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Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Apr 8

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4/8/2009 11:35 AM  RssIcon

Surround Mic Used to Capture Crowd Response

ONTARIO, CANADA, APRIL 8, 2009 — As NBA teams duke it out for their spot in the playoffs, ESPN is there every step of the way to make sure no one misses a moment of the action. A new addition to one of the ESPN team’s audio systems, Holophone’s H2-PRO surround microphone, is helping to bring the excitement of being in the stands to fans at home. holophone_nba_1.JPG

The microphone is part of ESPN audio mixer Jonathan Freed’s NBA game setup and is used to help create an ambient surround bed, capturing crowd response and sounds of the arena. Being a 35-year audio veteran and having used the H2-PRO for coverage of Monday Night Football games for ESPN, Freed is familiar with how the H2-PRO operates and how it lends itself to coverage of live sporting events.

“The Holophone is a tremendous help because it is very easy to use and it delivers a good surround bed,” Freed explains. “It also has a characteristic that I call intimacy – where the people who are nearest to the mic are audible in the crowd mix but they don’t overwhelm it. Sometimes with separate crowd mics, if people get too close, you hear individuals making too much noise and it becomes objectionable in the mix. So you’re hearing one person or one section of people making too much noise. The Holophone allows us to hear the 50 or so people in its area, but not overwhelmingly so. It brings you closer to the experience of being in a seat in an arena than anything else I have used.”

holophone_nba_2.JPGFor an NBA game, the H2-PRO is typically placed high up in the center of the basketball arenas, near the crew’s camera platform. According to Freed this has proved to be the best location because the mic does not block fans while still being able to obtain good centralized sound. The mic is used along with a Calrec Bluefin console and a variety of Sennheiser, Beyer, Neumann and Sony microphones which are used in various applications including supplementing the sound pickup from the H2-PRO. Though typically used with other mics, Freed explains that he could see the H2-PRO coming in handy when there is a time crunch.

“There are some instances when we have very little preparation time. Because it is so easy to setup, due to the way it’s made and wired and because of its size and weight, the H2-PRO is really the perfect choice in cases where set up time is short,,” Freed says. “I actually build my own surround arrays out of other microphones and they are cumbersome and time consuming to build but they definitely help me get the ambient bed that I’m looking for. The addition of the Holophone to my arrays, when I have plenty of time, gives me the best sound that I have been able to get so far. It’s just that building those arrays can take up to an hour and then finding a place to mount them can take another 20 minutes. So the Holophone is a great answer for a show that has less set up time. It’s very easy to just pop it up, plug it in, bring it in through the console and boom, you’re up and have a really good baseline.”

Using a patented design which mimics the acoustical shadow of the human head, Holophone’s H2-PRO is able to capture a surround recording from a single point with no mixing or signal manipulation required. It features eight mic elements which are positioned within an elliptical casing to correspond with a typical home theater or studio speaker setup, helping to give listeners the feeling of “really being there.”

For more information, visit the Holophone website, www.holophone.com .

About Holophone

Holophone is committed to developing and commercializing products that use patented 3-D audio technology to bring the physical experience of “really being there” to a new level for all audio and visual productions by professionals and hobbyists. Holophone provides customers and business partners with industry-leading product and service quality. Holophone is firmly dedicated to providing outstanding value, excellence in service, and product performance.

Holophone® surround-sound microphones are patented audio recording devices designed specifically to address the challenges audio professionals face in capturing, recording and broadcasting multichannel surround sound. Developed by Rising Sun Productions in Toronto, Canada, Holophone systems effortlessly capture discrete signals that are ultra-realistic and provide the most accurate spatiality, audio imaging, and directionality of any recording device. Entirely compatible with all audio mixing, encoding, and playback systems, Holophone also enhances mono and stereo mixes. Holophone systems provide the perfect front end for all professional and consumer audio applications including HDTV broadcasting, standard broadcasting of live sporting and music events, feature film location recording, and studio recording for music, films, and worship applications. Holophone surround sound technology has been used for numerous national and international broadcasts, including the Grammy Awards and NFL Super Bowl. As a scalable system, Holophone technology is also available for license to the consumer electronics industry.

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