The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
HILARiOUS Guitar Center Recording Department "Encounter" Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 27th August 2008
  #1
Lives for gear
 

HILARiOUS Guitar Center Recording Department "Encounter"

The other day I was doing an corporate AV gig and we were given a three hour "lunch" because we were so far ahead of schedule on set up.
It decided to eat some Bar-B-Que and then go see what was "new" at the near by Guitar Center.

I wandered into the "Pro Audio / Recording" area and after a minute I realized that I DID have something I wanted to see that they theoretically sold.
I have an application coming up where I will need four mics recording into laptops or possibly handheld digital recorders.
The mics will be used by judges who will be recording their commentary on performances.

Let me preface this story by saying that at no time did I ever get "testy" or get close to challenging the clerk.
I am not willing to suffer fools these days.

The clerks seemed busy, busy, busy doing stuff other than acknowledging my presence, but I eventually got the attention of one guy.

I asked if they sold a HANDHELD USB mic.
He handed me a Blue "SnowBall" and walked away and went back to what ever he was doing before.
I decided to look at it anyways.... out of curiosity if anything.
If you know what a "Snowball" is then you know that I was being a nice guy when I didn't correct him and say, "Hey... I said a HANDHELD USB mic!"

After a moment I felt ignored by Mr. Clerk, so I decided to ask a specific question regarding USB mics.

Referring to the USB port I asked, "What is the datastream called that comes out of this port?"
The ever so helpful clerk said, "Audio!"
I said, "I know that, but what type of data stream is it?"
He said, "It's just audio."

I need to stop here and clarify that I knew that it was a protocol developed by Nuemann and I had even read an article about it a few years back.
I was just trying to engage him and see if he could help me understand things a bit better.
(I now know that it is called AES 42-2001 and was developed by Nuemann and first presented to the AES in 2001.)

Somehow he managed to start talking about all of the other mics in their display case and I said, "I understand mics, but I want to know about the data stream coming out of a USB mic's data port."

I tried to be more specific and I asked, "Is it like an AES EBU? SPDIF? a .WAV? an .aiff?"

Mr. Clerk answered, "It outputs what-ever your software records."
I said, "No...."
He went on and said, "If you record into GarageBand it will record as a .aiff."
I said, "Of course the software will record whatever file format you specify or whatever it's defualt format is, but that isn't what this USB port or the USB port of an A to D USB converter puts out."
He insisted that it did.
I think he asked what I intended to use the mic for at this point.
I said that had no bearing on answering my question.

At this point I gave up, but he felt my disbelief needed to be addressed so he said," Look... you can believe me or not, but I HAVE WORKED AT RECORDING STUDIO FOR SIX YEARS and I AM THE MANAGER OF THE DEPARTMENT."
I looked him right in the eyes and said, "You have no idea how much I know about audio."
I could tell that statement meant nothing to this expert.

So, I handed him back the mic and said, "This isn't a handheld mic. DO YOU STOCK A HANDHELD USB MIC?
He replied, "No one uses those."
I said, "No one uses them for what?"
He said, "No one uses handheld mics for recording."
I said, "Recording what?"
He said, "No one records with them."
I said, I'm not RECORDING A BAND!"

Finally I gave up.
Both Mr. Expert and the other portly, mohawk wearing clerk were chuckling by now.

This is why my friend and I have a 4K sq. ft. warehouse full of audio gear and in the last ten years we have spent less than $500 at Guitar Center.
This experience will taint every thought I ever have of entering that place again!
Old 27th August 2008
  #2
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbbubba View Post


I have an application coming up where I will need four mics recording into laptops or possibly handheld digital recorders.
The mics will be used by judges who will be recording their commentary on performances.

that isnt very efficient now is it? ever heard of a mixer?
Old 27th August 2008
  #3
Gear Addict
 
Lownotes's Avatar
 

Did you mean "Neumann"?
Old 27th August 2008
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
RonCarlston's Avatar
 

It is a **** store with underpaid employees and daily brainwashing sales meetings that instructs them to behave like vultures. Knowledge is not a requirement when getting hired at GC.

You should have avoided the place all together.
Old 27th August 2008
  #5
Lives for gear
 
bcgood's Avatar
 

Well like they say, it takes two to tango. A friend of mine, Scott Rodell used to be a manager in Guitar Center's pro audio department and he is knowledgeable and very down to earth. The guy you ran into should have been honest with you though and either admitted that he didn't understand your question or didn't know the answer. But I wasn't there to hear your tone of voice or how you where carrying yourself. Although I would have asked how the specific data stream question was relevant to get an idea of where you where coming from.

I've run into similar situations at Guitar Center. Unfortunately you have the combination of low pay and people who think that by working at an audio store they somehow become elevated to an "all knowing audio guru" status. It's just like any other place you have cool knowledgeable people and complete morons.

For a live situation I would suggest a Beta 58 or an Audix dynamic mic for your application though not a usb condenser mic, especially for a hand held recorder. You're not going to have very nice feedback characteristics with a condenser and dynamics are just tougher and more suited for that type of "live" situation. I'm not aware of any hand held recorders that would utilize a usb connection to record from a usb condenser mic, of course a laptop would work but again condenser equals no go in that type of situation in my opinion. You will probably want an external pre for dynamics though unless you're using something like a Korg MR 1000 or a Sound Device 703. Lots of options many of which I'm sure you're already aware of. But considering a usb condenser mic in a live situation and quibbling over technical data stream questions with a Guitar Center employee? I mean come on...
Old 27th August 2008
  #6
Moderator
 
TonyBelmont's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Randall View Post
My favorite GC story was the first time I walked into the new one in Nashville and saw a big poster of MW above the threshold of the door as you walked into the recording dept. I casually pointed up at it, chuckled and said "Hey, I know that guy" ... the salesguys eyes got wide and he says, "Dude, You know Mutt?"
Old 27th August 2008
  #7
Gear Addict
 

Gtr center rec dept: engineer's worst nightmare
Old 27th August 2008
  #8
Lives for gear
 
peeder's Avatar
 

I dunno about youzeguys but I have gotten plenty of goodies below dead cost from those "fools."

Also, probably no one here knew AES 42-2001 either...
Old 27th August 2008
  #9
Lives for gear
 

You get what you pay for. period. that goes for service too. Why does anyone who is or has been a recording engineering for a living go into a Guitar Center and ask any questions? period? You should know basically what you want before you go in there and go there only for the convenience and the good price, etc. period.
Feeling superior to anyone who is working there means what?
Old 27th August 2008
  #10
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RonCarlston View Post
You should have avoided the place all together.
That sums it up nicely.
Old 27th August 2008
  #11
Lives for gear
 
travisbrown's Avatar
Danny, would you really expect the clerk to have any idea what AES 42-2001 is? You should start a poll and see how many people here had any idea what it was. If you asked me what came out the other end of a USB mic I'd probably guess something like "the breath of a unicorn."

The "no-one uses handhelds" thing was pretty funny though.
Old 27th August 2008
  #12
Lives for gear
 
colinmiller's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Randall View Post
My favorite GC story was the first time I walked into the new one in Nashville and saw a big poster of MW above the threshold of the door as you walked into the recording dept. I casually pointed up at it, chuckled and said "Hey, I know that guy" ... the salesguys eyes got wide and he says, "Dude, You know Mutt?"
Man that guys musta been an idiot. But why would they have a picture of Mike Wallace at a music store anyways?
Old 27th August 2008
  #13
Gear Addict
 

I was hoping he was going to say "Dude, I went to recording school."
Old 27th August 2008
  #14
Lives for gear
 
elambo's Avatar
Having witnessed the average GC shopper a million times over, I think his initial oversimplified answer was probably the best one he could offer in order to stay inside the dictionary of the typical newb he normally deals with. Somehow HE is the idiot? How much training and technical knowledge do you expect from someone who holds a position that NOBODY keeps for very long. If GC trained their employees to answer stupid phuking questions like that, their prices would be higher to cover the training costs.

No thanks! I know better than to seek answers at GC. I do my homework, then buy there when I need something ASAP, but I sure as **** don't expect Kevin with the leather string tie to hang with a question many studio pros don't know.

(This is by no means a reference to the GC-Pro guys I know, who, in my experience, are very good with all things technical and will find the answer if they don't know)
Old 27th August 2008
  #15
Lives for gear
 
elambo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by colinmiller View Post
Man that guys musta been an idiot. But why would they have a picture of Mike Wallace at a music store anyways?
Mike "Mutt" Wallace. That makes me nose-laugh a little.
Old 27th August 2008
  #16
Gear Maniac
 

I don't get why every one gives these guys such a hard time, I worked at GC as the P/A deparment manager for a few months before I gave up.
Couple of things to keep in mind.

1. The pay structure is terrible, they basically pay minimum wage even if you sell constantly, to an hourly vs. commission system. This causes alot of people to mentally check out of the job as you get a job cause you love music, and end up never having time to create and hating your peers.

2. As mentioned above about 7 out of 10 customers are morons, just completly ignorant to all things technical and musical. Another 2 of 10 are like the original poster and ask questions that they know the answer to just to test you, while this is very cute, its very transparent and gets pretty dull after a while. 1 out of 10 know what they want and just want it at cost which is perfectly cool, except they would rather haggle about it than just say, can I get this at cost.

3. There are a lot of Sku's that go through the store, and as a PA associate your responsible for Keyboards, Recording, Live Sound, DJ, Lighting and Accessories. No one is going to know everything about all these things.

As stated earlier unless your trying to get a fat hook up don't even bother going there. If you do for some reason, just ask for some one who is A or B level certified, as (at least when I worked there) these were major achievements, and take more studio knowledge than alot of "engineers" I know.
Old 27th August 2008
  #17
Lives for gear
 

What you have to realize is that I am fifty two years-old and nearly fifty three.
I have absolutely no need to to show off any audio knowledge to ANYONE.
I am really friendly guy and I am actually VERY un-assuming.

This guy was an un-educated jerk.

You have to remember that I work with pros and most people I talk with are pros.
Being in a store that had a "pro" audio department led me to mistakenly believe that he was a pro.

Also, I didn't know at the time that it was called AES 42-2001 and that doesn't answer the question I asked.
I didn't ask what it was called.

It is also funny that most of you guy's "suggestions" about what mic I should use nake HUGE assumptions about what I am using the mics for.
The assumptions are wrong.

Thanks LOWNOTES.... after owning and using that brand of mic for thirty three years I still misspell it on occasion.
I hope I didn't confuse with the wrong manufacturer.
Old 27th August 2008
  #18
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hamonrye View Post
that isnt very efficient now is it? ever heard of a mixer?
Are you the guy I talked to at Guitar Center?
Old 27th August 2008
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbbubba View Post
are you the guy i talked to at guitar center?



How can you expect him to possibly remember???
Old 27th August 2008
  #20
Gear Maniac
 
goatie's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by joelpatterson View Post
How can you expect him to possibly remember???
hehhehheh
Old 27th August 2008
  #21
Lives for gear
 
christmasjones's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbbubba View Post
...at no time did I ever get close to challenging the clerk.
I am not willing to suffer fools these days.
Really? Did you read your story you wrote? You told the guy "you have no idea how much i know about audio" That sounds to me like a challenge....
Old 27th August 2008
  #22
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by christmasjones View Post
Really? Did you read your story you wrote? You told the guy "you have no idea how much i know about audio" That sounds to me like a challenge....
I said that after he threw his hands in the air and said, "You don't have to believe me, but I have worked in a recording studio for SIX YEARS."
I said that WAYYYY after he gave me the brush off and patronizing answer.
That was my response that said, "Look F*CKER, I'm not an idiot and I didn't come here to be given stupid answers to AND be snickered at."
If I wanted to "challenge him" I would have replied, "Well, guess how many years I have been working in pro audio? Thirty three years and that is twenty seven more years than you."
Actually, I was being really nice.

I am a few years past going into places like Guitar Center to pick a an "audio" fight.
I don't go to elementary schools and taunt school kids either.
His answer should have been, "I don't really know."

....and guess what?
I now know what the data stream is.
Although I wasn't sure which it was, I actually brought it up when I was "discussing" the matter with the GC fool.
In fact, it was the FIRST data stream type that I gave as an example of what it might be.

It certianly isn't "audio" which was that idiot's answer.
Old 27th August 2008
  #23
Gear Addict
 
kittyboy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbbubba View Post
Referring to the USB port I asked, "What is the datastream called that comes out of this port?"
The ever so helpful clerk said, "Audio!"
I said, "I know that, but what type of data stream is it?"
He said, "It's just audio."
No offense, Dan, but I think the zen wisdom of his answer may have gone over your head.


"It's just audio."


Wow--that is deep!
Old 27th August 2008
  #24
Lives for gear
 
colinmiller's Avatar
 

The Nirvana is near...
Old 27th August 2008
  #25
Gear Addict
 

the best i ever heard in a music shop wasnt at GC (we dont have them here), but i asked if they had any Y cables. the sales assistant said to me
"what, to mono cables going together into a one ended mono cable?"
"no," i said "a stereo cable going to two mono, to hold and split two signals"
he told me that all Y cables were totally mono and you only ever used them to split a signal into two parts.

when i asked him how i was supposed to use a Y cable's tip and ring for a channel insert on my mixing desk, he went kinda quiet :p
Old 27th August 2008
  #26
Quote:
Originally Posted by peeder View Post
I dunno about youzeguys but I have gotten plenty of goodies below dead cost from those "fools."

Also, probably no one here knew AES 42-2001 either...
Yeah... I had to look that one up, too. The Neumann thing had some kind of ring of memory but it was very faint. I'm certainly no digital audio history maven -- but it has been 18 years since I started going digital -- 16 years since I put digital multitracking in place in my studio. And I've been working directly to the computer since 1997, so I didn't just fall off the rhubarb truck.


I do regret the impact that music gear megastores have had on small vendors both in the instrument and pro audio fields -- but let's not forget how many really bad little music shops there used to be -- high prices, bad instruments, nasty time payment plans for naive buyers --often well-meaning parents hooked into the deal by sleazy "feeder-deals" from corrupt school districts/instructors. (Now, that is certainly not to say that some salesmen haven't participated in sleazy deals at GC. GC has some products with super-inflated list prices and I have heard the very occasional story of someone getting reamed by a fast talking salesman selling a piece of gear to a naive kid ["What you don't have 900 bucks with you? Can you call your mom at work and go borrow her credit card?"] for more than double the going rate just because he could fool the poor kid. But I don't think that's that common, there. I don't think.)

When I walk into a Guitar Center or Sam Ash, I'm not looking for expert advice. I'm not looking for a knowledgeable guy who is going to have the time to sit down and let me bounce ideas off him or who will help me design a system or installation. I'm going to buy something I know I want and that I know I don't need any questions answered on. (Why ask questions at GC or SA? It's a fool's errand.)

Now, I've had utter bozos (who lost out on the sales, often as not) and I've had really good guys help me at GC. For several years when I was in the thick of building my old project studio, I had a great guy in the keyboard department at a nearby GC. I could call him up, ask him if he had stock, and know that when I walked in, I'd get the best deal that could be had at a given time. If he was under some kind of constraint, he'd tell me on the phone that he wouldn't be able to cut that good a deal. But I never found a piece of gear cheaper anywhere else during that time. When he left he pulled me aside and suggested he was being 'forced out' by other salesmen who were jealous of his customer list and sales figures. I dunno if that was true but it wasn't hard to imagine. After he left, I wasn't getting the same deals or service and I had to hassle to get what I could. After a Sam Ashe opened nearby, things got a lot better.


If you want good, knowledgeable service and people who will take the time to answer all your questions (and have the knowledge to do it), find yourself a good pro shop. You'll pay a little extra for the extra service, in all likelihood. But isn't that only fair?

If you go to GC of SA for the deals, then do your own homework 'cause it's caveat emptor, baby.
Old 27th August 2008
  #27
Dan
Lives for gear
 
Dan's Avatar
 

What about one of these little doo-dads?

Griffin Technology: iTalk Pro

+ipod. done.

I use one for taking notes occasionally. It's kind of fun.
Old 27th August 2008
  #28
Lives for gear
 

The real problem guys are the ones that know just enough stuff that they don't feel like complete imbeciles any longer.
They know some stuff, but because they have mastered a few things they think they know EVERYTHING.
They can have real attitude.
I deal with these types on a constant basis doing live events.

These folks always seem ready to prove their knowledge and will challenge you.

I have seen "seasoned experts" make some really stupid statements and come up with some stupid conclusions.

My favorite was when I ran a staffing agency that hired show techs.
I had one guy that DEMANDED that he have his hourly rate raised.
I knew what he was capabale of and had him doing jobs and being paid accordingly.
He kept hammering at me and telling me how qualified he was.
I eventually had to tell him that graduating from The Art Institute's Audio Program two year prior didn't make him an expert.
I think I said, "Basically, you STARTED as a "pro" two years ago."
Old 27th August 2008
  #29
Lives for gear
 
spiderman's Avatar
dfegad
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lownotes View Post
Did you mean "Neumann"?
Stupid, pointless comment. It's not like he spelled it "NewMan"
Old 27th August 2008
  #30
Lives for gear
 
elambo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by joenovice View Post
dfegad

Stupid, pointless comment. It's not like he spelled it "NewMan"
Considering the know-it-all arrogance in the original post, I think there WAS a point.
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
smashbrand / So much gear, so little time
4
StringMike / So much gear, so little time
14
ben_allison / So much gear, so little time
6

Forum Jump
Forum Jump