SoundField scores in Champions League final

The May 23 final match of the Champions League soccer tournament saw Liverpool and Milan facing one another in Athens’ Olympic Stadium. The event was broadcast to an estimated 1.2 billion viewers worldwide with a little help from a pair of SoundField DSF-2 digital microphone systems. The multicapsule microphone heads for both systems were rigged in the stadium to provide simultaneous phase-coherent 5.1 and stereo stadium ambience and crowd response for the HD and SD transmissions.

A single world transmission feed, authorized by UEFA and its exclusive media partner TEAM Audio AG, was used to provide TV companies from around the world with SD and HD coverage. The audio feed was mixed by Robert Edwards of UK-based Video Sound Services, assisted by Frank Mosch, the technical head of sound at Belgian company Outside Broadcast NV, who supplied the OB truck and Lawo digital console used to mix the feed.

Robert Edwards specified a DSF-2 for use with the world audio feed, placed high up on a gantry hanging from the stadium roof. Because the signals from the DSF-2 were completely phase-coincident, he said, he was able to use its 5.1 and its stereo output simultaneously for the HD and SD sound.

A second SoundField system was also in use during the broadcast. Sky Sports, who have made the DSF-2 part of its standard-issue equipment for HD sports broadcasts, had its own DSF-2 mic in the stadium, adding further stadium ambience to the broadcaster’s transmission of the final. Sky has used the DSF-2 for 5.1 sound on HD broadcasts of events as diverse as golf’s Ryder Cup, cricket test matches and UK Premiere League soccer matches, the last of which Edwards has been mixing himself.

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