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Soundfield mics capture 5.1 surround for sports events

Soundfield's new digital DSF-2 Broadcast Microphone System has been field proven to provide both the surround and stereo soundscape at large-scale OB events such as stadiums and concert hall venues. It was used extensively at last year's World Cup tournament in Germany.

The DSF-2 microphones, specified by the Host Broadcast Company at each of the World Cup's 12 stadium venues, provided live global 5.1 surround sound for the global HD broadcasts. Each microphone was housed in a Rycote Windshield and located centrally in the stadiums high above the crowd and as close to the main wide-shot camera position as the venue would allow.

The microphones were mounted up to 800ft from the DSF-2 control units, which directly fed the surround and stereo information digitally through AES-75ohm outputs. These signals were then sent over coaxial cables to the OB trucks, which were located more than half a mile away.

In addition to having an all-digital design, the advantage of the DSF-2 over alternative microphone pickup methods is that the multichannel audio it generates from a single-point source is completely phase coherent. This enables the sound engineer to collapse the surround to stereo or mono for TV and radio feeds without loss of information, frequency imbalance or any of the other phase problems.

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