Little River Band performing on the Lido Pool Deck of The Moody Blues cruise
USA - Aboard luxury MSC Cruises ships, production company On The Blue specialises in curating rock-themed cruises through the Caribbean where stars of the '60s, '70s and '80s regale their fans night and day with their repertoires.

Excursions like this obviously require sound systems that are powerful yet lightweight and easy to rig, which prompted Cincinnati-based sound reinforcement provider Loud and Clear to fit the MSC Divina from bow to stern with K2 and other sound system elements from L-Acoustics.

In all, Loud and Clear brought five full semi loads of L-Acoustics and other equipment aboard the vessel for three different cruises: Yes' Cruise to the Edge, Monsters of Rock featuring Tesla, Cinderella, Y&T and Night Ranger, as well as the pairing of The Moody Blues with The Who's Roger Daltrey on the The Moody Blues Cruise: Return to the Isle of Wight. Loud and Clear president Bill Deavers notes that the systems deployed this year brought the classic rock era alive again as never before.

"The sound was just spectacular," he says. "It was an honour to bring this level of sound quality to these incredible artists at sea, and there is no other system that could do them justice in this setting. The days and nights are long, and the salt from the ocean spray on the pool deck stage can be brutal, but the L-Acoustics gear withstood the extreme environment incredibly well. We never lost a single driver during the three cruises."

Deavers points out that the recent arrival of the K2 has made the complex process of sound at sea more efficient while still providing the unmatched sound quality of K1, which it used in previous years. "You can't fly a sound system on this ship; the theatre and the venues don't have the space for it, and you run up against maritime rules and engineering constraints," he explains. "But the K2 comes with its own custom chariot. This makes ground stacking much simpler and faster. And that's critical on a ship: you've got to take the equipment through customs and inspections, wait while the entire ship is cleared for departure, then you have to get on board and set up for the 'sail-away' concert quickly. The K2 lets us get set up in record time."

On The Blue producer Larry Morand voices his approval on how everything sounded by adding, "We wanted the best possible systems for our cruises and Loud and Clear and L-Acoustics were able to deliver in all areas, all venues and all ways."

Departing from Ft. Lauderdale's Port Everglades, the full complement of L-Acoustics systems provided "smooth-sailing" sound indoors and out throughout each of these four-day rock and roll marathon voyages.

(Jim Evans)

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