At the heart of the new L-Acoustics integrated system approach, the LA4 and LA8 amplified controllers offer cutting-edge loudspeaker amplification, DSP, network control, and comprehensive system protection in a single ergonomic package. Based upon similar platforms, the exceptional and groundbreaking performance level delivered by both the LA4 and LA8 allow for full optimization of all L-Acoustics system resources and deliver outstanding audio quality combined with the best possible transducer protection.
Both units offer an integrated approach by combining the most advanced amplification, signal processing, network remote control and monitoring technologies currently available and are pre-configured for digital multi-channel audio networking. In addition, a powerful and future-proofed operating system with an intuitive user interface provides a high level of ‘hands on’ system control without sacrificing accurate and fast operation under real-world conditions.
Packaged in a compact, lightweight, 2U chassis, both the LA4 and LA8 platforms are derivative of the same basic design and share the following characteristics:
- A four-channel, high efficiency amplifier section fed by two inputs, offering a power level matching for L-Acoustics loudspeaker systems
- A DSP section featuring brand new filter algorithms and an exclusive L-DRIVE protection system for the transducers allowing for optimum system performance
- A complete onboard preset library stored in 99 memory locations to cover all the principal L-Acoustics loudspeaker system configurations
- An intuitive and ergonomic user interface, fully accessible from the front panel, and the complementary PC-based Network Manager software (Windows® compatible) with remote network monitoring and control of the LA4 and LA8 units
- Two I/O Ethernet ports for networking of up to 255 units
- A rear-panel plug-in card slot also allows the LA4 and LA8 to be ready for future multi-channel digital audio networking implementation
Additional features of the LA4 and LA8 include:
- The LA4 delivers up to 4 x 1000 Watts at 4 ohms
- The LA8 delivers up to 4 x 2000 Watts at 4 ohms
- Speaker output connectors are specific to each platform
- Each unit carries its own onboard preset library specific to the power requirements of L-Acoustics loudspeaker systems
- Real time system status visualization
All L-Acoustics loudspeaker systems now benefit from the advanced and exclusive properties of the LA4 and LA8 control platforms. As a result of this integrated approach all L-Acoustics loudspeaker systems have been greatly enhanced by the superior performance of these high-end electronic platforms, which yield ideal power matching combinations across the entire product range. The unique ensemble of onboard features – such as local or remote control, system status visualization, driver protection, system connection, and the addition of external peripherals – are all offered in a secured and standardized environment. This rationalized approach allows for simple system operation with the benefit of superior and predictable audio results.
New proprietary algorithms are processed in a SHARC 32-bit floating point DSP engine at a 96 kHz sampling rate. A specialized engineering approach combining IIR and FIR filters generates a perfect linearization of phase curves and a significant improvement of the system impulse response for an even more natural, transparent, and realistic sound experience. Two cascaded 24-bit A/D converters on the front end yield a groundbreaking encoding dynamic of 130 dB.
The new L-Drive protection feature offers a dual analysis of both signal intensity and voltage in real time and RMS. Under extreme conditions when component membranes reach the over-excursion zone, or if the coil ensemble temperature reaches a critical point, L-Drive opens and acts as a power regulator. As a result, the amount of power delivered to any channel is adjusted to the power handling capacity of each individual transducer on the relevant channel. This optimizes the power resources of the system in use while preserving the highest dynamic range.
With a complete preset library accessible in 99 banks, the engineer is offered fingertip access to all of the usual L- Acoustics speaker system configurations.
The four amplifier channels driven by two inputs provide optimum system flexibility. The LA4 and LA8 offer two specific power ranges (4 x 1000 Watts into 4 ohms per channel and 4 x 2000 Watts into 4 ohms per channel, respectively) delivering perfect power matching for each individual L-Acoustics loudspeaker system. The built-in technologies allow for comprehensive operational contouring and control of the very wide dynamic range found in live audio productions while the high-efficiency components offer superior reliability all from a sleek ergonomic package with an exceptional weight/size ratio.
The front-panel user interface provides extremely fast access to editing the two input and four output settings. The rotary encoder gives instant access to the user menus and the LCD display offers real time visualization of the system parameters.
Command access includes mute, gain, preset selection, plus delay and polarity settings. Navigation through the menu pages is fast and intuitive. In addition to the standard onboard preset library, the engineer can design and store his or her own settings (initialized from a standard preset).
Driving four amplifier output channels through DSP offers a wide range of options when it comes to system configuration possibilities. The LA4 and LA8 onboard DSP preset libraries afford the sound engineer a high degree of flexibility through the use of six system template configurations.
The L-Acoustics loudspeaker preset library is managed between the two LA4 and LA8 platforms and the preset allocation for both determined by model, configuration, and application choice. For example, the LA4 factory preset library covers
L-Acoustics loudspeaker systems that require up to 800 Watts into 8-ohm loads or 1000 Watts into 4 ohms in twin parallel transducer configurations. The LA8 factory preset library covers L-Acoustics loudspeaker systems with power requirements typically up to 1100 Watts into 8 ohms or 2000 Watts into 4 ohms in twin parallel transducer configurations.
L-NET Remote Control Network
The proprietary L-NET network utilizes a high-speed data transfer of 100 Mbit/sec for real time monitoring and controls each individual LA controller preset in a network of up to 255 units. Multiple network topologies – such as daisy chaining, star, and hybrid – are quickly and easily configurable allowing for total flexibility in achieving the required system architecture. The physical connection between the mainframe PC and the controllers is managed via CAT5 cable, and the I/O Ethernet sockets located on the rear panel of the controller utilize industry-standard RJ45 connectors. The use of a universal Ethernet switcher is recommended for specific network topologies.
Digital Audio Network
Both the LA4 and LA8 are provided with a slot located on the rear panel designed to accept an optional L-DGA network digital audio card. The slot allows for the provision of an additional digital input module consisting of a 64 audio channel bus plus one extra channel dedicated to control and monitoring. The extremely low and predictable latency of this technology combined with proven real world reliability delivers stable and predictable results in all sound reinforcement applications. The L-DGA card also allows for cascading of several LA4 and LA8 using the same type of cable as the L-NET remote control network. The signal routing on the digital audio bus into any LA controller can be operated from the LA Network Manager application.
LA Network ManagerPC Software
The LA Network Manager application provides network control and monitoring of both LA4 and LA8 controllers from a PC Windows®-operating system. The multiple window display gives an overall visualization of the network status, number and groups of controllers, and all the information related to the control and monitoring of the networked units.
Real time control for parameters such as gain, mute, delay, and presets – either on individual units or at network level – are managed on a ‘tree layout’ screen interface with standard drop-down menus and multiple visualizations of all user parameters. An exclusive contour EQ optimization tool is also available allowing quick and easy tonal balancing of the loudspeaker system.
LA Network Manager provides system standby and initialization control in addition to comprehensive visual monitoring of the audio signal paths and quick detection of any faults in the attached network.
The LA4 from L-Acoustics will begin shipping in May, with the LA8 available by June.