Studer Ball Chaser

Studer has shown a prototype unit designed to provide a more rewarding audio experience’ to sports television viewers – the Studer Ball Chaser allows broadcast engineers to use a joystick to open the shotgun microphone closest to the action on a playing area, while keeping other microphones closed.

As sports broadcasters often place 12 or more shotgun microphones around a playing area to pick up as much of the action as possible. The Ball Chaser promises an alternative to manually opening the microphone closest to the action and closing all the rest for the length of a game.

A key advantage of this approach is to allows more gain to be given to the on-field FX microphones, as the unit always has the equivalent of one open microphone to air. This ‘single’ microphone can have higher gain without the crowd pickup swamping the overall mix.

The unit aill connect directly to any Vista mixing console and offers a joystick mounted on a small, portable box. The operator configures
the unit with a simple web GUI interface, setting the layout of the physical microphones around the pitch (up to 24 microphones may be used) and linking these to the faders on the desk (mono and stereo faders may be controlled). During the game, moving the joystick opens and closes the relevant faders with smooth crossfades. Desk faders will respond in real time to the joystick movement and open only the microphone fader nearest to where the action is taking place. In factthe faders do not have to be on the active layer of the desk, freeing fader space.

The Ball Chaser link to the desk is a simple Ethernet connection, so an operator can be some distance from the desk, possibly watching the action from the stand rather than the OB truck.

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