NEW YORK – The 111-year-old Victory Theater, one of seven historic theaters adopted by The New 42nd St. Inc., underwent a $11.4 million renovation in 1995 and now offers family-oriented shows with ticket prices in the $9 to $38 range. Masque Sound recently updated the venue once more with new gear from d&b, Midas, XTA and Shure.
“We were basically okay with it,” said David Jensen, New Victory director of production, of the previous sound system installed during the 1995 renovation, “but it was mid-range, and inadequate for the more ambitious productions we’ve been mounting.
“Anthony Nittoli had supervised the1995 install and is now a principal designer with Akustiks, LLC,” an architectural and electro-acoustic design firm in Norwalk, CT, Jensen added.
“Anthony maintained his consultant relationship with the theater over the years, and I was fortunate to ‘inherit’ him when I came on board in 2001. In addition to performing annual systems service, he has also used the New Victory as a lab for systems testing. He knows this venue better than anyone.”
Nittoli, Jensen, and Rob Leach, New Victory Theater’s technical director, collaborated with Masque Sound on the upgrade.
“I recently worked on a similar project with Masque Sound,” noted Nittoli, referring to a project for St. Bartholomew’s Church. “That convinced me that they were the ideal installation specialists for The New Victory.”
Following an on-site shootout between three speaker manufacturers, Nittoli and Jensen selected d&b as the best fit for the NVT, with 19 d&b D6 and D12 amplifiers and d&b’s R1 remote control software. Also driving the 26-speaker house system is a Midas Pro3-IP digital mixing console and three XTA DP 448 processors, plus a Shure UR4D wireless package.
Matthew Peskie, Masque Sound project manager, noted that the upgrade to a 5.1 surround system literally doubled the existing number of speaker placements.
“A primary issue was mounting the subs at a lower level, which provided literally no room for anchors,” he says. “To resolve this problem we worked with Philadelphia-based Sapsis Rigging to design and build custom cantilevers, to locate the speakers in the desired locations.”
Akustiks and Masque Sound also renovated and partially replaced the existing intercom system with a ClearCom MS 704 main station, RM-704 4-CH remote station and headsets. Additionally, they oversaw the electrical work relating to the AV system.
“Due to the historic nature of the theater’s scrupulous 1995 restoration, our crew, assisted in wire pull and termination by Live Wire Sound & Image, was keenly aware of the need for carefully tracking down existing intercom cables and devising aesthetically acceptable solutions for new cable runs,” Peskie continued.
“This took time, but was cost effective and ultimately enabled us to reuse over 25 percent of the existing speaker and intercom wire. It also provides multiple options for reconfiguring the system for visiting company and 5.1 surround applications,” he added.
Nittoli credited Masque Sound president Geoff Shearing for building “a terrific install team,” noting how Peskie, Courtney Klimson (Masque Sound director of installations) and other crew members were “fully committed to going the extra nine yards to get the job done right.”
David Jensen also saw the project as a success. “We got a high end install, done right the first time. Akustiks and Masque came in on schedule and on budget,” he said. “The system sounds great, our staff, IATSE crew and most importantly our artists love it and we were so pleased with Masque that they are now one of our ‘go-to’ equipment rental options. We couldn’t be happier with the outcome of this project.”