d&b audiotechnik is partnering with theatrical and creative sound design firm Autograph to co-develop and launch a stadium sound application designed to create a live crowd atmosphere at empty sports events.
Called “d&b Fanblock powered by Autograph Stadium Sound,” the aim is to deliver real-time, controlled sound to venues without fans or with a reduced number of fans on site. Using a d&b sound system design positioned within an arena, d&b Fanblock will utilize a multi-channel surround sound system combined with Autograph’s playback software to providde the much-missed sound of fans.
Over the last few months, sports have faced disengaged fans and lower viewer numbers because the usual high atmosphere matches are taking place before empty venues or far smaller socially distanced audiences. In some cases, organizations 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 dynamic energy brought to the game by a noisy, responsive crowd.
Fans at home will also be able to experience the sounds of the stadium while games are broadcasted live. The basic audio content consists of non-team specific sounds that includes background ‘bed’ loops to provide a continual atmosphere within the stadium and a library of sonic cues that can be triggered by operators in reaction to the action of the game. The custom sound design package also offers club-specific chants made possible through Autograph content partner FanChants. The system is operated live by engineers in the stadium in order to follow the energy levels and punctuate the dramatic moments as they happen.
“By partnering with Autograph, we’ve come up with revolutionary new sound solution,” says Amnon Harman, CEO of d&b audiotechnik. “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 are provided with object-based signal management, allowing complex sound events to move, around the stadium in real-time as well as bring additional subtlety and detail to the effect of Stadium Sound in response to the actions on the field.
d&b Fanblock powered by Autograph Stadium Sound not only helps to bring the sports industry back to life, it is also designed to provide a new business opportunity and revenue stream for d&b rental partners during a time of economic uncertainty. “While we’re facing an increasingly challenging time in the industry, here at d&b we continue to innovate and address the needs of the market,” Harman adds. “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. It’s first scheduled full-scale use will be at the championship games at The Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium in London.