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Polygon Live delivers immersive Soundstorm

L-Acoustics L-ISA Immersive Sound was behind the experience at Polygon Live’s new VIP stage at MDLBEAST Soundstorm Festival in Saudi Arabia

The Soundstorm Festival, curated by MDLEBEAST, is the Middle East region’s largest gathering of artists and fans with over 200 acts and three-quarters-of-a-million visitors over four days. For the most recent edition, the push to offer unique, innovative experiences saw Soundstorm invite Polygon Live and L-Acoustics L-ISA Immersive Hyperreal technology to create and curate a stage for VIP audiences.

Polygon Live is a 360°, immersive sonic experience where speakers play spatialised sound synchronised with an immersive light installation, while different aromas are dispersed around the stage to enhance the immersive experience. The Polygon stage at Soundstorm offered an audio canvas that allowed performers to freely move sound within a hemisphere of loudspeaker sources, encompassing the audience with surround and overhead layers to create a “whole body experience”.

“We chose to use L-ISA because of the simplicity and intuitive nature of how the controller acts. It is a very hands-on and creative platform for spatialising content, whilst also being a very aesthetically pleasing user interface to work with,” explained Matt Hill, spatial sound engineer at Polygon. “The power of the processors allows for incredibly high channel count, whilst the management of channels and in-depth scope of snapshots within Controller provides an extremely comprehensive and robust means of show management. I love the introduction of features in L-ISA 3.0 and I can’t wait to explore how further integration with other content and software can lead to exciting, creative and interactive outcomes.”

Using L-Acoustics Soundvision software, the team designed a solution based on the L-ISA configuration used at a previous festival, Wonderfruit. The 1,500-capacity VIP stage was encased by a circular perimeter of 102 shipping containers stacked to a height of 7.5 metres, which would create disturbing acoustic reflections. To mitigate this, Polygon worked with acoustic consultants, Vanguardia, who recommended a solution that included covering the stacks with acoustic material moving the stage 15 metres off-centre offset and thereby reduce reflections.

The final L-ISA configuration, installed by Dubai-based rental company MediaPro, featured four arrays of eight L-Acoustics Kara deployed as a frontal system, with a surround ring of eight arrays of four Kara rigged from the Polygon truss structure and facing its centre. The elevation configuration comprised eight X15 coaxial speakers in a ring, all facing directly downwards. Low end enhancement was delivered through 16 ground-stacked KS28 subwoofers.

“We knew we were offering something very different at Soundstorm and that L-ISA was the technology that could achieve it,” said Polygon founder and CEO Nico Elliot. “To ensure this new concept was fully understood, we worked with the MDLBEAST team prior to the festival, organising training for the DJs who were performing at the VIP stage via webinar and sharing our own 10-minute synchronised sound and lighting piece to showcased how to use the L-ISA Processor. Our three sound engineers worked in partnership with the DJs, placing sound objects where they wanted them to attain space, height and the deep immersive experience we wanted.”

“It was a huge success. The quality of the L-Acoustics equipment, delivery and set-up was seamless and the production company did an excellent job… We walked away feeling it was a resounding success and we’re looking forward to bringing the Polygon Live experience back next year.”