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Archive of the Large Venue Category

Masque Sound Helps Audiences Have the Time of their Lives at North American Tour of Smash Hit Musical, MAMMA MIA!

When the 2013/2014 North American touring production of the smash hit musical MAMMA MIA! kicked off at Clemson University’s Brooks Center on September 30th, Associate Sound Designer David Patridge turned to Masque Sound, a leading theatrical sound reinforcement, installation and design company, to provide a custom audio equipment package to bring Sound Designers Bobby Aitken and Andrew Bruce’s vision to the stage.

Since 1999, the musical MAMMA MIA! has been captivating audiences in London, Toronto, Broadway and all over the world, as it tells the story of the dynamic relationship between a carefree mother and her daughter. The daughter, hoping to build a bond with the father she’s never known, decides to invite him to her upcoming wedding, only to discover that her father could be one of her mother’s three past suitors. A story full of laughs, love and lust, MAMMA MIA! features the hit songs of the Swedish pop group ABBA.

This mark’s Patridge’s 12th MAMMA MIA! production in 14 years, as associate sound designer, and although he is intimately familiar with the show, the 2013/2014 North American tour was not without its obstacles.

“The challenge for this incarnation of the musical was to take the signature MAMMA MIA! sound and put it into a more compact, fast-moving production without cutting the things you need to make the show sound big,” says Patridge. “Just because the show is moving from city to city quickly doesn’t mean the size of the venue is going to be small. It was important that we did not downscale the brand or incur any kind of loss of feel for the amazing show that MAMMA MIA! is. Thanks to the help of the talented professionals at Masque Sound, we didn’t compromise on anything. The show looks and sounds great.”

In order to keep that big sound Patridge was looking for, Masque Sound provided Meyer M’elodie speakers, the largest speakers that could feasibly be put in a tower footprint, yet still fit in all of the smaller theatres on the tour. “We took the footprint that we were allowed based on the technical director’s specs and then we looked at speaker choices,” adds Patridge. “We went with self-powered M’elodie speakers, so we wouldn’t need amplifier racks, which take up extra room in the truck and extra time to connect. We used the M’elodie and Meyer 500HP powered speakers in a tower arrangement, giving us a lot of impact for the size of the footprint. Whether we need to figure out the sizes of trussing needed, engineering concerns, dolly selection, etc., Masque Sound has always been fantastic with figuring out all of the details and on a traveling production that is extremely important.”

In addition to the Meyer M’elodie and 500HP speakers, Patridge also used Meyer 700HP subs, as well as Meyer UPM-1Ps for front fills and under the balconies. Masque Sound provided a DiGiCo SD10 digital console, because the compact size and powerful features of the console make it ideal for a traveling production. In addition, the actors are outfitted with DPA 4060-61 omnidirectional mics. Masque Sound also provided Sennheiser 5212 radios with Sennheiser EM3532 receivers.
“One of the things about Masque Sound that I like is that there is a valuable brain trust of people,” says Patridge. “Professionals like Gary Stocker are not afraid to help partner with us as designers and invent solutions, so I don’t have to be on my own when I’m trying to figure out how to support these speakers and towers, especially on a production that moves from city to city. I know I can ask Gary what we can do to facilitate my vision, and the people at Masque Sound will design and fabricate whatever I need. In addition, Eric Rivera at Masque Sound does an excellent job of coordinating the frequencies from stop to stop. He has the itinerary in hand and is constantly forwarding the list of frequencies to our road personnel. Fortunately, Masque Sound uses all the tools at hand, including FCC charts and intermod study programs, and if there is a problem with anything, I know that they will pick up the phone or answer an email to get us out of a bind.”

Seen by over 54 million people around the world, MAMMA MIA! is celebrating 5,000 performances on Broadway and is the 10th longest running show in Broadway history. The original West End production of MAMMA MIA! is now in its fifteenth year and has celebrated over 6,000 performances in London and the international tour has visited more than 74 foreign cities in 35 countries and been seen by over 4.3 million people. The blockbuster feature film adaptation of MAMMA MIA! is the most successful movie musical of all time grossing $600 million worldwide. Seen in 38 productions in 14 different languages globally and with a worldwide gross of over $2 Billion, MAMMA MIA! is acclaimed by the Associated Press as “quite simply, a phenomenon.”

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.

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HARMAN Professional Offers Scalable, High-Performance Audio and Lighting Systems for The World’s Most Prestigious Stadiums and Arenas

NORTHRIDGE, California – Whether it’s a match-winning goal in Brazil, a walk-off homerun in New York City, a touchdown in Denver, a slam dunk in Los Angeles or a gold medal race in China, the sonic atmosphere of any stadium or arena are vital to the sports viewing experience. HARMAN Professional’s top-of-the-line microphones, amplifiers, loudspeakers, mixing consoles and lighting solutions have been installed in the most prestigious venues across the globe and entertain millions of fans each year.

“HARMAN has been on the field and in the stands for decades as the latest awe-inspiring stadiums have taken shape year after year,” states Scott Robbins, Executive Vide President of Sales, HARMAN Professional. “We offer full-scale solutions with products from our various brands, including AKG, BSS Audio, Crown, JBL, Soundcraft and Martin Lighting, to enhance the customer experience while ensuring installation capabilities are efficient and can exceed the expectations of system integrators, designers and stadium owners. We understand the importance of sound, video, and lighting during a sporting event and work to help bring an acoustically and visually stunning experience for every game on the schedule!”

HARMAN is uniquely positioned to provide complete audio and lighting systems that deliver world-class results and ease-of-use across the signal chain, from microphones to loudspeakers and everywhere in between. High-quality design and reliable performance ensure that all venues, with capacities ranging from a few thousand to 100,000, are covered. HARMAN Professional brands manufacture a broad range of products that can scale up to match the size and needs of any venue, from the high school to the professional and Olympics level.

Noteworthy venues across the globe that rely on HARMAN Professional’s sound reinforcement technology include: Yankee Stadium, STAPLES Center, Georgia Dome, Sports Authority Field at Mile High, MetLife Stadium, Arcadia University Sports Field, BBVA Compass Stadium, Lucas Oil Stadium, Hong Kong Stadium, PGE Arena, the Water Cube, Sydney Football Stadium, Simonds Stadium and Manchester United Stadium, and many more.

In addition, HARMAN Professional provides a wealth of web-based resources for customers, including free software, white papers, application guides, and online training on audio topics and system design. These resources are used by professional consultants and integrators and are accessible to anyone interested in becoming more knowledgeable about audio and lighting technology and applications.

For more information on HARMAN Professional’s offerings for stadiums and other sports venues, please visit www.harmanpro.com

HARMAN (www.HARMAN.com) designs, manufactures, and markets a wide range of infotainment and audio solutions for the automotive, consumer, and professional markets. It is a recognized world leader across its customer segments with premium brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, and Mark Levinson® and leading-edge connectivity, safety and audio technologies. The company is admired by audiophiles across multiple generations and supports leading professional entertainers and the venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of about 14,000 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $4.3 billion for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2013.

Snapped on the River Music Propels Forward with HARMAN Soundcraft Si Expression Series

Production Company Snapped on the River Music recently invested in a HARMAN Soundcraft Si Expression 1 console for use in the company’s support of live music productions. Joe Michaels, President of Snapped on the River Music, is a seasoned veteran in FOH and live production, and naturally sought a device that could mirror his decades of experience.

The Soundcraft Si Expression 1 is a versatile board that combines power and performance with a compact form factor. “I record the majority of my music in multiple studios,” Michaels said. “This little Soundcraft console allows me to travel without hassle between locations, and yet bears an amazing resemblance to its bigger counterparts due to the quality of the sound that it produces. Sixteen inputs are more than enough for my needs.”

Besides the mic inputs, the Soundcraft Si Expression Series comes fully loaded with all the features that artists and producers need, including but not limited to analog style digital controls, 66 processing channels, BSS® GEQ on every bus and the famous Lexicon FX processors.

When asked why he preferred the Soundcraft Si Expression over competitive consoles, Michaels replied, “The sound from this console is absolutely superior to others in its price range. I love the pre-amps and the Lexicon effects, and everything is so easy to use. Unlike other brands, which sound overly mechanical, the Si Expression sounds sweet, warm and happy.”

The company currently uses the console for local and national shows, while accommodating studio projects as well. The Si Expression 1 is truly a well-rounded console that can be deployed anywhere with minimal set up time. It gives ease-of-use a whole new meaning with controls that are digital, but feel like analog, due to its 1 Control = 1 Function feature.

Michaels added, “There is nothing in the digital realm that is both inexpensive and comfortable to record with. This is the first console I have bought that provides all that plus unbelievable results equivalent to $10,000 counterparts.”

HARMAN (www.HARMAN.com) designs, manufactures, and markets a wide range of infotainment and audio solutions for the automotive, consumer, and professional markets. It is a recognized world leader across its customer segments with premium brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, and Mark Levinson® and leading-edge connectivity, safety and audio technologies. The company is admired by audiophiles across multiple generations and supports leading professional entertainers and the venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of about 14,000 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $4.3 billion for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2013.

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The Church at Liberty Square Gets a Custom Fit with VARIA

Cartersville, GA – October 2013… In 1936, a small group of 15 faithful joined together to found the first Cartersville Church of God. The congregation grew slowly but steadily, and in 1980 the church moved to a new sanctuary with educational facilities. Since then the church has experienced phenomenal growth, and in January 2003 they moved into their new campus at Liberty Square, rechristening the church to reflect the new facility.

The 1700-seat sanctuary is an impressive, fan shaped auditorium with high ceilings and an open, inviting seating arrangement. But despite its exquisite aesthetics, the room’s acoustics have been an ongoing challenge, and the original audio system had long struggled with inconsistent coverage and poor intelligibility.

“There was a tremendous change in tonality from the main floor to the balcony area,” explains Kent Morris, Principal of Canton, Georgia-based Cornerstone Media Group. “The main floor was very bright — almost excessively so in some areas — while the balcony seats were getting almost no high frequency content. The mix position is located in the balcony area, which made it very difficult for the tech team to mix.” Morris adds that the old system also created a visual impediment for some of the balcony seats.

The new sound system centers on left and right arrays of the new VARIA modular point source line array system from Renkus-Heinz. Each array is comprised of eight VARIA VA101-series boxes, with coverage patterns ranging from 7 to 22 degrees. “We looked at a number of different options, and they were won over by the VARIA system,” says Morris. “Their technical director Nathan Roach and audio head Ben Tomlinson are very astute, and the fact that VARIA enables you to taper the coverage pattern was a key factor for us. It really provided the most consistent tonality, with no harsh spots and no dead zones.”

Lead Programmer Jeremy Alison was able to map out consistent coverage to the room’s most challenging areas. “With the VARIA, we were able to get articulation to the back rows of the balcony, and great coverage under the balcony as well, without having to add near fields or under balcony speakers,” says Morris. VA15S and PN212 subwoofers add low frequency power and punch, and three CF61 compact two-way boxes provide front fill.

“Being able to select among several boxes with different coverage patterns, and particularly being able to choose transitional boxes in between the fixed ones, makes a tremendous difference in designing a system,” Morris observes. “It’s almost as if every box is custom, but you don’t have to wait six weeks or pay top dollar.”

The entire system is networked via Dante over Ethernet, with several manufacturers’ technologies playing nicely together. “We installed a Yamaha CL5 console at FOH, connected via Dante to two Rio stage boxes,” says Morris. “That enabled us to add a monitor console down on the floor and tie it all together with RHAON so they can monitor from FOH. We also added some devices to their existing Media Matrix NION system. Once we worked through the usual clocking issues, the system functioned flawlessly. You expect a lot of hair pulling, but it was so easy. It all worked out beautifully.”

“The VARIA system has really been an ideal solution for the church,” Morris concludes. “It’s a great looking system, and the cost factor and configurability made it a great fit. I just love working with Renkus-Heinz.”

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Headquartered in Foothill Ranch, California, Renkus-Heinz, Inc. is the worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of audio operations networks, digitally steerable arrays, powered and non-powered loudspeakers, system specific electronics and fully integrated Reference Point Array systems.

SES Supports Southern Ground Festival With Martin Audio MLA

Nashville, TN––Besides the finest in American music and cuisine, Zac Brown’s Southern Ground Music & Food Festival featured the largest Martin Audio MLA system ever deployed for this type of event.

Over 15,000 people a night attended the outdoor event at Nashville’s Lawn in Riverfront Park to see headliner the Zac Brown Band, Willie Nelson & Family, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Eli Young Band, Kacey Musgraves, The Head and the Heart, and Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue. Special guests Kenny Chesney, John Fogerty, Jason Mraz and others also sat in with Zac Brown each night.

The music was augmented by an “Eat and Greet” food component with some meals prepared by festival organizer/headliner/foodie supreme Zac Brown and executive chef Rusty Hamlin. Celebrity chefs such as Chicago’s Guiseppe Trentori and 2013 James Beard award winner Stephanie Izard were also showcased along with local Nashville favorites. In addition to the on site food stalls, 14 private boxes, each holding tables of 24 gourmet aficionados enjoying catered meals, were situated directly in front of the stage for maximum eating and listening pleasure.

SES (Special Event Services) of Nashville and Winston Salem deployed a massive Martin Audio MLA setup for the event consisting of 22 MLA, two MLD (downfill) and 12 MLX subs flown per side. 12 MLX were ground-stacked under center stage with three W8LM per side for lip fill. A DiGiCo SD7 console was at FOH and two DiGiCo SD10s were used for monitors.

The crew included Zac Brown FOH engineer Eric Roderick along with ZBB monitor engineers Mark Frink and Andy Hill. The crew from SES included system tech Preston Soper, Alex Ritter and Joe Lefevbre.

Asked about the reaction to the MLA system, SES Director of Touring Operations Michael Brammer responded, “Eric always has a good night when he’s behind MLA and even though Zac was having some vocal issues because of a head cold that weekend, we were able to compensate for that with the PA and really make those problems disappear.

“Then the fact that we could walk outside of the festival site and have no noise pollution in terms of the nearby residential areas and hotels was ideal. We never got a phone call about it being too loud.

“All the guest engineers were absolutely blown away, especially when they walked the field and found out the mix still held together 600 ft. away from the stage with no delays!”

For more about Martin Audio, please click to www.martin-audio.com.

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Canadian Football League Team Plays Offense with ZEPLAY

Saskatchewan Roughriders technical staff dial up instant replays with speed and accuracy via Tightrope Media Systems

ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA, October 28, 2013
Saskatchewan Roughriders fans enjoy more than a winning football team upon entering the 45,000-seat Mosaic Stadium in Regina each game day. In fact, home and visiting team fans alike are treated to professional in-venue, large-screen video productions that further enliven the atmosphere — with instant replays and highlight packages from Tightrope’s ZEPLAY slow-motion system playing a major role.

“We have the challenge of keeping our fans entertained and engaged, and our philosophy is that we’re not simply competing with the at-home TV experience — we want to improve on that experience within the stadium atmosphere,” said Bill Wright, director of partnerships and game day operations, Saskatchewan Roughriders. “So we show more replays than viewers get at home, along with more close-ups and stats. We create as much on that screen as we can, at the best possible quality. ZEPLAY makes that achievable.”

Mosaic Stadium added its first large video screen in 2005, and has gradually enhanced its technical infrastructure to include nine cameras, multiple graphics layers and two ZEPLAY systems inside the stadium control room. The in-house staff incorporates instant replays from a third ZEPLAY unit that resides in a mobile production truck just outside the venue. This allows operators to work more angles into the replays and video packages across two large screens.

Furthermore, Mosaic Stadium this year transitioned to an all-HD control room, vastly improving video quality and enhancing the way that content is distributed and shared across the workflow.

“We’ve progressed to the point where this has become a very full-sized production show, and we are directing everything that happens in the bowl to the fans,” said Wright. “By going HD, we ensure that all of the content from the cameras through to the ZEPLAYS is produced, distributed and archived in pristine quality. This includes exporting files, and later using that content, from the third ZEPLAY outside the stadium after the truck drives away.”

Wright notes that speed and ease of use are two trademark ZEPLAY qualities that make a positive impact for each production. This includes its built-in multiviewer for monitoring multiple camera angles, and tagging options for building and playing back short clip packages during games. He adds that the team saved approximately 30 percent cost-wise at the outset compared to other replay systems considered, and minimizes training costs for new operators due to ZEPLAY’s quick learning curve.

However, Wright is most impressed with how ZEPLAY’s quickness has become integral to the stadium experience.

“We don’t have to be neutral the way a network broadcaster needs to be, so when we make a big play we can quickly show five replays that highlight a touchdown or interception from multiple angles,” he said. “ZEPLAY gives us the capacity to be very quick and nimble. Instant access to all playout angles allows us to be better than the broadcaster, and give our fans more of what they want. Replays are at the top of that list.”

About Tightrope Media Systems
Founded in 1997, Tightrope Media Systems is the pioneer of web-centric digital signage and broadcast automation systems. It provides station automation, video servers, internet video on demand, live streaming, the Carousel Digital Signage system, and ZEPLAY, a multi-channel instant replay machine for stadiums, arenas and Outside Broadcast vehicles. Tightrope’s award winning systems are used throughout the world. You can reach Tightrope Media Systems at (866) 866-4118 or visit them on the web at http://www.trms.com.

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L-ACOUSTICS Delivers Sweet Sound for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Reporters and ticket winners outside the Wonka factory gates in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (photo credit: Brinkhoff/Mögenburg)

KARA chosen for live production at London’s Theatre Royal Drury Lane

LONDON — Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, a musical production based on the classic 1964 book by Roald Dahl, has been delighting audiences of all ages at London’s Theatre Royal Drury Lane following its premiere in May 2013. Directed by Sam Mendes and starring Douglas Hodge as Willy Wonka, 70,000 people saw the musical in its first month with its premiere attended by top celebrities from the acting world, and its run has now been extended until May 2014.

For sound reinforcement, L-ACOUSTICS equipment was specified by award-winning sound designer Paul Arditti following his successful shows – including London Road and The Magistrate – using the product in the Olivier Theatre since its installation in July 2012. “Having heard L-ACOUSTICS KARA in the challenging environment of the Olivier Theatre in London, I knew that this was the loudspeaker system I wanted to specify for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” he says. more

First Baptist Church at the Mall Standardizes with Nine HARMAN Soundcraft Si Expression Digital Consoles

LAKELAND, Florida – Building on its successful relationship with HARMAN’s Studer over the past year, the First Baptist Church at the Mall in Lakeland, Florida recently upgraded with nine Soundcraft Si Expression digital consoles in time for the Church’s fall season. The consoles are being used in several areas throughout the Church’s property, including the classrooms, chapel, the children’s ministry and youth ministries.

Of the nine Si Expression consoles Church at the Mall now owns, five are Si Expression 3, three are Si Expression 1 and one is a Si Expression 2. “We wanted to standardize on the same console throughout these different spaces,” said Daniel Livingston, Program Technology Supervisor at the Church at the Mall. “Since we rely on a number of volunteers to operate the technology, we wanted them to have the same level of familiarity with every console. We also can save settings from one console to a USB drive and copy that to another console, which is a huge advantage.”

As with any house of worship that relies on volunteer technical operators, ease of use was a top priority when choosing a digital console. “The Si Expression consoles are very easy to operate and the volunteers already love working with them,” Livingston noted. “Once a volunteer learns on one of them, he/she can use the Si Expression console in any other room.”

Livingston added that the existing relationship with Studer—the Church purchased a Vista 5 M2 for front-of-house and monitor mixing in its main worship space in 2012—was a factor in the decision to purchase the Soundcraft Si Expression consoles. “We have had success with the Vista 5 M2 and the fact that the Compact Stagebox can be interchanged between Studer and Soundcraft consoles was a benefit as well,” he said. “Of course, the affordability of the Si Expression was also attractive and frankly, they sound a lot better than I would have expected at that price point.”

For more information on Church at the Mall, please visit www.churchatthemall.com

HARMAN (www.HARMAN.com) designs, manufactures, and markets a wide range of infotainment and audio solutions for the automotive, consumer, and professional markets. It is a recognized world leader across its customer segments with premium brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, and Mark Levinson® and leading-edge connectivity, safety and audio technologies. The company is admired by audiophiles across multiple generations and supports leading professional entertainers and the venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of about 14,000 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $4.3 billion for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2013.

HARMAN Professional’s Crown and JBL Professional Provide Major Improvement to Minor League Stadium

SOUTH BEND, Indiana – South Bend, Indiana’s Four Winds Field at Coveleski Stadium is the home of the South Bend Silver Hawks minor league baseball team. The 5,000-seat stadium, known locally as “The Cove,” opened in 1987 with a sound system that was good by 1980s standards, but not up to the requirements of the stadium’s recent renovation and expansion. When systems integrator Communication Company of South Bend Inc. (www.communication-co.com) was contracted for the stadium’s sound system upgrade, it turned to HARMAN’s Crown and JBL to meet the specific audio needs of the project.

“Our goals for this project were not just to significantly improve the sound quality at the stadium but to make the games a better, more fun-filled experience and equip the stadium to accommodate other events that are held throughout the year,” said Rick VandenBossche, Systems Engineer at Communication Company. The renovation ran from 2011 through 2013.

All the speakers inside the stadium were replaced with 16 JBL Control 29AV full range indoor/outdoor loudspeakers to cover the main seating areas, complemented by 31 Control 24CT in-ceiling loudspeakers in the upper deck and 48 Control 25AV high-power compact loudspeakers in the walkways and on light poles. A series of luxury suites and an area for private parties and meetings were added to the stadium, all equipped with JBL Control 24CT loudspeakers and high-definition video displays.

One of the key components of the renovation was the creation of a park-like environment that surrounds the facility and allows patrons to walk a full circle around the stadium. The walkway is lined with video screens, loudspeakers and lighting that are designed to bring the play-by-play action inside the ballpark to the outside of the property and 30 JBL Control 29AV loudspeakers are deployed throughout this area.

All the loudspeakers are powered by five Crown CTs 2000 and four XTi 4000 amplifiers, which are connected to the facility’s system control network by three Crown IQ3 PIP-USP3 network interface modules.

“With all outdoor facilities you are going to encounter acoustical challenges,” said VandenBossche. “First, we needed to respect the residents in the neighborhood next to the facility. Second, with outdoor venues it’s best to distribute audio from multiple points instead of hurling sound from one place and blowing some people out while others don’t hear enough sound.” Hence the use of multiple smaller JBL loudspeakers, deployed in a distributed audio system that took into account areas with reverberant sound and outdoor walkways with high environmental wind noise into account. The output of the loudspeakers was time-delayed as necessary according to their locations.

VandenBossche chose JBL Control Contractor Series outdoor loudspeakers for their presence, clarity and ability to deliver wide coverage from smaller enclosures. “They’re dynamic loudspeakers with great sound.” Crown amplifiers were used exclusively because he feels they offer the best quality and value on the market.

Another curveball for Communication Company was the fact that they had to install the system in the offseason and not interfere with season play, which meant all the work had to be done in Indiana’s late winter. “Let’s just say the installation would have been more fun if it wasn’t so cold out!” VandenBossche noted.

The result was worth it. “With a setup like this, the fans find it hard to contain their excitement once the music and game-day sounds start,” concluded VandenBossche. “The ballpark experience is completely transformed and games are much more fun and exciting.”

HARMAN (www.HARMAN.com) designs, manufactures, and markets a wide range of infotainment and audio solutions for the automotive, consumer, and professional markets. It is a recognized world leader across its customer segments with premium brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, and Mark Levinson® and leading-edge connectivity, safety and audio technologies. The company is admired by audiophiles across multiple generations and supports leading professional entertainers and the venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of about 14,000 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $4.3 billion for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2013.

Masque Sound’s Custom Audio Equipment Package Docks at New York City’s Vineyard Theatre for New Musical, The Landing

TheLanding_Frankie Seratch and Paul Anthony Stewart - Photos by Carol Rosegg

When The Landing, the first collaboration between legendary theater composer John Kander and gifted playwright Greg Pierce, arrived at New York’s Vineyard Theatre on October 3rd, Masque Sound, a leading theatrical sound reinforcement, installation and design company, was on board to provide sound designer Nevin Steinberg with a custom audio equipment package for the new musical.

A beautiful and haunting new musical, The Landing comprises three thematically connected tales of desire, love and loss. Starring Tony- and Emmy Award-winner David Hyde Pierce, along with Julia Murney, Paul Anthony Stewart and Frankie Seratch, and directed by Tony Award-winner Walter Bobbie, The Landing is the recipient of an Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award.

The Landing_Julia Murney and David Hyde Pierce - Photos by Carol Rosegg

In designing the sound for The Landing, Steinberg wanted to maintain a very natural feel. “The Vineyard is a very small, intimate theater, and the play itself is a four-character musical with a four-piece orchestra, so my hope was to create an unobtrusive amplification system,” he says. “Of course, speaker selection was very important. The speakers I chose for this production supply a very diffuse amplification. It’s just a little bit unfocused, and I find that in a small space that tends to work pretty well.”

Steinberg employed several speakers from L-ACOUSTICS, including the company’s 112Ps and 108As. “These L-ACOUSTICS models provide a very pleasing sound and a very wide dispersion pattern both horizontally and vertically,” he adds. “I knew that they would work well for this project, so I was very specific about what I wanted. As always, Masque Sound was happy to fulfill this request. We’ve worked on various projects throughout the years, and they’ve always been very supportive and attentive to the needs of the production and also to me, the designer. I really value my relationship with everyone there.”

One of the main challenges that Steinberg faced focused on where to put the musicians, since the Vineyard Theatre has no dedicated orchestra pit. To overcome this, Steinberg split the orchestra into two halves and placed them in the balconies on the house left and right side of the audience. He positioned the percussionist and piano player/conductor on one side and the woodwind and cello players on the other. While this is often not the preferred setup as it can make communication difficult, in the case of The Landing, it suited the style of the production very well. Masque Sound was able to assist this unconventional setup by providing each musician with an audio and video monitor, so that each player could clearly see the conductor and have his and her own audio mix.

Masque Sound’s custom audio equipment package also included an AVID SC-48 compact digital console, which Steinberg likes for its great routing and effects options. The orchestra is reinforced using DPA and Neumann microphones. Because the actors are continuously onstage throughout the show, each performer is double mic’d with a combination of DPA and Sennheiser wireless microphones. Masque Sound also provided frequency coordination for the 10 channels of wireless in use.

“One of the nice things about Masque Sound is that when there is a challenge or a budgetary issue, they are very quick to help solve the problem,” notes Steinberg. “They always offer good solutions, and having them as the rental shop on my projects allows me to focus on other issues and not have to worry about anything related to the equipment. They consistently do a wonderful job.”

The Landing had its world premiere on October 3rd and is slated to run through November 24th at the Vineyard Theatre, located on 108 East 15th Street in downtown Manhattan in the heart of historic Union Square.

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.

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Related Topics: Events, Large Venue, Microphones |

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