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VENUE Sets Sail Aboard Cunard’s Queen Victoria Ocean Liner

Daly City — Two Digidesign® VENUE live sound systems set sail recently on Cunard’s newest state-of-the-art international vessel, the Queen Victoria. The majestic ocean liner’s twelve decks are replete with some of the most luxurious and modern accoutrements on water, including a grand, multilevel lobby, casino, restaurants, and two theaters.

Nautilus Entertainment Design Inc. of San Diego provided the audio and video designs for the ship’s 30 individual entertainment venues, which range from intimate lounges, fitness centers, and recreational areas to the palatial Royal Court Theatre and Queens Room ballroom. The theater and ballroom are each outfitted with high-tech sound systems that feature a Digidesign VENUE system.

As Nautilus’ principal sound designer Alan Edwards explains, dependability was a key factor in choosing the VENUE systems: “Reliability is a key component to any installation, but even more so for one that is in the middle of the ocean. In the unlikely event that something does go down at sea, you can’t just call the local technical shop for a repair. With the VENUE, it’s as simple as swapping out a component. VENUE gives us the confidence that the show will go on every night.�

The Royal Court Theatre is outfitted with a 96-channel D-Show® system comprised of a D-Show Main unit, two D-show Sidecars, and a sliding script tray. In addition, the system features two 48 input stage racks, a FOH Rack with five DSP Mix Engine cards and additional option cards that provide FireWire interface to Pro Tools LE® for recording and playback and Ethernet connection for remote control of the system. This large setup handles 72 analog/24 digital inputs and 32 analog/64 digital outputs. The Queens Room features a smaller D-Show Profile™ system with similar options to manage 48 analog inputs and 16 analog/16 digital output channels.

Edwards cites the VENUE system’s exceptional audio quality and user-friendly interface as key features, as well as the console’s instant recall capabilities. “These rooms are used for multiple events, from production shows to lectures, and they’re always busy,� he explains. “The engineers typically have less than an hour between shows to do a changeover, and that’s pretty much impossible with an analog desk. VENUE’s snapshot automation gives the engineer the freedom to concentrate on the quality of the mix, rather than worrying about what cue has to happen next. And it’s such an intuitive interface, which really streamlines the workflow. In a busy live situation, that’s invaluable.�

Having a vast array of studio-quality TDM plug-ins available natively to the system is another tremendous advantage, Edwards observes. “There was no need to specify a lot of outboard gear, which was ideal in terms of reducing our overall footprint and cabling runs. We were able to go from five racks of processing gear down to only two.�

Flexibility is also key in the ship’s busy environment. “The system is really adaptable to just about any situation,� Edwards notes. “It’s a really powerful tool.�

Digidesign’s VENUE live sound environment is revolutionizing the art and profession of live sound mixing with studio-quality sound, TDM plug-in effects processing, and direct connectivity to industry-standard Pro Tools® recording and playback systems. For more information about the VENUE line of products, visit

About Digidesign
Digidesign is a worldwide leading manufacturer of digital audio production systems and the winner of the 2001 Technical Grammy® Award and 2003 Oscar® statuette representing the Academy Scientific and Technical Award for the design, development, and implementation of the Pro Tools® digital audio workstation. Digidesign provides the professional music, film, video, multimedia, and radio broadcast industries with tools for digital recording, MIDI sequencing, editing, signal processing, and surround mixing. Digidesign products are marketed in more than 40 countries worldwide through a distribution network of value-added dealers, distributors, and OEM relationships. Digidesign is a part of Avid Technology, Inc. For more information, visit

About Avid Technology, Inc.
Avid (Nasdaq: AVID) is a worldwide leader in tools for film, video, audio, 3D animation, gaming and broadcast professionals – as well as for home audio and video enthusiasts. Avid professional and consumer brands include Avid, Digidesign, M-Audio, Pinnacle Systems, Sibelius, Softimage and Sundance Digital. The vast majority of primetime television shows, feature films, commercials and chart-topping music hits are made using one or more Avid products. Whether used by seasoned professionals or beginning students, Avid’s products and services enable customers to work more efficiently, productively and creatively. Avid received an Oscar statuette representing the 1998 Scientific and Technical Award for the concept, design, and engineering of the Avid® Film Composer® system for motion picture editing. For more information about the company’s Oscar, Grammy and Emmy® award-winning products and services, visit