The icing on the cake? Christian Heil granted us an interview. We reviewed the essence of the L-ISA project, the IT tools needed to implement it and, finally, his vision of modern amplified sound.
More than exciting... Essential.
SLU: A persistent legend would have it that you had the idea for L-ISA one day after a concert where you, like 90% of the audience, were poorly positioned.
Christian Heil (President L-Acoustics...): It didn't happen in one day; it's been a problem for a very long time. When I founded my company 30 years ago, I didn't know what sound reinforcement or live production were, I was only interested in the technology that we were helping to move forward and that satisfied us for many years.
Little by little, I put together teams of sound engineers and application engineers.
I worked closely with friends in show business, and I noticed that they were often happy with the work they were doing because they occupied a privileged place in the theater, but the people in the audience weren't enjoying that same level of satisfaction. So I put myself in the shoes of the spectator, and I realized that I was frustrated. I had to concentrate to connect the sound with what my eyes were seeing, a process that spoiled the artistic experience of the show for me.
Unlike a technician, a spectator is looking for enjoyment, spontaneity, sensation and realism. He doesn't try to understand if the treble is clean or if the phase is coherent, and that's what made me gradually think about refocusing on sound and image, to merge them. Another factor which pushed me on is the enlargement of stage-fronts to provide more room for set and lights, which in turn relegates the sound to the sides and disassociates sound and image.
SLU: We try to fight this outward drift by using small central reinforcements...