Japanese rock band My Hair is Bad wrapped up the Ultimate Homerun Tour with two shows at Osaka-Jo Hall and in an iconic Tokyo arena that featured a special immersive audio experience for their loyal fans.
The band’s sound engineer, Hironori Ochi had first learned of L-ISA technology from Masaaki Nagayasu, Systems Engineer at L-Acoustics Certified Rental Agent Hibino Sound, who hosted Mr. Ochi to an L-ISA workshop in his personal studio. Upon discovering the unique capabilities of L-ISA, Mr. Ochi began working on the design of an L-ISA Hyperreal Sound system for the 10,000-capacity Osaka-Jo Hall arena concert.
“I received L-ISA training with L-Acoustics in the spring of 2022. The impact of the pandemic meant that it would be some time until I could work on an L-ISA concert. When Ochi approached me with the My Hair is Bad concert project, I felt confident that this would be the right one, at the perfect time to introduce L-ISA to live music fans in Japan,” explained Nagayasu.
After informing the production team that the concert would be presented in immersive audio, Nagayasu considered technical specifications for a system design that would adhere to loading and rigging limits of the venue.
The final L-ISA configuration consisted of a main Scene System of five hangs of 12 L-Acoustics K2 each. A cluster of 12 KS28 subwoofers was flown just behind the main Scene System. Out-fill consisted of 15 Kara II per side while 11 L-Acoustics A10 Focus served as front-fill. Six KS28 subwoofers were also evenly distributed across the front of the stage to provide more low-end rumble to the concert arena. Forty LA12X amplified controllers drove the entire system.
L-ISA Processor II received MADI signals from a DiGiCo SD10 mixing board via Luminex GigaCore while an L-Acoustics LS10 distributed audio and control signals over Milan AVB.
Nagayasu calibrated the system using an L-Acoustics P1 AVB processor, which efficiently took the same amount of time as a LR array system, enabling sound check and band rehearsal sessions to adhere to a tight schedule. The band’s mix engineer, Mr Ochi approached the mix differently from a Left/Right system, laying out elements within a deeper 3D immersive space, while giving My Hair is Bad’s lead vocals a natural localized feel.
For one song, Nagayasu assisted Mr. Ochi in creating a space focused on the stage centre for a few bars which only possessed vocals and guitar, and then expanding the immersive mix gradually as bass and drums were introduced in the musical piece, eventually leading the mix into a fuller, grand image of the band’s full sound. This creative immersive mixing technique enhanced the musical expression of the band’s music to great effect.
“It was a very enjoyable experience for me to mix on L-ISA. We took advantage of its capabilities and presented the music in a new way for the fans and concert goers,” beams Mr. Ochi. “As the lights came on after the encore, the audience had smiles of delight and praise for the sound team.”
“For the first time that L-ISA technology is used in Japan, it was undoubtedly a success and was fully accepted, especially by the artists. We managed to fully express the band’s musicality through an immersive sound mix in the large arena. I foresee L-ISA to be commonplace in a variety of concerts in the near future, no matter the genre,” concluded Nagayasu.