deadmau5: The Wiltern, June 2018

The goal of L‑ISA’s multichannel technology is to help audio professionals deliver a new live experience to audiences of all sizes. This experience is named Hyperreal Sound or Immersive Hyperreal Sound depending upon how the technology is deployed.

L‑ISA solutions create a sound that is natural and intelligible for audiences and matches what they hear to what they see. It also provides the mixing engineer with the L‑ISA ecosystem, a unique multichannel environment, enabling intuitive placement and movement of input channels in 3D, directly from the channel strip.

The L‑ISA ecosystem combines our professional L‑Acoustics loudspeaker systems in a multi-array configuration with new spatial processing hardware and software-based audio tools to manage every step of an immersive audio project from the design through to the show itself.

L‑ISA Sound Design Principles

Unlike traditional stereo solutions, L‑ISA Hyperreal Sound is based on a linear topology of loudspeaker arrays that are distributed above or behind the full width of the stage. This Frontal configuration relies on overlapping coverage so that as much of the audience hears all of the frontal arrays as possible. The configuration consists of:

  • A high-resolution scene system of speaker arrays to match the width of the performing zone. The scene system allows for the accurate localization and separation of sound sources, as well as for the tracking of performers
  • An extension system [optional] that expands the soundscape as far as the side walls of the venue, thereby stretching the soundscape of the performing zone and providing envelopment
  • A central subwoofer configuration to maximize low & sublow frequency consistency over the audience
  • Additional surround and overhead speakers can be used to augment the sense of envelopment : see Immersive Hyperreal section

The L‑ISA scene speakers can be deployed in two different manners:

  • The L‑ISA Wide design: The scene sources are all identical arrays evenly spaced across the stage. This design is adapted to a majority of music content including jazz, classical, speech, adult contemporary
  • The L‑ISA Focus design (patent pending): The scene system dimensioning is optimized to reproduce high LF contour program material. This design is adapted to rock and electronic music
L-ISA Design L-ISA Design
Classic L/R Design Classic L/R Design

Frontal System

A frontal system is the configuration of choice for L‑ISA live solutions, thanks to its ease of implementation and its positive impact on sonic performance: a frontal system elevates the experience for a much larger percent of the audience and enables fusion as a primary objective.

Additional System

Fill and delay systems can be deployed and fed with automatic mixdowns to complete the coverage.

Surround and overhead speakers may also be deployed. When combined with the proprietary L-ISA room engine, these systems elevate the sense of envelopment and immersion while expanding panning capabilities to full 3D configurations.

The Benefits

Johann Sebastian Bach’s La Passione, Deichtorhallen Hamburg, Germany, April 2016

For The Audience:

What You Hear Is What You See

With a multiple-array frontal configuration on, above or behind the stage, L‑ISA provides a soundscape to match the modern desire for an augmented panorama and corrects the historic compromise of stereo systems that only deliver spatialized sound to a narrow sweet spot.

By contrast, L‑ISA deploys multiple arrays across the performing zone, allowing audiences to distinguish instruments and voices clearly and to enjoy a level of connection to the artists they’ve never felt before. The results? Better intelligibility, closer connections and a much larger spatialized zone. The L‑ISA Zone.

For The Sound Engineer:

Creativity With Confidence

Generations of engineers have faced the challenge of mixing sound for groups of musicians performing onstage through speaker arrays positioned offstage. This challenge has become greater as ever-growing video screens have expanded the visual panorama and pushed the speakers even further from the performers.

With a frontal system across the stage, the engineer has the opportunity to localize the sound from each performer, to track moving sources and to dedicate individual arrays to individual or small groups of instruments, safe in the knowledge that the entire L‑ISA Zone is covered by all of the arrays.

L‑ISA provides the most comprehensive and robust solutions for mixing in real time / real world environments, with the confidence that the speaker designs and the mixing tools in the L‑ISA ecosystem will combine to exceed the production’s expectations.

For The Production:

Superior Experiences. Superior Returns.

From extraordinary spatialization through immersive hyperrealism, L-ISA enables productions to differentiate into a premium sonic position that brings new energy to the show and creates lifelong memories. L-ISA configurations are highly compatible with panoramic video and scenographic elements while presenting unmatched sightlines. And in multi-purpose venues, the L-ISA room engine allows the listening experience to be fine-tuned for a wide variety of music styles.

Renaud Phénix Tour, European tour, October 2016 – April 2017

Multidimensional Mixing

Mixing with L‑ISA tools for an L‑ISA frontal configuration sets the engineer free from the traditional constraints of stereo or LCR. Each console channel becomes a sound object that can be freely positioned in the soundscape, while the engineer can accurately localize sources and track performers on stage.

The properties of each sound object are defined independently from the loudspeaker layout, so the entire mix can be retained across a wide variety of venues and system configurations.

The advantages for the engineer and the audience are immediate:

  • The vocals become more intelligible
  • The precision, clarity and detail for every instrument is significantly enhanced
  • Less equalization and compression is needed to achieve sound object Separation in the mix
  • Spectacular soundscapes can be created using width, depth and elevation

The L‑ISA Ecosystem offers consistent mixing from venue to venue through the simplicity and power of its object-based mixing platform.

Object-based Live Mixing

The L‑ISA Processor receives a post-fader, post-processing output for each channel and creates signal feeds for each frontal speaker group. Object properties are independent of loudspeaker layout allowing portability from show to show. In addition to offering real-time control of any input, parameters can also be stored in synchronization with audio tracks and then recalled as snapshots, triggered through time code, modified from sensor inputs, etc.

L‑ISA provides the mixing engineer with five parameters for each sound object:


controls horizontal location


controls perceived size, from point source to panoramic 


controls perceived proximity (and applies the appropriate reverberation algorithm)


controls vertical location

AUX Send

provides a classic post-distance auxiliary bus send

Spatial Processing for Live Sound

Robust, Scalable, Purpose-designed for Live Sound

L‑ISA technology is the culmination of years of research and development aimed to improve the live concert experience by breaking free of the stereo or dual mono paradigm that results in frustratingly poor localization.

The technology addresses the many challenging constraints specific to the live sound environment such as high SPL, intelligibility, and large spaces.

In the initial phase of research & development, numerous algorithms, options, and existing technologies were considered, yet none fully addressed the requirements of live audio. Ambisonics, for example, remains well-suited to broadcast or VR applications, but scales poorly to large audiences and venues. Wave field synthesis (WFS) is effective in a laboratory setting, but falls short in deployments where the spacing between speakers increases by a few meters, resulting in audible artefacts that significantly degrade sound quality, impact, and the feeling of proximity that L‑Acoustics line source technology has brought to the pro audio industry since the 1990s.

With the uniqueness of live sound in mind as a framework for development, L‑ISA Labs opted to approach the subject with fresh set of eyes…and ears.

Our goal was to achieve maximum spatial precision and sound quality while preserving the ability to scale to large audiences.

Research and development efforts including simulation, listening tests, and iterative prototyping yielded results in the form of three new proprietary algorithms combined in a way that establishes direct connections between objects and sound. More specifically, the algorithms enable full 3D object-based amplitude panning, position-dependent frequency compensation, and spatial spreading with zero-latency decorrelation processing. Objects can be positioned and moved in real-time via PAN, WIDTH or ELEVATION controls with accurate localization, spatial extension, and timbre. Additional sub-processing blocks are included in the L‑ISA Processor to address the specific needs of fill systems that are ever-present in large scale installations.

Designed from a blank slate to a state of the art, L‑ISA provides the perfect combination of multi-array sound design and dedicated processing for main or sub-systems.

Scalable Acoustic Enhancement

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 full 3D multi-channel processing to diffuse energy across many loudspeakers, eliminating audible electronic processing.

A patent-pending algorithm for automatic direct sound precedence control ensures localization across the entire audience at all scales, and for all source positions. As a result, reverberations can be deployed with ease, even in large venue surround setups.

L-ISA Classical Consert Classical Concert
L-ISA Pop show Pop Show

Multi-purpose Room Engine

Thanks to a highly innovative approach to in-line convolution processing that allows for independent control of time, frequency and spatial behavior, the L‑ISA room engine can be used to complement existing room acoustics by adding selected effects as needed. A full acoustic space can be created in a dry room. A diffuse field can be added in rooms that need a bit more tail. Early reflections can be added if desired. Decay length and shape, as well as spectral behavior, can be adjusted with precision to reach the desired room response.

The L‑ISA room engine provides a wide range of possibilities that can be stored and recalled via intuitive presets, creating different acoustic environments within the same show or venue.

The L‑ISA Ecosystem

The L‑ISA ecosystem provides the most comprehensive toolchain for every stage of a multidimensional audio project. From early qualification of a sound design to low-latency real-time operation directly from the mixing console, this unique set of tools offers designers and engineers predictability, consistency and a design process that is easy to plan, simple to replicate and makes switching from mono or stereo to L‑ISA as straightforward as possible.

L‑ISA Desk Link (Available On Digico Sd Series)

The L‑ISA Desk Link integrates L‑ISA Controls into DiGiCo’s industry-leading mixing consoles, allowing engineers to access configuration and control information directly from the mixing desk while using a familiar workflow and a single interface to manage immersive environments easily and intuitively.

L‑ISA Processor

For extreme reliability, the L‑ISA Processor focuses solely on spatial audio processing, offering panning and room simulation for up to 96 audio objects based on defined speaker positioning information and mixing parameters (pan, width, distance, elevation, aux send) and creating up to 32 outputs.

L‑ISA Controller

The L‑ISA Controller offers, on a single screen, a visualization of all sound objects in the 3D mixing space for live monitoring and user interaction in Windows® and Mac OS® environments and transmits control information to the Processor for selected parameters (pan, width, distance, elevation, aux send) for each sound object.

LA Network Manager 2

Supporting Windows and Mac OS X operating systems, the LA Network Manager 2 remote control software provides control and monitoring of up to 253 L‑Acoustics amplified controllers within the L‑Acoustics L‑NET Ethernet network.


Soundvision is L‑Acoustics’ proprietary acoustical and mechanical simulation program and is the first 3D program capable of operating in real time. It calculates SPL coverage, SPL mapping and delay coverage (or mapping) for complex sound system/venue configurations. It now features advanced parameters to qualify and certify multichannel sound designs.

Recent Projects

Photo courtesy of Julian Bajsel

L-ISA Design L-ISA Design
Classic L/R Design Classic L/R Design
L-ISA Design L-ISA Design
Classic L/R Design Classic L/R Design
Classic Coverage
Strong Imaging0%
Weak Imaging0%
L‑ISA Coverage
Strong Imaging0%
Weak Imaging0%

The new L-ISA technology created a kind of multidimensional sonic field Wednesday night — a nuanced but impressive display that served up the best-sounding show we’ve heard yet at Detroit’s young arena.
Detroit Free Press


New Zealand native Lorde captivated the international music scene in 2013 with her debut single “Royals” and album “Pure Heroine” which topped charts around the world. In 2014, she curated the soundtrack for “The HungerGames: Mockingjay- Part 1” and provided the song “Yellow Flicker Beat” as its lead single.

In 2017, her sophomore album “Melodrama” was released to universal praise and she launched a worldwide tour to support it in September of the same year, Throughout 2017 the tour crossed Europe and Oceania with an L-Acoustics K2 sound system.

For the North American leg of the tour, “Melodrama” became the first international production to deploy L-ISA technology, using it on all dates.


L-Acoustics Certified Provider Firehouse Productions would typically have used a classic design with a left-right configuration of 14 K1 plus four K2 per side along with 12 ground-stacked KS28 subwoofers.

For all North American dates, an L-ISA Focus (patent pending) configuration comprised of a Scene system made of three hangs of 16 K2 and two hangs of 21 Kara were spaced above the performing zone, providing source separation and localization.

An additional Extension system of four hangs of 15 Kara provided an extended panorama extending the span of the system to 60 meters. While for even distribution of low frequency across the entire venue, two centrally flown arrays of eight KS28 were deployed in an end-fire configuration.


Type Arena
Venue 100m wide x 100m deep
Stage 19.5m wide x 1.83m high
FOH 40m from D.S.E

Min trim height 12.2m (above floor)
Rear video wall 9.7m
Truss trim 12.2m


Program type Electropop
SPL max average >= 105 dBA
SPL distribution 6 – 9 dB
Frequency contour 12 – 14 dB (@ 100hz)
Frequency contour 14 – 16 dB (@ 40hz)

Photo courtesy of Stéphane Ecalle

L-ISA Design L-ISA Design
Classic L/R Design Classic L/R Design
L-ISA Design L-ISA Design
Classic L/R Design Classic L/R Design
Classic Coverage
Strong Imaging0%
Weak Imaging0%
L‑ISA Coverage
Strong Imaging0%
Weak Imaging0%

“The L-ISA multi-channel system adds a sense of space to the sound. This has made it possible for Fabio and the Agorà group to reproduce my concert performance with a surprisingly realistic sound image of the orchestra. More than ever before, there was a clear feeling of being enveloped by the musical performance.”

— Ennio Morricone

“The L-ISA system made a strong and positive impression on every musician involved in the project; Ennio was really impressed by it as well. My personal take is that l-ISA gives the music not only a big, detailed panorama, but also a real and better color of the sound; every detail of Morricone’s complicated score sounds very clean, with more space for the music to breathe. What I consider to be the biggest improvement is the realism of the sound, which, for symphonic music, is the essential point. Thank you!”

— Fabio Venturi, Ennio Morricone’s FOH engineer

“I think artists and audiences alike are continuously looking for more profound live experiences and the L-ISA technology seems to meet this demand. I think that this system is in particular exciting for arenas and large halls as it enables the entire audience to enjoy an amazing sound experience, with much more transparency and dynamic in sound than with conventional line-array systems. The audience gets to enjoy sound that is far more natural and organic in terms of the geographical location of the many musicians and instruments on stage, even those who are seated in places that would not receive ideal PA projection with conventional systems. Anyone who tours with orchestras outside conventional acoustic concert halls knows that it is very challenging to recreate that type of sound in an amplified arena environment. This system brings the orchestra much closer to the audience which makes the experience much more immersive and enjoyable!”

— Floris Douwes, Producer, Managing Director, General Entertainment Associates


Ennio Morricone is considered the world’s greatest living film composer. Having created more than 500 works for the cinema, he is currently celebrating his 60 years of career in the industry with a worldwide tour. In the summer of 2017, FOH Engineer Fabio Venturi and project manager Giulio Rovelli presented Ennio’s management team an opportunity to experiment an L-ISA Live system for the Maestro and his orchestra. Enthusiastic about the idea of bringing an immersive experience for his audience, the team decided to test the L-ISA technology on two Italian tour dates in Bologna and Milano.


The two dates took place in the Bologna Unipol Arena (8600 seats) and Milano Mediolanum Forum (12,700 seats). L-Acoustics’ Certified Provider Agora would have typically deployed a main K2 system of 12 enclosures per side with KS28 subwoofers plus side fills, front-fills and subs.

On the Milano show, the L-ISA application team and Maestro’s FOH engineer Fabio Venturi deployed an L-ISA configuration consisting of a scene system with five speaker groups of 12 Kara completed by an extension system with two groups of 12 Kara, along with K2 side fills, Kara front-fills and a flown central subwoofer configuration with two rows of four KS28.

This new implementation principle, combined with the L-ISA Controller and Processor delivered an unprecedented experience: The sound coming from the 100-piece orchestra and 75-strong choir seemed to come directly from the stage, with an unprecedented level of detail, transparency, and with a true connection between what was seen and heard for a significant portion of the audience. Many professionals agreed, saying that the PA seemed to have disappeared, leaving room for the music coming from the stage.


Type 12,700 pax Sports Arena
Venue 75m deep x 70m wide (at the back)
Stage 20m wide x 1.2m to 2.5m high

Top max trim height 13,7m (above floor)
Min trim height 10.9m (above floor)
Max weight 344 kg (Kara Scene system)


Program type Classical Music
SPL max average >= 106 dBA
SPL profile 1 dB / 10 m
Frequency contour 6 dB (@ 100hz)

Photo courtesy of Andy Tenille

L-ISA Design L-ISA Design
Classic L/R Design Classic L/R Design
L-ISA Design L-ISA Design
Classic L/R Design Classic L/R Design
Classic Coverage
Strong Imaging0%
Weak Imaging0%
L‑ISA Coverage
Strong Imaging0%
Weak Imaging0%

“Hearing our music played back in the L-ISA studio, it was immediately apparent that the system had a natural and multi-dimensional feel. I knew right away that we had to try it on our tour. We’re always pushing to produce the best experience for our fans, and this technology lets us deliver our show the way it was intended to be heard. The show in Santa Barbara was incredible and we were proud to be part of L-ISA’s launch here in North America.”

— Odesza’s Clayton Knight

“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 like life resulting in an immersive matrix of sound which I have never experienced before. In addition to the immersive sound I noticed that all of the instrument nuances finally started to present themselves much clearer than ever before. This in return allowed for the entire mix to translate the artists’ emotion while becoming fully immersive and containing tremendous amounts of depth and clarity. Great work L-Acoustics!”

— Patrick Hutchinson, Odesza’s FOH engineer

Project Description

American electronic duo Odesza is supporting their A Moment Apart album with a world tour in 2017. When they were presented with the opportunity to use an L-ISA Live sound system for their stop in Santa Barbara, CA, the band and their production team didn’t hesitate. They were enthusiastic about offering their fans an immersive and memorable experience.

Sound Design Solution

On this arena tour leg with audiences ranging from 3,000 to 10,000, L-Acoustics’ Certified Provider Clearwing was deploying a main K2 (or K1/K2 for larger venues) system with KS28 subwoofers. A classic sound design at the Santa Barbara Bowl would have typically called for a left-right configuration of 12 K2 per side plus front-fills and subs.

However on this special occasion, the L-ISA application team and Odesza’s FOH engineer Patrick Hutchinson created an L-ISA Focus configuration (patent pending) consisting of a scene system with three speaker groups of eight K2 plus two groups of 12 Kara, completed by an extension system with two groups of eight Kara along with front-fills and a flown central subwoofer configuration.

This new implementation principle combined with the L-ISA Controller and Processor delivered an unprecedented live experience with source separation, low end coherency and homogeneity wide soundscape like never experienced before…

Technical Information

Type 4500 pax Outdoor amphitheatre
Venue 60m deep x 70m wide (at the back)
Stage 19m wide x 1.1m high

Top max trim height 10,7m (above floor)
Min trim height 7m (above floor)
Max weight 7,8m (per hang)

Sound Design Target

Program type Electronic Music
SPL max average >= 108 dBA
SPL profile 1 dB / 10 m
Frequency contour 8 – 10 dB (@ 100hz)