Southern Hemisphere first as L-ISA Hyperreal Sound technology is used for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban™ in Concert live performance

This November, the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, in partnership with CineConcerts and Warner Bros. Consumer Products, performed Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban™ in Concert at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre, South Australia. It was the first ever use of L-Acoustics L-ISA Hyperreal Sound in the southern hemisphere and took audiences even deeper into the magical world while the symphony orchestra performed the entire score live to picture.

L-ISA was deployed by leading Australian technical production company Novatech, which has been using L-Acoustic systems for events of all sizes and scope around Australia, from music festivals to live concerts and corporate events, for over a decade. A keen innovator and early adopter of creative event technology, the company has always endeavoured to improve the experience for guests and artists alike and has invested heavily into new technology over the years.

When L-ISA was released, Novatech looked for opportunities to use the ground-breaking technology in Australia. The search quickly focused onto one of its long-time partners, the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, which has gained a reputation for outstanding contribution to the world of music and, with the nature of the entertainment perfectly matching the application of L-ISA, was a natural fit.

“With L-Acoustics being the backbone of our audio inventory, we were excited by the introduction of L-ISA and were keen to bring it to Australia for a live performance,” remarks Novatech’s Production Manager, James Sacca. “It seemed fitting to partner with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra for this Southern Hemisphere first. As always, L-Acoustics was professional to deal with and extremely supportive as we planned this technically complex event.” 

The L-ISA set up included 126 input channels and 96 L-ISA objects and used an L-ISA Wide design solution, deploying a total of 84 L-Acoustics Kara cabinets in seven hangs of 12 Kara, each spaced above the performing zone to provide source separation and localization, two extension speaker groups of 12 Kiva II and two flown subwoofer arrays of four SB28 in and end fire configuration in the centre.

The monitor system comprised ten X15 HiQ cabinets and eight X8. Control was via a DiGiCo SD10 mixing console at front of house and an AVID S6L at monitors, connected via three Optocore optical loops.

Charles Gagnon, who mixed the show, made adjustments to the soundscape using the L-ISA Controller software to address the processer and create the soundscape for static information such as object panning, source width, distance, etc., based on input channels bussed from the SD10.

“I have long been a fan of so-called surround sound and immersive audio,” says Gagnon. “I’ve done numerous recordings and broadcasts in ‘traditional’ 5.0/5.1 surround and have been involved in experimental immersive audio projects going back to the early 2000s. Advances in processing power and algorithms now make object-based systems practical so I am intrigued, but not surprised, about the emergence of these systems in the competitive live sound market.” 

Gagnon found the L-ISA Controller software intuitive, with a well-designed GUI that made it easy for him to quickly make broad adjustments to the soundscape.

“I was pleased with the result, especially with dialogue clarity and localization, and overall clarity and coherence of the soundstage,” he says. “It was a great experience and I would most definitely like to use it again.” 

“Novatech works closely with us as our technology partner to bring the sounds of the orchestra to audiences both small and large,” comments Vince Ciccarello, CEO of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. “We were thrilled and excited to learn of the new L-ISA technology that would more faithfully engage our artists with the audience and are proud to be a part of this collaboration with Novatech and L-Acoustics.” 

“As we roll out our L-ISA technology, we look to trusted partners around the globe who have the drive and creative vision to innovate alongside us,” concludes L-Acoustics Regional Sales Manager, Tim McCall. “Novatech has a history of always embracing new technologies to bring a little extra to its shows. Combining this passion and experience with a full symphony orchestra andL-ISA Hyperreal Sound broughta more natural andvibrant experience to the audiences of Australia for the first time. Congratulations Adelaide, you’ve made history!”

A highlights video of the event is available here.