FOH Engineer Spotlight: Piotr Puchalski Gets Immersive with L-ISA FOH Engineer Spotlight: Piotr Puchalski Gets Immersive with L-ISA...
In this FOH engineer spotlight, we introduce Piotr Puchalski of Acoustics Soul, originally from Otwock near Warsaw. Piotr is a musician and started his journey at music school “before switching to the more technical side of things,” he says. “I studied sound engineering, and after eight years of hard work, I’m getting to tour the world with some great artists –all while running my pro audio business.”
When asked what his “big break” was, Piotr replies, “I think one of the big moments was when I started to work on major Polish festivals about five years ago. One of the contributing factors to my growth was the decision to attend training and go through L-Acoustics exams and certifications to improve my knowledge.”
Earlier this year, Piotr Puchalski was the FOH Engineer for the emerging Polish singer and songwriter sanah and the first-ever tour with L-ISA technology provided by SHADOK AV GROUP.
According to Piotr, the idea of using L-ISA technology had arisen during sanah’s previous tour. “My colleagues Jerzy Kubiak and Andrzej Szmandra introduced me to it. I was impressed. The audience experience is hugely improved, and finding ‘space’ in the mix for FOH engineers is much easier.”
Convincing the Team
“We had to convince the production team that L-ISA would be a great addition to the tour. They were in love with it once we had explained how it could elevate the show. I started training with Shadok and flew to the L-Acoustics headquarters to get my L-ISA Mixing Engineer certification. The experts at Shadok and L-Acoustics demonstrated the concept of immersive, hyperreal sound to me. I remember hearing it in the L-ISA Auditorium at L-Acoustics HQ, and I couldn’t believe how brilliant it sounded. I passed all the required tests and returned to Poland to produce the tour and begin rehearsals.”
Piotr talks about the setup: “The Shadok team was in charge of preparing the sound system, and Acoustic Soul was responsible for the stage crew, equipment, and monitor mix. I was on FOH duties, and Jerzy Kubiak was the system engineer. The team was great to work with, and their experience with L-ISA was helpful.”
“The benefits of the L-ISA are very simple. The audience gets a whole new experience: they can localize sound in the space with their ears. In addition, the coverage is much better with L-ISA than in a traditional L/R system. As a mixing engineer, I saw two main advantages on tour with using L-ISA. Any feedback issues and time alignment problems are significantly reduced with L-ISA. There is also a creative element to the mixing, which is something new but intuitive. You can easily find ‘space’ in your mix by placing the input in the correct positions. It’s as easy as it sounds.”
“With L-ISA, some challenges that arise on typical deployments no longer affect me. I had 110 inputs on tour, and trust me, it was an absolute pleasure to mix. The quality of the audience’s experience was next level. I must admit I had a lot of fun behind the desk on tour. The more inputs we have, the more of an acoustic impression we can make. L-ISA technology is a powerful tool for classical, jazz, and pop acts. When you start putting elevations and surrounds in the mix—any genre of music can come to life.”