High Seas Luxury

G 32 Video (selected)
AEI Components LCD64B 6.4'’ LCD monitor
Boland D151 15'’ LCD monitor black aluminum case
Boland D121 12'’ LCD monitor black aluminum case
CTX PV500BT 15'’ LCD touch screen monitor
Dell Optiplex GX260 Pentium 4 PC
Electrosonic ES5551/4 magnification processor
Kaleidolight K20XCM video graphic system
LG Electronics 50'’ 16/9 XGA plasma screen
LG Electronics MZ-42PZ10 42'’ 16/9 plasma screen
LG Electronics MZ-40PA10B 40'’ 4/3 plasma screen
Leitch VDA683 eigh-way utility video amplifier
Panja AXB-MIDI MIDI interface
Panja AXD-CA10/PB 10'’ décor color touch screen
Panja NXI-ME NetLinx Master integrated controller
Pico Macom PFAD-900CS TV tuner
Samsung SV-5000W multi-system VHS VCR
Sony DXC 990 3 CCD camera
Sony KV36FV310 36" analog wide screen TV
Sony DVP-NS325B DVD player
Pesa Ocelot 16 x 16 audio follows video matrix
Pesa RCP-1616L 16 x 16 audio follows video matrix
Telemetrics CA-PWR-ADPDXC950 camera
Telemetrics CA-CTL-DXC950 camera
G 32 Audio (selected)
Allen & Heath WZ16:2DX audio mixer
Anchor AN1000X self-powered personal monitor speaker
C-Ducer CPS/8P stereo piano pick-up microphone
Genelec 1029APM studio monitor
Meyer Sound 650-P sub bass speakers
Meyer Sound UPA-2P full range speaker
Meyer Sound UM-1P full range monitor speakers
Pioneer CMX-5000 CD player
Pioneer DJM-600 DJ mixer
Pioneer EFX-500 effects processor
QSC CX1202v constant voltage amplifier
Sennheiser MKE 2-4-3-C/Mz2 lavaliere microphone
Shure U24D/BETA58 UHF Wireless Diversity dual channel
handheld system (with two U2/BETA58 transmitters)
Shure U1l UHF wireless bodypack transmitter
Shure Beta 58A dynamic vocal microphone
Shure SM58S dynamic vocal microphone
Shure SM57-LC dynamic microphone
Tannoy CMS 6 TDC ceiling speaker
TASCAM CD-A630 CD/cassette player
TASCAM MD 350 mini-disc recorder
Sunfire True subwoofer
Yamaha DME32 digital mixing engine

QM2 By the Numbers
Length: 1,132 feet
Height: 236 feet
Cabins: 1,310
Dining Venues: 10
Elevators: 22
Total Cost: est.
$800 million
Passengers: 2,620
Crew: 1,253
Maiden voyage:
January 12, 2004

Queen Mary 2, the world’s largest passenger liner, has it all – including an ultramodern nightclub that doubles as a live music venue.

By Dawn Allcot

       Talk about your upscale venue: Cunard Line’s newest vessel, Queen Mary 2, offers high society luxury on the high seas, with passengers having paid over 37 grand to set sail on the January 12 maiden voyage. For their money, they got a near-endless variety of entertainment, “edutainment,” dining, and business facilities – plus the satisfaction of knowing that they were riding on the largest, most expensive passenger liner ever to set sail.
       In addition to providing all the amenities for its regular vacationing clientele, the ship’s designers aimed to create a “floating business center.” And when the Power Point presentations are done, top execs want to party. QM 2 is packed with diversions aplenty for all its guests, from the Illuminations planetarium, to an outdoor movie theater where passengers laze on lounge chairs and watch movies under the stars, weather permitting.
       But for those who want a bit more action, nestled in the aft deck of the ship sits a nightclub called G 32. According to Bob Havens, project manager for Nautilus Entertainment Design, the systems integrator who designed the sound, lighting and video systems throughout the ship, the distinctive name comes from QM 2’s hull number in the shipyard.

Elegant Mod
       While most of the other venues on ship exude a classy, old-world-style elegance, G 32’s design is entirely modern. “The idea developed to have a lot of bare metal and industrial-looking components in the room,” Havens said. “We tried to choose fixtures – silver PAR units, for example – which aided this look.”
       A glittering metallic finish on the walls lends to the rich, yet high-tech atmosphere, as do the 17 LG Electronics plasma screens “postcarded” in a pattern on the wall near the dancefloor. Whereas designers and architects worked to hide the A/V equipment in other areas of the ship, in G 32, “the video and technology become part of the décor,” according to Nautilus’ Michael Lindauer, who worked on the lighting and video systems.
       The club features two distinct areas: a mezzanine level that includes a bar with LCD monitors mounted above the top perimeter, and the dancefloor area, which also doubles as a stage for live bands. The room is designed to accommodate up to 200 guests at one time.
Nautilus’ mission was clear: “Our job was to provide the systems and infrastructure to provide a memorable experience for the guests, and to do our part to make this venue one in which they would want to spend time,” said Havens. And so they did.

All Hands On Club
       Havens describes the club’s shape as being “a lot wider than it is deep.” Because of that, patrons can’t see the dancefloor from the mezzanine on the port side of the ship. So the designer used video to tie the room together, thematically. A set of flat panel displays and CRTs, ranging in size from 50” to 64”, can be fed from multiple sources, including two dancefloor cameras, DVD, VHS, four separate feeds from the ship’s broadcast center, and a Kaleidolight K20XCM video graphic system, which produces random graphic patterns and static or animated user-defined text.
       Additionally, a group of smaller screens are scattered around the mezzanine level of the club, to reinforce the images on the video wall.
While the emphasis of the room is undoubtedly on the video systems, the designers selected enough lighting fixtures to maintain a disco atmosphere. “We kept it pretty simple,” Lindauer said.
       The system uses a combinations of PAR units and 25 Martin Mini-Macs, controlled by an MA Lighting Grand MA Ultra Light, which Havens said is probably more than the operators needed for this room. However, “by standardizing MA consoles around the ship, we put ourselves in a position where backup equipment is available. We can also move technicians around the ship as needed.”
Crew members and equipment alike serve double duty onboard QM 2. A sound technician assigned to several rooms on the ship, for instance, checks in to G 32 several times a night, while a full-time DJ runs the club most of the time. A lighting tech is available, as needed. “More staff means more cabins, so we work hard to design systems which are as automated as possible and require a minimum staff to run them,” Havens said.

Going Both Ways
       Public spaces on the ship – including G 32 – are also designed to meet more than one need. “The venues on the ship serve all purposes,” said Alan Edwards, systems specialist for Nautilus. “It’s very rare you’ll find a venue that’s just a disco, or just a dining room.”
       For instance, by day, G 32 is a public lounge, where guests can go to relax and grab a drink. But by night, it hosts the ship’s “party crowd,” featuring a DJ and dancing or a live band.
       The club’s audio systems were designed to reflect this dual personality. Nautilus specified four Meyer UPA–2P full-range, self-powered speakers to hang above the dancefloor. Two 650 P subwoofers sit on the floor, providing all the low-end the club needs for dance music.
The self-powered speakers were selected because G 32 lacked an equipment closet. “The amps would have had to be in the DJ booth,” Edwards said, “and we didn’t want that.”
       The DJ booth is, however, stocked with a Pioneer DJM-600 mixer, EFX-500 effects processor, CMX-5000 DJ CD player system, and a TASCAM CD-A630 CD/cassette player.
       The system is routed through a Yamaha DME 32 digital signal processor, which allows the user to choose different settings depending on what’s going on in the club.

Band-Ready, And “Atmospheric”
       For G 32’s live performances, an Allen & Heath band mixer was added to the audio arsenal. “If you have a band come in, you don’t want disco speakers blaring right at them,” Edwards said. “When you switch to the other mode, the band mixer becomes the head end of the system, the two speakers that are facing the stage shut off, and the two speakers that are coming from the stage stay on in a different mode.
       When the DJ is performing, the Yamaha DME 32, with 16 inputs and 6 outputs, acts as a digital mix engine. “A lot of the effects that come in the unit – like reverb, flange, chorus – are things a lot of DSPs don’t have,” Edwards said.
       In addition to the DJ system, which doubles as sound reinforcement for live bands, the room has what Edwards describes as an “atmospheric system.”
       “It’s almost like there are two different systems in the room,” he said. The second system includes 34 Tannoy ceiling speakers and six Sunfire subwoofers. The subwoofer level increases as you turn the volume down, providing a low-end that patrons dancing can really feel. “When the band or DJ comes on, you don’t need a lot of reinforcement for the sound levels of the 650 Ps,” explains Edwards, “so the ceiling speakers get slightly louder, but the low end comes up to enhance the feel of the music.”
       But when a CD player is playing background music during the day, the low end of the Sunfires isn’t quite as low. “It gives the room an ambience,” says Edwards.

Why Not?
When night falls and the bass is turned up, there’s no mistaking the ambience of G 32. While it’s hard to generalize about the club’s clientele – Havens said it “varies widely from cruise to cruise” – the nightclub is usually the last bar on the ship to close at night, which often means it draws a younger crowd.
       Additionally, employees of corporations that take advantage of QM 2’s business facilities during the day may see G 32 as a taste of home. “This is the kind of nightclub you’d see if you went to a small club in New York,” Edwards said. “Just as you go out to the clubs at home, or if you went to Vegas on business you might go out to the clubs, why not be on the ship and go out to the club as well?”

Copyright 2003 Club Systems International Magazine
Copyright 2003 TESTA Communications