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Archive for January 25th, 2012

China’s Pop Superstar Hins Cheung Debuts WSDG Studio

World-Class Destination: Classic SSL & Neve + Symphony-Size Live Room

GUANGZHOU, CHINA: One hour by train from Hong Kong, in the thriving metropolis of Guangzhou stands China’s first true ‘destination’ recording studio. Technologically sophisticated and acoustically superb, Village Studios was conceived by international pop star Hins Cheung. Three years in development and construction, the complex represents the future of China’s recording industry. And, a carefully considered investment in a superstar’s long-term career plan.

Designed by Walters-Storyk Design Group, the project exemplifies the unique synthesis of several of its international offices. The project’s efforts were initially led by WSDG principal John Storyk, and required highly sophisticated analysis and auralization, developed by WSDG’s European and Brazil branches. Village Studios combines world-class acoustics and aesthetics in an exotic, yet fully cosmopolitan setting.

Graced with a striking interior design developed by WSDG partner, Beth Walters, the 12,400 sq. ft. ground up building is distinguished by an expansive 3000 sq. ft. live room, with an 18 ft. high ceiling. Village Studios features two autonomous 800 sq. ft. control rooms, each with spacious 640, and 230 sq. ft. ISO booths. Hins’ manager, Bella Fan reports that his affinity for vintage gear, inspired Studio A to be outfitted with a prized SSL9080K console. Studio B features a classic Neve VR72 and 8068.

WSDG’s initial drawings proved very close to the mark in terms of Hins’ expectations. Complex site lines between the orchestra sized live and dual control rooms, coupled with the double height ceiling and, the higher than average reverb time typically associated with China’s idiosyncratic music style, presented extremely interesting design challenges. To resolve these issues WSDG engaged a number of elegant, variable acoustic solutions including custom curtains and multi-format diffusion panels. WSDG also provided detailed construction documents, project construction administration and final studio commissioning/tuning for the complex. “To bring a project of this size and sophistication to reality on the other side of the world was a formidable challenge,” John Storyk remarked. “It was an honor to work with Hins and his team.”

The complex includes a 520 sq. ft. orchestra lounge with 18′ high ceiling, multiple smaller lounges, kitchen and offices. “This project was an extremely ambitious undertaking,” Beth Walters says. “China is expanding its international presence in virtually every area of art and industry. Village Studios sends a clear message that a new ‘destination recording studio’ has arrived.”

“John Storyk made his initial visit to the site in early 2009,” reports Project Manager Joshua Morris. “We began preliminary design work soon after he returned. Our US -based senior PM, Romina Larregina led the team that developed all designs and documentation. She also coordinated building permits and other pre-construction details with the local architect, engineering and construction teams. I completed the design and construction documents and made my first site visit in Sept. 2009,” Morris said.

While reviewing on site work, discussing technical issues and inspecting acoustic treatments and building materials, Morris was pleased to find a high level of construction and technical expertise among the local Chinese contractors, and technicians. “It is safe to say that this level of acoustic detail was a challenge for the construction team in China – a challenge that was successfully met. Wherever possible, local materials were used, although studio specialty items such as room isolation devices and acoustic doors were either directly imported or licensed for Europe and the USA,” Morris adds.”

As plans called for substantial A/V interconnectivity between the live and twin control rooms as well as numerous recording sites throughout the complex, systems integration and isolation were primary concerns. Hins’ team along with WSDG systems design engineers, Judy Elliot-Brown and Caroline Feldmeier held extensive online dialogues with their China-based colleagues. Further on in the project, Hins requested that Brown visit the site for a full review of the wiring program and to have her lead the installation of the final a/v conduit and raceway system.

Fully loaded with Pro Tools, Lynx Aurora, Studer, Prisim Sound, Apogee Lexicon, TC Electronics, Eventide, Mercury, GML Manley, Fairchild, API, Empirical, Crane Song, and a full complement of classic mics including AEA, Beyer, Neumann, Royer, Telefunken, Song C800G, DPA, Schoeps and Shure. The studio also features two Hammond B3 organs and six Fender Rhodes electric piano models. Mains monitors in the SSL Control Room are custom 15″ Augspurgers. The Neve Control Room features 15″ Dynaudio Acoustics custom Munro M6 mains. The technology package was coordinated by WSDG, in conjunction with US-based Professional Audio Design.

Beth Walters worked closely with Hins and Bella Fan, to determine the most appealing color schemes and furnishing details. “Village Studios is an extraordinary accomplishment from every perspective,” Walters says. “We were committed to providing Hins with aesthetic details to complement their superlative acoustic and technical elements. Initial reports seem to indicate that we have achieved that goal.

“It is interesting to note that neither distance nor language presented insurmountable barriers to our collaboration. We see Village Studios as a triumph of professionalism. Hins has already recorded sessions with a full 60-piece symphonic orchestra. His business plan is to make the studio available to both Chinese artists and an international client base,” John Storyk concludes, “We are proud of this truly international design effort and confident that China’s newest world-class studio will be a true asset to that country’s entertainment industry.”

To view a full 60-piece orchestra live recording session with Hins at Village Studios visit: http://www.tudou.com/programs/view/5ZeQ5GNl9OI/

Photos: 1. Village Studios Presentation Drawing
2. Village Studios owner Hins with 60 piece orchestra in 3000 sq. ft. Live Room

###

Walters-Storyk Design Group has designed over 3000 media production facilities in the U.S., Europe, the Far East and Latin America. WSDG credits range from the original Jimi Hendrix Electric Lady Studio in Greenwich Village to NYC’s Jazz At Lincoln Center performance complex, broadcast facilities for The Food Network, CBS and WNET, over twenty teaching studios for The Art Institutes around the US, and corporate clients such as Hoffman La Roche. Recent credits include Jungle City, NY’s major new destination studio, private studios for Green Day, Jay-Z, Timbaland’s Tim Mosley, film composer Carter Burwell, Aerosmith, Bruce Springsteen and Alicia Keys. WSDG principals John Storyk, Beth Walters, and Dirk Noy lecture frequently at universities and industry events, and contribute regularly to industry publications. WSDG is a seven-time winner of the prestigious TEC Award for outstanding achievement in Acoustics/Facility Design, including 2012 for Jungle City. WSDG maintains offices in NY, SF, Miami, Argentina, Brazil, Beijing, Germany, Mexico City, Spain and Switzerland.

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Stampede Increases Credit Lines To Qualified Dealers; Invests Millions Of New Dollars In Product Inventory

Putting its money squarely behind its stated commitment to serve as a complete business partner for its 9,000 dealer network, Stampede Presentations Products, Inc. today announced that it is expanding the credit facilities it offers to qualified dealers and investing millions of additional dollars in deepening its product inventory to be in a stronger position to meet dealer demands for faster order shipments.

“Our dealers have made it very clear to us that they see 2012 as a very strong year for them if they can obtain the credit they need and the product they need to complete their customer installations in a timely way,” Stampede President & COO Kevin Kelly said today. “Stampede is in a very strong financial position to meet both of these needs and we intend to do so by expanding the credit we offer to qualified dealers and increasing the inventory we carry on critically important core products, such as displays, projectors, and video conferencing equipment.”

Stampede has successfully served as a beacon of financial stability for its dealer network throughout the most recent recession. While many of its competitors cut back in every part of their business, or exited the business entirely, Stampede invested tens of millions of dollars in new product lines, company acquisitions, new technologies, and people. During 2011 alone, Stampede extended over $55 million monthly in credit lines to its dealers. This critically important credit lifeline helped countless customers not only maintain their businesses but expand them in very challenging times. And now that business in general is improving, Stampede is totally committed to increasing its financial support to dealers in the two areas that matter most to them — credit and inventory.

Stampede is able to step in and provide the support its dealers need because it has a record of sustained year-to-year growth despite the recession, a detailed understanding of the economics of the ProAV industry, and a rock solid relationship their its financial partners. “You have to remember that last year Stampede experienced a 51-percent growth in unit sales in core categories and a 48-percent increase in operating profit, constituting the most successful year in our 15-year history. In fact, Stampede now represents more than 120 different manufacturers, with 35 new lines added just in the last two years, to support our 9,000-plus dealer partners,” Kelly emphasized.

Amplifying this message further, Stampede Chief Executive Officer Mark Wilkins invoked Warren Buffet’s famous investment maxim in explaining that Stampede’s strategy is to be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful. “If you think back to when the financial crisis really started in 2008, credit lines were being closed down almost overnight. Stampede throughout this entire time provided stable and growing credit to the professional AV marketplace. We circled the wagons and, with our financial advisors, we decided that this can’t go on forever.”

As a result of their ability to offer financing, Stampede helped keep the market liquid for countless customers. “We’ve invested millions of dollars in financing and in additional inventory, to be able to provide that value to those manufacturer partners, and to be able to have that product on hand and available for immediate shipment to our dealers. At the end of the day we are enabling dealers to do a job that they may not have been able to do themselves without the value-adds that we provide. It could be a situation where they didn’t have access to a certain category of products. It could be a situation where they didn’t have access to certain credit facilities that would enable them to do a larger job. We are stepping in an filling in the gaps wherever they exist.”

About Stampede
Known for its value-added distribution, Amherst, New York-based Stampede is the leading distributor of presentation equipment including LCD/DLP projectors and flat panel displays. Stampede provides a complete range of brand name presentation equipment to a variety of audio/video, computer, and home theater resellers and integrators in the United States, Canada and Latin America. These resellers rely on Stampede for value-added services in distribution, marketing and solution- based sales. Stampede annually produces the “Big Book of AV,” an 816-page catalog and companion website (www.BigBookofAV.com) providing hundreds of sales, installation and spec tips for Stampede’s dealers in addition to product details on more than 5,000 SKUs. For more information on Stampede, log onto www.stampedeglobal.com.

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Almo Professional A/V Rings in the New Year with New Hires

Almo Professional A/V Rings in the New Year with New Hires

Distributor Adds Four New Business Development and Sales
Positions to Accommodate Partner Growth

Philadelphia, PA — January 25, 2012 — Almo Professional A/V, the nation’s fastest growing audiovisual distributor, is ringing in 2012 with the addition of four new industry professionals to its expanding business. Newly created positions focusing on sales in the Eastern, Southeastern and Midwest territories, and a technical business development manager have all been added with more hiring expected to take place throughout this year.

“Our business with our integrator partners has increased 51 percent year-over-year as we continue to grow our market share. It was important for us to expand our reach to make sure partners are covered in terms of products, sales and service,” said Sam Taylor, executive vice president and COO for Almo Professional A/V. “We’ve also added a third business development manager to help provide specific technical and sales support for all of the NEC products we offer.”

Almo Professional A/V continues to exceed business expectations two years after the division formed, having finished Q1 fiscal year 2012 up 70 percent in revenue from last year during this same time period. Almo Pro A/V’s growth results from the addition of powerful new vendor partners, its traveling E4 education and networking program, new distribution centers and, most notably, the hiring of new and experienced Pro A/V sales, consulting and business development professionals.

The following industry professionals have joined the Almo Professional A/V team:

• Russ Short, Business Development Manager
Based in Seattle, Russ focuses exclusively on supporting the NEC business in the areas of videowalls, new classroom tablet software, high lumen projector installations, content services and more. An industry veteran, Russ was Vice President of Sales at Electrograph Systems, Inc. Prior to Electrograph, Russ was the COO of Cinelight.

• Brian Forrester, Southeast Account Manager
Located in Florida, Brian is responsible for serving partners in Alabama, Caribbean, Florida, Georgia, Latin America, Mexico, Mississippi, North Carolina, Puerto Rico and South Carolina. Brian was most recently an account manager at Sunbelt Software and has also held sales and business positions with Electrograph, Tech Data Corporation and NOBS Technologies.

• Colleen Eckles, Midwest Territory Manager
Based in Dallas, Colleen is in charge of assisting partners in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin. She is CTS-certified and holds 20 years of experience in the AV industry at both the distributor and manufacturer levels, having worked with Telex, InView, Proxima, LG and Panasonic. Colleen also spent 10 years with Electrograph. as a Regional Sales Manager.

• Dee Richney, Sales Administrator Eastern Region
With a growing outbound sales force, the need exists for a seasoned administrator to support the team. Formerly with Electrograph for 21 years in support and service and most recently with Quality Kind Distributors, Dee provides inside support to the East coast sales team.

About Almo Professional A/V’s E4 AV Tour
Launched in December 2009, The E4 AV tour is a free, full-day program with an intense educational focus that allows partners to earn valuable InfoComm International CTS RUs while networking with the industry’s top manufacturers. Close to 4,000 attendees have experienced the benefits of the E4 events and, in the process, have earned nearly 2,750 InfoComm CTS RUs. For more information, go to www.e4avtour.com.

# # #
About Almo Professional A/V
Almo Professional A/V is the nation’s fastest growing distributor serving the needs of professional audiovisual integrators, dealers and consultants. With a highly skilled sales team, reseller education programs, 10 distribution centers across the U.S. and product lines for the Pro A/V channel, Almo Professional A/V provides customers with the full distribution experience on a local and a personal level.

The Almo Professional A/V sales team is InfoComm-trained and the majority is CTS-certified. Almo Professional A/V has aligned with InfoComm International to offer courses worth CTS renewal units that enable partners to stay ahead. At the same time, the division works with industry vendors to bring live and online product training opportunities directly to channel partners.

Almo Professional A/V is a division of Almo Corp., the nation’s leading independent distributor of consumer electronics and major appliances. For more information about Almo Professional A/V, please call 410-560-2890 or go to www.almoproav.com. Almo Professional A/V can also be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/almoproav and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/almoproav.

*All product and company names herein may be trademarks of their registered owners.

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Earl Girls Theatrical Equipment Places First Order for grandMA’s MA onPC Command Wing

Earl Girls Theatrical Equipment in Egg Harbor City, New Jersey has become the first dealership to place an order for grandMA’s new MA onPC command wing, which paves the way for mobile use of the highly flexible and powerful grandMA2 control system. Earl Girls submitted its purchase order the day the product was announced and leads such strong pre-sales for the command wing that MA Lighting expects the first production run to be sold out before it hits the street. A.C.T Lighting is the exclusive distributor of grandMA in North America.

“We love the grandMA line of products; we have them in our rental inventory and in installations all over Atlantic City, including the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa and many other resorts,” says Robert Thorpe, Earl Girls’ lighting designer and consultant who does a lot of design work on installations. “The grandMA console line is rock solid and dependable. But a huge part of its success is due to A.C.T Lighting, which offers outstanding customer support. They know the product inside out.”

When Earl Girls held a meeting about planning its next big purchase, rental shop manager Ted Oponski and programmer Greg McGeary reported they were getting frequent requests for grandMA consoles. “The majority of the large touring shows that come to Atlantic City ask for grandMAs,” Thorpe notes. “We needed more and we needed back ups. That same afternoon I saw the announcement for the MA onPC command wing and realized it was exactly what we were looking for. Usually, I suggest waiting for a product to be out a while before we invest in it, but not in this case. grandMA is so solid that we were ready to make the leap.”

Designed as the perfect hardware complement to the free grandMA2 onPC software, the MA onPC command wing emulates the look and feel of the command section of a grandMA2 console as closely as possible. It provides a portable 2,048-parameter control solution that may be used in nearly any location – and for an affordable price.

Via a simple USB connection between the MA onPC command wing and a computer running the grandMA2 onPC software, all inputs and outputs of a grandMA2 console are available to the user. DMX, MIDI, timecode and analog remote are all directly on hand. If more than 2,048 parameters are required, the MA onPC command wing can be further expanded by one of the existing MA 2Port node options. An MA 2Port node onPC will furnish another 512 parameters and an MA 2Port node onPC PRO will add 1,024 parameters.

Due to its compact size, the MA onPC command wing is perfect to use when traveling – it can be carried as hand luggage – or wherever it’s physically difficult to use a grandMA2 console. However the MA onPC command wing is not only designed for tours. It is also ideal for smaller shows and clubs, for programming in a theater auditorium as well as for pre-programming tasks. It’s also the perfect choice for any MA enthusiast entering the world of MA Lighting.

“The MA onPC command wing is the right thing at the right time for us,” says Thorpe. “It offers so many parameters and has a phenomenal price point. I know we’ll use it and we’ll sell it. And if we ever have any issues A.C.T Lighting will be there instantly with amazing support for the product.”

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Sound Devices to Expand Operations with Purchase of New Facility

REEDSBURG, WI, JANUARY 25, 2012 — Sound Devices, makers of production sound and video products for field production, announce the purchase of a new facility for its U.S. headquarters in Reedsburg, WI. The company is expected to relocate and settle into the 27,000-square-foot facility in the first half of 2012, where it will continue to manufacture audio mixers and recorders, and video recorders for feature film, episodic television, documentary, news, and acoustical test and measurement applications.

“This move is part of Sound Devices’ continued commitment to our customers, our community and to the marketplace,” says Jon Tatooles, managing director, Sound Devices. “It gives us the necessary room to grow, and to have all departments, including engineering, manufacturing, and sales, under one (much larger) roof. We look forward to continued success in our new home this year and beyond.”

Equipped with state-of-the-art technology, the new facility will enable Sound Devices to continue its focus on designing and building new, innovative field-production products.

In addition to the improvements to logistics and operations, the newly renovated facility, which sits on 27 wooded acres, can accommodate training meetings for its sales representatives and distributors. It also has space for permanent product setups to assist in product training.

Sound Devices new facility is located at 7556 State Highway 23/33 in Reedsburg.

Sound Devices, LLC designs and manufactures portable audio mixers, digital recorders, portable video recorders and related equipment for feature film, episodic television, documentary, news-gathering and acoustical test and measurement applications. The thirteen-year old company designs and manufactures from their Reedsburg, Wisconsin headquarters with additional offices in Madison, WI and Highland Park, IL. For more information, visit the Sound Devices website, www.sounddevices.com.

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4th Bin and Cumulus Global Partner up for e-Waste Solutions

4th Bin Logo

Boston, MA – January 25, 2012 – Cumulus Global and 4th Bin jointly announced a new partnership designed to offer businesses, non-profits, schools, and local governments fully integrated e-waste solutions. Through the partnership, Cumulus Global will offer its cloud-bound customers discounted, ecologically sound, e-waste recycling services for their retiring hardware and electronics. Cumulus Global will help 4th Bin clients avoid e-Waste hazards by helping them move to cloud computing solutions, such as Google Apps and online backup services.

“Many organizations hesitate to dispose of e-waste out of concern for the legal and ecological issues and the cost,” noted Allen Falcon, CEO of Cumulus Global. “Partnering with 4th Bin lets us help our customers solve their e-waste dilemma.”

Based on New York City, 4th Bin provides door-to-door collection and recycling services in the metropolitan New York area and can arrange e-waste collection and recycling services throughout North America.

“4th Bin is committed to reducing e-waste throughout the technology life cycle,” added John Kirsch, Partner at 4th Bin. “Our joint effort with Cumulus Global will help companies dispose of their current e-waste and avoid creating more in the future.”

As a cloud solutions provider, Cumulus Global does more than replace servers with cloud-based solutions. A sound cloud computing strategy reduces the need for support servers, backup equipment, and networking gear. Moving to cloud computing has a ripple effect that includes less equipment, reduced HVAC requirements, and reduced power consumption.

Cloud computing providers, like Google, are significantly more efficient than most in-house computer rooms and data centers.

About Cumulus Global
Cumulus Global (http://www.cumulusglobal.com) helps small and mid-size businesses, non-profits, governments, and educational institutions thrive by delivering cloud computing solutions. Serving clients from 1 to more than 1000 employees across numerous industries, we align technology with our clients’ goals, objectives, and bottom lines. We leverage our expertise, vendor relationships, and a diversified range of best-of-breed cloud services to create custom solutions with tangible value.

About 4th Bin
After seeing how much electronic waste (e-waste) is irresponsibly discarded, and knowing the City of New York will institute mandatory responsible disposal of e-waste, a team of IT professionals found a solution to this mounting problem and launched 4th Bin (http://www.4thbin.com). The company specializes in e-waste collection and recycling and is the only service in the city to do so. Since the company began in fall of 2010, it has collected, recycled, or environmentally and ethically disposed of over 900,000lbs of e-waste from offices, schools, hospitals, factories, and residences in New York City. For the processing of e-waste, 4th Bin works exclusively with e-Stewards Certified recyclers (http://www.e-stewards.org) who have been qualified as upholding the highest standard of environmental and social responsibility.

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Jackson Rancheria Casino Upgrades to Yamaha Digital Consoles

BUENA PARK, Calif.—GJM Sound and Lighting in Placerville, CA recently installed a sound and lighting system for the Jackson Rancheria Casino ballroom that is used as its indoor concert hall. The system was designed so that it can also be used for the casino’s outdoor event center. Located in Jackson, California and owned and operated by the Jackson Rancheria Band of Miwok Indians, the ballroom concert venue seats approximately 600, while the outdoor venue seats 1,000. Both venues offer a variety of entertainment for their guests from rock and blues bands, to reggae and jazz, as well as comedy acts.

“The casino wanted to go digital for both front of house and monitor consoles and were sold on the Yamaha M7CL-48ES and LS9 digital consoles working together as a team,” states Greg Mace, owner, GJM Sound and Lighting. “The ES version of the M7CL was chosen because it is a more cost effective and convenient solution than having to purchase and install a splitter for an analog snake.”

The Yamaha M7CL is used primarily as the casino’s front of house console, and the Yamaha LS9 console is used in the “crows nest” which is located in the a/v booth overlooking the entire casino ballroom. The LS9 is also used for front of house when events require a smaller amount of channels; for example, presentations, speeches, or comedy acts.

For more information on GJM Sound, visit www.gjmsound.com.

For more information on Yamaha digital consoles, visit www.yamahaca.com.

-END-

About Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc.:
Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc. (YCAS) provides a full line of integrated professional audio products offering complete systems solutions for the broadcast, sound reinforcement/installed sound, touring, commercial recording, and post production markets. With the addition of NEXO to the product line, the company remains the official U.S. and Canadian distributor for all NEXO speaker models. YCAS offers comprehensive in-house and field product training for its customers, a dedicated dealer network, and 24/7 technical support.

Extron Introduces 800 Watt ENERGY STAR® Qualified Power Amplifiers

Extron Electronics is pleased to introduce the new XTRA™ Series XPA 4002 two channel power amplifier. This compact 1U, convection cooled amplifier delivers 400 watts rms per channel, and is available in low impedance and 70 volt versions. The XPA 4002 is an ENERGY STAR® qualified amplifier with an Extron exclusive, highly efficient, advanced Class D amplifier design. It also features patented CDRS™ – Class D Ripple Suppression technology that provides a smooth, clean audio waveform and an improvement in signal fidelity over conventional Class D amplifiers. The XPA 4002 is half the size of comparable amplifiers, conserving rack space and weighing only 9 lbs (4 kg). The Extron exclusive, high efficiency design generates very little heat and allows the amplifier to be convection cooled.

“The XPA 4002 is our newest ENERGY STAR qualified amplifier that delivers a unique combination of high power output and very efficient operation,” says Casey Hall, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Extron. “It is ideal for driving high powered speaker cabinets or a large quantity of distributed speakers in large spaces such as auditoriums and houses of worship, while consuming less energy, running cooler, and taking up less space than competitive models.”

The XPA 4002 features an auto power-down feature that automatically places the amplifier into standby after a period of inactivity, and consumes 30 watts or less when idle and less than 1 watt in standby mode. It also has an ultra low inrush current draw to prevent power circuit overload that occurs when multiple amplifiers are switched on simultaneously. This feature eliminates the need for power sequencing in systems with multiple amplifiers in large centralized equipment racks, and prevents other equipment from experiencing power interruption from associated power surges. Additionally, the XPA 4002 amplifier features very low thermal dissipation under full load, which keeps racks and equipment cabinets cool.

Visit our Web site at www.extron.com/xpa4002pr for more information.

EAW® Names Scott Pizzo North American Sales Manager, East

Pizzo Returns to the Company and Will Help EAW Focus on Sales and Continued Growth

Whitinsville, MA, USA, January 24, 2012 – EAW®, a world leader in audio system technology for over 30 years, announces the appointment of Scott Pizzo to the position of North American Sales Manager, Eastern Region. Pizzo was previously part of the EAW team from 2003 through 2008, serving as U.S. Sales Director among other positions. The announcement was made by Jeff Rocha, EAW President, and reflects EAW’s ongoing emphasis on strengthening its sales channels and enhancing its customer relations.

Rocha states, “Re-hiring Scott is a critical step in strategically growing our internal capabilities. He brings tremendous experience and strong connections to dealers and end users. Plus, he’s intimately familiar with the EAW product line, so he can hit the ground running. Having Scott here in the home office will help us keep the sales perspective front-and-center.”

In his new capacity, Pizzo will focus on sales in the eastern half of North America, allowing Kurt Metzler, EAW’s existing North American Sales Manager to focus on the West. As EAW has positioned each sales resource closer to the customers they serve so they can deliver faster, more direct service, Pizzo and Metzler will manage the total North American territory cooperatively.

“Our business is complex to the point that an installation might be specified in one territory, awarded to a contractor in another and installed in a third,” Rocha said. “It just makes sense for Scott and Kurt to collaborate in driving our North American growth in 2012 and beyond.”

Before rejoining EAW, Pizzo served as Eastern U.S. Regional Sales Manager at Renkus-Heinz from 2008 through 2011. Prior to joining EAW for the first time in 2003, he worked as Product Specialist / Technical Sales at Lexicon Professional. He graduated with a Bachelor of Music in music performance with an emphasis in recording and production technology from University of Lowell (now UMass Lowell). His experience spans both the studio world and event production, and in his free time, he does freelance event production for local-area organizations and businesses.

Pizzo states, “EAW is like home to me. I was an EAW owner before I was an employee, having purchased an FR253HR in 1996 or so. I am looking forward to reconnecting with customers and building EAW to the greatness it deserves, because EAW is the best. It’s good to be home.”

For more information, please visit www.eaw.com.

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Guitar Center, the Nation’s Largest Instrument Retailer, Opens Its 221st Store with New Location in Round Rock, Texas

— Company opens its seventh store in 2011 with special savings and events —

— Store features on-site lessons and guitar repair services —

On September 29, 2011, Guitar Center opened its newest retail location in Round Rock, Texas, located at 2200 South IH-35, Suite B4. The store’s opening delivered vast product selection, along with the unparalleled knowledge and experience of GC’s dedicated staff. Guitar Center Round Rock also features Guitar Center Studios, an embedded lesson and rehearsal facility, and is the only Austin-area Guitar Center with a Guitar Center Studios. To celebrate the opening, Guitar Center hosted a Grand Opening Weekend featuring exclusive savings, gear giveaways and free events tailored to local musicians.

GC Round Rock features well-equipped showrooms with the latest products for the musician, from guitars, amplifiers, percussion instruments and keyboards to live sound, DJ, lighting and recording equipment. In addition to special Grand Opening Weekend programming, early shoppers also enjoyed exclusive savings throughout opening weekend with deals that included guitar and drum essentials.

Gene Joly, Guitar Center Executive VP of Stores, stated, “The Austin area is one of the key music centers in the country, and adding another store helps us to better serve the musicians and engineers in this burgeoning market. As with our other new stores opened in 2011, the Round Rock location reflects a number of new design and merchandising principles. For instance, GC Round Rock features Guitar Center Studios lessons/rehearsal spaces, GC Garage repairs facility and an open layout that yields a streamlined traffic flow and more room for customers to test drive products in a comfortable environment.”

Guitar Center’s plans for the Round Rock location go well beyond offering the biggest selection at the best prices. The store includes Guitar Center Studios, an in-house, state-of-the-art lesson and rehearsal facility, which will create unrivaled opportunities for Round Rock musicians of all ages and skill levels. Guitar Center Studios provides music lessons from beginner to advanced featuring certified instructors providing world-class curriculum, as well as one-on-one Pro Tools, Logic Pro and GarageBand courses. Rehearsal spaces are fully equipped with the latest backline gear, and musicians will have access to a digital recording of their rehearsal sessions. Guitar Center Studios is by all accounts the most modern and affordable lessons and rehearsals facility in the city.

The store also features GC Garage, offering on-site guitar repair services. Staffed with a certified repair technician, GC Garage can handle any repair from restring and basic instrument maintenance to headstock and structural repair.

Building on their ongoing initiatives designed to educate and inspire artists nationwide, Guitar Center in Round Rock will offer unique opportunities for musicians to craft their skills, maintain their instruments and experience many aspects of the music industry first hand. Musicians interested in learning the many facets of home recording were invited to participate in a free workshop with Avid, the makers of popular recording software Pro Tools, held on Saturday, October 1, at 1 pm. They were also able to interact with and hear firsthand from accomplished drummer Jeff Friedl (A Perfect Circle / Ashes Divide / Puscifer / Devo) and respected heavy metal and Guitar Hero lead guitarist Marcus Henderson as they shared their experiences and insights during special Guitar Center Sessions events (Friedl on Friday, September 30, at 7 pm and Henderson on Sunday, October 2, at 5 pm). On grand opening night, hard rock band Lyman and Elvis impersonator Terry Buchwald both performed.

Round Rock shoppers are able to enjoy Guitar Center’s new multi-channel “endless aisle,” with multiple combinations of shopping options to conveniently choose from – not only the Round Rock inventory, but also the over $400 million in gear Guitar Center has to offer nationwide. Consumers can combine a myriad number of in-store, online and phone options to purchase music equipment from anywhere, allowing for a completely personalized and endlessly convenient shopping experience for every customer.

In addition to special programs at the store, each year Guitar Center offers nationwide programs designed to spearhead creativity and highlight the nation’s most promising undiscovered talent. Round Rock area residents will now be able to participate in these ongoing national events from their hometown:

• Your Next Record gives artists a chance to record with some of the top recording artists in the country, including legendary guitarist Slash, country superstar Keith Urban, and rock icon Travis Barker.

• Guitar Center On-Stage gives undiscovered bands the opportunity to compete against their peers for a chance to share a stage with their idols. The most recent On-Stage competition features Jane’s Addiction. For more information, please visit http://gc.guitarcenter.com/onstage/.

• Guitar Center’s Drum-Off and King of the Blues are national competitions that highlight local talent from across the country, giving them widespread exposure and the chance to win incredible prize packages.

Guitar Center Round Rock is open seven days a week. Store hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.

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