For the international contemporary live music industry

Knopfler brings back stereo pan

Production News
October 11, 2019

The restrictions of the traditional mono mix at concerts, which renders common stereo effects inaudible to live music audiences, prompted Mark Knopfler to use a L-ISA Hyperreal Sound Technology system for his latest tour, which has just completed its North American leg after starting in Europe.

Front-of-house (FOH) engineer Dave Dixon says the decision followed a conversation he had with the artiste on the previous tour when, “Mark asked me to pan a guitar in a sound check, and I – bravely or stupidly – said over the mic, I couldn’t do that in an arena as half the audience wouldn’t hear it.

“When I heard about what L-Acoustics was doing with L-ISA, and understood the technology, I realised that it was exactly what we needed to fulfil Mark’s vision.”

According to L-Acoustics, L-ISA uses spatial audio processing to recreate the qualities of different spaces within the same room, allowing effects such as the pan in a live environment. 

Dixon also insisted that it should not take extra time to rig than a conventional system, requiring engineer Ulf Oeckel and Miles Hillyard of UK distributor SSE to create a rigging, routing, and control solution which allowed the L-ISA configuration to be up-and-running in less than two-and-a-half hours. 

The audio signal distribution was fully digital, with a Digico SD7 at FOH, plus a P1 processor and LA12X amps, at venues including America’s Midland Theatre (cap. 3,200) in Kansas City and New York’s Madison Square Gardens (18,600), and Canada’s Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier (3,000) in Montreal.

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