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Electro-Voice all at sea for cruise ship sound system install

EW Production Services Ltd (EWPSL) has designed and installed an Electro-Voice EV-Innovation loudspeaker system for Fred Olsen Cruise Lines’ MS Braemar, with the install completed at sea.

Its Neptune Lounge hosts live music, comedy, cabaret and full theatre productions, however the cruise ship was experiencing ongoing audio issues such as unwanted sound transmission affecting passenger cabins above and below the lounge.

“When we saw the Neptune Lounge and its old system, we knew we could improve the situation dramatically,” said Paul Byrne, operations manager for EWPSL. “The tricky bit was to accomplish that while at sea, and without interfering with the entertainment schedule. Fortunately, our friends at Electro-Voice UK provided an ETX loudspeaker system as a temporary sound system, and Fred Olsen Cruise Lines welcomed two of our technicians, who installed the complete system during a cruise.”

To fix the room’s audio issues, EWPSL designed a system based on models from the Electro-Voice EV-Innovation family of installation-dedicated loudspeakers and the Electro-Voice N8000 NetMax digital matrix controller. The primary loudspeakers are four EVU-2082 mains hung above the stage and sonically matched with two EVA-1151D subwoofers.

Three Electro-Voice CPS series multi-channel amplifiers power the entire sound system. Outfitted with RCM-810 remote control modules from Electro-Voice, the amps integrate via IRIS-Net software into the N8000 digital matrix controller from Electro-Voice enabling complete tailoring of each channel. In addition, the equipment rack was reduced from 48 to 16 rack units in height, creating more free space while reducing the amount of heat generated.

“The old system was under-powered and lacked proper signal processing,” explained Byrne. “With the N8000 controller and IRIS-Net software, we could provide perfect tuning and control of each speaker. It also allowed us to easily incorporate the ship’s emergency notification system as a system task in the network.”

To address unwanted noise transmission to adjacent rooms, EWPSL isolated the new speakers with rubber washers in each bracket connection of the four ceiling-mounted Electro-Voice EVU-2082 speakers. Large rubber feet were added to the floor-standing EVA-1151D subwoofers, and both are housed in small alcoves with a carpet and rubber pad to further deaden vibration. Not a single passenger noise complaint has been registered since the installation.

Richard Walker, senior technical and compliance manager and superintendent, cruise for Fred Olsen Marine Services, added: “The new sound system in Braemar’s Neptune Lounge is a great improvement to our guests’ showtime experience. EW Production Services came up with an ideal solution, and we thank them for a speedy and trouble-free installation.”

Byrne concluded: “There was a lot of uncertainty in this installation, primarily because it all happened at sea, which put a lot of pressure on our design team. But with great support from Electro-Voice, we were confident that everything would work as planned – and it did.”