Masque Sound’s Audio Equipment Retrofit At Manhattanville College’s O'Byrne Chapel

PURCHASE, NY, JANUARY 24, 2017 – When the administration at Manhattanville College made the decision to invest in an audio upgrade retrofit to the campus’ beautiful O’Byrne Chapel, they turned to Masque Sound, a leading theatrical sound reinforcement and installation company, for the purchase and install of the facility’s new audio equipment.

“The administrators from Manhattanville College visited St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City and fell in love with the acoustics that emanated from the audio system that we designed and Masque Sound installed,” says Ben Bausher, CTS, Senior Consultant, Audio & Video Systems Group Jaffe Holden. “Though Manhattanville College had recently installed a new sound system in the O’Byrne Chapel, it did not meet expectations, so they reached out to Masque Sound to deliver and install an updated audio system at the college. We have worked with Masque Sound in the past and it was great to be able to collaborate with them again.”

For the project, the chapel’s audio system received a complete overhaul from rack to speakers. The main AV rack for the audio system was entirely rewired with the integration of a Yamaha QL1 console and Tio1608-D input module. Shure QLX-D® wireless systems are utilized using both bodypacks and handheld SM58 transmitters. Control parameters for the audio system have been set within the amplifiers to provide a turn-key system for the end user. 

The speaker retrofit provides the chapel with five speaker zones: main columns, nave fills, delay fills, balcony fills and alter fills. New d&b audiotechnik 24C speakers were installed while retaining the existing Intellivox column speakers, which were also retuned during the installation.

“The column speakers were intended to cover all the way to the far sides of a cruciform chapel,” adds Bausher. “We added additional fills to get the intelligibility up and SPL variation down. Coordinated with Manhattanville’s IT department, we used its building LAN and partitioned off a V-Lan so that we could run Dante™ audio from our DSP back to a new amp room. That is now what’s feeding the fills in the back half of the room.”

The new system can now support any size event in the chapel by providing consistent quality coverage of all seating areas while providing a system that can be operated remotely if necessary. “Our first use of the system after installation was the inauguration of our new college president, Dr. Michael Geisler,” says Lance Rosenthal, Audio/Visual Coordinator at Manhattanville College. “To ensure that the system was going to work as expected, Masque Sound sent a team out for the inauguration to make sure everything went smoothly. As anticipated, the sound system worked flawlessly. I have only good things to say about our experience with Masque Sound. Realizing that we were not the most experienced audio team, the crew at Masque Sound taught us everything we needed to know to efficiently operate the new sound system. They provided us with a sophisticated system that’s easy to use and troubleshoot.”

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 led by President Geoff Shearing. 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, The Book of Mormon, Once, Kinky Boots, Aladdin and Fun Home to yearly Super Bowl broadcasts and installations of varying sizes, including Western Connecticut State University, the Jim Wise Theatre at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) and the historic St. Patrick's Cathedral. 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