Just as the world learned how to adapt to a new COVID reality, so did the world of sports. In late July 2020, the NBA began a truncated season without its usual fanfare of crowds and excitement. And anyone who knows basketball knows that crowd reactions heavily influence game results, amping up the players' excitement and focus - ultimately influencing that last winning shot.
To virtually recreate an authentic sonic experience of the sounds and enthusiasm of a roaring crowd inside the Wide World of Sports (WWoS) at Disney World, Firehouse Productions worked with the league to install and operate the audio systems. The team, led by Kevin Dobstaff, production supervisor, live broadcast venues, Emerald City/NBA Restart, aimed to create a 360-degree soundscape that simulated the effects of home and visitor fans as if they were there at the game, in their seats.
"The goal was to replicate what the players would hear if there were 18,000 people around them in an arena," says Carlton Myers, Associate VP, live production and entertainment, NBA Entertainment.
60 L-Acoustics K2 loudspeakers were configured as ten hangs of six boxes each, bolstered by a dozen L-Acoustics KS28 subs to achieve this realistic virtual sonic experience. The speakers focused the sound on the court instead of the seats (which were "occupied" by 300+ actual fans populated by 17-feet LED video boards lining the sides of the court through Microsoft Teams' Together mode). The sound was all mixed through a DiGiCo SD7 console by the FOH A1.
According to Myers, "We collected actual audio chants and cheers from all 22 teams. We asked them to send us sound that was specific to them, to make them feel at home here."
To read more about how L-Acoustics Certified Provider Firehouse Productions executed this unprecedented audio experience, view the full article on SVG News.