Servicing tours with Clean Bandit, Laura Mvula and Massive Attack, Wales-based CS Audio recently engineered for Massive Attack at the group’s British Summer Time (BST) Hyde Park gig in early July. The sound equipment hire company has a strong emphasis on touring control and monitor packages, and particularly IEM’s due to company MD Paul Hatt also being a monitor engineer.
KLANG:technologies’ 3D IEM system had been on Hatt’s radar following a discussion with Andy Huffer of HD Pro Audio, the UK distributor of KLANG:technologies. Huffer had loaned a KLANG:fabrik system for a short UK tour but, due to time constraints with late load-ins and no sound checks, Hatt didn’t get a chance to fully audition the system. However, he was suitably impressed with both the overall sound and build quality of the unit, commenting, “It felt like a solidly engineered product, with dual redundancy and a generous amount of output mixes. Aside from the 3D possibilities of the system, I could immediately see the benefit of musicians controlling their own mixes wirelessly via the KLANG:app.”
Hatt continued, “On the Massive Attack tour we were joined by the Heritage Orchestra for the Hyde Park show and were requested to provide 16 personal monitor stations. So this was the ideal opportunity to fully prove the KLANG:technologies system, and two KLANG:fabrik units were brought in, along with a router, 16 iPads and 16 Shure P6 hardwire IEM systems, fully prepped and supported by HD Pro Audio’s Tom Turner.”
Hatt explained the simple operation, “System set-up is very straightforward and it talked to my digital console via the Dante interface with no issues. I sent a stereo band mix to the KLANG:fabrik along with groups of first and second violin, viola, cello and bass, and a direct out of each string line. This allowed each orchestra member to maintain control over their own level and get the desired blend with the rest of the string sections and the band.”
The weather on the day didn’t help, as Hatt explained, “What limited time we had for sound check and rehearsal on the day was delayed further by heavy rainfall in the morning. The musicians were understandably reluctant to get their valuable instruments out in less than ideal weather conditions so, overall, I was very impressed with the speed with which the system achieved the desired results. After a short demonstration, the musicians seemed to get acquainted with the system very quickly. I didn’t see any puzzled looks in using the KLANG:app. In fact, I didn’t receive any requests from them at all. It’s an intuitive user interface, and we received nothing but positive comments from the users on the day.”
Hatt concluded, “I see it as two systems in one. It proved its worth to me as a high-end wireless personal monitor control solution, but also the 3D image processing is quite something else. I solo’d a few output mixes by selecting the corresponding Dante return on a couple of free stereo input channels on the desk during the show. At one point, I hit the cue bus and immediately physically spun around to look behind me as I was certain there was a group of cellos behind me; the spatial image was so real and beyond conventional stereo. It’s a great product—and lots of fun.”