Stereo sound is familiar and omnipresent. It can be comfortable and enjoyable, such as at home when the listener is ideally positioned between two loudspeakers or listening through headphones.
At live events, stereo audio has become a habit—and not a good one. When loudspeakers are placed only on the left and right sides of the stage, problems arise. Spectators hear sound coming from a place “over there,” far removed from the heart of the action occurring on stage. This disconnect between sight and sound creates an emotional distance, not unlike having a conversation by phone instead of in person.
Only a fraction of the audience located in a central “sweet spot” benefits from true stereo sound. Even VIP seating close to the stage, if not centrally positioned, receives a lopsided mix. Yet, stereo remains the industry standard because it’s always been considered “good enough,” despite manufacturers like L-Acoustics who have consistently improved the quality of sound solutions over time. This “good enough” mindset has established a status quo where creative teams and audience members view sound as a commodity—something that needs to work but has no real added value.
Nothing could be more wrong.
Full System Approach
L-ISA technology is a revolutionary combination of innovative loudspeaker configurations and object-based mixing and processing tools.
L‑ISA dramatically increases loudspeaker resolution to provide a natural and intelligible soundscape that expands panorama and elevates realism. We call this experience Hyperreal Sound.
L‑ISA can further immerse the listener with sound from all directions to provide a sense of being inside the music. This is Immersive Hyperreal Sound.
From the earliest stages of a production, the audio system performance can be assessed to ensure that the sound design will fulfill the creative vision.
Traditional audio mixing is the art of enhancing and combining multiple sound inputs into left and right loudspeaker sends. Object-based mixing adds a multidimensional layer to that art. An object-based mix enables instruments to be localized, scaled, and moved to their actual location or wherever the imagination desires.
Within a multi-array loudspeaker configuration, the distinct positions and separation of each object translate naturally so that a listener can perceive subtle compositions in the mix without the need for frequency tailoring or constant level riding. The graphic interface of the L-ISA Controller provides real-time feedback about the spatial balance of the mix.
Given that sound objects are mixed to locations, not to loudspeakers or busses, the properties of each sound object are independent from the specific loudspeaker layout. This enables portability from show to show as the existing source spatialization can be rendered to the new sound system configuration regardless of scale.
Spatial Audio Processing
L‑ISA research and development included extensive simulation, prototyping, and listening that yielded three proprietary algorithms to establish direct spatial connections between objects and sound for all audience sizes. These have been further refined after hundreds of large-scale L-ISA shows and feedback from world-class sound engineers.
As a result of these proprietary algorithms, qualified L-ISA deployments provide an exceptional sound quality, even in arenas, to a point where audience members qualify the sound as “the best they ever heard at a live show”.
L-ISA tools provide five parameters to the mixing engineer for each sound object: PAN, WIDTH, DISTANCE, ELEVATION, and an additional AUX SEND.
Through a range of third-party solutions that are part of the L-ISA ecosystem, each of these parameters can be controlled in real-time. From tracking systems to video or show control integration, your imagination is the limit.
With each sonic element having its own distinct identity in the wider soundscape, I had several moments during the concert where I noticed things that I’d never noticed before. As a mix engineer, being able to identify elements to operate on with speed and precision made mixing this complex band easier, faster and even more fun. The performance was easily my favorite Bon Iver show in the past three years. We accomplished a beautiful, huge, wide, immersive, engaging presentation of the band’s music, and it turned out magnificent!Xandy Whitesel, FOH, Bon Iver
Patent-pending Room Engine
The L-ISA room engine, accessible via the DISTANCE mixing parameter, allows users to naturally re-create different room acoustics within the same venue or show. Specifically designed for object-based audio and variable space configurations, the engine uses multi-channel 3D processing to diffuse energy across many loudspeakers, eliminating audible electronic processing.
The room engine complements existing room acoustics while automatically maintaining direct sound precedence control (patent pending) to ensure precise localization for the entire audience.
A Streamlined Workflow from System Design to Mixing
Assess the performance of L-ISA multichannel audio systems directly at the design phase, in L-Acoustics Soundvision software.
Import the designs in the L-ISA Controller software, define your objects, and you are ready to mix your show.
Sound Becomes Spectacular
Live concerts have transformed into a feast for the eyes. Elaborate set designs, sophisticated lighting, and high definition video content dazzle the spectator.
What about sound? Concertgoers come to shows to listen to music they love performed by artists they admire. Sound is the force that creates and maintains a connection between artist and audience.
Sound is what makes people feel.
L-ISA opens up a world of infinite possibilities of how sound can be conceived and designed by songwriters, artists and show production teams.
With L-ISA, what you hear is what you see. It’s the sonic equivalent to direct eye contact, reconnecting artist, music and audience in an emotional experience that sounds and feels as wide as it looks. At the same time it feels intimate, tribal, and completely in the moment.
Finally, sound and sight reunite to delight audiences.
What the Audience Says
It was like he was whispering in my ear. I can’t stop smiling.
It was the best sound I have ever heard at a live show and it was in an arena. The system they brought in swallowed me up and immersed me in those gorgeous tunes.
By far the best sound of any gig I’ve ever been to. Unforgettable.