Rock Star University in Santa Rosa, CA, provides instruction in guitar, bass, drums, keyboards and vocals and stage performance.
Located in an 8,000-square-foot music and media production building, the school is equipped with a 1,000-square-foot stage outfitted with stacks of amplifiers, drums, audio and video recording facilities and a sound reinforcement system with numerous Harman Professional components, including JBL Professional VerTec line arrays, Crown Audio I-Tech HD Series amplifiers, a Soundcraft Vi1 mixing console, and AKG microphones.
Rock Star University was built from the ground up – the owners purchased a warehouse, gutted it and converted it into a combination performance venue, music teaching school and rehearsal studio.
The 350-seat performance area features a full stage with concert-quality lighting, video backline and sound. The audio and video system was installed by systems integrator Sound Expressions of Santa Rosa under the direction of Greg Adams.
Sound Expressions was one of the first systems contractors to ever install the VerTec VT4886 line arrays in the U.S. and chose the VT4886 subcompact line array element for Rock Star University, having outstanding results with the speaker in various sizes and shapes of venues.
“For this space it was a home run out of the box,” says Adams. “We needed a low-profile line array system because of the low ceilings in the performance space and I knew the VT4886 would be perfect for it.”
Adams and his team hung five JBL VT4886 loudspeakers on each side of the stage, with low-frequency reinforcement provided by one JBL SRX728 subwoofer per side. The system also features four JBL SRX712M stage monitors.
Audio power is deliveredCrown I-Tech 12000HD amps. “The I-Tech HD’s have tons of power and tons of headroom,” Adams notes. “They’re really clean even when pushed hard and the sound tailoring and system tuning capabilities offered by their onboard DSP is unparalleled.”
A Soundcraft Vi1 digital live sound console was chosen for its combination of small footprint yet large channel count, ease of use and flexibility. Rock Star University puts a big emphasis on recording its students’ performances so the students can listen to and learn from them, and the Vi1 is equipped with a MADI card that outputs multitrack digital audio from the console into a ProTools rig.
Rounding out the system is a complement of AKG vocal and instrument microphones. The drum kit is miked using D40 dynamic mics on the snare and tom toms, a C214 large-diaphragm condenser overhead mic and a C451 B condenser on the hi-hat. Several D5 handheld vocal mics are on hand and the guitar amps are miked with Perception 120 condensers. CM311 and 520L headworn mics are available for drummers who sing and WMS 470 wireless systems are used with electric guitars. In addition, three IVM4500 wireless in-ear monitoring systems are available for vocalists.
“Students who attend Rock Star University aren’t just going to some glorified rehearsal studio—thanks to the Harman Professional audio system and the same staging and lighting you’d find in a real music venue, the students are getting a complete learning experience that’ll have them ready to rock wherever they play,” Adams concludes.