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Tech News (more headlines) 03-21-2014

Philadelphia-Based ShootersINC Streamlines Workflow With The Slate RAVEN MTX, Sourced Through GC Pro

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— Integrated production company now runs an all-RAVEN facility —

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CA, March 20, 2014 — Guitar Center Professional (GC Pro), the outside sales division of Guitar Center that focuses on the needs of professional users, is proud to be the exclusive U.S. dealer of the RAVEN MTX Multi-Touch Production Console by Slate Pro Audio. By getting the RAVEN MTX into the hands of top pros, GC Pro is helping leading facilities move to their next generation workflow – a recent prime example of which is the Philadelphia-based integrated production company ShootersINC.

Bob Schachner, the senior audio designer at ShootersINC, has worked on most of the company’s iconic content, from prime-time spots for clients including A&E, Lexus, The Weinstein Company, and Scripps Networks Interactive, to the original content they’ve been helping develop, such as the Food Network's hit Restaurant: Impossible. After keeping his Avid Pro Control working in one of Shooters’ three audio control rooms for nearly a decade after Avid announced it would discontinue the platform, he knew he had to move on. In doing so, he faced the same dilemma every working professional does when their most familiar tools approach obsolescence: finding new ones that are compatible with all of their other systems but that also manage to let them manage their workflow just as they had before. Schachner says he found that in the Slate Digital RAVEN MTX console, the third of which was installed at Shooters in November.

He and Brad Petrella, manager of engineering services at Shooters, had been on the lookout for a good replacement platform that would work for Schachner and Shooters’ other audio engineers. Then, last year, Schachner says he saw a video of the RAVEN MTX and was intrigued by its interface: a 46-inch LED backlit touch-sensitive display with 1920 X 1080 HD resolution and integrated compatibility with the HD3 Pro Tools systems Shooters uses. “Steven Slate had a good reputation for his plugins; I liked the way he made his graphical user interfaces for them,” says Schachner. “So we went to a demo of the RAVEN at GC Pro and thought it had the potential to do what I needed it to do.”

Schachner was curious whether the console, which had been aimed at the music production market, would meet his workflow needs in audio post. He was not disappointed: “I live in the edit window in post, not on the faders and knobs,” he explains. “So the transition to the touchscreen was perfect. On a touchscreen work surface, there’s nothing that I lose and I gain this huge screen, which makes everything on it easy to see and access. I found myself transitioning from the trackball to the touchscreen quickly – the RAVEN was installed on a Monday, I was working on it by Tuesday and was fully up to speed on it by Wednesday. There wasn’t any slowdown in the workflow.”

Within a month of the first console being installed, the entire facility had RAVEN MTX workstations in all three control rooms, and everyone was conversant with the RAVEN’s operation. “One of our guys is in a band and his engineer did some overdubs,” Schachner recalls. “I loaded his work into the system and gave him a quick two-minute tutorial on it. He had no problem with it at all. Basically, if you can work Pro Tools, the RAVEN MTX is going to be very familiar to you.”

“What we like about the RAVEN MTX is that it doesn’t demand that you learn it – it accommodates how you work, for instance, by letting you get started quickly and then allowing you to learn different shortcuts and other things at your own pace, as you need them,” observes Brad Petrella.

In the space of barely two months, Schachner says the RAVEN MTX has changed his work patterns for the better. “When you have faders, you’re constantly reaching all over the board, and that causes your head to be constantly moving, which affects your ability to monitor accurately,” he explains. “With the touchscreen in the center, I find that monitoring is much easier since I don’t have to move as much. Plus, with the Pro Tools screen on the console display and so much easier to see, I can see the waveforms better; I can read the plugins easier. Pro Tools is part of the console now. I feel more connected to the entire process. You don’t realize that that’s happening until it hits you. This is a great way to work.”

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


Photo Caption: Bob Schachner, the senior audio designer at ShootersINC (foreground), and Brad Petrella, manager of engineering services (background), pictured with one of their new RAVEN MTX Multi-Touch Production Consoles by Slate Pro Audio, sourced through GC Pro.

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