L-Acoustics L-ISA technology was beautifully showcased in this latest Entrepreneur article of Adele's Las Vegas residency - accompanied by a comprehensive interview with our very own L-Acoustics CEO, Laurent Vaissié, who shares why L-ISA is so crucial to providing the most memorable performance for the artist and audience.
Founded by quantum physics researcher Christian Heil in 1984, L-Acoustics has been setting industry standards for decades, first revolutionizing live audio in the 1990s with the invention of its line source technology, which improves sound control over audiences of any size.
But Heil recognized that a critical gap in sound remained. "There was still this fundamental flaw in a concert," L-Acoustics CEO Laurent Vaissie tells Entrepreneur, "that all the sound was coming from the left and the right side of the stage, as a stereo-type public address system."
Imagine this: In a small venue, like a jazz club, you can close your eyes and still hear exactly where the singer's voice or instrument's sound comes from, but when you significantly expand the performance space, you have to rely on speakers to amplify that sound — and they can only deliver the full experience, with complete visual-audio fusion (what you see is what you hear), to a narrow swath of the audience.
L-Acoustics created a sound ecosystem to solve that issue of disconnection. With L-ISA's loudspeaker design, there are at least five sound points across the stage; its surround systems ensure coverage left, right and behind the audience for total immersion. The company's proprietary system design software, Sound Vision, can predict sound volume and coverage within a venue, isolating that "sweet spot" of visual-audio synchronization. And on the software side of mix creation, the L-ISA Controller deftly maneuvers inputs and pre-recorded tracks, moving each "sound object" wherever they should be in space for the most realistic — or better than real — experience.
Essentially, L-ISA reconnects the audience with the performer, inviting listeners inside the music and dialing up the level of emotion. "To experience [the performance] in the most natural and meaningful way, your brain needs to connect what we hear to what we see," Vaissie says.
Vaissie likens the experience to interacting with another person face-to-face: It's automatically more natural and intimate than, say, a conversation over the phone. "And on stage the same thing happens," he explains. "So when you want the performer to connect really well with the audience, or you want to attract the audience to a specific part of the show, whether it's a lead guitar solo, drum solo or the lead singer, it really helps the brain to have that sound come from the actual space where the performer is."
Vaissie watched Adele's February 24 performance, which he considers "the most accomplished in terms of L-ISA implementation" to date, from the front-of-house control booth, where he could see the sound objects tracking to different locations on the screen.
"When Adele was moving across the stage and talking to the audience, I could see the objects, and I could hear the sound moving with her," Vaissie recalls. "That connection was flawless. And it's very, very subtle. But we would hear this if the sound was not following her."
That connection was also on full display when Adele left the stage to walk through the crowd, asking groups of concert-goers — friends, mothers and daughters — about their best childhood memories ahead of her poignant performance of "When We Were Young."