United Arab Emirates 49th National Day
L-ISA Awes Guests at the Immersive 49th UAE National Day Ceremony
The United Arab Emirates’ National Day, otherwise known as UAE National Day, is a commemoration of the date in 1971 when the six small Gulf kingdoms of Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Sharjah, and Umm Al-Quwain joined together to form one federation. A seventh emirate, Ras Al Khaimah, was integrated into the union early the following year, completing the formation of the Nation known today. Every year, the UAE National Day holds grand, vibrant celebrations across the country. On the UAE’s 49th National Day, celebrations took place at Al Jubail Mangrove Park in Abu Dhabi, under the ‘Seeds of the Union’ theme.
The organizing committee constructed a magnificent centerpiece and multi-layered production on Jubail Island, encapsulating the Nation’s historical achievements while sharing visions of a hopeful and culturally enriched future with a brilliant immersive visual display. The visual centerpiece is a kinetic art sculpture of enchanting and emotive video content playing on a 15m moving cube, backed by L-ISA technology’s enveloping sound. A dedicated beach area for the experiential display provides a groundbreaking experience for 400 viewers as the sea surrounds the kinetic illuminated sculpture.
Because outdoor shows often suffer from a lack of envelopment due to absent sound reflections and reverberation from walls and ceilings, the audience can feel disconnected from the show, particularly with classical and film music. The show’s creative aspirations demanded an immersive audio system of some sort, so they worked with the music team to determine the soundtrack, audio system design, and recording techniques specifically for this project. The music was a complex blend of western orchestras and traditional Arabic instruments that can be difficult to mix. And with such an epic sculpture forming the show’s centerpiece, protecting the cubic form’s purity was very important to the whole production. Finding locations for loudspeakers downstage of the cube that would provide the team with their primary sound source while protecting the cube’s view from every camera and seat was tricky.
This process led to the small array of three K2 protruding just above the water line to minimize the visual impact of the spectacular 15m cube as much as possible. The relative levels of the K2, the cube, the cast walkways, and the lighting fixtures were all based on a target water level for the show, managed by pumping in additional water before the show’s start. The panorama received eight arrays of six K2 and one array of 18 SB28 subwoofers. Two arrays of nine Kara and 11 SYVA loudspeakers were mounted beside and behind the audience for the surround. And 11 X8 are suspended overhead from the top of the lighting masts.
In addition to the L-ISA system, 180 L-Acoustics 5XT loudspeakers (1 for each guest) were deployed in a distributed mono arrangement to deliver the dialog and narration. This technique allowed the team to maintain the music’s power and instrumentation while also providing excellent speech intelligibility.
Since attendees enjoyed the immersive National Day experience so much, the National Day committee decided to extend the ceremony’s spirit by creating a ticketed event spanning over two months, rather than just regaling it to one day. Guests were impressed with both the spectacle and the sound.
The L-ISA platform works. It’s essential to make the most out of the creative opportunities by rethinking everything you know about recording techniques and live sound mixing. You will find yourself doing less on the console and putting more complex mixes together much faster if captured correctly. The reverb engine is an amazing creative tool that sounds spectacular.
Director, Auditoria Pty Ltd