro pick up the phone and they realize what we need and are able to decipher that with product that’s out there. They know what’s out there and what works for us, especially in the sea of plug-ins.”
Jake Niceley (center), program developer and senior instructor at Daytona State’s Music Production Technology program
Daytona State (Daytona, Fla.)
Main Equipment Provided: all outboard gear, microphones and studio accessories for Studio A; outboard gear and accessories for recently completed Studio B; two Pro Tools|HD systems for control room and 20 Pro Tools LE systems for student labs; and keyboards, percussion, drums and guitar amps for music ensembles.
Level of Involvement: Installation services, equipment interfacing and all video needs for new control room.
Final Remarks: “I’ve known Rick Plushner for a long time,” says Jake Niceley, instructor at Daytona State (Florida) School of Entertainment, Music and Art. “I think I’ve purchased at least three consoles from him over the years. He is a consummate professional and has always been responsive, knowledgeable and a real pleasure to work with. Mickey Greer of the Orlando store has been our go-to guy for all our equipment needs. He is always accessible and has been a real asset in the development of our program. We have a broad spectrum of needs, and GC has been able to help us with most all of our requirements.”
Michael Wagener’s Wireworld Studios’ SSL is front and center.
Michael Wagener’s Wireworld Studios
Main Equipment Provided: SSL AWS 900+ SE console, Euphonix MC Control, Universal Audio UAD-2 Quad DSP Accelerator cards, RME MADI cards, Mogami cabling, various custom-designed patchbays.
Level of Involvement: Nashville-based GC Pro account manager Chad Evans on hand throughout studio development process, recommending gear and helping with setup.
Final Remarks: “I have been working with GC Pro since I moved to Nashville and have come to trust and value their input over the years,” says Wagener. “Once I have done my research and have decided on the gear I need and the approach I want to take, I speak with Chad at GC Pro, who gives me his opinion, which I value very much. Because GC Pro’s Nashville office is based so close to my studio, it is very convenient, and they can always get me the equipment that I need very quickly and at a highly competitive price. I will surely continue working with GC Pro in the future.”
Photo: Jeffrey Reed
Astound Studios (West L.A.)
Main Equipment Provided: SSL C300 console; Avid Pro Tools|HD3, HD2 and HD6; PMC IB2S 5.1 loudspeakers with Ayre amplifiers; ADAM A-7 monitors; additional monitoring and outboard gear.
Level of Involvement: equipment selection.
Final Remarks: “GC Pro has been great,” says GenAudio senior VP Greg Morgenstein. “Rich Avrach is our account manager, and has gotten us everything we needed and on time. Response time is super-important for us—I usually get equipment the same day.”