Jeff Wayne chooses KLANG 3-D in-ear monitoring for The War of the Worlds

The KLANG 3D In-Ear Mixing system was used for Jeff Wayne's The War of the Worlds Production

Composer Jeff Wayne’s War of The Worlds, a symphonic, progressive rock retelling of the H.G. Wells Classic, was released in 1978 and has since sold millions of copies around the world.

In 2018 Wayne took to the podium to conduct the latest version during a tour of UK arenas. Eight singers were accompanied by a nine-piece band and 36-strong orchestra to deliver the spectacular show to sold-out audiences across the country.

On the technical side of the Production, for this, the 40th anniversary of his iconic masterpiece, Wayne chose the KLANG 3D In-Ear Mixing technology to add “extra dimension” to the proceedings.

The show’s Monitor Engineer, Becky Pell said: “I first encountered KLANG when Karrie Keyes of the Soundgirls organisation asked me if I’d write an article about psychoacoustics, culminating in discussing KLANG’s technology and how it can help monitor engineers and musicians. I was really impressed with the product, both with how it sounded and what it let me create and also the fact that the space created allowed me to reduce the central element of a mix.  What I also liked was the fact that it’s a very natural way to listen. KLANG is based on the science of binaural hearing – that is, how we perceive sounds naturally – so it’s far less fatiguing for the brain and ears to listen to than stereo, which is very unnatural. All of these elements led me to think that KLANG would be perfect for Jeff’s mix.”

Pell approached Wayne prior to the tour and suggested that he listen to the KLANG demo and compare its 3D properties to stereo. He was immediately on board with the idea, recognising that the spatial placement on offer would be of great benefit.

The mix for Wayne represented the full range of his creation, with every aspect clearly audible. Wayne said: “When I’m conducting, I’ve got a band on one side and a symphonic string orchestra on the other and with the KLANG system, the placement of those elements is very much as I’m seeing them, rather than just having a good general mix. The result is that it’s very much more alive – more 3D. I have a better balance in my head, so the sound quality is at a completely different level now than previously. I’d like to stay with the KLANG system whenever I’m performing with in-ear monitoring.”

The application of KLANG to The War of The Worlds production perfectly exemplified the way in which the technology can enable the user to enjoy even the most complex mix in exactly the way they want, without any compromise. Wayne has confirmed his intention to continue with KLANG in-ear monitoring – his experience perhaps confirming Pell’s assertion that returning to stereo would be “like flying business class and then going back to economy.” For Becky, a leading audio professional with an enviable list of credits, KLANG is most certainly the future.

Wayne summed up: “The system gives me this extra dimension. When I take into account the spatial placement it provides, it’s hard to see why anyone – bands, solo artists with musical accompaniment or any show – wouldn’t want to enjoy the benefits of KLANG.”