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Queen Victoria Sets Sail with Self-Powered Meyer Sound Systems

Photos used with permission.

"If something breaks down out at sea, it's a lot more complicated to get replacement parts. Meyer gear is built to the highest standards, and that's the right match for the Queen Victoria."

- Alan Edwards
Principal Sound Designer, Nautilus Entertainment Design

Cunard's newest ocean liner, the Queen Victoria, is a massive ship that spans 12 expansive decks and boasts some of the most luxurious and modern facilities ever to sail the open seas. The magnificent liner features a multi-story grand lobby, numerous ambient restaurants, lounges, a casino and state-of-the-art theatres, many of which are equipped with self-powered Meyer Sound systems designed by San Diego-based Nautilus Entertainment Design and installed by system integrator HMS Italia.

System maintenance, sound quality, size and visual impact are all decisive factors for the use of Meyer Sound products and the system design. As Nautilus' Principal Sound Designer Alan Edwards explains, the ship's upscale décor reflects the epitome of elegance, and aesthetics played a significant challenge. "It's one of Cunard's top priorities that the systems on Queen Victoria should remain unobtrusive," says Edwards. "This is reflected in our equipment choices and placements."

Visibility of the equipment guided the system design for over 30 venues on the ship, including the largest and most challenging Royal Court Theatre, a three-story, 800-seat venue that features opera-style box seating, professional theatres and movie screenings. "Cunard wanted to break from the traditional theatre model often found on ships, so they've created a venue that rivals anything you'd find on Broadway or London's West End," says Edwards.

Royal Court Theatre's main system comprises two hangs of eight MICA line array loudspeakers each, well concealed behind the elaborate façade and are only inches from the bulkhead behind it. "Everything on a ship is subject to tight quarters, but in this case it was even more extreme. The MICA was a great solution, as it delivers more than enough power and a great coverage pattern, but it's small enough to require minimal space."

Four M3D-Sub directional subwoofers and four UMS-1P subwoofers handle low end content, while six UPM-1P loudspeakers provide front fill. The center channel, a pair of CQ-1 loudspeakers, is augmented by 14 MM-4 loudspeakers hidden along the mezzanine for rear channel ambience. Several delay rings cover the upper balcony and under-balcony areas with numerous UPM-1P loudspeakers and UPJ-1P VariO loudspeakers, augmented by USW-1P and UMS-1P subwoofers.

Meyer Sound Matrix3 audio show control system is used for creating surround ambience, handling musical cues for a wide range of performances via CueStation software. Onstage monitoring is courtesy of six UPA-2P and UPM-2P loudspeakers each, along with several portable UM-1P and UM-100P stage monitors available for use as necessary.

The ship's second major venue is the Queens Room, where guests are invited to relax while enjoying some afternoon tea and a round of ballroom dancing. The two-story ballroom features cantilevered balconies and a large theatre stage, equipped with two arrays of four M1D line array loudspeakers and two M1D-Sub subwoofers per side, all hidden behind closed screens. Two UPA-2P loudspeakers handle front fill duties, along with a pair of UPJ-1P VariO loudspeakers for upper seating coverage.

A wide range of Meyer Sound products provide high fidelity audio in other various venues on the ship, while remaining out of sight. The multipurpose room disco is equipped with four UPJ-1P VariO loudspeakers and a single 600-HP subwoofer for ample coverage. Many of the more intimate lounges, including the Golden Lion Pub, White Star Bar, Commodore Club and Chart Room, are outfitted with UPM-1P loudspeakers, UPJ-1P VariO loudspeakers and UMS-1P subwoofers, as are the Children's Room deck and Crew Recreation area.

Meyer Sound loudspeakers installed throughout the ship are equipped with RMS remote monitoring system. "It eases the maintenance requirements on the techs, who already have their hands full, says Edwards. "It also eliminates the need to take the whole room down for maintenance. Honestly, there's no better way to know what's going on than with RMS,"

The self-powered feature of Meyer Sound loudspeakers saves space that would otherwise be occupied by amp racks, and it also proves to be beneficial for Edwards' design work. "It's far easier for a shipbuilder to run power to every speaker directly than to run audio, ventilation and power to and from an amp room," he says. "For us as systems designers, it affords us far more flexibility and creativity. And Meyer Sound's specs are so precise that it makes it easy to plan out power allocation."

Edwards also highlights Meyer Sound's legendary system dependability, which has allowed him to provide his client with a high level of confidence required in this scalable project. "If something breaks down out at sea," says Edwards, "It's a lot more complicated to get replacement parts. Meyer gear is built to the highest standards, and that's the right match for the Queen Victoria."

The Queen Victoria is featured in the June 2008 issue of the Sound & Communications magazine.

July, 2008



















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