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L-Acoustics L-ISA ‘indispensable for classical music’ says leading FOH engineer after largest system yet makes debut

Lille’s 30,000-capacity Stade Pierre-Mauroy recently saw L-Acoustics deploy an L-ISA Live sound system for a performance of Verdi’s Requiem by the Orchestre National de Lille (ONL) and the Choeur Régional Hauts-de-France, which ONL FOH engineer François Gabert described “an indispensable tool for classical music”.

François Bou, managing director of the ONL consulted L-Acoustics founder Christian Heil regarding the system for the show, resulting in the L-Acoustics team custom-designing an L-ISA immersive sound system

“Our challenge was to put on a classical music performance for 13,000 people in a football stadium… but make it sound like an acoustical performance in an intimate venue”, Gabert, who worked with Frédéric Blanc-Garin, sound engineer for the project. “When L-Acoustics told us that they had a product that could dramatically improve the experience for the audience, Fred and I were intrigued.”

L-ISA, which stands for Immersive Sound Art, is engineered to combine L-Acoustics sound design and world-class loudspeaker systems with sophisticated processing tools to create a ‘hyperrealistic’ soundscape at live shows.

Sherif El Barbari, L-ISA Head of Applications, studied the Stade Pierre Mauroy closely, modelling it in L-Acoustics’ Soundvision software before proposing an L-ISA system comprising seven hangs of nine Kara stretched across the stage, to deliver ‘hyper-localised’ sound. A mirror system of seven ground stacks of two Kiva II each across the stage lip provided front fill. Two hangs of eight K2 served as outfill and two central hangs of four KS28 subwoofers provided low end. The entire system was driven by LA8 and LA12X amplified controllers. An L-ISA Controller provided an advanced object-based multichannel environment for the event.

“We found the L-ISA controller very simple to use,” Gabert said. “The interface is intuitive and very functional. Once the sources are placed in their space, the mixing is fairly conventional and any adjustments within the software during the concert were quick and easy.”

It was, however, according to Gabert, the clarity and natural feel of the sound that most impressed: “The greatest compliment that I could receive would be for someone to ask me after a concert if there was any sound reinforcement. Given the results we obtained at the Stade, I’m convinced that in a more traditional environment, the audience wouldn’t know that there was any sound reinforcement at all.”

“We are proud to be working with Jean-Claude Casadesus and the Orchestre National de Lille again,” added Christian Heil, founder and president of L-Acoustics. “We are excited to have deployed our newest creation to help them offer an authentic and immersive concert experience.”