L-Acoustics completes world’s first L-ISA installation at Moscow nightclub

An L-Acoustics L-ISA immersive audio system has been installed at Mercury Space Moscow, a 975-square metre, ultra-luxury, multifunctional venue located on the 40th floor of Mercury City Tower in the Russian capital.

The owner of this new space, which has been designed for celebrity events and parties, wanted a unique sound system that would set it apart from every other venue in the country. Sonoruss, L-Acoustics’ distributor for the region therefore suggested L-ISA, making it the first nightclub installation of its type.

L-ISA, which stands for Immersive Sound Art, is an immersive audio technology, combining L-Acoustics’ loudspeaker systems with sophisticated processing tools to create a hyperrealistic soundscape at live shows. The installation was performed by Theatre Technique and Technology, with the Sonoruss and L-ISA teams providing support from initial consultations, through to the sound design and final calibration.

“We introduced the venue’s owner to the new multichannel L-ISA system, using Kiva II and KS28 when they visited the L-ISA Lab in Highgate. We suggested that they could do the installation in two phases to spread the cost,” explained Igor Verholat, CEO of Sonoruss. “But he was so blown away by what he heard that he decided to have the complete system installed straight away. In fact, the trip determined the entire concept of Mercury Space Moscow.”

“L-ISA provides an amazing localisation of sound sources that immerses the listener in the sound space,” said Alexander Ananiev, acoustic engineer for Sonoruss. “It provides a hyperrealistic soundscape for the audience and gives sound engineers advanced surround mixing tools during live events, which is a big step forward from traditional two-channel sound systems.

"However, L-ISA can enhance the spatial impression, even when reproducing a conventional two-channel mix, because of the so-called ‘upmix’. For example, a DJ’s performance in this hall would sound spatially more enveloping, even with a two-channel source."

Since this was the world’s first nightclub to permanently install an L-ISA system, the project was directly managed from the headquarters of L-ISA,” added Verholat. “During the installation, Sherif el Barbari, director of L-ISA Labs, trained all the engineers that will work with the system on a day-to-day basis. Calibration and tuning of the system were carried out by Sherif and Julian Laval, applications engineer fixed installs, L-Acoustics, and the Sonoruss team.”

The venue is an unusual, upturned U-shape, with the stage sited at the apex of the U. The final configuration of the system was designed with the aid of L-Acoustics Soundvision 3D acoustical simulation programme. The frontal scene system consists of five hangs of four Kiva II each arrayed across the front of the stage, with two SB18 subwoofers positioned one either side of the centre hang, and two KS28 subs ground stacked either side at the front of the stage.

To complement the frontal system and provide even coverage across the entire space, surround speakers comprising eight X12 are positioned at the top of the walls on the sides and opposite the stage, while ten X8, five per side – two closer to the stage and three towards the rear of the venue where it is slightly wider- cover each of the U’s ‘arms’. The system is amplified by LA4X and LA12X amplified controllers.

“Having eight sound sources located around the hall allows a sound engineer to put a guest into the sound image as if the sound is enveloping him,” said Mercury Space sound engineer Alexander Alperovich. “This means that even the most demanding engineer will be satisfied. Mercury Space is one of the most expensive halls in Moscow and very popular with high-end clientele and celebrities. Since the L-ISA system was installed, every visitor has had a great experience.”