The OVAL in Salzburg, Austria, designed by noted Roman architect Massimiliano Fuksas, is a 227-seat cultural showcase that stages unique shows ranging from music, drama, cabaret, cinema and more, and earlier this year it was outfitted with L-ISA Immersive Hyperreal Sound technology from L-Acoustics.
The venue, located in the city’s EUROPARK shopping mall, has a steep atrium grandstand and a 13-meter-wide stage that’s only 15 meters from the control room, posing significant challenges to conventional left-center-right systems. “Thanks to L-ISA, not only was the conventional technology replaced, but a completely new, immersive listening experience was created at every seat,” explains Rupert Pichler, Managing Director of Pansound and project manager for the L-ISA conversion in the OVAL.
The sound design by Martin Rode, Head of Application Install D-A-CH, comprises a Scene system with five arrays of three A10 Wide loudspeakers, evenly hung above the stage and across its entire width, along with two sets of three KS21 subwoofers each, flown horizontally behind the Scene system and configured in an end-fire cardioid array. Five 5XT enclosures placed in front of the stage serve as front fill. Three coaxial X8 louodspeakers per side are placed along the walls, with a further two X8s on the rear wall, and five ceiling-mounted 5XT cabinets create surround and overhead sound. The entire system is driven by LA4X amplified controllers.
Signal Sound & Light Distribution, L-Acoustics Certified Provider Distributor for Austria, provided the OVAL system. Even before the final choice of L-ISA was made, the project team played with the idea of immersive sound reinforcement. “The central requirement was, and is, the optimization of the listening experience,” says Pichler.
He and EUROPARK Managing Director Christoph Andexlinger first heard the L-ISA immersive sound technology at a demonstration in the L-Acoustics Creations headquarters in Highgate, London. They state that their decision to opt for L-ISA was based on the flexibility of the technology as well as the quality of L-Acoustics systems. “When Rupert Pichler told me about this completely new kind of sound, I didn’t think that it was possible,” Andexlinger adds. “So we went to London to get to the bottom of this auditive ‘mystery’ and experience it live. It was breathtaking. Never before had I heard music from loudspeakers in such a clear way.”
“The EUROPARK shopping center is considered the most successful mall in Austria. With the OVAL, we wanted to expand the offer for our visitors to encompass both art and culture. Initially, we were met with skepticism from artists and artist agencies,” he concludes. “However, we didn’t want an artistic fig leaf in a shopping center, but a stage with its own personality for jazz and world music on the one hand, and a program of cinema and cabaret on the other – and all this in a combination that makes it possible for both art lovers and newcomers to feel comfortable and be inspired.”