Children take their first steps into the world of sound and music in the new, purpose-built venue
France - On the northeastern border of Paris, the Philharmonie de Paris complex is the musical epicentre of the City of Lights, encompassing an amphitheatre, concert hall, museum, an exhibition hall and studios and workshops. The newest addition to the complex, the Philharmonie des enfants (Children's Philharmonic) was created for children aged four to 10 with the mission to develop hearing sensitivity through interactive games and immersive sound installations.
Children take their first steps into the world of sound and music in the new, purpose-built venue. The space encompasses five different themed areas, one of which aptly named Plein les oreilles! (Earfuls!), has been equipped with L-ISA Immersive Hyperreal Sound technology.
Plein les oreilles! is a blend of specially created musical films, stories, concert recordings and sound experiences. By combining fully-spatialised sound, via L-ISA technology, and 360-degree video projection deployed from floor to ceiling, visitors are enveloped in a truly sensory experience. From the beginning of the project design, Mathilde Michel-Lambert, director of the Philharmonie des enfants, wanted to create an immersive room that encompasses new areas of creativity, and seamlessly combines sound spatialisation with the visual narrative to awaken the senses of the audience.
“Knowing that the use of virtual reality headsets, mobile phones and tablets is not recommended for children under 10, we designed Plein les oreilles! with this in mind,” Michel-Lambert explains. “None of the audio-visual elements are too close to the children’s eyes and ears, yet we’ve still designed a meaningful and interactive experience. This installation has really encouraged the creativity of the authors, directors, artists, sound engineers, illustrators and motion designers, which were led by Milgram production, Oléo Films, and Camera Lucida.”
Sebastien Moreau is technical, AV and digital manager at the Philharmonie des enfants. He’s been involved since the project’s conceptualisation, which started three years ago with the production of a prototype of the full-scale immersive space.
Having used L-Acoustics products for more than 15 years the Philharmonie de Paris has permanently installed L-Acoustics K2 and Kara systems in both its venues. Aware of their sound quality, Moreau knew it was what he wanted to use in the final design. “Above all, and unlike many other immersive experiences, we wanted our immersion to be done through sound,” he says.
Constance Guisset Studio managed the construction project, with Moreau, his colleague Antoine Collaudin and the Philharmonie des enfants project team in charge of the technical infrastructure, working on the technical design, drafting the specifications, tracking manufacturing work and all device settings. Installation was carried out by L-Acoustics certified provider Auvisys and tuned by L-Acoustics.
The final L-ISA installation comprises a combination of X Series and Syva Low, 62 in total in three horizontal layers, distributed behind soundproof fabric screens around the walls, in the ceiling and on the floor of the 40sq.m space.
Eight X8 are mounted around the top of the walls, with three X8 evenly spaced across the centre of the ceiling. A further 20 X8, seven along each long side and three along the short sides, are positioned halfway down the walls. A ring of 12 X8 and 10 Syva Sub sit at the base the walls. Eight X4i form an evenly spaced grid on the floor. An L-ISA Processor provides advanced object-based mixing for the pre-recorded content, with amplification from LA4X amplified controllers.
“This is one of the best L-ISA projects I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing,” states L-Acoustics head of product & technology marketing, Germain Simon. “The sound engineers working on the audio mixes and the rest of the team at Philharmonie have done a fabulous job of making audio the focus and allowing it to truly transmit the emotion of each video.”

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