D.A.S. Audio takes to the ocean with The Groove Cruise

January 2012 saw a number of systems drawn from D.A.S. Audio’s catalogue deployed for The Groove Cruise, the world’s largest fully charted dance music cruise experience.

Involving 2,200 people, 40-plus artists, two islands, plus a vast cruise ship – with everything taking place over a period of 72 hours, The Groove Cruise is one of several vacation packages offered by Miami Beach, FL-based Whet Travel. 

Miami-based Master Sound Productions, a full service production company providing stage, sound, and lighting plus turnkey logistic management services, handled the technical aspects for the project. Frank Gonzalez, Master Sound’s sales and production manager, discussed his decision to deploy several D.A.S. Audio sound systems for a recent cruise that took place between January 27th and the 30th.

“For the recent January outing,” Gonzalez explained, “we had four systems on the ship—one for the main stage, another at the pool, plus two mobile setups. The fact that every system on this project was self-powered was a crucial factor in the success of this effort, as it simplified setup times. Some of the shows begin well before the ship sets sail, so simplified cabling and the fact that there’s no need to transport racks of heavy power amps is an important consideration in this type of environment.”

The largest D.A.S. loudspeaker setup was in the Stardust Theatre, whereby the Master Sound team deployed ten D.A.S. Aero 12A powered, 2-way, mid-high line array modules – five elements groundstacked per side. Each groundstack sat on top of two D.A.S. LX-218CA powered subwoofers, with each LX-218CA enclosure incorporating dual 18-inch transducers. In addition to these four subwoofers, two further LX-218CA subs were placed on the ground in front of the stage. Avant 12A on tripods were used for DJ Monitors, as they were for every system on the ship.

At the pool stage, the Master Sound crew placed a combination of Aero 12A enclosures, Avant 12A compact enclosures, Avant 215A loudspeakers and Avant 118A subwoofers. These enclosures saw two Avant 118A subwoofers arranged per side, with two Avant 215As stacked on top. The Aero 12As handled long throw coverage, while the Avant 12A’s were used for DJ monitors as well.

“We had two mobile setups on this cruise,” Gonzalez added. “For our ‘Excursion System’, we used four Aero CA-215A subwoofers, four Variant 112A enclosures, along with two Avant 12A loudspeakers. The Variant 112A’s and Avant 12A’s were tripod mounted to get them up I the air. Our second portable setup, which was used for special events around the ship, consisted of two Avant 12A’s for the mains plus an additional Avant 12A that served as the DJ’s monitor system. These loudspeakers were all on tripods.

“This Groove Cruise had a lot of sound reinforcement gear,” continued Gonzalez. “While we certainly have considerable experience with projects like this, you never know what you might encounter—so customer support is important. On that note, we were very impressed with D.A.S. Audio’s support services. When we had questions, D.A.S. was very responsive.”

Reflecting on the project, Gonzalez concluded: “The D.A.S. equipment performed beautifully and the DJ’s were very impressed with the sound quality of the D.A.S. systems. Several of the performers were especially taken with D.A.S. Audio’s low frequency response, which is critical to the nature of their music. Even more important, the audience positively loved the sound of the big system on the main stage in the Stardust Lounge, where the music went non-stop from 9 PM until 6 AM each night. The lounge was filled to capacity by club goers who kept dancing the night away.”

Jason Beukema, owner of Whet Travel, was equally complimentary about the D.A.S. Audio loudspeaker systems onboard The Groove Cruise, “We were very impressed with the sound quality and overall performance of the D.A.S. equipment. The sound was big and it had the level and consistent coverage to keep the crowds in the party spirit. The combined efforts of Master Sound and D.A.S. Audio made this cruise a positive and memorable event. When the customer is happy, that’s the best compliment of all.”