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Zoom, zoom, zoom audio

13 September 2007

A major curiosity at IBC has been SquareHead Technology’s AudioScope system, writes Dave Robinson. It uses a ‘super microphone’ – actually 300 small high-performance hyper-cardioid microphones in a dish array – to zoom in on, capture and record audio in a similar way to how a camera zoom works.

The system has an interface that will be familiar to those in the production environment. The live picture from a camera, integrated in the microphone dish, is displayed on the AudioScope’s monitor; the operator can then use the control surface’s trackball to guide the zoom and capture the sound. IBC visitors can try it out for themselves on SquareHead’s ‘football pitch’-style booth.

Morgan Kj_lerbakken, CTO of the Norwegian company which was established four years ago to develop ‘Zoom Audio’, illustrates how AudioScope could be useful to sports broadcasters with a notorious example: “Just imagine how interesting it would have been to hear the Zinedine Zidane/Marco Materazzi argument in the 2006 World Cup final.” Assuming a profanity delay was in place, of course…

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