Californian Audio, Video and Lighting Store Uses ADJ’s mydmx Go To Create A Unique Interactive Customer Experience

As part of its mission to reinvent bricks and mortar retail of audio, video and lighting equipment, Astro AVL in Southern California has created an immersive showroom that allows customers to interact directly with the plethora of lighting and effect fixtures on display. Thanks to ADJ’s extremely powerful yet incredibly intuitive myDMX GO iPad-based control system, the showroom’s lightshow can be put directly into the hands of customers. This allows them to explore the range of fixtures on display at their own pace, making the sales process completely interactive.

 

Having served Southern California since 1974, Astro AVL is a company that is adept at embracing new trends, technology and consumer buying patterns. It has developed from a local DJ store to a full-service sales, rental, installation, and production support resource that remains very much rooted in the community of Glendale, CA in which it is based. Still owned by its founder, Craig Merrick, the company has built up a wealth of experience in every facet of the entertainment and AVL businesses. As well as successfully operating online, Astro AVL is committed to providing a space that allows customers to experience audio and lighting equipment firsthand before committing to a purchase. More than that, they have created a showroom – powered by ADJ’s mydmx GO iPad-based DMX control system – that is completely interactive, allowing customers to immerse themselves in the possibilities offered by DMX-controlled lighting.

“Now that we’re in a ‘point – click – buy’ era of the economy,” explains Astro AVL’s Sales Manager, Cypher Shah, “with everything moving online, user engagement is going to be critical for bricks and mortar retailers to survive. That’s why the mydmx GO has become so important for us in the store, it allows us to give customers a truly immersive experience. Having something that’s as interactive and engaging as the mydmx GO, that is so easy to use, draws people in to understanding the intricacies – but also the really fun side – of being hands on with the latest lighting technology and exposes them to a lot more of the potential. All of a sudden the veil has been lifted and you don’t have to be the Wizard of Oz to create an amazing lightshow; maybe a little bit of guidance to help you get started and you can be off and rocking!”

ADJ’s mydmx GO combines a uniquely intuitive app-based control surface with a compact interface that connects wirelessly to an Apple, Android or Amazon Fire tablet and provides a standard 3-pin XLR output for connection to a lighting system. Thanks to its ground-breaking design, the mydmx GO app requires absolutely no programming but can be used to create stunning synchronized lightshows across any combination of DMX compatible lighting fixtures.

The app is unlike any other lighting control solution and has been designed to be extremely simple to use. It is supplied pre-programmed with a wide variety of easily customizable effects which can be used on any type of fixture. It features a distinctive layout that is built around two FX wheels – one for color chases and one for movement patterns – which each contain eight effect options. These can be selected independently, customized (by altering the color palette, speed, size, shift and fan) and combined to create a vast number of different unique effects which can then be stored for instant recall to one of 50 user-defined presets.

“The app is very intuitive,” enthuses Cypher, “just like using any tablet app, which means that even complete novices can soon pick up how to use it, much more easily than a traditional hardware board. This means that we not only use it in the showroom for demos, but we also regularly sell it to customers who are new to lighting and wouldn’t have a clue where to start with a more traditional control solution. The mydmx GO is incredibly easy to use, but also very simple to setup. That aspect of it has saved us a lot of headaches in the store on the programming side. We used to have a programmer sit there all day to write a scene and maybe it was ok, now any of us can quickly create and store amazing scenes and effects in minutes!”

Astro AVL’s store is separated into two distinct areas, which are both packed with lighting fixtures and have their own mydmx GO systems for control. The main showroom, which has DJ and other audio equipment on display, has UV-active graffiti art on the walls. This is lit by ADJ’s Eco UV BAR DMX LED-powered black light bars as well as ADJ UV COB Cannons. Ambient colored light fills the space, created by ADJ COB Cannon Wash RGBA color mixing fixtures, while individual products are spot lit by ADJ Ikon Profiles. Beyond the main space is a dedicated lighting showroom, designed to allow customers to experience a wide variety of different lighting and effects fixtures. All of these are hooked up to the second mydmx GO system, allowing individual fixtures or specific groups of fixtures to be demonstrated as required.

“I have a lot of commercial clients, who want to buy lights for their club or banquet hall, and they want to compare fixtures,” explains Cypher. “For example, the Focus Spot 5Z next to the 6Z, because they want to decide on a buying point. I can easily use the myDMX Go to activate just those two fixtures, point them down on the floor next to each other, and let the customer really see the differences in the brightness and feature sets for themselves. Also, when I’m going out to do a demo on site, even if I’m not actually selling the mydmx GO, I’ll always take it with me as my prepared method of control. Because it’s very easy to use, cable free and a very suave solution. It never fails to impress clients that I can control the lights so easily direct from an iPad app! Despite being so easy to use, it’s also very powerful and I’ve used it on many production jobs to control lighting for everything from stage shows to full-on raves!”

The mydmx GO hardware interface is extremely compact and offers both permanent and temporary mounting options. It features a variable-angle antennae, for reliable wireless connection, as well as standard 3-pin XLR output sockets. It is also equipped with a 2-digit LED display and three corresponding selection push buttons that can be used to easily setup its connection to the app.

“The reliability is right there,” states Cypher. “I never have to worry about it. When I first started to use it, I was hesitant about the wireless aspect, because I need to live in a world of zero failure, as that’s what my job requires. So, I would plug the hardware direct to the iPad when using it out on site to control events. But, having used it every day in the store – and out on site – for the past 18 months, I’ve never had an issue with the wireless, so have come to trust it implicitly.”

Astro AVL has been impacted by the global COVID-19 pandemic, just like every other company connected with the entertainment sector. However, their diversified business model has undoubtedly helped them to weather the storm. When events and venues were closed down, they saw a spike it online sales of DJ gear – as many people made use of the time at home to hone a new skill. Later they noticed the same customers coming back for basic lighting, looking to up their game having ventured into online streaming. More recently they have been back again, purchasing mydmx GO setups to be able to take their lighting to the next level.

In the past month, Cypher has also seen an uptick in installation projects; as clubs, banquet halls and other venues prepare to open their doors again. He’s also working with multiple gyms and spin studios looking to enhance the experience they offer to their members through the use of atmospheric and effect lighting. With such a diverse customer base, and between 30 and 40 ADJ products in stock at any one time, we couldn’t help but ask Cypher about his favorite fixtures to sell.

“Right now, I would definitely say the UB 12H. I don’t even know how many I’ve sold – they regularly go out of the door by the dozen! They are very simple and straightforward fixtures, but also very effective. They are powerful, cost effective, and I haven’t had any give me any issues, which is great; reliability is a very important factor. A close second is the Focus Spot 4Z, that’s one of my favorites to sell. Its price point, combined with output and features, makes it a very attractive fixture that is ideal for a wide range of applications. I’ve sold it to lots of DJs, but also put them into a bunch of venues and used them on production events, every time they hit the mark. Finally, on the other end of the scale: the Stinger and Stinger II. That’s just like three points all day! Anyone comes in looking to get the party started for a few hundred bucks, that’s what they’re walking out with. It’s my easy go to slam dunk!”

Store
Astro AVL
6615 San Fernando Rd Glendale, CA 91201
Tel: 818.549.9915 / 1.800.4astro8
www.astroavl.com

Owner
Craig Merrick

Sales Manager
Cypher Shah