Bennie Veenstra harnesses KLANG’s immersive capabilities for Within Temptation

Within Temptation Monitor Engineer of 17 years, Bennie Veenstra, deployed a KLANG immersive in-ear monitor system to add control and spatial quality.

“My journey with Within Temptation began in 2005 when I stepped in as a one-time replacement for their regular engineer,” reminisced Veenstra. “The experience proved to be a success, so when the imminent arrival of his first child meant he decided to tour less, they offered me the opportunity to take over, which I gladly accepted in 2006. It has been a privilege to handle the band’s monitoring ever since.”

Veenstra says he has always felt an integral part of the show. The band relies heavily on backing tracks, and he also takes on the role of a show starter and serves as the ‘playback guy’. Over time, these roles have become second nature to him, making Veenstra an indispensable part of the production. “Being fully integrated into the show is precisely how I’ve always wanted it to be,” he added.

Veenstra’s journey has seen him transition through various digital mixing desks and monitor systems, now leading on to KLANG. “At one point, I noticed that Mike Coolen, the band’s drummer, had an astonishingly loud click track,” he recalled. “I remembered a conversation I’d had with Pascal Dietrich [Founder & CMO of KLANG] a few years ago, where we discussed the company’s immersive audio solutions. When they introduced the DMI-KLANG expansion card, which reduces latency to an incredibly low quarter of a millisecond, I decided to give it a try. Along with the KLANG:kontroller, it has proven to be the perfect solution for giving control to the artist. I’ve configured Mike’s clicks in the first group, followed by his kicks, tracks, and finally, the drums. He prefers to have them in his specific order, and that’s something I really appreciate about the KLANG:kontroller – the ability to create different groups tailored to each musician. Since integrating KLANG into our setup, Mike is so pleased with it he frequently shares his positive experiences on his social media channels.”

With a DiGiCo SD8 mixing console at his home and experience using both the larger Quantum 338 and its smaller counterpart, the Quantum 225, at the end of 2022 Veenstra opted for the Quantum ­225, supplied by Clair Global. For their appearance on Iron Maiden’s US tour, a Quantum 338 was supplied by Purple Group. For the Worlds Collide Tour, where the band co-headlined with Evanescence, they moved back the Quantum 225 which they continued with for the 2023 festival season.

“This console proved to be a great fit for me, offering everything I require for the band along with native integration with KLANG,” he commented. “Input-wise, we fit within the 225’s channel count plus I have six musicians on in-ears, myself, and two backliners that have their own in-ears. Normally, I have up to 14 beltpacks, so I can give a few away to other people performing with the band from time to time.”

“The monitor mix is very dense, with a low guitar that can sound quite muddy,” he explained. “KLANG allows me to create space within the mix. Compared to a standard stereo mix, which tends to get quite challenging to work with, KLANG offers the flexibility to position each instrument precisely where I want it. For instance, I can reposition a guitar to avoid interfering with the bass, resulting in improved separation across the entire frequency spectrum, even in the low end.”

While Veenstra acknowledged that he is still in the early stages of his journey with KLANG, he recognised the system’s considerable potential and intends to incorporate it for other band members for future tours. Reflecting on his initial experience, he explained, “Once you grasp the ins and outs of the system, it becomes much more user-friendly and intuitive than other systems I’ve used.”

Since using KLANG, Veenstra has consistently had valuable support and guidance from the company’s team whenever he needs it: “It gives me great comfort knowing that when I need assistance, I can always reach out to them directly, and they are exceptionally good at answering my questions.”

“Thus far, KLANG has truly made a significant difference,” he concluded. “The band has a big tour scheduled for the end of next year which I’m really looking forward to, and I am planning to use KLANG with all the musicians.”