When Dallas-based Sound Productions, renowned as the “Mixing-Console-Kings,” was designing its state-of-the-art demo room, the goal was simple: create a comfortable environment with an authentic live venue atmosphere. After just 90 days, the room was equipped and operational with some of the hottest sound, lighting and video products on the market, ready to be test driven by anyone who walked through the door. Everything was running smoothly, until it hit them: severe weather in the area could ultimately shut down the show. After little deliberation, they turned to Furman to protect their investment and keep all of the systems operating seamlessly.
“Originally, we installed a power management system that we quickly lost confidence in. The system failed twice during brownouts, which were common this past spring due to unusually extreme weather in our area. Fortunately, the failures did not occur during business hours,” Sound Productions Vice President of Sales & Marketing Jeff Humphrey explained. “It was almost a year after opening the new facility when we finally decided to incorporate Furman products into the racks to deliver advanced surge protection and uninterruptible power supply (UPS) backup.”
The company installed the BlueBOLT-enabled Furman F1500-UPS, Furman P8 PRO-C and Furman M-8Lx power conditioners and a Furman voltage regulator into the racks of four live demo stations showcasing sound reinforcement, recording, contracting, and mobile DJ products. The room comes equipped with the top 10 hottest selling digital consoles, a complete QSC line array speaker system as well as five other major speaker brands, a broad range of lighting products and a full complement of mics and backline equipment to simulate a live sound environment. In the room’s FOH racks, four APB- DynaSonic MixSwitches are used in conjunction with two Presonus Central Stations which allow seamless switching while auditioning the various consoles and speaker systems, all of which is protected and conditioned by Furman.
“Going into this project, we were very careful in the design,” Humphrey continued. “We wanted the demo room to operate seamlessly, and be an active tool for our sales team and clients rather than a constant work-in-progress hindrance I’ve seen in so many other facilities. I have witnessed many failed demos; you walk into a room and only half of the equipment is patched or even operational. We wanted to change that typical experience and set expectations higher, so we built a system that does not require any patching or un-patching. It takes little effort to test any given product, in any configuration even down to a specific component.”
This system set-up is extremely beneficial since Sound Productions allows customers to come in and demo products during normal business hours. With this policy, they need to make sure everything is working 100 percent of the time. “My right-hand-man, Kris Landrum (pictured above), arrives early every morning to run all of the diagnostics, prior to opening our doors,” Humphrey added. “He ensures everything is fully operational before he settles into his sales position, so customers can walk in at any given time to see, touch and hear the exact equipment they want at a time that is convenient for them.”
Additionally, since the system is running through the BlueBOLT-enabled Furman f1500-UPS, the Sound Productions team can monitor their system through the cloud-based power, energy, and network management platform from anywhere in the world. BlueBoLT allows them to remotely reboot connected equipment in order to address a myriad of common system issues, so Landrum can fix menial system disruptions prior to walking through the demo room’s door. “We’ve successfully used the BlueBOLT function on mobile devices and local computers and found it to be seamless and very intuitive,” Humphrey stated.
Sound Productions’ value-add business model doesn’t stop with daily demos. The company offers free monthly educational workshops with content based on new technology, industry trends and customer demand. Workshops and lectures are presented by leading manufacturer representatives and industry professionals such as Ken “Pooch” Van Druten, Bo Brinck and legendary FOH engineer, Buford Jones to name just a few. “Educating customers is our mission; educated customers buy with confidence. They purchase the right gear for their given applications and are happier in the long-run,” Humphrey concluded. “Our new facility and the workshops we offer provide a one of a kind experience for our customers.”