Puy du Fou: Le Dernier Panache
L-ISA Attracts Guests at Puy du Fou Theme Park
Starting in the late 1970s, historically minded entrepreneur Philippe de Villiers and his son Nicolas gradually built a vast theme park, Puy du Fou, in the Vendée region of Western France. Adding new attractions regularly and providing a mini-economy for the local community, Puy du Fou attracts over two million tourists every year. Every milieu portrayed is real, ranging from Viking and Roman times to Richelieu, Revolution, and Resistance. Each upgrade raises the bar, especially the new custom-built, 360° Theater of Giants, which houses Le Dernier Panache, an all-new spectacle tracing a French naval officer’s fortunes in the late 18th Century.
The ground-up nature of Puy du Fou’s 2017 project enabled a re-think of loudspeaker deployment and audio infrastructure. For Le Dernier Panache, everything started when Nicolas De Villiers and his team had this ambitious idea for a show where the audience tribune would turn 360° from one stage to another. This idea introduced a new challenge for sound design: how can you keep a sound element in front of the audience while the tribune is turning?
The answer was: L-ISA Immersive Hyperreal Sound. Le Dernier Panache’s main system consists of 24 clusters of ARCS WiFo elements arranged in a circle at resolution angles of 15°. Each element is suspended from a ‘WifoBump’ flying frame about 11m above the platform, with all the slight adjustments made in L-Acoustics’ LA Network Manager software. Simultaneously, the L-ISA processor, feeding 24 channels of audio down-mixes and subs to this configuration, handles all aspects of the L-ISA mix.
The suspended main system is augmented by a ‘proximity’ system, which is to lower the sound image for spectators in the front stalls and bring to the forefront sonic details occurring away from the main action, particularly along the peripheral corridor. This dual objective was achieved by a system of small loudspeakers planted at ground level. The joint between the fixed part of the stage and the rotating part is invisible to the audience as it radiates from the exact interstice separating the two parts. To be effective, they placed 13 full-range loudspeakers in these positions. A multitrack player feeds consoles that feed the proprietary L-ISA processor, which outputs to 24 speaker channels with each sound source localized and adapted to the acoustic space. The main system amplification is courtesy of LA4X and LA8 amplified controllers.
Le Dernier Panache is the most daring show ever created at Puy du Fou and the setting and sound system completely enhances it. The show was an immediate success, garnering the industry-recognized Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement in 2017.
Once again, L-Acoustics’ creative vision has met ours, taking up the technical challenges and expectations of Puy du Fou for a memorable guest experience. L-ISA is exactly what we needed to execute a fully immersive experience.
Sound Designer, Puy du Fou
- 24 clusters of two ARCS Focus and one ARCS Wide line source elements are arranged in a circle at angles of 15 degrees each
- 8 Clusters of two SB18 for the low-frequency extension
- 4 SB28 underneath the tribune for sub-frequency effects
- Frontfill consists of 13 x 5XT to cover the first rows of the audience
- LA4X and LA8 Amplified Controllers