The sound of success

Systems integrator ZIO Technologies and sound equipment supplier GSL Professional explain what is needed to have your hotel sounding great.

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By  Administrator Published  October 24, 2008

Systems integrator ZIO Technologies and sound equipment supplier GSL Professional explain what is needed to have your hotel sounding great.

Can you give us some background to your company?

Lewis: GSL Professional was established four years ago in the United Arab Emirates by Fouad and Faegh Fowzi. GSL Professional began working with Harman Pro in 2004 as the exclusive distributer for the group's nine brands - AKG (microphones and headphones), BSS (signal processors and distribution), dbx (processors and effects), Crown (amplifiers), HiQnet (Harman software), JBL (speakers), Lexicon (recording and effects), Soundcraft (mixing consoles) and Studer (high end consoles).

Since the partnership began in 2004, GSL Professional and Harman Pro have grown significantly year-on-year, almost doubling the sales from the previous year on some brands and with an overall growth last year of 35%. This is the result of an increasingly stronger share of the region's pro audio market (in both event and rental as well as the installation sector).

Hetal Vadodaria: We are systems integrators, providing audio-visual systems, security systems, telecom and IT solutions - the full package.

Sound systems are a [large] part of what we do; it is basically everything to do with audio-visuals.

What kind of presence do you have in the region?

Lewis: We have three warehouses and a working showroom. We also keep a huge inventory of stock on hand at all times. For hotels we get involved with the systems integrators. We work with a BOQ [bill of quantities] and sometimes we help with design.

Basically the systems integrators - people like Zio Technologies or Bond - give us a list to specify what they need for the hotel, and we marry our products up with the specification required and provide them with a quotation to buy the package from GSL.

What are the demand trends from hotels at the moment?

Lewis: Our main products for hotels are ceiling speakers from JBL and BSS signal processors, which enable control. Crown amplifiers are also used quite a lot, which drive the sound systems.

The installed systems are for BGM [background music]. You don't really notice them when you are in a hotel, but obviously they have a large speaker system - every hotel has it throughout, but you they are very discreet.

GSL's role is not to go to site, we just work with what the systems integrators provide us with and if they need assistance with design. Because we have more product knowledge, we may recommend that they use a certain product.

Parag Vadodaria: Now hotels are asking for music service. They are not happy to just play CDs, they want a very structured music source where music is programmed to play from a central area and each area can use a programmed channel. For example, in the morning between 9am and 12pm we have the morning channel, then the afternoon is a softer channel, then the evening is different music again.

If the music planner is not there or is absent then the music quality will suffer. What this [automated system] does is make sure that the music is planned for a month - or two months - and time zoning automatically changes the music according to the hotel's records.

Are hotels choosing similar set-ups?

Lewis: The systems basics are that you have speakers and sub-woofers in the ceilings throughout. You have a control rack-room [back-of-house] that will house all the amplifiers and signal processors, so there is a central point where you can control the volume of the music by the swimming pool and turn off the music in the restaurant, for example.

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