Modern-Day Electronic Music Pioneer Richard Devine Uses L-ISA Studio to Usher Listeners into a 'Cerebral World of Soundscapes and Textures'
Devine, who is in the process of mixing an 'epic' album slated for release next year, says that L-ISA Studio 'could not have come at a better time'
Atlanta, GA, August 10, 2022 — Richard Devine is a modern-day pioneer in the world of electronic music, known for his multi-layered, long-form electronic compositions — which fuse IDM, experimental and electro acoustic elements. With six critically acclaimed albums under his belt, he is well known as a commercial sound designer, and has composed and designed commercials for some of the largest companies in the world. Devine is also an electronic music futurist and thought leader, having coded his own applications in SuperCollider — a programming language for real-time audio synthesis.
Recently, Devine began exploring L-Acoustics' new spatial audio platform for music creation and mixing: L-ISA Studio. Indeed, Devine is no stranger to immersive audio and surround formats, having evolved his own compositions and performances in parallel with industry innovations. Back in 2005, he gave his first immersive live performance at San Francisco's Recombinant Media Labs (RML), which at the time featured (10) 16:9 video screens and an L-Acoustics 20.8 surround system. Since then, he has spent his career pushing the envelope on what is possible with immersive audio. At his Devinesound studio in Atlanta, routinely works in binaural, 5.1 and 7.1.4 audio formats.
L-ISA Studio: the 'next frontier' is now
For Devine, immersive audio remains the next frontier in music creation, presenting a vast array of possibilities in how we can experience multi-sensory dimensions in music. "The playground has just become so much bigger, and there are no limits to what you can do with it," he says. He says his forthcoming album — which will be mixed entirely in L-ISA Studio — will feature 'epic adventures' and make the listener feel like he or she is "inside this entire cerebral world of soundscapes and textures."
He says that L-ISA Studio has given significantly more control over his object-based audio mixes. "What’s great about this platform for the kind of music I make is that there is so much gestural movement in the soundscapes I create," he says. "I can have each sonic element on different axis, flying different paths around the room, or I can have sounds collide with each other and explode, melt and morph. It is probably the best format I could have graduated to as far as taking my music to the next level for the type of music I am making."
Once he began running the software, he ran it alongside Ableton and Logic and was pleased with its intuitive layout and extensive control over various sonic parameters: "I guess the best way I can describe L-ISA Studio is that it is very clever and elegantly laid out," he explains. "The visual representation of the controls — where you can see all your sound sources, trims, monitoring and your group lists — is very hands-on and immediate." He appreciates having instantaneous access to spatial controls such as panning, width, distance and elevation. "To access spatial controls in most other applications, you would have to open up the object panner to see all the necessary information. But here, I can just click up and down on the ID name and see everything I need to in one place, and I can make refined adjustments. It is super smart."
Spectacular reverbs and processing control
Devine was especially impressed with L-ISA Studio's eminently flexible built-in reverbs. "The large warm church and the concert hall are probably my two favorites, and you can really tailor the room and spatial characteristics and acoustics to directly correlate with the sound objects in your space," he says. "If you ask me, the reverb alone is worth the price of admission. It is one of most gorgeous sounding spatial reverbs I’ve ever heard in Dolby or surround."
Since Devine spends much of his time on the road, he is pleased to be able to work on his mixes on a laptop while in transit, and then seamlessly translate his mixes to his 7.1.4 studio monitoring system using L-ISA Studio at any point. "If I want to do a binaural mix on my laptop, I can do that quickly, but if I want to mix in 7.1.4, I can plug in my interface and set up my configurations, sample rates, designated output channel range and I am off to the races. It is pretty easy to get things up and running."
Another big differentiator for Devine is L-ISA Studio's ability to process and render audio with greater efficiency: "With object-based audio, there can be walls you can hit very quickly on things like buffer size and processing speed. Other platforms can be very clunky, and sometimes you actually need two computers just to run the renders. L-ISA Studio is integrated into a single, completely software-based controller / processor environment. Everything should be so easy."
Pushing his sounds to the extreme
The sounds that Devine uses for his compositions originate from a variety of sources — these include his own sample libraries and a vast array of electronic instruments — including several purpose-built modular synthesizer cases. From his modular synthesizer, Devine is bringing in 32 tracks at a time into the DAW via two nw2s output modules along with each of his other sound sources. "That way I can get as many of the elements as separated as possible — so I have clean stems to play with, mix and master." He then runs his tracks through a pair of Dangerous Music 2-Bus+ analog summing mixers and uses a Flock Audio PATCH to route any of these 32 channels through analog hardware devices in his studio. "I have a hybrid system here, so I use a combination of both hardware and software in most of my work," says Devine.
When it comes to creating and mixing in spatial audio, Devine says there are really no rules. "It's not like a pop track where you always have the vocal in the center and the drums in a static position. With experimental electronic music and the tools we have now, nothing is too wild or strange. I want to provide audiences with interesting auditory experiences to make them feel like they are literally inside this cerebral world of soundscapes and textures." He says with L-ISA Studio, "I want to push my music to the edge and to the extreme, so there are no limits."
For more information on L-ISA Studio please visit http://l-isa-immersive.com/create/studio/.
About LISA Immersive Hyperreal Sound technology
First introduced in 2016, L-ISA technology helped shape the future of sound by introducing a new way to design, process, mix, and experience multi-channel sound for live performances. L-ISA Immersive Hyperreal Sound technology combines L-Acoustics loudspeaker systems in a multi-array configuration with spatial processing hardware and software-based audio tools to manage every step of an immersive audio project from the design through to the show itself. High-profile artists have already deployed L-ISA technology across various musical styles, including Ennio Morricone and his orchestra, Mark Knopfler, ODESZA, Lorde, Aerosmith, and alt-J, among others. It has also been deployed in installations like Refik Anadol’s inaugural exhibition at ARTECHOUSE NYC, SPYSCAPE museum, Puy du Fou history theme park in France, and Coachella 360° Antarctic Dome experience.
L-Acoustics is renowned for developing innovative sound systems and technologies that elevate the listening experience. Founded in France in 1984, L-Acoustics currently employs 500 team members worldwide, with headquarters in Paris, London, Los Angeles, and Singapore. Recognized for pioneering the line source array, L-Acoustics continues to shape the future of sound with solutions such as L-ISA Immersive Hyperreal Sound technology offering multi-dimensional audio. In recognition of introducing
ground-breaking creative technologies, L-Acoustics was named one of Fast Company's Most Innovative Companies of 2020.
L-Acoustics sound systems can be heard around the globe in venues like the Hollywood Bowl and the Philharmonie de Paris, at the world's top-grossing festivals such as Coachella and Tomorrowland, and on tour with world-class artists such as Billie Eilish, Post Malone, Foo Fighters, and Jacky Cheung.