As GraceWay Bible Church gets ready to stage its annual holiday program, Christmas Live!, Masque Sound, a leading theatrical sound reinforcement, installation and design company, returns with a custom audio equipment package to support Sound Designer Nathan Schmalbach and Technical Director Kevin Webb’s production.
Now in its fifth year, Christmas Live! is an immersive experience transporting visitors back 2,000 years to the very first Christmas. An hour-long guided walking tour, it features 11 interactive scenes with actors and animals located in and around the church grounds. The cast and crew total 300 people, with 15 involved directly in its technical aspects.
This is Masque Sound’s third year providing rental gear for Christmas Live!. As the program has grown over the past three years, so has the company’s support. In 2011, Masque Sound supplied a large wireless rig to distribute audio throughout the show. Last year, the rental package grew to include a semi-centralized system, and this year, Masque Sound provided a system that will allow the entire program to be centralized.
“Our goal over the past few years has been to centralize all of the controls for the entire program, which is no easy task when you are talking about remotely mixing and controlling 11 different shows, all of which are active at the same time,” says Schmalbach. “We have been working with Masque Sound for months to make sure we have the necessary equipment to execute this. It’s been a challenge, but Masque Sound has done a great job in giving us the gear and support to make our vision a reality.”
In order to mix the show from one central point, Schmalbach and his team will utilize a binaural audio (3D Audio) remote listening system. The system is composed of AKG C414 B-ULS and Earthworks M30 microphones, Genelec 1032A and 8030A monitors, XTA DP448s and Meyer Sound Galileo 616s for processing, XTA DS8000/D splitters, Rational Acoustics Smaart software and a Midas Venice 240 console. Audio is distributed from the control center with a Riedel RockNet 300 digital audio network. The speaker package consists of L-Acoustics MTD108As, 115XTs, SB218 and dB-SUB subwoofers, and Meyer Sound UPM-1Ps, UPA-1Ps and UPJ-1Ps. All of the L-Acoustics speakers are powered via Lab.gruppen fP Series amplifiers.
Figure53 QLab software running on Mac Minis with RME Fireface 800 interfaces handles the show’s effects and music playback. Masque Sound also provided a large wireless rig consisting of a Sennheiser 2000 Series 24-channel kit. To accompany the Sennheiser wireless package, Masque Sound supplied four Domed Helical Antennas from its sister company, Professional Wireless Systems (PWS).
“Masque Sound is always there for whatever we need. The program would not be as technically advanced as it is without their first-class equipment and support,” adds Schmalbach. “They do a wonderful job, and we can’t imagine working with anyone else.”
Christmas Live! will take place Friday, December 6 and Friday, December 13, starting at 5:30 p.m., and Sunday, December 8 and Sunday, December 15, starting at 4:30 p.m. For more information and to get free tickets, visit
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