BBC Sport will use two SoundField X-1 upmix/downmix processors from TSL Products, during its coverage of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The two devices will supplement the existing six that are permanently installed at the broadcaster’s MediaCityUK base for other regional and international events and tournaments.
During the World Cup, long periods of the transmissions use 5.1 actuality sound and crowd atmosphere, along with panned commentary and studio dialogue. However, when broadcasting out of match play time, the majority of audio is stereo or dual mono content. BBC Sport will route this audio material through a signal path to an X-1 in upmix mode. The upmixed audio will then contribute directly to the 5.1 mix bus.
TSL Products’ SoundField X-1 Upmix/Downmix Processor separates the dispersed crowd sound, reflections, reverb and atmosphere, offering the user adjustable parameters to position this diffused sound as desired into 5.1 image.
“The various audio elements that contribute to a sports programme will come into us from a wide variety of mono, stereo and 5.1 sources,” said Dave Lee, lead sound supervisor for BBC Sport. “With such diversity of contribution quality and width, the sound supervisor is tasked with mixing a show that immerses 5.1 viewers in the surround sound atmosphere of the event whilst maintaining clear, consistent imaging of dialogue and music.
“The SoundField X-1 anchors dialogue and reality audio to the front, whilst offering near-instantaneous upmix/downmix processing. This is essential during a live, action-packed broadcast, such as the World Cup, as it helps to ensure that the sound will never fall out of sync with the associated vision.”