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L-Acoustics aboard Baltic Princess cruise ship for audio refurb

Audico, Finland’s largest AV company, has supplied and installed an L-Acoustics PA for the refit of the luxury Baltic Princess cruise ship’s audio system. The project spanned two years and took in all four of the ship’s entertainment areas: a nightclub, pub, live entertainment venue and disco.

Owned by AS Tallink Grupp, the Baltic Princess sails between the Finnish city of Turku and Swedish capital Stockholm and was built at a cost of €165m in 2005, accommodating 2,800 passengers.

“The first phase of the project was the ship’s main venue – the nightclub,” said Audico’s Pauli Molnár, who was working on the project in conjunction with consultant Tuomas Karppinen. “The ship’s owners wanted to have the best possible audio system for its new, high-profile live music repertoire. L-Acoustics was specified because it provides great intelligibility and transparency in its reproduction, which is in line with the ship’s luxury ethos.

“The nightclub’s existing system already had more than enough nautical miles under its belt, so it was time for a renovation. We were convinced that we could do everything required in one package that is powerful, clear and compact. Achieving this is always a challenge, particularly in this sort of environment, but with L-Acoustics products we have the right tools at our disposal. All L-Acoustics products have the same sonic signature, which meant we were able to use a mixture of cabinets from different ranges, as was appropriate for each space, to distribute the sound further and deliver the even coverage needed.”

L-Acoustics’ Soundvision programme was employed to assist with the design throughout. The final design comprises main hangs of six Kara topped with two SB28 per side and four SB18i hung behind the Kara arrays, whilst three Kiva provide stage centre fill. 24 5XT and eight 8XT are distributed in two rings around the room, both on the lower and upper levels, as delays and stage monitoring is provided by eight 115XTHiQ.

“Some time later, we were asked to look at the pub, the disco and a smaller, multipurpose live venue at the other end of the ship, again using L-Acoustics,” said Molnár. “In the pub, we installed a simple system of two 8XT, left and right, along with an SB15m sub, with 10 5XT as delays along the length of the room and a further two 8XT as floor monitors on the stage, which is used for a musician to entertain the bar’s guests.”

For the live entertainment venue, four ARCS Wide constant curvature line source cabinets were positioned left and right of the stage, topped with two SB18i subs. Additionally, two zones of 5XT are deployed as delay lines: one circular delay line of six 5XT around the edge of the dancefloor, with another six 5XT ceiling mounted outside of the dancefloor to cover the seating area around its edge.

“We also changed the stage monitoring to four 8XT,” Molnár continued. “The area is so small that they deliver sufficient sound pressure level with great intelligibility.”