By Eugenia Moskowitz
It’s fair to say few people in Washingtonville have heard of Metro Sound Pros, located in a small warehouse on Hallock Drive. And unless you’re into audiovisual installations, you wouldn’t, as MSP does complex work for some of the largest medical centers and cultural institutions in the tri-state area. All out of a warehouse you would miss if you blinked while driving by.
Now, MSP is breaking ground in South Blooming Grove with a 5,000-square-foot office/warehouse space to be completed next year. And if anybody had asked Leo Garrison if he would ever have imagined this happening, he would say no. Because this is not how it all started.
Garrison, a Warwick High School graduate, had always been into music. So he and his friend Joe Becker started selling music and sound system equipment in 2000 in Rockland County. Then MP3s came along, and the business went bust. So they shifted to installing audiovisual equipment in nightclubs and discos. “One day Joe, who lived in Washingtonville, needed an oil change and noticed a vacant space on Hallock Drive,” Garrison said. “So we moved our business to Washingtonville.” The pair then began doing audiovisual work in area restaurants and gyms, which led to residential work as word of mouth spread among their customers.
As their business steadily grew, the partners began to research how they could help hearing-impaired individuals, which led to reimagining the existing but underused “loop” technology into state of the art assistive-listening installations involving copper wire surrounding an interior space which transmits signals to the copper inside hearing-aid devices. As they were looping various theaters in Manhattan, Garrison got a call one day from the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. “I was like, wrong number buddy,” he said. “But it was real, and turned out to be the most complicated install, I’d say, in the world. Then the phone started ringing off the hook as calls came in from the Bronx Zoo, the NYC mayor’s office, the MTA, the Taxi Commission, the Central Park Zoo, Rockefeller University, and theaters in the Nederlander group.” Locally, MSP completed work at the Bounce Trampoline center in Poughkeepsie and large sound-masking projects at Orange Regional Medical Center and Vassar Brothers Medical Center. “Some of our clientele is… it’s just insane,” Garrison said, shaking his head. “Joe and I never thought this could ever happen.”
To read the full article see the Friday, Sept. 23 editions of The Sentinel and Orange County Post.