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Author Topic: Klang 3d In ear Mixing  (Read 2790 times)

Stefan Maerz

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Klang 3d In ear Mixing
« on: February 26, 2018, 09:28:33 pm »

Came across this today: https://www.klang.com/en/home Which I don't see any prior posts about when I search.

The summary is a company called Klang has taken stereo mixing (presumably using phase relationships) created a second dimension. The idea being that it opens up more space in personal IEM mixes. Video at that link is self explanatory and explains it better than I can.

Anyways, some people I know are looking to buy this IEM system at the advice of their systems integrator. Having never tried or even heard of Klang, them I don't know what to tell them. My gut it is that it seems gimmicky and attempting to solve a people problem (proper monitor engineering) with a bunch of new shiny gear. I feel like at this point any new personal IEM is a lateral move for them and the level of production they are at justifies proper monitor engineering.

I recommended that they try them in a live setting prior to buying them (and the additional expense of buying iPads for each musician).

I could see why having more space in a mix is good, however at the end of the day there is only so much frequency spectrum available. Further when people try to solve people problems with technology, it generally leaves a very negative taste in my mouth.

Anyone tried these? Anyone have any thoughts on how well they work?
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Pete Erskine

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Re: Klang 3d In ear Mixing
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2018, 09:54:50 pm »

Anyone tried these? Anyone have any thoughts on how well they work?

I think you are misunderstanding what this is.  Bi-naural audio will allow monitor sources to seem to come from behind you, above you or in front of you as if the sound is actually moving around not just left to right.  Download the app and listen to the demo... it's amazing.
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Mac Kerr

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Re: Klang 3d In ear Mixing
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2018, 10:01:22 pm »

Came across this today: https://www.klang.com/en/home Which I don't see any prior posts about when I search.

They used them on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on SuperBowl Sunday. I think they may be using them in NY now. They seemed very happy with them. Instead of doing a dozen stereo ear mixes Kenny now mixes about 30 stems that go to the Klang and the Roots mix their own. I posted about this earlier this month. My guess is they are very expensive.

http://forums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/topic,166219.msg1533213.html#msg1533213

Mac
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Bob Leonard

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Re: Klang 3d In ear Mixing
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2018, 10:06:32 pm »

You got that right Mac. The system base is $6500, and each 4 channel amp is $1850. $8350.00 to get up and going.
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Stefan Maerz

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Re: Klang 3d In ear Mixing
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2018, 10:23:36 pm »

I think you are misunderstanding what this is.  Bi-naural audio will allow monitor sources to seem to come from behind you, above you or in front of you as if the sound is actually moving around not just left to right.  Download the app and listen to the demo... it's amazing.
So while I very well could misunderstand it, I think I have the gist of it -- when I was shown the video above my first thought was the "virtual barber shop" mp3 that was floating around the internet about a decade ago. Essentially the people who made the virtual barber mp3 took a stereo pair spaced approximately the distance between your ears apart. They then took scissors and pretended to cut your hair. When you listen to it with headphones, the brain is subsequently able to differentiate arrival time differences, which has a really interesting sensation where you actually feel like your hair is being cut. Not an expert, and my understanding of this is certainly superficial however. :)

Thanks for the link Mac and the summary of your conversations -- the idea of head tracking is also intriguing and didn't cross my mind until I read your thread.
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Luke Geis

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Re: Klang 3d In ear Mixing
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2018, 11:38:53 pm »

It is in essence an $8,000 stereo image enhancer with 8 user assignable output channels.

To me it takes a regular un-enhanced stereo mix and gives it that mastered studio enhanced sound that, to many, is cool. The down side that they do not address is LATENCY. The effect ( which is what it is ) creates latency. I do not see how it solves the fundamental problems of stage monitoring. It is a parlor trick. I agree it may sound more pleasing to the ear, but it isn't actually fixing anything? At the tune of 1K per output mix, it is a hard pill to swallow when there is a cheaper and perhaps even better way of getting the same results.
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Caleb Dueck

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Re: Klang 3d In ear Mixing
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2018, 05:34:40 am »



It is in essence an $8,000 stereo image enhancer with 8 user assignable output channels.

To me it takes a regular un-enhanced stereo mix and gives it that mastered studio enhanced sound that, to many, is cool. The down side that they do not address is LATENCY. The effect ( which is what it is ) creates latency. I do not see how it solves the fundamental problems of stage monitoring. It is a parlor trick. I agree it may sound more pleasing to the ear, but it isn't actually fixing anything? At the tune of 1K per output mix, it is a hard pill to swallow when there is a cheaper and perhaps even better way of getting the same results.

What cheaper and better way do you know of?   Dante into a large DSP such as QSys with all the delays, shelving and LPF, and panning is possible.  Building a GUI and knowing how to process each matrix crosspoint isn't trivial.  It's much more than fancy panning.

The head tracking component is what makes this really cool, haven't seen when it will come.



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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Klang 3d In ear Mixing
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2018, 12:16:11 pm »

It is in essence an $8,000 stereo image enhancer with 8 user assignable output channels.

To me it takes a regular un-enhanced stereo mix and gives it that mastered studio enhanced sound that, to many, is cool. The down side that they do not address is LATENCY. The effect ( which is what it is ) creates latency. I do not see how it solves the fundamental problems of stage monitoring. It is a parlor trick. I agree it may sound more pleasing to the ear, but it isn't actually fixing anything? At the tune of 1K per output mix, it is a hard pill to swallow when there is a cheaper and perhaps even better way of getting the same results.

Arrrg.  My browser ate my homework...

The distillation: monitoring the hearing of ones own performance and the contribution of others - has been a less than perfect thing since amplification was introduced and the influence of the conductor/band leader/music director has waned.  In the Ye Olde Dayz® it took (in 1990 dollars) about $8K PER MIX to make a performer close to happy - a pair of big dog Name Brand or SoundCo proprietary wedges, power and processing, cases, cables and kak.

These days performers buy their own IEM buds, IEM transmitter/receive pairs are $1k-$4k; if $1k/mix makes the performers "mo' happy" it's money well spent even if there is a perception of parlour tricks on your part.  What we think doesn't really matter if the client wants it and is willing to pay for it.

The trick to the Klang is giving the performers control of the aural sound stage and tracking (panning) that sound stage as the performer moves his head and body.  It makes the visual and aural "line up" for them in real-ish time.  There's been a huge push to do this for audiences on Broadway (performer tracking/panning) but the issue becomes loudspeaker system design... but there is very much a market for this kind of result.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2018, 12:19:27 pm by Tim McCulloch »
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Luke Geis

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Re: Klang 3d In ear Mixing
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2018, 12:43:10 pm »

The elephant in the room is latency. So what if it tracks your head, what if you move upstage or downstage? it doesn't say if it addresses that, only that if you turn your head the relative panning of instruments will shift. That effect will cost time in the form of latency. This is a parlor trick that I think someone with a Waves bundle and Soundgrid server could just about as easily drum up at roughly 1/2 the cost or less.

Don't get me wrong, it is a nice, neat package, but they are selling you something.......

I have a technique that I am not quite ready to disclose, that addresses many of the issues of IEM monitoring without adding any costs whatsoever. In fact, my technique thus far has shown to improve even multi thousand dollar earbuds. It is solid enough that even your basic $5 variety brand can be every bit as good as the multi thousand dollar units in terms of effectiveness.

Lets lay down the biggest complaints about IEM.

1. Too isolated from the band and crowd.

2. Cost of entry is high and the cost of equipment that actually makes it work is even higher.

3. The need for ambient mic's adds to the cost and the complexity.

4. Lack of skill and or understanding of how to make IEM's really work leads to an expensive unit that not all are usually happy with.

5. The true need for a stereo mix again adds cost and complexity to the system as a whole. You will now need a mixer that can support several stereo monitor mixes and an engineer good enough to run it.

What is the core of what an IEM is supposed to address?

1. Help reduce stage levels to improve quality of sound in the FOH mix by eliminating sources of high output sound.

2. Help the musician run at a lower stage volume which further enhances point #1.

3. By creating some isolation, a more controlled and personalized mix can be made for each individual.

4. Due to lower overall levels, the hope is that the volume presented to the musicians ear via the IEM is also lower, which helps protect their hearing.

The major issue that I have seen is that badly setup IEM systems are setup in such a way that they are just as loud in the musicians ear as a conventional system would be anyway. This means there is no hearing protection. The isolation created by the high dollar earbuds is so great that the artist feels like they are in their own world and no connection between them and the rest of the world occurs naturally. If the mix and the dynamics used are not spot on the artist will require almost constant adjustment. If the engineer is not privy to IEM mixing, the headroom available in the IEM will be used up and things will sound squashed, garbled, and un focused. Mono IEM mixes don't work very well....... Basically IEM systems have created a market where cost is the only thing that will improve it. An $8,000 gizmo that doesn't truly fix all the issues is just an expensive gizmo. I'm sure it works great, I am just saying there are cheaper ways that I think are better, or at the very least just as effective.
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Klang 3d In ear Mixing
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2018, 01:02:32 pm »

Basically IEM systems have created a market where cost is the only thing that will improve it. An $8,000 gizmo that doesn't truly fix all the issues is just an expensive gizmo. I'm sure it works great, I am just saying there are cheaper ways that I think are better, or at the very least just as effective.

The crux of the biscuit, so to speak, is 99.8% human factors.  The thing most Lounge and HoW participants face is a lack of skilled & experienced technicians.  Face if, would Aviom be ubiquitous if every contemporary service had a team of competent monitor engineers?  Muddling ones way through a self-built monitor mix is apparently preferable to having none at all or or having a good ME for the 9am service and lousy ME for the 11am service.

There is a huge expectation that these technical solutions to acoustic problems have "appliance level" interfaces, as simple as an iPod or a toaster oven and that they automagically solve aural perception issues created by human actions or misapplication of technology.  That's not where Klang is aiming this technology.
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"Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."  - Kurt Vonnegut
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