Fred Olsen Braemar – Audio Installation
EW Production Services has been working hard with projects in the cruise sector and have recently completed an installation project upon MS Braemar, which is part of the award-winning Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ fleet.
‘Braemar’ is the most modern of the four Fred. Olsen cruise ships. In keeping with the other ships in the fleet – ‘Balmoral’, ‘Boudicca’ and ‘Black Watch’ – its smaller size means that it can access ports that the larger vessels cannot, thereby enabling more unique and interesting itineraries. Capable of accommodating up to 929 guests, ‘Braemar’ has a stylish, intimate feel, with friendly staff, offering an exceptional level of personal service.
When it comes to onboard entertainment, the Neptune Lounge – on Lounge Deck 5, at the front of the ship – is the place to be. With fantastic cabaret-style shows and performances from live singers, dancers and comedians, there is something to suit every guest and every taste.
It is imperative that, with such a diverse range of entertainment taking place, the sound system in the Neptune Lounge be flexible and resilient enough to provide all the technical essentials. The aim for EWPSL was simple: to decrease the size of the system and increase coverage and control, whilst eliminating as much leakage as possible.
The room height in the Neptune Lounge was a major factor in choosing a cabinet that could be ceiling-mounted. The Electrovoice EVU range was selected, due to its specialist properties and use of front-fill and distributed audio systems. Four EVU 2082 boxes were chosen for this application. The cabinets are discreet and the mounting bracket provided the perfect solution.
The previous subwoofers were a twin 15-inch cabinet. These were replaced with EVA1151D subwoofers, offering a more compact option, with just a single 15-inch driver, as high levels of LF extension were not required.
The EVA1151D performed well and more than met the project’s needs, with the characteristics and power of an 18-inch driver, together with the responsiveness and clarity of a 15. As the EVU and EVA are part of the EV-Innovation range, they are sonically matched.
Small delay speakers were a ‘must’ for this project. Improved delay set-up and control was achieved via IRIS-Net software, utilising the Lounge’s current Martin Audio AQ5 delay speakers to achieve this.
By using multi-channel amplifiers and removing any unnecessary and unused equipment from the Control Booth, the EWPSL team were able to replace the 48U rack with a 16U rack, leaving space for expansion, if needed. Not only did this increase significantly the amount of space available at the control position, but it also reduced the amount of heat generated.
For control, an Electrovoice NetMax N8000 unit was implemented, with full IRIS-Net control via a PC laptop. The NetMax provides completely open and modular routing, DSP, control and tasks, as well as extensive supervision. It took just minutes for the EWPSL team to set up a task allowing the ship’s emergency muting system to be incorporated.
Amplification was achieved using the Electrovoice CPS series. Utilising RCM-810 cards, the amplifiers integrate seamlessly with the IRIS-Net software for set-up, control and supervision. The VLD (‘Variable Load Drive’) setting allows the tailoring of each amplifier channel output to the connected loudspeaker, which is a great advantage.
The installation was carried out by two of EWPSL’s technicians over the course of a one-week cruise, visiting the ports of Amsterdam (The Netherlands), Antwerp (Belgium) and Honfleur (France). With the ship at sea and full to capacity, this provided another challenge, as the Neptune Lounge was still in use every evening and also at various points throughout the day, with talks and other activities. EWPSL provided an Electrovoice ETX system, comprising of 2 x ETX15Ps and 2 x ETX15SP Subs, in line with the Martin AQ5 delays, temporarily allowing the Lounge to continue its entertainment schedule, with no disruption to guests’ onboard experience. The EWPSL team worked closely with the Cruise Director and Stage Manager on board to ensure that they were able to maintain the tight schedule, with no impact on the ship’s normal activities. In return, the technicians were generously accommodated by the ship and its crew.
The outcome is a final product that achieves even sound distribution throughout the Neptune Lounge, with clarity and responsiveness, as well as a significant reduction to noise levels in surrounding areas.
Richard Walker, Senior Technical & Compliance Manager & Superintendent, Cruise for Fred. Olsen Marine Services AS, said:
“The new sound system in Braemar’s main Show Lounge is a great improvement and will make a huge difference to guests’ showtime experience. We would commend the EW Production Services team for coming up with the ideal solution to meet our needs, and thank them for a speedy and trouble-free installation.”
This project is a great example of how EWPSL can design and provide installation solutions to the cruise industry and supply customers with unlimited support and extensive specialist knowledge.
Keep your eye out for some more exciting projects at sea; meanwhile, check out some of EWPSL’s other projects here.