German audio technology and solution company d&b audiotechnik has announced a partnership with leading theatrical and creative sound designer, Autograph, to co-develop and launch a stadium sound application, creating a live crowd atmosphere at empty sports events.
A global leader in the development of sound experiences, d&b’s newest venture d&b Fanblock – powered by Autograph Stadium Sound, delivers a real-time controlled, sound solution 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 creates a multi-channel surround sound system which, when combined with Autograph’s cutting-edge playback software, means stadiums are once again filled with the much-missed sound of fans.
Over the last few months, sports have faced disengaged fans, lower viewer numbers and anticlimactic games as the usual high atmosphere matches took place behind closed doors. 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 vital dynamic energy brought to the game by a noisy, responsive crowd.
Not only will the players benefit from the pioneering technology from d&b and Autograph, fans at home will be able to experience the sounds of the stadium while games are broadcasted live. The basic audio content consists of non-team specific sounds including background ‘bed’ loops to provide a continual atmosphere within the stadium and a library of sound cues that can be triggered by operators in reaction to the action on the pitch. The custom sound design package offers club-specific chants made possible through Autograph’s content partner, FanChants.
Designed and developed by long time theatrical and dramaturgy experts, Stadium Sound by Autograph creates a live crowd atmosphere at sports events that can be dynamically controlled in real-time to directly respond to the events of the game. 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,” said Amnon Harman, CEO 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 can take advantage of object-based signal management, allowing complex sound events to moved dynamically around the stadium in real-time, and add additional subtlety and detail to the effect of Stadium Sound in response to the actions on the field. This approach allows the sound engineer to have spectator chants grow from one section before building out to fill the entire stadium.
d&b Fanblock powered by Autograph Stadium Sound not only helps to bring the sports industry back to life, it also provides a new business opportunity and revenue stream for d&b rental partners during a time of economic uncertainty.
“While we are facing an increasingly challenging time in the industry, here at d&b we continue to innovate and address the needs of the market,” commented Harman. “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 around the world. It’s first scheduled full-scale use will be at the Championship games at The Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium in London.