KLANG’s cutting-edge technology powers a high school theater technology program
A Broadway theater technician could be transported to the Austin, TX Lake Travis High School Performing Arts Center (LTPAC) and instantly feel right at home. Part of the Lake Travis Independent School District (LTISD), the school offers a technical theater program comparable to those of virtually all major universities, as well as its own traveling class performing arts center. There, students learn on real-world technology platforms, including DiGiCo Quantum7 and SD9 consoles in the school’s 1,500-seat Concert Hall, 250-seat Black Box Theater and 275-seat Recital Hall. Now the LTISD has taken cutting-edge theater technology even further with this year’s addition of a KLANG:konductor, one of the most powerful and versatile immersive in-ear mixing processors ever. time.
The school had decided four years ago to move its pit orchestra out of the pit and into a completely separate room in the same building, but several hundred yards from the hall itself. It’s a not unusual move that allows theaters to increase their available stage space while isolating the orchestra acoustically. However, the move complicated monitoring.
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“We broadcast video back and forth between the conductor, the trust monitors for the performers and the front console and had an A2 on the radio as an intermediary between the conductor and the FOH engineer, who was also mixing the monitors, but it was always difficult to make everyone happy with their mix,” explained KJ Bartosh, general manager of LTPAC as well as chair of the fine arts department at Lake Travis High School. “We knew KLANG and I had been monitoring them since their arrival on the market. What appealed to me was how unique it is, how cutting edge it is in immersive mixing, and what our students will be up against when they graduate. Our approach here has always been to expose students to this type of theater technology. Then there’s the fact that the KLANG gear integrates seamlessly with our DiGiCo consoles. So we decided to go for it. »
Designed for monitor engineers and fixed installations, KLANG:konductor is a high-end mixing system that offers 16 immersive mixes and processes 128 input signals up to 96 kHz with an astonishing internal latency of less than 0.25 milliseconds . The 3U device is equipped with three DMI slots, which provide unparalleled I/O freedom and ensure seamless integration into any existing setup. Combined with the included single-channel routing capabilities, it also allows the user to freely route between the immersive mixing engine and convert between different DMI formats, e.g. Optocore, Dante or MADI, with each DMI card offering up to 64 channels entry and exit. at 48kHz and 96kHz.
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New Cat-6 cabling was installed between the theater and the remote orchestra pit hall to facilitate control of KLANG:konductor, while audio was sent over the existing Optocore optical loop with the Quantum7, SD9, three SD-Racks and Orange Box, along with a wireless access point for the Apple iPad which acts as the KLANG:konductor controller, all purchased and integrated by Austin-based Big House Sound, the long-time LTISD technology partner.
Now they run five mixes for the eight-member orchestra, with multiple musicians, such as guitarist and bassist, sharing a mix. “It’s a versatile system, and we appreciated Big House installing it and helping us get it up and running – it was a great experience.” Bartosh said. “In the near future, we will have multiple iPads in the room, giving musicians full control over their individual mixes, and they will be able to use their own headphones or earphones with the KLANG system, making it all the more comfortable for their They plan to extend their use of KLANG:konductor to performers’ in-ear monitors in the future.
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“We are really proud of the way we expose our students to new technologies. We believe that our Fine Arts Department, and in particular our Technical Theater program, serve to develop students’ love for the arts, but like CTE courses, give students hands-on training for a career in entertainment by direct. And the KLANG:konductor is the kind of technology we know they’ll see and use when they get there, so we’re glad to have it here for them to learn now.