The world’s first immersive audio format is getting a new generation of consumers hooked via gaming, VR and ASMR, while both production and consumer technology is making it easier to record and easier to access.
The U.S. Postal Service’s unofficial motto applies just as much to ENG crews as to mail carriers: “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night” will keep these dedicated professionals from their appointed tasks.
“If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen,” U.S. president Harry S. Truman famously said. But when there’s a cooking show to produce, audio engineers have no alternative but to improvise.
With this year’s Super Bowl LVI telecast coming smack dab in the middle of the Winter Olympics, NBC Sports crews will have their hands full. Having to navigate both high profile events on the same day, NBC is calling it the “one of the greatest days in the history of television sports [production]” and a “Once In A Lifetime” event.
If you are going to try and convey the bone-rattling power of nitro-fueled cars drag racing down a quarter-mile track to viewers at home, what better way than to mix it in Dolby Atmos?
John Hunter holds a unique distinction among broadcast audio mixers: he was the A1 for the NBA Raptors vs. Pelicans basketball game in November 2018, one of the very first sports events to be produced in immersive Dolby Atmos sound with 4K HDR picture for live distribution to homes across North America.
If 2020 was considered a disruptive one for the television production community, 2021 was a year where trial and error and the lessons learned became real-world REMI deployments to keep live sports and entertainment content on the air. Production studios too learned to adapt with fewer crew allowed inside and social distancing becoming the new normal.
“You need to be very predictable with the broadcast at all times. When I started doing this you had to be really careful with 5.1; there was no standardization,” he says. Indeed, for a long time, as broadcasters began to switch to HDTV across the U.S., it was not unusual for audio channels to be mixed up during transmission, or for audio processors to be incorrectly set or configured.