Olive Baptist Church Branches Out Into Immersive IEM Mixing With KLANG
Part of the Southern Baptist Convention and at 10,000 members, Olive Baptist Church in Pensacola, Florida is among the largest congregations in the region. Its main campus, one of two in the city, has always fielded a large contingent of musicians, vocalists, and praise leaders both onstage and on the main floor in front of the stage. But post-Covid, the orchestra and vocalists were spread out even wider at the front of the 3,300-seat auditorium, now split left and right on the 250-seat choir risers, with the band’s guitars, drums, and keyboards remaining onstage. The church’s in-ear monitoring system, already strained, simply couldn’t manage the new configuration. But KLANG could. In January, the church acquired and installed a pair of KLANG:vokal immersive in-ear monitor mixing systems and 14 KLANG:kontrollers, providing the church’s musical multitude with the highest degree of sonic IEM quality and control over their stage mixes.
“The previous IEM system was, well, let’s just say, ‘lo-fi,’” comments Olive Baptist Church Director of Media Production Allen Hendrix. “Once the format onstage changed, it became completely inadequate. We needed better sound quality for monitoring, but we also wanted dimensionality, because the musicians and singers are more spread out now. The KLANG system offered a way to let everyone put the instruments and the voices into a perspective onstage that was better oriented for everyone.”
Fourteen KLANG:kontrollers are divided among groups within the music array. For instance, vocalists are grouped as sopranos, altos, and male voices, with each group having its own mix through the :kontrollers. The orchestra is divided into woodwinds and strings on one mix and brass on another, and the electrified band members have individual :kontroller mixes.
While the church’s tech and praise teams did the installation and integration of the KLANG systems themselves, Ryan Shelton, National Sales Manager for Professional Audio Products at KLANG:technologies’ distributor, Group One Ltd, was onsite for the initial configuration of the systems and for training. “The technical support we’ve received, from KLANG in Germany and here in the US, is fantastic,” says Hendrix.
Since installing the KLANG system, the change, in workflow and experience, has been remarkable, Hendrix adds. “Everyone in the band onstage now has a much better sense of presence in the IEMs, thanks to KLANG’s 3D aspect. Using KLANG:app on an iPad or iPhone, they can place all the instruments in a soundscape that reflects the reality on the stage. The same goes for the vocalists. It was exactly what we needed after reconfiguring the musicians and singers.”
“And one additional benefit has been that everyone can turn their volumes down,” he continues. “Previously, that had been a major problem, not just about performance but also about health and ear safety. Before KLANG had been installed, people had been leaving one side of their IEMs out and using the other mostly to hear the click and cues, and for pitch. But now they’re all getting the full monitoring experience, as much choir and orchestra as they want in their individual mixes, so it’s much more comfortable and safer to keep both IEMs in. Altogether, the addition of the KLANG system has been a game changer, definitely for the better, for everyone.”
For more information on Olive Baptist Church, visit www.olivebaptist.org.