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.