The Time Traveller's Wife: The Musical premiered recently at London's Apollo Theatre (photo: Johan Persson)
UK - Based on Audrey Niffenegger's bestselling 2003 novel that captivated millions worldwide, a new musical adaptation of The Time Traveller's Wife love story recently premiered at London's Apollo Theatre, showcasing an original score by Joss Stone and Dave Stewart.
Sound designer Richard Brooker and associate sound designer Nick Lodge collaborated closely with the production crew - including Callum Donaldson, Isabel McIntosh, Andrew Williams and sound effects designer, Pete Malkin - to bring forth this show, which has been running since October.
The production also marks Brooker’s first proper use of the KLANG:technologies immersive in-ear monitor mixing system, supplied by Stage Sound Services, for the show’s band.
Brooker shares, “KLANG was an innovation we wanted to introduce into our shows.” After initial discussions with Phil Kamp from KLANG:technologies, who offered full support in transitioning from the team’s previous system, Brooker also had the opportunity to visit DiGiCo’s offices to meet with Dave Bigg, product specialist at DiGiCo, who provided Brooker with a further opportunity to delve deep into the system.
“You just have to adjust your thought process to understand how KLANG works,” Brooker says. “It's much more aligned with how our ears and brains process information on a day-to-day basis, rather than simply putting on a pair of headphones and working with stereo limitations. It’s about trying to make it feel as natural as if you weren’t wearing headphones or in-ears. It just blew my mind!”
All of the band members, especially the guitarist and a bass player, embraced the system and were very impressed by the quality of sound and flexibility that it offered to them.
“Nick did an excellent job programming the system in a way that made sense to us, but also catered to the musicians,” Brooker continues. “One of the things I really appreciate about KLANG is that it not only sounds fantastic with a great headphone amplifier, but also sounds ‘musical’. Some modern digital equipment lacks musicality, so you can hear everything, but there’s a missing musicality in the listening experience. KLANG, however, excels in this aspect.”
Brooker emphasises that once “you get your mix right, and if you’re using the 360-degree soundstage, it's possible to listen to the mix at lower volumes.” He believes this is helpful because some musicians tend to keep the volume high, which can be damaging to their hearing in the long run, and also fatiguing. “This is where KLANG offers enormous possibilities, by allowing people to control their own listening environment in a much safer way.”
Following the successful deployment of the KLANG system at The Time Traveller’s Wife: The Musical production, Brooker has already been using it on other shows he is managing.

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