M-S techniques provide useful sound-field positioning and a convenient way to check mono compatibility. We explain the hard science behind this often misunderstood technique.
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.
Here we look at the science of using a matched pair of microphones positioned as a coincident pair to capture stereo sound images.
The audio vectorscope is an excellent tool for assuring quality in stereo sound production, because it makes the virtual sound image visible in the same way that a television vectorscope allows the color signals to be seen.
“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.
John Harris became a music mixer for broadcast television at a time when there was no such job. In the decades since he’s won 12 Emmys, three Grammys and a Peabody Award and has been at the forefront as the industry has made the transition from stereo to 5.1 surround and now immersive audio.
Orchestral performances may be a relative rarity on U.S. broadcast television these days, but the past 18 months has seen quite a growth in classical music streaming online. Orchestral music has long been wrapped up in certain expectations, from the seating of the musicians to the quality of the audio, but the coronavirus pandemic has chipped away at some of those expectations, and that’s a good thing, according to New York-based Jody Elff, a Grammy Award-winning audio engineer, sound artist and designer.
It’s still early days for live Dolby Atmos broadcasting in the United States, but Glenn Stilwell, senior audio engineering and operations manager for the Pac-12 Networks, is ready for it. Indeed, not only has Stilwell been experimenting with creating Dolby Atmos mixes in preparation for its more widespread use in live broadcasting, but he is also helping to train A1s in the technical aspects of the immersive format.