With breathtaking 3D in-ear mixing, KLANG Technologies, along with DiGiCo, is revolutionizing live immersive audio technology. With help from Ellis Pro Media, KLANG and DiGiCo have brought their solutions to churches all over the country and beyond. This is the story of one of those churches that was published in Klang's recent press release.
Ellis Pro Media and KLANG Technologies: An Immersive Audio Experience in your Ears
Christian Life Assembly (CLA) in Langley City, 25 miles from downtown Vancouver, has grown in leaps and bounds since its humble beginning in 1937. The church started as a sidewalk Sunday School, then moved into a tiny hall, then to a succession of larger buildings as the church attracted more congregants. The worship center at the Langley Campus, built in 1978, was expanded to hold 2,000 churchgoers in 2008 during renovations that also readied CLA for multimedia technology. Most recently, the church has taken its audio technology to the next level with a new DiGiCo SD12 digital mixing console at front-of-house and a KLANG immersive IEM mixing system, all specified and integrated by Ellis Pro Media (EPM).
“The SD12 has been super-flexible for anything we have wanted to do,” says CLA Assistant Technical Director Will Lee. “I haven’t had a situation where I’ve thought, ‘I wish the SD12 did such-and-such.’ Any situation we think up, the board can handle it, and I’m very happy with that.”
The new system further includes four KLANG:vier units, which support individual in-ear mixes for up to five musicians each, and a KLANG:quelle, which offers four channels of Dante-enabled digital-to-analog conversion and high-quality headphone amplifiers. The system at CLA interfaces with the SD12 via a Ferrofish A32 Dante 32x32 AD/DA converter but could alternatively be linked using an optional DiGiCo Dante interface card.
Lee, who is also a FOH engineer, generates the 24 channels feeding the KLANG system for the church’s contemporary praise band using a combination of SD12 resources, including the Copy Audio function in the router. “We use aux sends from our board and combine, say, ‘kick in’ and ‘kick out’ into one kick auxiliary channel. Same with snares, overheads and toms; we group them together, so drums take up three channels instead of eight.”
Outputs to the Dante stream typically also include four vocal channels, two mono electric guitar channels, two stereo pairs for keyboard and grand piano, a bass channel, ambiance mics and a speaking group. “I’m pulling from groups, from auxiliary channels and from Copy Audio direct outs on the SD12,” he says.
The musicians can each control the input levels and immersive spatial positioning of their individual IEM mixes using one of the church’s ten Android tablets or, more usually, his or her own smartphone loaded with the KLANG:app. “They’re basically using the KLANG:app to create space in their mixes. Things that are stereo sound really big.” If anyone needs assistance, Lee can access any mix on his computer and help position the sound sources for maximum effect, he says.
The church’s musicians generally use Shure Sound Isolating earphones. Those who prefer custom ear molds source them from Vancouver-based 64 Audio.
The new setup was Lee’s first real encounter with IP audio networking. “KLANG was my first introduction to using Dante and Dante Controller, setting static IP addresses and all that. It was a lot at first but now it makes a lot more sense. It’s important to be mindful of how networks and wireless spaces work. It requires thinking in that dimension as well as thinking in the audio dimension. That has stretched me, because I come from an audio background. It’s been a nice introduction, because audio is trending toward breaching the IT space,” he says.outside events and makes the in-house technology, including the KLANG system, available to visitors. “At first, they’re surprised by how it works and that it’s right there on their phone or one of our tablets,” says Lee. The app’s graphic interface shows a representation of the user’s head and the available input sources, so operation of the system is intuitive. “I don’t have to explain much—here are your channels, here’s your head, let’s place everything around your head. They’ve been enjoying it.”CLA also rents the auditorium, which can be combined with an adjacent overspill space, for
Services are live streamed to the internet using a feed from the DiGiCo desk. “That was an interesting challenge to solve,” he reports. “We are sending our master out as well as room and ambient mics, so I mapped out the signal paths and calculated the delay from the mains to the room mics. I’m able to send one mono signal out to our live stream that has all the delay compensation in it. It took a while to figure out the physics, but it works great.”
Lee says the roadmap for future upgrades is beginning to take shape and will likely include a networked audio system based on DiGiCo 4REA4 components and an Optocore ring to distribute worship services and sound sources to other chapels and overspill areas in the building. “We’ve been really happy with our DiGiCo-KLANG ecosystem so far, and we look forward to adopting more of their technologies as we continue to improve the overall worship experience here for our members and guests.”
CLA’s new audio system is nothing short of extraordinary, and it was all made possible thanks to KLANG, DiGiCO, and Ellis Pro Media. KLANG’s 3D monitoring systems are just a taste of what’s in store for the future of AV, and it looks to be a bright one indeed.