Award-winning monitor engineer Kevin “Tater” McCarthy is relying on the new KLANG:fabrik 3D monitoring system for a tour with Linkin Park that will run through 2017.
Tater finds KLANG:fabrik extremely flexible in that the engineer can determine the best mix of inputs, outputs and sampling rate for the specific act or situation. “I’m running the KLANG at 96 kHz and can use all eight outputs and have enough processing for 27 inputs,” he explained. The show is actually more like 95 inputs, so he’s running a mix of stems and individual channels.
Volume is an issue that Tater has spoken out about in the past, and the band members are all careful to protect their hearing from damage – especially Brad Delson, who plays with foam earplugs and over-the-ear, gun-muff-style headphones.
“I can’t say enough about how great this thing is,” said Tater over his pair of KLANG:fabrik units, which reside in a rack beneath his Digico SD7 mixing console. “I’ve been able to substantially lower levels in the in-ear mixes for the entire band—especially the click track. I just move that right to the front centre of the 3D field, like it’s right at their forehead, and then I cut its volume in half. The sound kind of sits there in its own little bubble and, since it’s not sonically competing with anything else, it does not need to be nearly as loud.”
Adding KLANG:fabrik to the system actually allowed Tater to eliminate some other gear. “We used to use a single Aviom unit for the drummer, and I was able to ditch that completely. The KLANG:app literally runs on anything. So instead of the Aviom, he’s got his iPad on a stand next to him, and now he has even more control than before,” said Tater. “With the KLANG, you start moving sources within that 3D field and just move them the tiniest little bit and it is noticeable like you can’t believe.”
The members of Linkin Park were just as impressed, as Tater recalled: “The first time using it with the band, the DJ wasn’t there and his tech was covering those parts. I accidentally dropped him out of the 3D mode and into straight stereo. I swear he looked like he was going to drop to his knees when I inadvertently put him back into 2D.
“We’ll be out for the rest of the year and we bought two units so we have a ‘just-in-case’ backup. It’s not an optional thing at this point. The KLANG:fabrik is now a staple part of the monitor rig for Linkin Park.”