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L-ISA’s Immersive Sound Brings Clarity to Chinese Orchestra Singapore Opening at Singapore International Arts Festival

L-ISA’s Immersive Sound Brings Clarity to Chinese Orchestra Singapore Opening at Singapore International Arts Festival

L-ISA's Immersive Sound Brings Clarity to Chinese Orchestra Singapore Opening at Singapore International Arts Festival

Singapore – This summer, the Singapore International Arts Festival (SIFA) returned to the island city of Southeast Asia for the first time in two years. Entitled The Anatomy of Performance – Ritual, the event featured over 70 performances staged across seven unique venues and venues, all designed by creative designers in various performance art disciplines. Opening the festival with a performance at a former power station, SIFA presented the Singapore Chinese Orchestra in L-ISA Immersive Hyperreal Sound provided by J5 Productions.

The Chinese Orchestra of Singapore, in collaboration with Tuyang Initiative, a Sarawak-based creative agency that focuses on the cultural heritage of native Borneo, opened the festival with their performance of MEPAAN. In the language of the Kayan peoples of Borneo, mepaan means “always”, and the performance was a sonic and visual journey through the spiritual and cultural nuances of the Kayan. Backed by an orchestral score, the 75-minute show was conducted by SIFA festival director Natalie Hennedige and featured songs and dances by lead performers Adrian Jo Milang and Mathew Ngau Jau of the Tuyang Initiative.

Held in the disused Pasir Panjang power plant, a cavernous industrial space constructed of steel and concrete, the show brought together costume designers, photographers, filmmakers, set, lighting and sound designers, as well as multimedia artists to transport audiences to the rainforests of Southeast Asia. SIFA appointed Jeffrey Yue of Ctrl [email protected] to design and manage the audio system. Ctrl [email protected] is no stranger to the festival, having designed the sound for the Singapore Symphony Orchestra’s performance at the Singapore Botanic Gardens and for Ryuichi Sakamoto’s intimate “Fragments” concert at the Esplanade Theatres.

“When designing the audio system, I knew that the 30-meter high ceilings and floor-to-ceiling metal pillars would generate strong sound reflections throughout the cavernous power plant,” Yue explains. The experienced sound and system designer knew that achieving a high degree of intelligibility and faithful reinforcement of the orchestra would be a huge challenge. The lack of acoustic treatment in the space and the audible fan noise from an air conditioning system added to the challenge.

Yue had attended hands-on L-ISA sound workshops at Concept Systems Technologies’ L-ISA Auditorium in Singapore, led by Chung Wah Khiew, L-Acoustics Application Project Engineer for APAC. Yue knew the benefits of object-based mixing to achieve clear, natural sound, so he turned to Khiew for advice on deploying L-ISA technology for MEPAAN performance. “Khiew and I were convinced that object-based mixing and localization would enhance the room’s lush orchestral sound,” Yue continues.

“Jeffrey [Yue] shared the details of the MEPAAN project and the difficulties presented by the acoustics of the place. We worked together to map out the architectural scenography and audience seating elements of the space in Soundvision to create an L-ISA configuration that would provide pristine clarity for the show’s 350-seat audience,” says Khiew. “Due to the nature of space, different frequencies react differently in different areas. With the wide dynamic range and the dynamic score of the orchestra, achieving uniform coverage was our top priority,” summarizes Yue. “We worked with the production team to adapt the design details of the sets and seats. We were convinced that our ability to locate elements of the orchestra in the mix using L-ISA technology would bring production values ​​at a higher level.

The duo opted for a design based on L-Acoustics’ A-Series to achieve precise horizontal and vertical coverage that would bathe the audience in sound while avoiding the bare concrete and steel skeleton of the venue.

Five hooks of two A-series, one A15i Focus and one A15i Wide each, were hung at a height of six meters to ensure accurate coverage of the audience seating area only. Two SB28 subwoofers were deployed in cardioid mode to minimize low-frequency interference on stage, where a total of 56 microphones were used to pick up the various instruments of the Chinese orchestra. L-Acoustics X12 and X8 coaxial speakers were used for on-stage monitoring. The entire system was controlled by simplified LA8 and LA4X controllers.

Their calculation proved effective for the application, with 94.7% of the seated audience being within the L-ISA area of ​​immersive coverage.

The performance was mixed using the L-ISA controller natively integrated into a DigiCo SD5, backed by an L-ISA processor, before output via L-Acoustics amplified controllers to the main stage system.

After a successful series of festival opening shows, Cindy Yeong, SIFA Production Manager at PPPS, felt that MEPAAN was one of the most resounding shows she had attended at Pasir Panjang Power Station. .

“I think we wouldn’t have achieved the results we achieved without the A-series and L-ISA technology,” Yeong says. “The composers and management of the Singapore Chinese Orchestra commented that object-based localization in L-ISA helped position the individual instruments of the orchestra for great clarity and a high level of intelligibility”, she concludes.

photos: House of Arts Limited

L-ISA's Immersive Sound Brings Clarity to Chinese Orchestra Singapore Opening at Singapore International Arts FestivalL-ISA's Immersive Sound Brings Clarity to Chinese Orchestra Singapore Opening at Singapore International Arts Festival

July 27, 2022