Etihad Stadium, courtesy Dom Fellowes c.c.

Etihad Stadium, courtesy Dom Fellowes c.c.

Taking our FascinatE work as a starting point as we decided to focus on live football to begin with, other sports would follow we were sure but football presents unique challenges to the sound supervisor and was an ideal first sport to try.

As part of our research into how to improve, and automate, live football broadcast we spent a lot of time in OB trucks at football games around the UK.

Part of this was about gathering media – we needed a lot of audio content to work with and thanks to the helpful people at SISLive, the BBC, Sky and others we managed to accumulate recordings of every microphone feed from several Premiere League games to work with. This was the raw material we eventually needed to work on in real time.

Outside broadcast truck at Eastlands Manchester (Now the Etihad Stadium). Many thanks Ian Rosam!

We also needed to understand the challenges and problems associated with live football broadcast. Top sound supervisors such as Ian Rosam and Andy James were only too happy to walk through their workflows and explain the processes and techniques they have spent a career learning. Tapping into this knowledge gave us a real insight and some clues as to how we might be able to improve things to create a better viewing experience and also how to assist in the complex task of mixing live sports.

Our technology had to improve sports sound, but also work within existing broadcast workflows. It had to sound great but as simple as possible to operate.