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L-Acoustics’ L-ISA Live system ‘ideal’ for North American debut at Santa Barbara Bowl

Electronic artist ODESZA was also the first major electronic artist to deploy the system

L-Acoustics’ immersive sound system L-ISA Live was deployed for the first time in North America in October at electronic artist ODESZA’s Calfornia show. 

Supplied by Clearwing Productions, the L-ISA system was used at the Santa Barbara Bowl as part of ODESZA’s A Moment Apart tour, combining L-Acoustics’ loudspeaker systems with sophisticated processing tools to create a ‘hyperrealistic’ soundscape at live shows. 

Instead of flying the traditional left/right main arrays, the L-ISA deployment for the Santa Barbara Bowl show used a frontal system comprising seven arrays: three hangs of eight K2 in the center flanked by two hangs of 12 Kara as the scene system, and two outer arrays of eight Kara as the extension system. 

ODESZA FOH Engineer Patrick Hutchinson said: “Using the L-ISA processor was a seamless transition from the traditional systems. Once all the MADI outputs were patched into the L-ISA processor, mixing became a natural environment in which each channel represented its own space within the mix. Suddenly placement of the instruments became more life like resulting in an immersive matrix of sound, which I have never experienced before.”

L-Acoustics’ application engineer for touring liaison David Brooks said the choice to use L-ISA was ultimately artist-driven. 

“Given the size and layout of the Santa Barbara Bowl, we knew that it would be an ideal venue for L-ISA,” he begins. “We introduced Goldenvoice Production Manager Dean Cohen to the technology and he quickly suggested that ODESZA might be a good potential candidate, so we reached out to Clearwing Productions, who was carrying a K1/K2 system with the artists, to see if they would have an interest.”

“The biggest takeaway I have from this show was the imaging—no matter where you were in the venue, it was absolutely perfect,” describes Clearwing Productions Director of Operations Bryan Baumgardner. “Nearly every single seat in the Santa Barbara Bowl was able to hear the complete mix with no artifacts, which was absolutely mind-blowing. Everything was exactly the same everywhere for most of the audience, which is totally unheard of. And given L-ISA’s elegant scalability, I foresee this being great for different sized venues in the future.”