Masque Sound takes field for Red Bulls

Masque Sound helped Major League Soccer s New York Red Bulls kick off its home slate of games with a halftime show that had enough energy and adrenaline to make Red Bull drinkers proud.

Audio engineering and services provider Masque Sound handled the audio duties, providing 36 V-DOSC line array speaker cabinets, two Yamaha PM5D digital consoles (one used for the monitors and another for the front-of-house mix), and Camco amplifiers to drive the speakers. Shure wireless mics and in-ear monitors are also used.

International pop superstar Shakira and Wycliffe Jean took to the stage during halftime in the kind of high-quality (and increasingly complex) halftime shows that are beginning to be seen outside of the Super Bowl and other top sporting events.

The line array speakers are ideal for this type of application, says Geoff Shearing, Masque Sound vice president. They re very compact and very powerful and they throw sound over a great distance. But at the same time they have a near-field effect so the same remains at the same loudness level for longer distances. That way you aren t killing people in the front row trying to reach the people in the back row.

Masque Sound does a lot of work with New York Jets, Giants and New Jersey Nets, so getting the half-time show and rig up and running in less than five minutes is old hat for the company. The Red Bulls could have used the house system but they wanted something a little more robust, says Shearing. They wanted more of a concert-like experience with directionality from the stage.

The cabinets were set up in the corners of the field with each corner having two stacks of speakers facing away from each other.

More and more sports teams are giving added value to the fans in the stands with entertainment experiences, says Shearing. Fortunately, we re really good at this type of event because we have the knowledge and forethought to make it happen.

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