Rock the Boat Part 2

By Dave Kuhn / June 25, 2013

Continued from here.

In the Shall We Dance showroom Vince used an AVID SC-48 for FOH and 8 monitor mixes. The PA was d&b Q series speakers with EAW Microwedges for monitors.

At the Pool Stage Toshi used an AVID SC-48 for FOH and 8 monitor mixes. His PA consisted of EAW LA 325’s atop EAW SB 1000 subs.

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FOH Engineer Dave Kuhn and Production Manager Brian Foisy discuss the set up at the pool where EAW LA 325’s and SB 1000’s were deployed along with an Avid SC-48 and EAW-MW 12 Microwedges.

In all cases, the PA stacks were strapped together to minimize movement out on the open sea.

All wireless mics were Shure UR Series receivers with SM58 capsules on the handhelds and Beta 98 HCs on the belt packs. Mics were primarily Shure, Sennheiser, and Audio Technica.

Now that the basic components of the rigs were determined it was time to take the audio needs of the artists and come up with suitable input lists, stage plots and mics for each stage.

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Monitor Beach on the Broadway Showroom stage consists of an Avid Profile with Shure UR wireless mics, Shure PSM 900 IEMs and QSC PL 236 monitor amp racks stacked on d&b d-12 and P-1200A FOH amp racks.  Two D-Show Stage Racks provide capability to access 96 inputs.

To minimize patching nightmares and set change times in the main showroom, it was decided to utilize a AVID Profile with two Stage Racks for input. Because there were to be 2 separate house bands backing up all the artists (sometimes in the same two-hour show), we decided to set up a separate input for each artist’s instrument.

Because each artist was to perform his/her show twice during the week (often on two different nights) those inputs would be used only for those particular mics.  This resulted in a 75+ input list.

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A second Avid SC-48 manned by Carlson engineer Vince Agne handles FOH and Monitors at the 600-seat Shall We Dance Lounge.  EAW MicroWedges, d&b Q7’s and Q subs serve audio to this room.

To handle this many inputs Mike utilized a second AVID Profile for monitors to yield 96 available inputs.  The 22 monitor mixes were handled by EAW Mircowedges wedges and Shure PSM-900 in-ear monitor systems.  Sidefills consisted of EAW JFX Components. Monitors were powered by QSC PL236 and PL240 amplifiers.

THE REHEARSALS

To make load-in and setup as easy as possible rehearsals were designed to duplicate as closely as possible the stage set up in the main room.  A full monitor rig was set up and the console was programmed as rehearsals progressed.  A FOH Profile was set up at rehearsals to program as well.

This rehearsal setup allowed the various artists and musicians to get accustomed to the way things would be on the ship’s stage.

The rehearsals for shows in the smaller venue were examined in advance as well, so that mic needs, monitor needs and stage plots could be addressed.

SHOWTIME

After load-in and system setup, sound checks got underway.  Programmed monitor mixes are recalled from rehearsal settings and tweaked as the performers prepare for the first evening of shows.  The schedule is ambitious.

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The Centrum “stage” with d&b Q10’s, Q subs and four mixes of EAW MicroWedges.  Carlson Engineer Toshi Sugitani mans the Roland M-400 V-Mixer for Ukulele artist Jake Shimabukuro.

There are two seatings in the main room to coincide with the dinner seatings.  Half of the ship’s 2000 guests will be at each show and there will be two shows a night.

Each 2 hour performance consists of two principle artists fronting one of the house bands, one hour each.  There is to be no changeover time between these shows.  Two afternoon matinee shows are also planned for the week.

The Profile becomes a real asset now.  Any input for any musician can be brought up at any time.  Guest artists come on and off stage in the flash of the COM beacon.

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Shure Wireless Workbench was used by Carlson Engineer/Crew Chief Matt Carlson to handle the Shure UR Wireless mics on the main Broadway stage.

Between showroom seatings there is a 45 minute break for a quick crew meal and setting of the next house band and their principle artists.

We all got our sea legs under us as the ship rocked slightly on its way to the first port-of-call.  The crew consumes our daily ration of Bonine to combat motion sickness, which can be a real problem in a moving venue with no windows.

While the main room performances were underway, the pool stage was set up by the Carlson crew with the help of the ship’s audio staff for the next day’s poolside performance.

In the smaller Shall We Dance Lounge, preparations were made for the smaller afternoon clinics and late evening shows.

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Cruise Host Dave Koz talks with artist Mindi Abair, Kirk Whalum, Warren Hill and Vincent Ingala.

BON VOYAGE

There are many challenges to outfitting a cruise ship for Concert Cruise audio.

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Chief Audio Engineer and Broadway FOH mixer Dave Kuhn at the Avid Profile during soundchecks.

With a thorough site survey, good plan and schedule, and the right crew and vendor, you can set sail confident that the artists, musicians…and most importantly…the cruisers, will have an enjoyable and memorable week at sea.

All in a venue that never stays still.

– Dave Kuhn

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