Flexible System Expands Theatrical Capabilities of Michael Ritchie Big Barn Center
HURLEYVILLE, NY, NOVEMBER 25, 2013 — Masque Sound, a leading theatrical sound reinforcement, installation and design company, recently provided a complete custom audio equipment upgrade solution for the Michael Ritchie Big Barn Center for Environmental Health and Education at The Center for Discovery. These new audio capabilities will now allow the Center, an organization renowned for the educational, clinical, residential, social and creative arts experiences it provides to children and adults with significant intellectual disabilities and medical frailties, to be able to offer even more events and activities.
“The Center for Discovery wanted to be able to put on more theatrical productions, as well as host movie nights and other events at the Big Barn Center, and felt it needed a more flexible sound system that could handle all that,” says Sound Designer Gabriel Bennett. “I have a familiarity and comfort level with Masque Sound and knew it was the right company for the job. Fortunately we were able to make it happen.”
Bennett’s goal in designing the sound system upgrade was to disperse the sound more evenly and ensure full coverage throughout the room, as well as provide surround sound capabilities. According to Bennett, “We sourced some gear that was higher quality and more on the professional end of things as opposed to the consumer gear the Big Barn Center had previously been using. We really wanted to maintain a high level of fidelity while also providing a level of versatility the Center previously did not have. There is now a main, left, center, right that allows for this. Also, we can now tune the room according to the event and it sounds great.”
Bennett’s biggest challenge with the project, and one that Masque Sound proved extremely helpful with, was the Center’s desire to put in a more permanent solution. The Center wanted to install permanent gear and cable runs. They also wanted to run isolated audio power for the speakers and console.
“Because there was no theatrical rigging or structure already in place, things such as tilting and refocusing the speakers without moving them, based on the needs of the room were difficult,” adds Bennett. “Masque Sound’s technical support proved really helpful in overcoming this and any other issues we had.”
At the heart of the new system is an Avid Venue SC48 digital console, a fully integrated solution that combines all I/O, digital signal processing and tactile control into a single console, making it an affordable and flexible live system choice. In addition, an XTA DP448 speaker management system was supplied. Meyer Sound also contributed a selection of speakers, including UPA-1Ps and UPA 500-HP subwoofers. The Sennheiser 2000 series wireless mic system, a selection of Shure microphones and ancillary equipment completed the upgrade.
“Masque Sound was really helpful in providing audio gear that not only served our purpose, but provided the fidelity we were looking for as well,” says Bennett. “The audio solutions that Masque Sound created for us kept us within budget without compromising the quality of the gear. Overall, we are very happy with the system.”
The Center for Discovery’s unique philosophy of creating challenging, accessible, healthy, loving, supportive and homelike educational and work settings, in which children and adults can develop relationships, learn and grow, and foster new social and artistic skills, helps distinguish the venue from like-minded establishments. The agency’s mission is to enrich the lives of individuals and their families by offering innovative educational and social experiences.
About Masque Sound
Founded in 1936 by a trio of Broadway stagehands, Masque Sound evolved into one of NYC’s most successful theatrical sound reinforcement, installation and design companies specializing in theatrical, house of worship, sporting, corporate, TV broadcast and live concert events. Celebrating more than 75 years in the industry, the company is lead by Geoff Shearing, the firm’s 3rd generation owner, and Vice President and General Manager Stephanie Hansen. The company also operates Florida-based Professional Wireless Systems, a leader in the development and implementation of wireless technology. Credits range from major Broadway shows and tours including “Phantom of the Opera,” “Mamma Mia!,” “Lion King,” “Jersey Boys,” “Memphis,” “The Book of Mormon,” “Newsies,” “Once” and “Kinky Boots” to yearly Super Bowl broadcasts and installations of varying sizes, including New York’s New Victory Theater and historic St. Bartholomew’s Church. Masque Sound’s 70,000 sq. ft. corporate headquarters and main assembly facility is located at 21 East Union Ave., East Rutherford, NJ, 20 minutes from midtown Manhattan. For more information, call (201) 939-8666 or visit www.MasqueSound.com.