The recent opening of the 5,000-capacity Resorts World Theatre )operated by Concerts West/AEG Presents) has already hosted residencies by Carrie Underwood, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan, and its also home to the first fixed install of L-Acoustics L-ISA immersive technology in Las Vegas reinforced by more than 200 loudspeakers.
Montreal-based Scéno Plus served as the theatre designer, further overseeing the venue’s technology, while L-Acoustics Certified Provider (CPi) Solotech integrated the 14.1 audio system with design support from the company’s application team. The system consists of an L-ISA Scene setup of seven arrays of 14 K2 enclosures flown across the stage width, left-right outfill arrays of 12 Kara, plus two center-flown arrays of eight KS28 subs each.
In addition, 24 KS21 subwoofers are located under the stage and 16 5XT five-inch coaxials are positioned across the stage lip, functioning as spatial frontfills via a new L-ISA algorithm. Numerous A10i Wide enclosures provide delay and seven channels of surround for each of the three balconies, with additional A10i found in the lighting booth.
A combination of LA12X, LA4X, and LA2Xi amplified controllers drive the system, which also uses the new L-ISA Processor II—the device’s first permanent install. Plus, there are 11 P1 processors installed that enable bridging of AVB, AES/EBU, and analog audio with time-aligned redundant signal distribution.
“The client, in this case, was looking for an advantage, something that would set the venue apart from everything else in Las Vegas, which is not an easy task,” says François Blais, vice president of technology and specialized equipment at Scéno Plus. “We could have simply tried to increase the quality of the sound, but we wanted to do that and to create a better sound experience. That is what L-ISA can do.”
That decision was taken after Blais and his team experienced an L-ISA demo at Solotech’s facility in Montreal. From there, they coordinated with Solotech VP of R&D François “Frankie” Desjardins and L-Acoustics’ André Pichette to design and configure the system to fit the new Resorts World Theatre.
A significant part of the process onsite was to address the room’s acoustic needs, including absorptive treatments on the venue’s walls and ceiling and making some architectural adjustments such as changing the shape of the front edge of the balcony to avoid reflections. “With 98 speakers in the main system alone, we’re putting a lot of energy into the room, so we had to measure the room’s response carefully,” he explains.
Aaron Beck, business development manager and senior engineer at Solotech notes that he found implementing the system to be straightforward: “Our live production division had some experience using L-ISA, but this was our first time using the technology on a permanent installation. What was different this time was that the new installation versions of the A Series speakers were available, replacing the X8 and X12 enclosures for rear surrounds and delays in our previous design. As a result, we were able to reduce the overall count of speakers with the slightly larger A Series, which saved the client some costs. The new L-ISA Processor II is also more powerful and includes the ability to bring an immersive experience even down to the front-fill speakers. It is a fantastic system that provides an exceptionally engaging experience to all listeners in the venue.”
Beck adds that the installation was aided by L-ISA’s interoperability with AVB networking. “Having the amplifiers for the main front system on the stage grid directly above the line arrays was extremely beneficial as we didn’t have to have 60 amplifiers in amp room two floors away, reducing a huge amount of cable, conduit, and installation time,” he says. “Networked audio has become the standard for signal distribution. It provides a simpler solution, sounds amazing, and offers us a fully digital signal path from the console to the amplifiers.”
The result has been an exceptional experience, Blais concludes. “When you’re sitting in the theatre, you can have a normal conversation with the person next to you even as the music is happening,” he says. “The L-ISA system is about being wide rather than loud. And while this is the seventh project we have done in Las Vegas since 2006, it was our first with L-ISA, and we’re very proud of how it turned out. It’s been wonderful to watch visiting engineers encounter it for the first time and how they discover new ways of making the music come across.”