World-renowned film music composer Hans Zimmer recently drew over a million fans to stadiums, arenas, and open-air concerts across Europe, accompanied on stage by an orchestra, choir and full band. The Oscar, Golden Globe and Grammy award winner delivered on his reputation for outstanding concerts, performing hits from acclaimed films as well as new material in a breathtaking two-hour show across fifteen countries.
Zimmer was joined by over twenty multi-instrumentalists and a full orchestral brass and string section. With so many performers on stage, and the addition of pre-recorded elements, the mix quickly grew to over 200 channels of audio.
The challenge was met head-on by veteran sound designer and engineer Colin Pink at Front of House, and Monitor Engineer Maurizio Gennari. The extensive instrumental diversity, immensely complex scores and use of pre-recorded elements made the KLANG Immersive In-Ear Monitoring system a clear choice for the task of enhancing the space and dimension of the monitor mix.
With such a large channel count to contend with, Maurizio requested a KLANG:konductor system to manage the monitor mixes, interfacing the system with his DiGiCo console using two MADI cards:
“With this density of material, it seemed that for the band’s in-ear monitoring KLANG would be the only viable option. It’s the only system that allows you to easily spread the sources around the sound field, giving the space in the mix that the performers need.”
With Zimmer’s densely arranged scores, Colin saw the potential of KLANG’s powerful immersive audio processing capabilities to be used in a Front of House capacity. With a DMI-KLANG card installed in his Quantum 7, Colin was able to make use of KLANG for FoH processing:
“You have to be quite subtle with it,” Colin noted, “but when used with less percussive sources, KLANG works very well at widening the image and creating a full and spacious mix. It is a very useful tool when you have a very densely arranged score.”
Direct outputs from Colin’s playback channels were routed to KLANG before returning the binaural mix to his playback group, enabling him to spread the different playback stems around in different ways. Benefits were particularly pronounced in the strings and choir, with a wide stereo image creating space for the percussion in the narrow centre of the mix.
“I will certainly be using KLANG again on the next tour,” Colin concludes, “and I imagine it will become an integral part of my workflow in the future.”
“The KLANG system was easy to set up and I’ve found it very intuitive,” adds Maurizio, “I was using a DiGiCo Quantum 7 console, as was Colin, which is the perfect match. Its integration and all the onboard KLANG-ready features made it very easy. I will definitely use it again.”