When Mark Knopfler took to the road in Europe and North America in support of his new Down the Road Wherever album, his team mounted an epic show with a 10-piece band. Front of House engineer Dave Dixon had been mixing the 11 musicians in mono, due to the constraints of Left/Right sound systems. The idea of moving to immersive technology came as a direct result of a request made by Mark during the last tour. Knopfler had asked Dixon to pan a guitar, and Dixon explained to him over the mic during sound check that he couldn’t do that in an arena, as half the audience wouldn’t hear it.
Sound Design Solution
Learning about L-ISA technology, the tour production jumped at the chance to realize Knopfler’s creative vision. The tour chose an L-ISA Focus design, which varies from venue to venue. At the O2 in London, the biggest venue on the itinerary, this comprised five hangs for the main scene: three centre hangs of 16 K2 and two outer hangs of 18 Kara each. The two extension system hangs are made up of two arrays of 15 Kara each with two side-fill hangs of 12 K2 for extending the coverage of the system. A central cluster of nine KS28 subs provides coherent low frequency throughout the venue. the audio signal distribution was fully digital, from the DiGiCo SD7 at front of house to the P1 processor and LA12X amps, using the Milan AVB-based deterministic network protocol, which also had to implement a redundant routing system to and from the console, with two L-ISA Processors.
|Venue||130m deep x 100m wide|
|Stage||18m wide x 1.8m high|
|FOH||40m from DSE|
|Min trim height||9-10m (above floor)|
Sound Design Target
|SPL max average||>= 105 dBA|
|SPL distribution||6-9 db /10m|
|Frequency contour||10-12 dB (@ 100hz)|
|Frequency contour||10-12 dB (@ 40hz)|
“I can now open up my mix to put instruments left, right, backwards, forwards, or anywhere in the scene, knowing full well that the audience are going to actually hear it. You can really express yourself and create a great expression of what the band are doing. For the audience it is a far better experience and that is what L-ISA is all about.”
— Dave Dixon, Front of House Engineer for Mark Knopfler