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Guitar Center Professional Helps Capitol Studios Stay State-of-the-Art

— Capitol Studios’ Vice President, General Manager, and Chief Engineer Art Kelm knows he can call on GC Pro for everything from patch cables to massive recording consoles and beyond —

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CA, July 22, 2015 — It can be difficult to sum up Art Kelm’s wide job description at Capitol Studios, located in the iconic Capitol Records Building in Los Angeles. His titles include Vice President, General Manager and Chief Engineer; “My job as General Manager is to make sure things function smoothly, and my job as Chief Engineer is to stay on top of technology and make sure that we are current and forward-thinking to stay competitive,” he notes. Capitol Studios, where iconic recordings from the likes of Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole and The Beach Boys made the space historic, and where scores of other massive records have echoed through the walls in the decades since, has a legacy to maintain, and Kelm takes the job very seriously.  As Kelm purchases and maintains the equipment necessary to keep Capitol Studios on the cutting-edge of recording technology, he relies on Guitar Center Professional (GC Pro), the outside sales division of Guitar Center that focuses on the needs of professional users, for gear and service both great and small.

“Basically, I am the main person responsible for purchasing decisions,” he adds. “But I think I’m a pragmatic guy when it comes to decision-making, so I don’t just act on my own – I meet with our talented pros and find out what they need.” A recent purchase included a pair of Avid S6 Pro Tools Control Surfaces, outfitted in the writer’s rooms. “We have engineers that run the writer’s rooms,” he notes. “I made a point to sit down with them and ask them how they’re working, and what challenges and opportunities they have with the existing gear. It’s a team effort to move forward with gear upgrades, and out of all the work surfaces that were out there, together we felt that the S6 was a good fit for what these engineers, artists and writers were doing in these spaces. The Avid S6 offers tactile control and easily integrates with hard drives and other devices the artists would bring in rough tracks on. So I made the decision, and called up Brian Overton at the Hollywood office of GC Pro – which is really just around the corner from our building – and got the ball rolling. Response has been overwhelming positive with the S6’s, and we couldn’t be more pleased.”

Another recent purchase involved a complement of Focusrite RedNet interfaces, which offer a turnkey solution in networking all facility components via Audinate’s Dante™ protocol – quickly becoming the new industry standard. “We’ve been starting to do things like live streaming events and rooftop concerts. The only practical way to get 32 microphone channels from the roof to a control room was with RedNet and the Dante network, as far as I’m concerned. We’re looking to expand the infrastructure to shoot audio and video from anywhere in the building to anywhere else in the facility, just like that. RedNet offers a scalable and future-proof solution, and again all it took to get the project moving was a call to Brian at GC Pro!”

Because of the Hollywood GC store’s close proximity to Capitol Studios, Kelm has been able to rely on Brian and the rest of the team for smaller, more mundane purchases too. “I have a relationship with GC Pro that is very strong. They are my go-to vendor for everyday needs. If I need microphones or stands, they can get it for me. And the next Avid package I buy will definitely be through GC Pro. It’s also about support – GC Pro makes sure we get the most knowledgeable Account Managers and that they understand when an order is urgent and I have to have it immediately, and also they can offer great support and answers after the fact if there are any issues with the product. GC Pro offers professional service at a high level, and that’s why I keep going back year after year.”

Photo caption: Art Kelm, Vice President, General Manager and Chief Engineer at Capitol Studios.