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Feature: Setting sail

Feature: Setting sail
Speakers from JBL's AWC all-weather series have been installed on the top deck of both ships

Feature: Setting sail

Two floating restaurants are plying the Mumbai seas, providing guests with a view of the stars and city skyline as they dine. Caroline Moss gets on board

While dining on the high seas is perhaps not for every constitution, there are still plenty of takers for Queensline’s two new floating restaurants, Queensline Neverland and Queensline Sea YAH. Both ships have several distinct areas for eating, drinking and partying, and to ensure isolation and good sound in each zone, the shipping line called in Munro Acoustics, to whom they had been referred following the company’s work on the Social bar/club chain that’s rapidly spreading across India.

Both ships have been equipped more or less identically, with any differences restricted to décor. Guests embark from a jetty near Mumbai’s iconic Gateway of India onto the lower covered deck, which can accommodate 100 seafarers and can be divided into two for separate events. Solutions from German manufacturer LD Systems have been installed throughout the entire lower decks of both ships.

Twelve arrays of LD Curv 500 Satellites – six in each of the two separate areas – have been installed on the ships, each array consisting of two speakers to give a total of 24. These are supplemented with four LD Curv 500 I Sub subwoofers. Both areas can function independently or be combined as one main system. The system is powered by three LD Curv 500 I amp four-channel amplifiers, one driving each of the six arrays in each area while the third drives the subwoofers, using two channels for each zone.

LD Systems Curv 500 Satellites are installed in the lower covered deck areas
LD Systems Curv 500 Satellites are installed in the lower covered deck areas

‘LD Systems Curv speakers come with their own amplifiers and DSP; it’s a beautiful sounding system,’ says Munro Acoustics’ systems consultant, Prashant Nair. ‘The speakers have a 120° dispersion pattern, and you can array the cubes up to a maximum of four, although we’ve gone for two-cube arrays here. The amplifier is very high quality and it gives you all the functionality you could want in terms of presets and delays, and, if you want to EQ the system further, you can. But for this installation, I just needed to set the delays to match the subwoofers; other than that I didn’t need to do much. It’s being used more as a background system, so that people can have a meal and a decent conversation and it won’t intrude.’

A ceiling constructed from wood wool covered by Rockwool takes care of the acoustic treatment for the covered lower decks of the ships. ‘There’s a lot of glass and hard surfaces in these areas but, once the ceilings were treated, this provided absorption which took care of a lot of that,’ says Nair. ‘The two upper decks are open, so acoustic treatment here wasn’t a problem, but it did present a challenge in matching the delays on these two decks, which are at different levels. Also, as the work was carried out in the port, there was a lot of paperwork required to get it all on board.’

The two upper decks feature an outdoor bar and dancefloor equipped with JBL systems, plus an indoor space installed with Nexo.

Eight JBL all-weather two-way speakers – four AWC129s and four smaller AWC62s – have been installed on the lower of the open-air decks, with six AWC82s on the topmost, or navigation, deck. These are all powered by Crown XLi and XLS Series amplifiers, with a dbx DriveRack 260 provided to handle delays and the minimal processing that’s required in this outdoor setting. There are plans to add subwoofers at a later stage.

Munro Acoustics' Prashant Nair
Munro Acoustics' Prashant Nair

A covered lounge area off the middle deck is equipped with a powerful Nexo system comprising four ID24 dual 4-inch compact speakers and two IDS110 10-inch subwoofers, which are concealed beneath a seating area. This system is powered and controlled via a Nexo DTD rackmount amp. Again, Munro recommended the acoustical treatment of the ceiling for this indoor space, and the system is designed so that it works in tandem with the outdoor JBL system. ‘The upper decks are designed to be one system, not to be separated, so we didn’t really need too much soundproofing,’ explains Nair. ‘The same music will be played in both of the areas, although the Nexo system can be switched off, or used on its own.’

Music from either source – the downstairs enclosed deck or the upstairs open decks – can be played across the entire ship if required, or zoned for different events running simultaneously; Mackie Mix5 compact mixers have been provided in the separate zones. An emergency evacuation system has also been integrated so that announcements will take precedence over the music. ‘We’ve provided an Allen & Heath GR05 multichannel rackmount mixer with a priority input which will override the rest of the system,’ says Nair. A Shure 450 paging mic has also been supplied.

The multi-brand installation is completed by a small Apart Audio installation for background music, ensuring that these new venues are ship shape and ready to sail.



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