L-ISA Live Brings New Audio Dimension To Berlin Waldbühne

On Saturday 2 July, L-ISA Live was deployed at Berlin Waldbühne for a concert of the most famous Disney film melodies performed by the Berlin Philharmonic.

L-ISA Live is the latest technology from L-Acoustics founder Christian Heil, and aims to deliver a sound as natural as possible. It requires the placement of a frontal speaker system consisting of at least five arrays/loudspeakers, along with an L-ISA Processor that provides an object-oriented mixing approach through dedicated software: the L-ISA Controller.

“To achieve optimum results, loudspeakers need to be installed in suitable spots to provide the desired localisation effect,” explained Sherif El Barbari, head of application at L-ISA. “Because humans have the capability of localizing sources horizontally in a much higher resolution, we need to respect a maximum distance between loudspeakers, which allows us to experience a perfectly localised event connected to what we can see. Vertically this is less critical, which allows for more flexibility in positioning the arrays higher than the actual sound source.”

The considerably strict sightline rules of the Berlin Waldbühne had to be respected and it was not possible to use loudspeaker arrays above the stage that were tall enough to cover the entire venue’s capacity of 20,000.

“Because of this, we designed a mixed solution combining a frontal L-ISA system with a conventional L/R system,” continued Sherif. “We had five arrays of eight KARAs above stage to provide optimum experience to the closer audience, who usually suffer from an indirect sound and poor localisation when a L/R system is in place. The far field was addressed by a hang of eight K1’s per side to cover the further audience areas with satisfying results due to the distance.”

Holger Schwark, a savvy and experienced mixing engineer in this venue for the past 14 years and in charge of FOH sound for this event for the second year said: “When I first heard about the development of the L-ISA system, it didn’t take me long to know that it should be tried at the Waldbühne. This year’s Disney in Concert show was the perfect opportunity to give it a try. The promoter had enough confidence in me and PA company Soundhouse’s team, which meant we were able to come up with a new system design.”