Theatrical and creative sound design company Autograph and loudspeaker systems specialist d&b audiotechnik have collaborated on further developing the stadium sound application trialled by Autograph at Queens Park Rangers’ Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium for creating a live crowd atmosphere closed-door sports events.

Autograph and d&b revive fans’ sports supportPowered by Autograph Stadium Sound, d&b’s Fanblock delivers a real-time controlled, sound system to venues without fans or with a reduced number of fans on site. Using a d&b sound system design within an arena, d&b Fanblock creates a multi-channel surround sound system which, when combined with Autograph’s playback software, means stadiums are once again filled with the sound of fans.

Over the past few months, sports have faced disengaged fans, lower viewer numbers and anticlimactic games as the usual high atmosphere matches took place behind closed doors. In some cases, organisations have stepped in, with the National Football League (NFL) earlier this month announcing that sound must be played during all games to combat the negative impact of the quiet stands and recreate some of the energy brought to the game by a responsive crowd.

Not only players benefit from the technology, as fans at home are able to experience the sounds of the stadium when games are broadcast live. The basic audio content consists of non-team specific sounds including background ‘bed’ loops to provide atmosphere within the stadium and a library of sound cues that can be triggered by operators in response to the action on the pitch. The custom sound design package offers club-specific chants made possible through Autograph’s content partner, FanChants.

Queens Park Rangers’ Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium‘By partnering with Autograph, we’ve come up with revolutionary new sound solution,’ says d&b CEO, Amnon Harman. ‘No longer will sports teams hear the echo of empty stadiums and venues, instead with d&b Fanblock, they will once again hear the strength and passion of their fans while on the field.’

d&b Fanblock uses the matrix functions of the DS100 Signal engine to distribute audio to the d&b loudspeaker system. As the backbone of d&b Soundscape, the DS100 Signal engine enables further enhancement of d&b Fanblock through its En-Scene software. Users can take advantage of object-based signal management, allowing complex sound events to moved dynamically around the stadium in real-time, and add additional subtlety and detail to the effect of Stadium Sound in response to the actions on the field. This approach allows the sound engineer to have spectator chants grow from one section before building out to fill the entire stadium.

The system also promises to provide a new business opportunity and revenue stream for d&b rental partners during a time of economic uncertainty.

‘While we are facing an increasingly challenging time in the industry, we continue to innovate and address the needs of the market,’ Harman says . ‘Today’s introduction is yet another example of our dedication to continuous improvement and providing new opportunities for our partners and end-users alike.’

The system is scalable and can be put in any size stadium or arena around the world. It’s first scheduled full-scale use will be at the Championship games at The Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium in London.

See also:
Autograph on-side sound for English football

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