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Cat-5 Connectivity and Robust Monitoring Performance Key for Ship-Board Duty

MIAMI, Fl, FEBRUARY 24, 2009 – Carnival Cruise Lines’ newest and largest “Fun Ship,â€? the Carnival Splendor, which can host more than 3,000 guests and offers high-energy entertainment options galore, made its maiden voyage from the Mediterranean to ports of call in Northern Europe in 2008.

Featured within this floating resort’s 1,300-seat Spectacular Show Lounge is the new musical performance, The Beat. Using an Aviom Pro64® digital snake, the production crew was able to take full advantage of the Cat-5 connectivity and user flexibility the system offers as well as its robust performance in the challenging cruise ship environment.

“We have enjoyed a great experience over the years with Aviom,” says James Keaton, audio supervisor for Carnival Cruise Lines. “We currently have 22 ships in the fleet and we have been using the Aviom Pro16® system for monitoring and communications in our show productions on every one of them. The Carnival Splendor is the newest in our fleet and features a fabulous show called The Beat. Because of the unique needs of this production, considering the size and scope of the show, we decided to install a 32-channel Aviom Pro64 system which offers enhanced capabilities. We also have plans to upgrade all of the Carnival fleet to Pro64.”

To service The Beat, two 6416Y2 A-Net Interface Cards were installed to send and receive 32-channels of audio through a Yamaha PM5D digital console. This setup easily accommodates the different shows that take place in the lounge. The stage setup incorporates two 6416m Mic Input Modules that capture the audio signals from the stage performers as well as the 10-piece band. The Aviom mic preamps are remotely controlled by the RCI Remote Control Interface that provides a network interface for the MCS Mic Control Surface, addressing up to 64 mic channels. With this remote capability, the audio engineer can control the different levels of the preamps from the control room several decks above the stage as opposed to having to travel between decks. On stage, an ASI A-Net Systems Interface unit allows the Pro16 Series Personal Mixers used by the band to interface with the Pro64 audio network. Ten A-16II Personal Mixers, used to provide performers with individual control over their monitor mixes, round out the system.

“The band is situated in an approximately 15-foot orchestra pit which is essentially a steel box that goes down one deck with a floor on a hydraulic lift,” Keaton explains. “With these close quarters, the sound levels get very loud and it makes mixing through floor monitors almost impossible. With the Aviom system, we now have the band on isolation headphones with A-16II Personal Mixers for each player, allowing each person to dial up a mix that satisfies their performance needs. This also eliminates the sound of the floor monitors from blending with the front of house, making the audio more clean and focused.”

Another advantage offered by the Aviom system is the use of Cat-5 cable to deliver bidirectional audio signals to and from the front-of-house console that is housed four decks away from the stage. “The capability of delivering all the audio signals over a single Cat-5 cable is perfect for our type of installation,” continues Keaton. “When we used audio snakes with hydraulic lift stages, we had instances where the lift would crush the connector box or sever a wire. Now if something happens, it is fairly easy to patch in a Cat-5 cable. The Aviom system really improves our confidence levels. We find that the system responds exceptionally well to the electrical environment on a ship and is quite robust. We have 22 ships, each with 16 Personal Mixers, support systems and spares and these units keep on working. We are extremely happy with Aviom.”

Aviom pioneered personal mixing with its Pro16® Monitor Mixing System and continues to break new ground with the revolutionary Pro64® Series of audio networking products. With tens of thousands of products in the field today, Aviom has set the standard for high performance, scalable digital solutions. All Aviom systems harness the power of A-Net®, Aviom’s innovative digital audio technology that simplifies system design while enhancing flexibility and fidelity. All Aviom products are designed, tested, and manufactured in the USA.