KLANG:app – The STAGE Menu
Mixing in 3D Space for In-Ears
STAGE 1 of 2 – The Head and the Orbits
The basic stage menu shows you the top view of a human head. The nose is pointing to the top of the screen– northward. Within the gray area (the head), instruments can be placed on a line between the left and right ear – this is conventional mixing; the stereo panorama can be modified by dragging and dropping the instruments along this line between the ears.
The fader for MASTER VOLUME is always shown on the right to allow quick access to the important master volume.
You will see four icons in the lower right corner. They are labelled mono/stereo/3D/i3D. These mode restrictions are stored in the presets/show files.
Standard Stereo Headphone Panorama
Stereo mixing for headphones is the most obvious mixing. Of course, it already feels more transparent than a mono mix. However, Instruments can be placed in 1D only – between the ears.
If the icon you want to move is hidden underneath another one, just click on your icon and the one on top will move to the background. This way, you can step through all icons until you reach the one you want to move.
Stereo linked channels can be moved by using one of the icons – left or right channel. The other channel will follow and be placed symmetrically around the middle of the head.
The 3D Orbit
The first ring around the head is called the 3D orbit. Instruments and signals placed here are processed with KLANG’s unique 3D audio engine for headphones and in-ears. Now, these instruments appear to be on a virtual ring around your head and it is possible to place them not only to the left and the right but also in front and behind your head. This 3D orbit is used to define the position of the sound source around your head; it does not interfere with the height/elevation setting in any way.
Stereo linked channels can be placed by moving one of them. The other one will automatically follow, all the while keeping the original angle between the two channels and your head center. If you want to change the angle between the left and right channel, keep a second finger on the second channel (if you are using a touch device) and move the other individually. On Windows and Mac OS X computers, press the SHIFT key while moving an individual stereo channel. Please note the the second channel will automatically move to another orbit or inside the head if the first channel is changing its orbit.
The i3D Orbit
The second and outer circle is called i3D orbit and is very similar to the 3D orbit. They both use the same distance to the head, but instruments on the i3D orbit are now interactive (that is what the i in i3D stands for). Once the KLANG:vektor motion tracker is associated with a user, all instruments on this i3D orbit are fixed to the coordinate system of the stage. Hence, the motion tracker will cancel out your head movements so the instruments’ location on the orbit stays fixed to their location on stage and will not move when you turn your head.
STAGE 2 of 2 – The Landscape View
When clicking again on the STAGE menu, you will notice a new view. The dots below the stage icon indicate the view you are in. You can toggle between these views by using the STAGE icon.
This second view allows you to move sources not only around your head in the horizontal plane but also move them vertically – above and below your head. Imagine this as a transparent virtual ball around you where you place and pin instruments. This ball (like the globe) can be flattened on a 2D paper like a map.The vertical lines indicate the 360° orbit around your head, with the middle line being the front and the outer rim being the back. The horizontal lines show the level of your source, with the middle line being your eye level: So, a source placed right in front of you at eye level will show right in the centre of this screen, like the Lead Vocals in our example below. The guitar (purple icon) is placed to the left and slightly below eye level; the two keyboards (blue icons) are positioned slightly to the right and above the head.
Stereo linked channels will always be placed on the same height/elevation when moved. If you want a different setting, just deactivate the stereo linking for these channels.
Workflow Features – Zoom, Focus and Snapshot Control
In booth Orbit and Landscape view you will have the following features for improved, faster workflows.
Group Focus – Reduced Icons
On the right top corner, you will notice a button set labelled with your 6 group names. Click on one of these groups to focus on its channels’ spatial mixing: The instrument icons of the other groups become smaller and gray so your view is cleared up. To go back to view all instrument icons, click on the activated Group button again to deactivate the Group Focus.
Solo-Link Focus – See only what you hear
Once channels of a mixed are set to SOLO in FADERS view, the Solo-Link Focus will automatically be activated and hence Orbit and Height will show these channels only. You will notice the Solo-Link button below the Group Focus buttons. To deactivate simply click on the button again and you will see all activated channels in STAGE view.
Where to Place Different Instruments
In general, binaural processing allows you to easily distinguish sounds based on their direction of arrival rather than exhausting determination based on known sound signatures of groups of instruments in a stereo mix. The further you place (uncorrelated) instruments apart from each other the better and easier our ears can distinguish them. This is called binaural speech intelligibility when the surrounding sound sources are speakers. The same holds for musicial instruments as sound sources.
Human beings are trained to distinguish sound sources due to their direction of arrival and we use interaural time delay, interaural level differences for basic left-right evaluation and most important complex frequency dependent relationship between the signals our both ear drums receive as well as specific absolute frequency coloration that allow us to distinguish sounds from in front, in the back, above or below us.
KLANG’s 3D mixing algorithm includes all these tiny details and hence is the most powerful tool when it comes to transparent in-ear mixes that sound fat and rich at the same time. You can place all sound sources available in the 3D panorama and still achieve a transparent mix – unlike the case with convential stereo mixing where you need to select the most important instruments and keep the others low in level.
While it seems obvious at first to place instruments on the orbit where you actually see them on stage, this is only one possible placement method. We would like to show you more options. We find different zones of attention that can be used to mix. In general two zones are of interest to move quality of your mix to the next level. First, there is region right in front of you shifted a little bit in height. In many cases it makes sense to place instruments here, the are important to the artist, e.g. place a kick drum and snare drum in a bass player’s mix. The opposite zone is behind you with a wide range to the left and right side. Instruments in this area are not in the main focus of attention but still well perceived. Try to place instruments that would usually require much lower volumes so they would clutter your mix in here. E.g. place dense keys or synths in this area for a vocalist to create an immersive expericence and a rich fat mix by maintaining the focus on the important instruments e.g. required for timing or intonation.
Go back to the KLANG:app Overview.
Learn more – proceed to KLANG:app FADERS menu.
Thanks for using KLANG gear. We hope you find this tutorial helpful. Please let us know what connection examples you want to read about next — contact@KLANG.com