Traditional audio mixing is the art of enhancing and combining multiple sound inputs into left and right loudspeaker sends. Object-based mixing adds a multidimensional layer to that art. In addition to traditional mixing tools, each sound object can now be placed and manipulated anywhere within the 3D framework provided by the multichannel loudspeaker configuration. An object-based mix enables sources to be localized, scaled and moved to their actual location or wherever the imagination desires.
Creating a multidimensional object-based mix is extremely intuitive. As if painting, sources can simply be placed, spread and layered visually where you wish them to be heard. The distinct positions and separation of each source translate naturally so that a listener can perceive subtle compositions in the mix without the need for frequency tailoring or constant level riding. And the visuals of the L-ISA Controller soundscape provide real-time feedback about the spatial balance of the mix.
In a live audio chain, the L ISA Processor is inserted between the mixing console and L-Acoustics amplified controllers.
The L-ISA Processor receives a post-fader, post-processing output for each channel and creates signal feeds for each speaker or speaker group.
The L-ISA Controller software connects to both the L-ISA Processor and compatible mixing consoles to provide a seamless mixing experience.
For the most demanding audio applications, full audio redundancy can be achieved with parallel audio processing and transport.
From Channel-based to Object-based
Once mono or stereo input channels are defined as “objects”, the transition from traditional Left/Right mixing to multidimensional mixing is straightforward: the usual “panpot” is replaced by object parameters representing their location. The rest of the channel processing (EQ, dynamics, …) is done in the mixing console.
Given that sound objects are mixed to locations, not to loudspeakers or busses, the properties of each sound object are independent from the specific loudspeaker layout. This enables portability from show to show as the existing source spatialization can be rendered to the new sound system configuration.
L‑ISA offers an extraordinarily intuitive 3D mixing environment that makes the process of multidimensional mixing straightforward, providing the mixing engineer with five parameters for each sound object:
controls horizontal location
controls perceived size, from point source to panoramic
controls perceived proximity with reverberation
controls vertical location
provides a classic post-distance auxiliary bus send
For each sound object, a control strategy can be defined. The pre-production stage is the best time to define and optimise control scenarios.
A classical music production might simply require the use of a few snapshots of objects positions within the L-ISA Controller.
A full-blown pop touring production might involve timecode-driven snapshots used in combination with automation-driven playback tracks and a tracking system—the L-ISA Controller handles it all.
The show pre-mixing and programming can start as early as band rehearsals on a scaled-down version of the loudspeaker system.
L-ISA tools were developed with the challenge of “scaling-up” in mind, from Processing algorithms to the User Interface.
Stepping up from a studio to the live rig is made easy via a simple loudspeakers import. Locations of sound objects are kept intact in the mix.
L-ISA’s patent-pending room engine automatically adapts to a new loudspeaker system to ensure direct sound precedence over distributed energy.