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MRC making life easier for local bands
by Emily Umphrey — Special to the Tribune
Oct 14, 2013 | 1396 views | 3 3 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
When Bill Woody, owner of the Musicians Rehearsal Center (MRC), opened the business’s doors in 2010, all he was looking for was a good place where musicians could practice safely.

“I wanted to get back to my musical roots,” he said, referring to his former days as a guitar player. “I liked the business model and wanted to put my own twist on it and create a place that would foster creativity.”

Woody says he picked his location, in the south Sparks industrial district because he really likes the area and was looking for a place off the beaten path. The location he found on Greg Street was perfect for what he was looking to do. After being in the Sparks area for three years, Woody is happy with the location. Its lack of foot traffic and its location near the freeway make the industrial district an ideal place to have a business.

Despite the lack of drive-by business, he is currently at capacity, with every room being filled by word of mouth from the bands that practice in MRC.

“It’s a reliable and functional place to play and practice your art. The security is amazing, and the management is over the top in service,” said Sam Spivey of Sparks based band Authmentis, when asked about why he chose MRC for his band’s practice venue.

Casey Alden, also of Authmentis, says, “MRC is the step that most bands need to take in order to get to the next level. This facility makes being in a band a community effort rather than a garage experience.”

The top draw of MRC could be its “Center Stage” room. Currently used for multiple functions, including business parties, seminars, and workshops, MRC officials soon hope to be able to do live streaming and host webinars.

Center Stage was initially designed for live concert-style video production for bands. Gene Larson, who produced video in Vegas showrooms for 20 years through the 1980s and ‘90s helped Woody design Center Stage.

“It was crafted to have “perfect audio, perfect lighting and thereby perfect videos.” Larson says. Every event that is played in Center Stage is recorded in 24-track audio. In the post-production process, Larson tweaks the audio and the video to make bands, artists and businesses look and sound the best they possibly can at a fraction of the cost because everything is pre-wired. Set-up and tear-down for a six-camera shoot only takes about 20 minutes apiece, so Larson and Woody can pass those savings onto the bands.

In addition to Center Stage itself, Woody can call in hair and makeup artists to help bands or businesses get ready for shows.

MRC also works in conjunction with KDOT to do closed concerts that benefit charities. In the afternoons before national acts play at other local venues, they can come into MRC and do an acoustic show for between 50 and 60 people, though Woody and Larson are both adamant that they are not a venue.

“Our feeling is everyone who gets on that stage is a rock star. Whether your signed and touring or not. That’s how you get treated at MRC.” Larson said.

The rooms bands practice in were built to specification to get the best sound without disturbing practicing bands in adjacent rooms. Each practice room has double-wall construction, nine-and-a-half foot ceilings, is double-sheet rocked, air gapped and equipped with a 20-amp circuit.

MRC boasts a high quality closed-camera security system with cloud backup as well as a drive-in loading bay so bands can drive in and load their gear out of potential elements from poor weather. The doors are always locked. Access to the building is only available with a key fob or by calling Woody for a tour.

“It really is all to cater to the musicians ‘cause they have it tough enough as it is.” Woody says.

“Being in a band has never been easy but MRC provides a community of amazing artists that have united together in making the music scene something to take notice of,” Alden adds.

For tours or to apply to be a makeup or hair artist for MRC, call Bill Woody at 355-9494.
Comments-icon Post a Comment
Joe Boyd
October 15, 2013
This is what was recommended,Omar. All other places I checked are full of gear by the band that practices there. This looks like a quick jaunt in the back way from your place, right to the industrial park. Otherwise, you could come up here to Zephyr Cove, and use our gear, we have all you would require, and it doesn't have bad acoustics, sounds full and on. Still need to check with Bryan, I think he might have a line too.
Casey A.
October 15, 2013
Article sounds good, MRC really is amazing!
Chuck Reyome
October 15, 2013
We are actually located off McCarren & Glendale in Sparks, Nv. Very nice and informative article :)

The MRC staff !!!!
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