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About Seneschal Consulting

From 1997 to the present, Seneschal has helped digital content creators and new media manufacturers to make the most of their investments. Past clients range from radio and television broadcasters to international law enforcement agencies. During that time, Seneschal also provided marketing muscle to top IT vendors such as Hitachi Data Systems, Pirus Networks/Sun Microsystems, XIOtech/Seagate and Ricoh SV, through a collaboration with the mighty “SAN Warriors” at The Storage Consulting Group. In 2005, Mr. Masciarotte joined Sonic Studio, a software startup based in Marin County, to provide marketing communications and technical services. In 2008, Sonic Studio joined the expanding roster of Seneschal clients.

In 2009, after over a year in preparation working with the San Francisco Green Business program, Seneschal is now certified as a sustainable business. The stringent requirements have allowed us to save money and resources while lessening our impact on the environment and, the lessons we’ve learned can be applied to your business to save you money as well.

About Our Founder

Seneschal is owned and operated by Oliver A. Masciarotte, a 28 year veteran of the professional audio and digital production industries. After finishing his schooling with two certifications from the Lowell Institute of MIT in Cambridge, he worked for manufacturers such as dbx, ADS, Lexicon and Neotek. While at Analog & Digital Systems in 1977, he had the opportunity to work on a groundbreaking reverberation synthesizer, the world's first consumer digital audio product. After his stint at ADS, he tech’d for Lexicon on their first generation of professional digital reverberators, the legendary 224.

Moving into production, he was hired as staff engineer at Criteria Recording in North Miami, where he worked on a broad range of gold and platinum hits, Grammy winners and a variety of artists from Bob Seeger, Meatloaf and Julio Iglesias to Rita Marley, Shel Silverstein and Chuck Mangione. A month in Studio D tracking Shel Silverstein’s childhood classic Where the Sidewalk Ends resulted in a Grammy award win in 1984. Also while at Criteria, he had the pleasure of working with many cutting edge music technologies, including prototype open reel digital audio tape recorders from EMI, prototype desks from MCI and Sony, early automation systems and a seemingly endless variety of rather horrible synchronizers. Criteria was a rare breed of studio complexes with multiple live chambers, EMT plates, and AKG foils to choose from, along with the occasional stairwell and bathroom…We even had a Cooper Time Cube!

During that time in South Florida, he also became a Staff Lecturer at the University of Miami, Coral Gables in the Music Engineering department. Mr. Masciarotte helped guide several current industry captains through their formative years before leaving for the Midwest. At the Optimage division of Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V. in Chicago, he worked with a small team of engineers on first generation authoring tools for CD-i, the premier digital interactive optical disc format and ancestor of the wildly popular DVD. His time in The Windy City also provided the opportunity to sell a then-new product, a stand–alone CD-R recorder from Yamaha.

After leaving Philips, he was hired as the twelfth employee by a small company in San Francisco involved in pioneering desktop Compact Disc production and restoration systems, Sonic Solutions. He held the positions, first of Support, then Training Manager prior to his departure to form his own company. During his time at “Sonic,” he participated in the creation and deployment of numerous premastering, mastering, restoration, forensic, prepress, SACD and DVD-A production systems.

The dawn of DVD saw his founding, along with industry veteran Gary Hall, of the first independent, full service facility for DVD production, dHouse. After leaving his creation in capable hands, he concentrated on consulting and engineering via a then new professional services firm, Seneschal.

2012 brought a new chapter to the story, with the move from indy consultant to staff position. As CX Director with the growing concern of Minnetonka Audio Software, Masciarotte shifted focus to professional codecs, loudness measurement and automation for post. In 2014, Masciarotte moved back to Seneschal full time, providing technical professional services to companies worldwide. During that time, Seneschal provided marketing communications expertise to a range of local pro and CE audio manufacturers. Masciarotte also picked up where he had left off writing for consumer audio publications.

In 2017, Masciarotte was approached by colleague and friend Friedemann Tischmeyer to help with a new startup, MAAT incorporated. The two first met when Masciarotte became a board member of the Pleasurize Music Foundation, the first organization to promote sane and more natural dynamic range in what was then a raging pop music Loudness War. MAAT was formed as a developer of audio hardware and software for a mostly professional audience. As CMO of MAAT, Masciarotte works with a small team of international big brains who are bent on lifting the overall quality of the pro audio industry.

Oliver A. Masciarotte has, for over three decades, been immersed in the entertainment tech space, working with vendors and end users on marketing, facilitation and product development tasks. He is a member of the SMPTE, the AES, and the DCS. His writings, over 100 articles in all, have appeared in sundry trade publications. He is also the author of To Serve & Groove, the first book to cover file–based HRA audio in the home. As an invited presenter at numerous trade conferences & shows, including Association For Independent Music, Fibre Channel Technologies, Storage Area Networks, Audio Engineering Society and the O’Reilly Emerging Technology conferences, Mr. Masciarotte enjoys informing business people about technological best practices.

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About Our Name

The company name was chosen as it represents a proxy for the owner of some holdings…

Seneschal (sen eh shall) noun :
{of Gothic & Old High German origin}

  1. In feudal times, an agent or bailiff in charge of a lord's estate
  2. Seneschal’s logo…that guy on the horse

A seneschal was a trusted servant of the household, an agent or chief steward in charge of a lord’s holdings in feudal times. The historic seneschal of the Middle Ages was responsible to the “Lord of the Manor” for the efficient administration of the estate. As senior servant, he had his authority and responsibility invested directly by his lord.

In some versions of the Arthurian legends, King Arthur made Sir Kay his seneschal. By some accounts, William of Lanchester was the seneschal and favorite servant of the Raven King, John Uskglass. For the truly curious, Wikipedia has an extensive entry for the word “seneschal.”