Holophone mics capture sounds of live soccer matches for EA Sports

Looking to create authentic crowd noises for its latest sports video game, “FIFA 10,” EA Sports used Holophone’s H3-D surround-sound microphone to capture ambient sounds in 5.1 multichannel surround at several European football and American soccer games. The Holophone mic was used to create the main background crowd beds in surround sound.

For previous versions of “FIFA,” the sound team would set up several raised microphones throughout the various league stadiums, and then would composite the crowd sounds in the studio. Holophone’s H3-D surround mic was first used for “FIFA 09” to capture surround sound. Based on the microphone’s excellent performance, EA Sports once again turned to Holophone for its “FIFA 10” game.

With the advancement in broadcast technology toward HD and 5.1 surround, EA Sports was able to partner with the stadiums and local sports broadcasters to obtain direct feeds from each of their broadcast trucks. When working in countries in Southern Europe, South America or Eastern Europe, the broadcasters do not have these elaborate setups. The Holophone H3-D was used to capture these games in surround sound without having to depend on the local broadcast stations.

The soundtrack for “FIFA 10” was comprised of several elements. Sounds of excitement are incorporated and triggered when goals and tackles are made within the game. The various league chants are captured in stereo; the tracks are isolated and then reviewed by an international panel for content and layered in. In addition, all the commentaries for the games are recorded in the studio as the final element to the sound.

With the help of several location engineers, ambient crowd sounds from stadiums around the world are captured using the H3-D as well as several stereo mics. These engineers tend to use a handful of stereo sources around the venue to obtain the vibe. The real challenge was in choosing the right location for the Holophone within the stadium.

Holophone’s H3-D is a portable 5.1 multichannel surround-sound microphone based on the company’s H2-PRO. The H3-D eliminates the need for multimic surround setups. Designed to support 5.1 surround-sound recording devices, the H3-D provides 3D surround audio. It also provides a six-channel discrete microphone manufactured to automatically deliver 5.1 channels with no external mixing or signal manipulation needed.

“FIFA 10” from EA Sports is now available for the Playstation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, PC, PlayStation 2, PSP, Nintendo DS and mobile handheld devices.