Passengers on QE2 cruise ships are enjoying an extensive technical refurbishment of the Grand Lounge, the largest entertainment venue on the ship. A new Martin Audio sound system has been installed to handle the Lounge’s diverse program of events.
The Grand Lounge stretches over two decks of the ship, accommodating 450 people in cabaret-style seating on two levels. Twice a night, the ship’s onboard cast present theatrical entertainment. Cunard’s entertainment technical manager, Andy Pygott, comments, “We were looking for a system that would deliver even sound coverage across the whole room with a particular emphasis on vocal clarity. The system needed to have the ability to handle all these different types of shows and provide the levels required without feedback for everything from a speech to a full theater production. We looked at a lot of options, considering also what would be easy to install. We’d used Martin Audio speakers previously, and concluded that this system would be the ideal passive solution for our refurbishment.”
With the stage thrusting slightly forward into the audience area, Pygott and Ross Portway, the sound designer, couldn’t use a conventional theater configuration. Either side of the stage is a column in which two W2 full-range cabinets are mounted, one facing inward and the other facing outward. Behind each of these columns, an EM26 provides fill for the left and right wings of the room. At the front of the stage, six EM15s provide the front-fill for the first rows, while a single W2 flown 30 feet above the stage provides a center presence. Twenty feet into the lounge, a pair of EM26s are mounted on a column on each side of the room: further back still, two EM15s are ceiling-mounted under the balcony. Two WS2A subs have been stacked on either side of the stage.
Installed by Stage Electrics, Ross Portway and the Cunard technical team, the system is powered by Crown, with MediaMatrix to align and EQ the system because of the number of delay speakers in the room. “The verdict on the Martin system is excellent,” reports Pygott.
For more information, please go to the company’s Website at www.martinaudio.com.