Engineers harness KLANG for Belgium Jazz Orchestra’s anniversary performances

Photo: Dave Wuyts

Performed in six different venues BJO30 was a celebration of the Belgium Jazz Orchestra’s achievements over the last thirty years. Support for these artists came from Belgium-based concert and touring sound specialists MONO.

The team knew that the best option to provide an in-ear monitoring solution would be KLANG, which he combined with a DiGiCo SD12-96 and two D2-Racks.

Enabling the core orchestra of 17 and the additional 13 visiting musicians to perform over the almost three-hour concert required a spacious and calm monitor mix. Something that MONO sound engineer Bart Lebegge decided could not be done with a standard stereo mix.

“We consciously chose to provide a mix with carefully considered elements so that we had more channels available to really allow the space required by the musicians.” He noted, “By going for 40 channels in KLANG, we were able to create an open and detailed, but also calm and spacious balance of this busy program.” Taking this approach meant that Lebegge was able to keep channel processing to a minimum, providing five different IEM mixes with 40 channels of audio in each.

Monitor Engineer Stijn Declerq explained: “We were early adopters of KLANG, it’s always been a sturdy tool, but the integration with DiGiCo has made it even more indispensable. We decided to go for it when Lost Frequencies Live started touring and it turned out to be an instant hit! The details and peace that you can create in the ears of the artists is unparalleled. We later decided to use it for BAZART, a band that had very intense IEM mixes and by using KLANG we were able to make their mixes more detailed and importantly quieter.”

“Since these successes we have used KLANG for a variety of different performances, so when BJO asked us to provide IEM mixes for their project it was a no brainer, we knew the best option was KLANG,” Declerq added.

The addition of visiting artists in the BJO30 line-up highlighted the difference in clarity between the dedicated KLANG mix and the more traditional left-right mix.

Lebegge explained: “The biggest challenge was to make a three-hour show sound calm, balanced, not tiring, and open. This would not have been possible with a standard monitor mix and was evident when switching to a stereo mix from a guest artist. It was less detailed because it was so much more difficult to make room for the 80+ inputs. As a result, the visitor In-Ear set up was more of a mix of themselves and their accompanying musicians, supplemented with the rhythm and solo instruments, a kind of ‘light’ version of the rest. The accents and details that KLANG was able to deliver were much less present here.”

He also remarked on the convenience and simplicity of using KLANG when compared to the extra time that perfecting a good stereo mix can take, adding that this more traditional method meant there was more work to do with EQ and the difficult choices to be made on which instruments to add and what to leave out. “The openness and placement that you can achieve with a KLANG sound mix was ideal for this Jazz program,” he commented

“Easy access to your KLANG setup directly from the console allows the monitor engineer to seamlessly adjust and refine mixes in a way that feels very natural,” Declerq concluded. “To be able to make a mix in which you position everything perfectly, delivering unparalleled balanced sound to the ears is very satisfying.”