As the fallout from a global pandemic reshapes the world of audio, dramatic changes are happening within the walls of some of the industry’s leading names. Whilst much of the news has not always been positive, there are those who have authored their own success stories by using the interval to hunker down, refine internal mechanisms and complete projects that would have otherwise taken many years to complete. With an all-new, industry-leading demonstration and training setup now unveiled across multiple rooms of their freshly upgraded headquarters, Group Technologies is proving to be one such success story.
February saw Group Technologies open its doors to some of the industry’s finest, for an evening of celebration and a first look at the 5+ new spaces at their inner Melbourne facility. The building’s unassuming facade now conceals a plethora of modern audio technologies along with a gratuity of eye-catching physical and digital displays.
Local and interstate guests joined industry alumni for a complete tour of the new spaces, whilst GT’s accomplished sales team spoke of the future over a confluence of line array, point source and architectural audio sources. With GT’s fabled hospitality in full swing, the gathering then moved on to an evening of robust celebration, with GT commandeering an intimate Brunswick venue for full effect.
Amongst much talk of exciting new technologies at the Grand Opening, the central topic of conversation was the physical transformation of the GT spaces themselves, which had been in the works since the very beginning of the pandemic. Guests previously familiar with the Group Technologies headquarters found themselves face to face with not only new demo spaces, but an entirely new foyer, kitchen, bathrooms and much else besides, all glistening with contemporary furnishings and modern lighting.
Featuring NEXO and Quest Commercial technologies, and a comprehensive wall of Cordial cables, The Showroom was the first stop on GT’s main facility tour. Following a brisk ribbon cutting ceremony, guests were invited to explore- where they were greeted with a bright, double-sided display of install-oriented Quest hardware, including a ‘first look’ area for upcoming Quest products.
The next stop was the The Mix Zone, a purpose-built training space currently home to an array of DiGiCo consoles, ranging from cutting edge Quantum 338 and Quantum 225 consoles to industry staples like the SD9 and SD11. Equally prominent is the KLANG display, showing off the technology behind the manufacturer’s leading 3D mix & monitoring system. Also present in this area is a unique display of hardware from NST Audio, offering a range of network solutions aimed at live sound and fixed installation. Both The Showroom and The Mix Zone feature fully functional networked room audio to demonstrate the capabilities of NST Audio technology.
Guests previously acquainted with GT’s listening space will no doubt recognise The Commercial Room. The evolution of GT’s ‘classic’ demo room, The Commercial Room has been transformed into a multipurpose PA demonstration area with a focus on architectural, venue and installation audio. Technology present for the Grand Opening included NEXO P10 & L15, NEXO ID 84, 24, 14 and accompanying sub elements, as well as Quest MX601, MX801, MXS6 and MXS10i.
Hidden away through a secret door, lies one of the most talked about areas of the Grand Opening. With its adjustable LED mood lighting and tunable acoustic treatment, The Studio made quite an impression. A dedicated recording/listening space aimed at replicating the work environment of many audiophiles and engineering professionals, The Studio has become a nexus for GT’s studio-centric brands. A comprehensive Austrian Audio microphone & headphone collection was on display for the opening, as well as an exhaustive list of studio monitors, including PSI Audio A21-M, A23-M, A214-M, A215-M, RCF Ayra Pro 5, Pro 8 and Pro 10 sub.
Spreading out from the open-plan area of the building, guests were free to explore further into facility, where the extent of GT’s upgrades became truly apparent. The Live Space is an immense permanent demonstration room for live audio unlike any other in Australia. Specifically designed to house and test drive a plethora of live PA solutions, The Live Space is filled with a comprehensive display of class-leading RCF powered loudspeakers and Quest live cabinets, NEXO and RCF line arrays (currently set up with flagship NEXO Geo M12 and RCF HDL20-A arrays), DiGiCo consoles, and an integrated 4REA4 system.
With major Australian production companies and various industry press now vying for their own individual demonstration bookings, Group Technologies has reaffirmed its position as a hub for much of the industry’s best and brightest, forging forward as a valuable voice in the recovering world of pro audio.