Rock Star University

The Challenge:

Located in an 8,000-square-foot music and media production building, Rock Star University provides private instruction for accepted students in guitar, bass, drums, keyboards, vocals and stage performance. The University is equipped with a 1,000-square-foot stage, known as the “House of Rock,” that features stack amplifiers, professional lighting and special effects as well as video recording, video editing and sound recording/mixing capabilities.

Rock Star University’s facility was converted from a warehouse into a combination performance venue, music teaching school and rehearsal studio. To complete the 350-seat “House of Rock” performance area, the owners wanted a full stage with concert-quality lighting, video backline and a professional sound system that could rival any world-class rock concert venue. Rock Star University needed the ability to record its students’ performances to offer more advanced review and analysis capabilities. A low-profile line array system was also needed due to low ceilings in the performance space.

The Solution:

Under the direction of Greg Adams at Santa Rosa-based systems integrator Sound Expressions, Rock Star University installed a HARMAN audio system, featuring JBL VerTec® VT4886 line arrays and SRX portable PA components, Crown I-Tech 1200HD Series power amplifiers, AKG vocal and instrument microphones, and a Soundcraft Vi1 Series console.

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. Crown I-Tech 12000HD power amps power the PA system and were chosen for their sound tailoring and system tuning capabilities provided by an onboard DSP.

A Soundcraft Vi1 digital live sound console was chosen for its combination of small footprint yet large channel count, ease of use and flexibility. The Vi1 is also equipped with a MADI card that outputs multi-track digital audio from the console into a ProTools rig, so Rock Star University can record its students’ performances. Rounding out the system, Adams also specified a complement of AKG vocal and instrument microphones.

The Impact:

“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 will have them ready to rock wherever they play.” – Greg Adams, Sound Expressions

HARMAN Products:


  • JBL VerTec® VT4886 Line Array Elements
  • JBL SRX728 Subwoofers
  • JBL SRX712M Stage Monitors


  • Crown I-Tech 1200HD Amplifiers


  • Soundcraft Vi1 Digital Live Sound Console


  • AKG D40 Dynamic Instrument Microphones
  • AKG C214 Large-diaphragm Condenser Microphones
  • AKG C451 B Reference Small-diaphragm Condenser Microphones
  • AKG D5 Dynamic Vocal Microphones
  • AKG Perception 120 Large-diaphragm Condenser Microphones
  • AKG CM311 Reference Head-Worn Condenser Microphones
  • AKG 520L Head-worn Condenser Microphones
  • AKG WMS 470 Wireless Microphone Systems
  • AKG IVM4500 IEM Reference Wireless In-ear Monitoring Systems

Rock Star University