The Mi Casa, Tu Casa tour, which coincided with Latinx Heritage Month, had a sizable band as well as numerous guest artists, and KLANG offered unparalleled personal control over their monitoring
Just 26, singer/songwriter Becky G’s long list of achievements thus far include four Latin Grammy Award nominations, four number-one hits on Billboard’s Latin Airplay Charts, and her debut album Mala Santa was certified 8X platinum. So not surprisingly, her first solo headlining tour—she had previously toured with Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull in 2017, J Balvin in 2015, and Katy Perry and Demi Lovato in 2014—would be a big deal. Mi Casa, Tu Casa covered 16 cities, starting in Boston on September 14th and hit Orlando, San Antonio, El Paso, Los Angeles, Phoenix, and more. It was a big show, with a band, a DJ, and numerous guest artists. Monitoring on the 64-input stage would be a challenge, one that the KLANG:fabrik immersive in-ear monitoring solution handled superlatively, night after night.
The tour’s visual production set its complex tone. Monitor engineer Lucas Pinzón describes it as “a theater tour, but easily adaptable to arenas, that travels with a lot of scenery. In each show, Becky’s childhood ‘house’ is recreated, with musicians distributed among stairs, hallways, flowers, and second floors.”
It took 64 input channels to accommodate that very full “house” that included a drummer with a set of acoustic drums and an SPD machine, along with a bassist with an electric bass and Moog keyboard, a guitarist with electric and acoustic guitars, and a loquacious DJ with two stereo units. In addition, there were 18 channels of tracks operated by a separate playback technician. Then came the guest artists including sierreño trio Conexión Divina and six musicians who formed a “regional music section” with guitar, requinto, bass tololoche, two trumpets, a trombone, and a tuba who both opened for and backed Becky G during her show, underscoring her Mexican musical roots.
To manage all of this, Pinzón set up 13 stereo IEM mixes, plus one additional for guests, all using Shure PSM 1000 IEMs. The KLANG:fabrik was loaded onto his LV1 console, which matched another LV1 out at FOH, mixed on by Ramon Pabon. Pinzón’s monitor console featured the KLANG:fabrik system, integrated into the SoundGrid network through an MGB with MADI ports.
“For me, it was a great challenge because it was the first time I worked with the KLANG system and the LV1 console,” he explains. “I must say, I was pleasantly surprised at how easy and intuitive it was to adapt to its sound and integration with KLANG.”
Pinzón, whose past live-sound mixing includes work with Maluma, Carlos Vives, and Bomba Estéreo, says that the idea of using the KLANG:fabrik came about at the suggestion of Production Manager Gabriel Gil, also a sound engineer. “After a recent guest appearance on Karol G’s tour, Becky was delighted with the sound and wanted to integrate it into her own setup,” he says. “It was amazing for me to have the freedom to build a mix to my liking and for it to be so well received by the artist. After 20 shows, Becky never wanted to make any additional changes to what we had built in rehearsals with Gabriel. Since it was the first tour using the system, we decided to use KLANG only for Becky and the guests. The result was spectacular! Guests who didn’t have a soundcheck and arrived for the show had a copy of the positions and levels used in Becky’s mix. After using it, they were happy and satisfied with their mix on stage. However, after this tour and the success we had with the KLANG system, there are plans to upgrade to a DiGiCo Orange box and integrate more mixes into this system through a DMI-KLANG card.”
Operationally, Pinzón says that the KLANG experience offered him as the monitor mixer numerous advantages. “For instance, having clearer positions in your mix means you don’t need as much level in your bodypack, which obviously helps with auditory fatigue and the overall health of our ears—something we must be conscious of in this industry,” he says.
“One thing that we all appreciated every night was that I used two ambient microphones on stage left and stage right for Becky’s mix. She interacts a lot with the audience during her show, actively listening to them, inviting them on stage, and sharing moments with them. Depending on the moment of the show and the interaction she was having, I would change the position of the ambient microphones—sometimes to the sides, sometimes behind—or I would place them forward and louder in the mix between songs and interludes. This allowed her to jokingly say during the show, ‘I’m so happy to see you up close and hear you too, so you can’t talk bad about me!’ Everyone would laugh night after night. The immersive KLANG system enabled her to be able to locate the microphones and gave her the confidence to know where that person who was speaking, so she could point at them and say, ‘I love you too!’
“Also, having the ability to control both KLANG and the LV1 through touchscreens gave me the freedom to navigate the system quickly and solve any needs more efficiently than with a mouse. In an era where audio is closely tied to touchscreen interfaces, having KLANG in this way makes it very easy to locate positions, adjust volumes, assign channels, and manage names, among other things.”
Mi Casa, Tu Casa was a big production but it never let that get in the way of Becky G’s own intimate energy and passion. KLANG:fabrik made managing the sound on that frenetic stage predictable. “When I was called to be part of this project, I had never worked with this system before and didn’t know what to expect,” says Pinzón. “And I couldn’t be happier with the result. I want to have a unit with me in my own setup for the future.”
For more details on Becky G, visit www.iambeckyg.com.