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MCG Install Special: Roar of the Crowd

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16 April 2020

It’s always been a paradox: some of the most expensive seats in a stadium are often the most disconnected from the atmosphere of the game. Sure, the catering might be amazing but often the atmosphere in corporate suites and function rooms is sterile. 

A new feature of the MCG audio upgrade sees crowd atmosphere being fed back into the bars via the loudspeaker systems. Stadia may be one of Auditoria’s strong suits but so are large-scale opening and closing ceremonies, which require sophisticated ambience microphone setups for broadcast sound. So Scott Willsallen was keen to take the quality of the piped crowd noise up a few notches. 

Scott Willsallen: “It would have been very easy to stick an SM58 mic on the catwalk and go with that. But we also thought this would be a good opportunity for us to provide the broadcaster with a more interesting crowd sound. We located 20 microphones around the stadium. These are mid-side, dual-element shotgun mics, which allow us to blend how much mid versus how much side we want on a mic-by-mic basis. This means you can fine tune your crowd mic sound depending on the size of the event, and create presets based around how the audience is dispersed and how full the bowl is. Those presets create a stereo mix that’s distributed to all of the media areas. What’s more, it appears as a fader on the touchscreens in all of the bars and function rooms so they can choose to have that audience feed or not.”

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