Issue 27

BMW iX Electric SUV Launch Driven by L-ISA Immersive

Jin Shaogang and Hangzhou Das Wumei Technology Co. create real-time immersive sound by combining L-ISA and BlackTrax


20 July 2021

China’s first-ever BMW Group Night held at the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition & Convention Center saw the German automobile giant unveiling the latest model in its electric vehicle series, the BMW iX SUV. Surrounded by BMW owners, car dealership executives and media, the spectacle marked the tenth anniversary of the BMW i Series, the company’s brand dedicated to innovations in electric vehicles. The iX takes its place at the summit of BMW’s electric line-up, showcasing the latest technology from the luxury brand.

To accompany the most technologically advanced model in the manufacturer’s line-up, BMW called on the most advanced production technology. A 120-metre-deep stage, surrounded on three sides by LED screens was created for the spectacular event visuals. Not stopping there, BMW invited Academy Award-winner Hans Zimmer to create an electronic soundtrack to accompany the iX debut.

To further immerse the audience in the show, producers Beijing Junwei Renhe Event Management Co. asked one of China’s top sound engineers, Jin Shaogang, to design a 360° sound system for the event. Having previously worked with L-ISA immersive sound technology for the 2019 season of Sing! China, Mr Shaogang knew that the technology would be the perfect way to galvanize the audience’s sense of sight and sound. Mr Shaogang specified an L-ISA configuration supplied by Hangzhou Das Wumei Technology Co. With its large L-Acoustics inventory and well-trained engineers, the company was the ideal sound engineering partner for this inaugural brand event in China.

The L-ISA immersive sound configuration consisted of five hangs of eight L-Acoustics Kara spread across the stage area, while nine arrays of two L-Acoustics A10 – one Focus and one Wide each – surrounded the sides and back of the audience. Six KS28 subwoofers per side provided low-end rumble, and eight X15 HiQ ensured onstage monitoring. The entire system was powered by 24 LA12X amplified controllers.

On the massive stage, the electric purr of the BMW iX would provide little sonic impact. In order to give the audience the visceral feeling of being inside the powerful iX, Mr Shaogang captured 360° surround recordings of the BMW iX engine and its movements with the assistance of L-Acoustics Asia Pacific Director of Application Project Alvin Koh. For the live show, the on-stage iX was equipped with a BlackTrax infrared sensor for real-time tracking. Seamlessly integrated into the L-ISA Controller, the BlackTrax movements triggered the engine sound recordings in real-time with the on-stage car. When mixed live with the presenter’s speech and a world-class soundtrack, a captivating, exhilarating sensory experience profoundly affected the audience; a few stood up and applauded some of the most impactful moments. In addition, a representative from BMW Group China expressed his delight with one of the best product presentations he had ever experienced.

“The natural and vivid experience of L-ISA Immersive Hyperreal Sound, elevated the show to greater heights,” explains Mr Koh from L-Acoustics. “Thanks to the astute technical vision of Mr Shaogang, and the collaboration between various partners involved in this show, we were all proud to present a brilliant dual-sensory show for BMW and the audience,” he concludes.

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