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TV sport mic placement
Old 7th December 2009
  #1
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Question TV sport mic placement

Hi guys.I`m new here,great forum and this is my first post.Can you tell me something about typical mic placement for broadcasting of various sport events(football,basketball,handball,volleyball,tennis,water polo).Are there any standards to follow?Thank you.
Old 7th December 2009
  #2
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To pick up what source? Commentators? Referrees? On field action?
Old 7th December 2009
  #3
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All of it.Number of mics,what kind of mics,where you put it.I have searched web and this forum but I haven't found what i was looking for or maybe I was typing the wrong keywords.
Thank you.
Old 7th December 2009
  #4
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Too vague a post for anyone to respond. Can you please choose ONE sport, what level (high school, college, bowl/finals, professional, international?) format, and options?

There is so much variation on the various sports at different levels...and there are some I know nothing about, like rugby or cricket.

Cheers-
Old 7th December 2009
  #5
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I work a great deal in live television sports here in Chicago. I'd be happy to answer your questions. What sports in particular are you referring to? They are entirely different animals.
Old 7th December 2009
  #6
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Comcast SPortsNet Chicago baseball (Cubs and White Sox):
As far as mics go, both Hawk and Steve (for Sox) and Len and Bob (for cubs) have thier own Sennheiser announcer headsets. HDM-25 I believe is the model number. Just outside the announcer's booth, we have a Shure VP88 for stereo crowd ambience. There is a SM89 aimed at 1st and 3rd base right in front of the low cameras to pick up the ball hitting the gloves and also ump calls. There is also a SM89 aimed in easch dugout as a "snoop" mic. By home plate, we use three SM89s...one directly behind the batter above the robotic camera, and one along each foul line aimed at home plate to pick up the bat cracks. In center field by our cameras we have two SM58s all scotchguarded and electrical taped together to pick up "surround sounds".

For Bulls basketball we use SM89s for all three handheld cameras on the court. One at midcourt, and one underneath each basket. On the announcers table we have three Sennheiser 416s to capture sound as the ball possession goes across the court...these are the main FX. On any up cameras we have Sennheiser ME66 shotguns to capture crowd noise. In the main camera basket we have a Shure VP88 for stereo surround. There is a sennheiser me66 attached to each backboard frame aimed down to the free throw line. Also we have a sennheiser lav underneath each net to get the "swoosh". Stacey King and Neil Funk both use Sennheiser HDM-25 headsets.

For hockey we have different setups. The main WGN setup is 10 ise mics...Crown PCC PZMs...i forget the model numbers. Going from left to right there is one behind the left goal, one on the left nearside red, one on the left farside red, one on the left nearside blue, one on the left farside blue, one on the nearside right blue, one on the farside right blue, one on the far side right red, one on the nearside right red, and one behind the right goal. Up outside the announcer's booth we have two Sennheiser 416's in a X/Y. In the camera basket we have a Shure VP88. Each handheld camera has a SM89 for hits against the glass and fans. The hard cams have Sennheiser ME66 mics for crowd. Eddie O. and Pat Foley both use the Sennheiser HDM-25 headsets.

I'd be happy to answer more questions. Let me know what you are wondering. BTW...All of our stuff is patched through the house patchpanels and go back to truck center where they fanout to DB25 mults going into the truck. The console is a Calrec digital and we utilize the console pres, eqs, and dynamics.

Hope this helps...
Old 8th December 2009
  #7
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EV676's Avatar
Paul,

Thanks for all of you info on the Chicago sports teams set ups for crowd etc.

I get the impression that Shure sells the majority of the SM-89's in their hometown! They are not a common shotgun mic choice.

I worked with Neal Funk when he (and I) were new to the business downstate back in the mid 70's. He did high school and U of I radio at the time. He left that station and within a year was calling 76ers games. The Sennheiser 25 sportscaster sets didn't exist back then!
Old 8th December 2009
  #8
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I'm just an a2 so I cannot speak for the actual a1's who are actually mixing the show, but the 89s are pretty popular. I've heard several say that with the way stiff tales a beating, the 89's are pretty tough and have a good reach and sound pretty good. Occasionally we'll come across a truck equipped with sennheiser 816 long shotguns which are spectacular, but for the most part, all EFX mics are either shire sm89's, sennheiser 416's, or sennheiser me66's.We actually scotchguard the heck out of the windscreens and leave them out through rain delays and everything, though we do sleeve the connectors.
Old 10th December 2009
  #9
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Ok thank you Paul for your answers.What I forgot to tell you is that I`m from Europe so no baseball,hockey,american football over here.Let fill you in with some background about me and the place I work.I work as an audio engineer for shall we state television.I`ve been doing this job for 10 years now.Our TV station was formed in war 16 years ago.The war is way over but the war standards(just let there be a sound of some kind,quality is not priority,this has to go on air at any price nevermind the noise present,etc.) are still present technically and mentally wise.
When we are doing a broadcast of some sport event we usually put microphones in places where we can pickup most of the field action(i.e.for basketball we usually put two MKH 416/60 on cameras that are located under the hoops,for football we put those two on a short stands on the side of the court etc.)We recently did a broadcast of what was a first water polo game in our country and when i was informed that i will be doing it I realized that I have no idea where to put mics.I ended up putting two MKH 60 behind each goal which was good at the end but it was a lucky guess.I would like to know is if there are any standards and rules or just basic guidelines where to put microphones when doing a sport event broadcast.I just dont want to put mics randomly anymore if there are some rules I would love to hear it from you guys or maybe you could direct me to some place on web that have diagrams and stuff.
Thanks once again.Sorry for my bad english.
Old 10th December 2009
  #10
Gear Addict
I cover futebol here in Brazil.


Josephson C42 stereo ortf pair in the announce booth for crowd.
AT 4071's or Senn MKH 70's in each corner. 2 operated Senn 816's on fishpoles for the far sidelines. Senn 816 on each sideline camera.
Countryman isomax II hyper on a plate mount AND a Senn 816 behind each goal. AT4071's on tall stands for Crowd cheering sections. AT 4071's for each coach's box.
Another ORTF pair at field level for surround. ( I would prefer Parabs to operated shotguns, but they are not popular here.

For water sports: If there is an underwater camera I usually place a waterproofed Sony ECM 55 next to it, underwater. Shotguns mics or parabs at the goals and something for midcourt in the case of water polo.
Lav on the diving board, shotgun son team benches one mike per 2 lanes for races and underwater mics as needed for other swimming/diving events.

Basketball: ORTF pair at the announce table, courtside, pointing cross court up towards the 10th row of seats or so. Lavalier (ECM55) sticking through the gasket on the backboard behind each basket. 816 on each handheld camera. 416 on each stanchion pointing at the foul line or top of the key.

Make 1 Announce group and copy it for each separate mix you will do. (Stereo, 5.1, mono). 1 Stereo Action Group for mics on the field. 1 Ambient Group for other "effects" mics. 1 surround mics group.
1 group for Music, 1 for Video Tape and 1 for Special Effect noises.
Separate effects send for the LFE feed.
Separate compressors for each group, Create 5.1 groups from your basic groups as required. It is not perfect, but if you have to make 3 mixes simultaneously, you will need to use stems, otherwise you will find things difficult to manage.

Danny
Old 30th January 2010
  #11
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Sorry for the late reply, and bump but I had some useful information to add (hopefully).

I mix NHL Hockey on Sportsnet in Canada, and the following is what we do for a typical game. We broadcast in 5.0 (no LFE) using a Dolby E stream, with an LtRt mix on 7+8 of the stream. The LtRt is derived from a Dolby 563 unit. In the truck, we use a Calrec console, and ADAM intercom system. 99% of the compression and EQ is inside the console.

For Ice FX, we use Crown PCC boundary mics on the glass, or Sony ECM lavs (the exact model escapes me right now). On a Sportsnet show we use 8 Ice mics (TSN uses 10, with the addition of net mics). 4 blue lines (near and far), and the four corners. I use a pair of EV 635's for front crowds, and another pair for rear crowds. They are spaced apart, either end of the broadcast booth, and opposite gondola. A Sennheiser MKH 70 shotgun is on the Play by Play camera, sent only to the center channel, and each handheld camera in the corners uses either a 416 or ME66 on them.

Announcers in the booth (play by play, and colour) use Sennheiser HDM-25 announce headsets. The reporter below uses a Sennheiser RF microphone, and Lectrosonics RF IFB. For backups we use Beyerdynamic M58's in various locations around the building in case the RF dies or drops out.

On the console, my sources include: announcers, reporter drops, digicarts, EVS machines, Referee mics, PA feeds, camera and ice mics, and the different machines in the truck that make noise (score bug, spotbox, duet, etc).

Let me know if anyone has specific questions, and I'll see if I can answer!

Last edited by chuck1; 30th January 2010 at 10:55 PM.. Reason: spelling
Old 31st January 2010
  #12
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Remoteness's Avatar
Awesome; thanks for sharing fellas!
Old 1st February 2010
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck1 View Post
Sorry for the late reply, and bump but I had some useful information to add (hopefully).

I mix NHL Hockey on Sportsnet in Canada, and the following is what we do for a typical game. We broadcast in 5.0 (no LFE) using a Dolby E stream, with an LtRt mix on 7+8 of the stream. The LtRt is derived from a Dolby 563 unit. In the truck, we use a Calrec console, and ADAM intercom system. 99% of the compression and EQ is inside the console.

For Ice FX, we use Crown PCC boundary mics on the glass, or Sony ECM lavs (the exact model escapes me right now). On a Sportsnet show we use 8 Ice mics (TSN uses 10, with the addition of net mics). 4 blue lines (near and far), and the four corners. I use a pair of EV 635's for front crowds, and another pair for rear crowds. They are spaced apart, either end of the broadcast booth, and opposite gondola. A Sennheiser MKH 70 shotgun is on the Play by Play camera, sent only to the center channel, and each handheld camera in the corners uses either a 416 or ME66 on them.

Announcers in the booth (play by play, and colour) use Sennheiser HDM-25 announce headsets. The reporter below uses a Sennheiser RF microphone, and Lectrosonics RF IFB. For backups we use Beyerdynamic M58's in various locations around the building in case the RF dies or drops out.

On the console, my sources include: announcers, reporter drops, digicarts, EVS machines, Referee mics, PA feeds, camera and ice mics, and the different machines in the truck that make noise (score bug, spotbox, duet, etc).

Let me know if anyone has specific questions, and I'll see if I can answer!
this is an amazing thread. i watch plenty of sports on TV, and you just gave me a perfect tutorial on how you get all that lovely sound to me. thanks all.

one question: do you guys record all those audio feeds for any reason? i don't believe
i saw it if you mentioned DAWs or back-up recorders. come to think of it, do you have a back-up console in case your main one ****s the bed?

marty.
Old 1st February 2010
  #14
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chuck1's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by marty lester View Post
one question: do you guys record all those audio feeds for any reason? i don't believe
i saw it if you mentioned DAWs or back-up recorders. come to think of it, do you have a back-up console in case your main one ****s the bed?

marty.
I personally don't record anything no. I know some guys have crowd loops that they have recorded in the past that they may use to enhance a broadcast if the crowd is weak, but it honestly happens pretty rarely as far as i know.

Some use a DAW for 5.1 music playback actually. There is also a pro hardware/software combo for music playback that uses a DAW type setup. It's called DAD.

No backup console no. There is no room on the trucks.. they are pretty full as it is. The nice thing about the Calrec consoles is that they have a number of things that could potentially fail and the console would still work. Being software based, the computer could crash and the console would still function as (almost) normal. Some of the older trucks with analog consoles do have a small mixer built into the racks for submixes that i suppose could be used as a backup should the main one fail. You would need to spend a few minutes patching things over though..
Old 1st February 2010
  #15
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When we had those awful AMS-NEVE libra live consoles we would always take a back up 02r with us... Had to use it once, 2 hours before a soccer game when random bursts of white noise came out of the speakers and stereo sources were randomly re-routed
But modern digital broadcast consoles that aren't Neve are close to failproof.
Old 27th July 2010
  #16
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Sorry to dig up an old thread...

First of all, thanks for all the insight on this subject! I might be thrown into this situation in the next couple of months, and now I won't be going in "completely" blind...

I do have a question for you guys mixing in the larger venues (basketball, hockey, football...). Are you running hundreds of feet of mic cables to your console/truck, or do you have remote controlled preamps hidden near the mics? Do you worry about signal loss on long cable runs?

Sorry for the questions, but I was just curious...

Thanks!
Old 27th July 2010
  #17
Gear Addict
1) A basketball arena is not really considered a "large" venue as they generally hold less than 20,000 spectators.

2) I will use mic pre's only when there are problems. Usually battery powered. Otherwise I don't have time to care about line loss. All mic pre's are remote controlled by radio link: I call an assistant on the radio and he or she goes and tweaks the gain.

3) By the way it is not hundreds of feet of mic cable but rather thousands, depending on the arena. For Madison Square Garden the distance to the announce booth for hockey is probably more than 3000 feet. (The arena is on the 5th floor, the hockey booth is on the 9th.) Typical large capacity stadiums involve cable lengths of more than 2500 feet. Cables are not run in straight lines. They follow cable troughs and are dressed so to be out of the way of all traffic.

4) If I was using a distributed system like a Stagetec Aurus/Nexus combination I would place the input boxes at the source(s) and use fiber optic cable to bring the signals back to the console.

5) Not to open a can of "what is the best sounding digital TV Desk" but:
tutt
a) I used to use a Neve Libra Live and only recall having major problems once. That being said todays large format digital desks have much better reliability.

Regards;
Danny

Quote:
Originally Posted by dkerins View Post
Sorry to dig up an old thread...

First of all, thanks for all the insight on this subject! I might be thrown into this situation in the next couple of months, and now I won't be going in "completely" blind...

I do have a question for you guys mixing in the larger venues (basketball, hockey, football...). Are you running hundreds of feet of mic cables to your console/truck, or do you have remote controlled preamps hidden near the mics? Do you worry about signal loss on long cable runs?

Sorry for the questions, but I was just curious...

Thanks!
Old 12th December 2011
  #18
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I do sound for some NBL games in Canada for Rogers Television.

To capture the court side sound, I've been using the following method with some really positive success.

I use lapel mics behind the nets which protrude slightly from between the foam barrier that surrounds the backboard. This catches the "swish sound" and the ball bounce off the net very well. A gate on those mics to reduce ambient noise and compressor to catch the transients from a really heavy bounce of a ball off of the hoop itself. I like to hear the net noise, but i just don't want it to be abnormally loud for viewers.

A handheld camera under each net catch the majority of the court noise (sneaker squeak, ball bounces and player voices) with their shotgun mics. The middle court fill is caught with an ME66 at court level at the center. This mixed with the camera mics to keep a pretty even court sound as the players travel from one end to the other with no discernible difference in level changes in the ball bouncing etc.

I assign the left side and right side court mics to their own subgroup with the center mic assigned to both groups. As players travel from one side to the other, I just transition from one subgroup to the other on the audio board, the center mic being assigned to both group makes that transition seamless. Might be a bit of overkill, but makes me feel better. The less unnecessary going to air the better.

Commentators sit at court level and use the standard Sennheiser commentator headset and clearcom commentator boxes. These headsets tend to bring in a little more background noise than I would like, but in the long run, does help to keep a constant dull roar of the stadium activity present if I pull back my court side subgroups.

For additional coverage, we put (with their permission) wireless mics on the coaches to catch some court side banter. It really brings the energy of the game to the show. We use them with a certain level of caution, some coaches do express themselves more vigorously than others! So far so good.

Last edited by Tonedeaf; 8th March 2012 at 03:23 PM.. Reason: Clarification
Old 10th October 2014
  #19
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What about micing for tennis? I may be doing some later this month.
Thanks
Scott
Old 10th October 2014
  #20
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Boom Operators - DAB Commercial - YouTube

Sorry, couldn't resist.
Old 10th October 2014
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottGillen View Post
What about micing for tennis? I may be doing some later this month.
Thanks
Scott
416's on stands at the baselines (at the back walls) pointed up the lines towards the net. 2 816's on the Judge's chair pointed at mid court. 2 816's mounted on the hard cameras opposite the judge's chair. 1 lav om the net. Shotgun on the handheld court camera.(s) Stereo pair on the Judge's chair - keep the L/R orientation as seen by the principle coverage camera. ORTF crowd pair in the announce booth.

Danny
Old 10th October 2014
  #22
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Remoteness's Avatar
And, Danny knows this inside and out!

Listen to what he has to say.

MKH816s are not manufactured any longer so, you may need to replace them with MKH8070s. They sound the closest to the original MKH816s.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DannyL View Post
416's on stands at the baselines (at the back walls) pointed up the lines towards the net. 2 816's on the Judge's chair pointed at mid court. 2 816's mounted on the hard cameras opposite the judge's chair. 1 lav om the net. Shotgun on the handheld court camera.(s) Stereo pair on the Judge's chair - keep the L/R orientation as seen by the principle coverage camera. ORTF crowd pair in the announce booth.

Danny
Old 11th October 2014
  #23
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Thanks guys for that good info. I also found a diagram on the net and that along with this thread makes sense. If I don't end up doing the mix myself at least I can pass on what I found out.

Thanks
U
Scott
Old 11th October 2014
  #24
I was at Mid Ohio raceway. I was visiting a good friend who was the V1 for the races. They used so many microphones that they had to have a "pre-mix" truck doing the combining and just fed stems to the main audio mixer located in the video truck. It was very interesting to see how they did all of this. They had cameras and microphones in many of the cars that were competing as well as along the track and many more were used for ambiance. I watched the A1 while he was doing the race and he was basically working with 8 stems. He was in contact with the pre-mix truck and many of the A2s that were on or near the track. The A1s room was about 6 feet by 6 feet by 8 feet and was crammed with a lot of equipment besides the main mix console. It was an exciting race and the A1 made it even more exciting with his skillful blending of all the audio elements. By the time the race was over he was drenched with sweat and completely drained but he did an excellent job the whole show. My hat is off to these unseen professionals that make sports more exciting.
Old 12th October 2014
  #25
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OzGizmo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DannyL View Post
416's on stands at the baselines (at the back walls) pointed up the lines towards the net. 2 816's on the Judge's chair pointed at mid court. 2 816's mounted on the hard cameras opposite the judge's chair. 1 lav on the net. Shotgun on the handheld court camera.(s) Stereo pair on the Judge's chair - keep the L/R orientation as seen by the principle coverage camera. ORTF crowd pair in the announce booth.

Danny
Don't forget the direct split of the 'switched' umpires mic, this then needs to be delayed to match the PA feed to the Fx mics to reduce echos. If you can discreetly do it place a lav mic under the foam pop filter of the umpire switch mic which you call a 'back up umpire mic', being unswitched it is ideal to get the sneaky comments if the match becomes heated between a player and the umpire.

Motor racing works brilliantly with an AFV (audio follow video) switching system driven from the camera tally light control......
Old 13th October 2014
  #26
Hi -Interesting thread -Have techniques for basketball mixing 5.1 in mid sized arenas changed since these posts in 2010?

Specifically with the fx mics are they several mono sources and you chase the game with these or are there options to use several stereo mic set ups to spread the fx out a little? Do you feed FX L/R only or some into the center? Do you keep center clear and only use for commentary?

I know its not one correct answer and would be great to hear some experiences on this and some of the options/opinions.

Thanks for sharing

Bruno
Old 13th October 2014
  #27
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OzGizmo's Avatar
 

You need to break down the sound into the various groups and then treat them as individual groups.....Rather than just one big mix.

1. Stadium Fx...... general crowd sound.
2. Game Fx
3. Commentary (off camera)
4. Hostings (on camera)
5. Music

Items 1 and 5 are the only things in that OB situation with a surround component, I have on occasions used spaced omni mics at the rear of the stand to give a rear-L and a rear-R.

The rest of the audio has no rear components, so structuring a mix do you favor the game FX or the crowd Fx (with suround) it depends on the Audio Director and what your trying to do.

When you break things down like this even broadcast stereo has SO many variations.

For example, In motor racing to do you pan the stereo Fx mics attached to the camera or do you leave them fixed on the tower so the car goes through the 'image window'????
Old 19th October 2014
  #28
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by OzGizmo View Post
Don't forget the direct split of the 'switched' umpires mic, this then needs to be delayed to match the PA feed to the Fx mics to reduce echos. If you can discreetly do it place a lav mic under the foam pop filter of the umpire switch mic which you call a 'back up umpire mic', being unswitched it is ideal to get the sneaky comments if the match becomes heated between a player and the umpire.

Motor racing works brilliantly with an AFV (audio follow video) switching system driven from the camera tally light control......
There is always the risk that the umpire will be shot so that you can see their lips moving. In this case, a delay will give you lip flap. The bigger the stadium, the longer the delay. Therefore lip flap gets progressively worse as stadium size increases.
Danny
Old 10th October 2015
  #29
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Stumbled along this thread - love it

Does anyone use delay compensation in any of the above scenarios? I've been experimenting with it in soccer and field hockey games with mixed results. I haven't quite found the technique I'm happy with yet but I'm wondering if you guys ever bother with it.

Thanks in advance
Old 10th October 2015
  #30
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Please describe 'delay compensation'? and how you are using it...

I did mention the delay for Tennis broadcasting because the mic feed went to BOTH broadcast and PA. If it was just either one you don't have a problem.
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