Audio Adjustments Help College Football Score in Yankee Stadium

They call it Yankee Stadium, but, sound-wise, it’s proving to be a darn good multi-use arena. Jay-Z and Eminem broke it in for music in September (coincidentally, I flew over the show on approach to LaGuardia that evening, and the camera flashes made it sparkle like a jewel), and, on Saturday Nov. 20, it debuted as a college-football venue, where the Irish beat the Black Knights, 27-3 (the old Yankee Stadium hosted an Notre Dame-Army matchup in 1969).

But, when A1 Lee Pfannerstill, who mixed the game for NBC, arrived at the Stadium the Wednesday before the game, he faced an unusual situation: configuring the field for football meant that home plate, where the Yankees’ announce booth is located, would be the left end zone. To be located at the usual 50-yard line position, announce talent would have to occupy one of the Stadium’s luxury-suite boxes, which understandably are not wired for DT-12–pair cabling.

“When we came in that day,” Pfannerstill recalls, “there were no connectors in the suite, and you start to feel a little bit of panic.” But, by day’s end, Yankees staff electricians had wired up five DT-12 pairs to the box, running about 600 ft. back to the trucks.

The announce team was using the fairly standard Sennheiser HMD25 headset, which provided good noise rejection from nearby suites, but the exposed position could leave them vulnerable to wind noise, so Pfannerstill doubled the windscreens on the boom mics.

He had an easier time of it with field microphones. “The lower camera pits next to the third-base dugout have lots of cable in them,” he says. The mixer had brought along microphones from a package provided by Audio-Technica to Notre Dame for this season’s use. AT4022 and BP4025 stereo condenser mics were used to capture front and surround crowd ambience effects. (The AT8022’s battery option lets it avoid phantom-power issues for longer cable runs.) The first-base camera pit was used for connectivity to the red-hat commercial-timeout coordinator.

“Audio-Technica was a great partner this year,” Pfannerstill says. “They provided us with a bunch of microphones for Notre Dame’s season and for this game. I had several of their short shotgun mics on the handheld cameras as well.”

And the effort had another payoff: the cabling installed in the luxury boxes to handle audio will remain in place, in the tier’s dropped ceiling, for the Dec. 30 inaugural New Era Pinstripe Bowl, featuring the fourth-place team from the Big East against the seventh-place team from the Big 12.

Adds Pfannerstill, “The whole thing turned out great. So yes, you can play football in Yankee Stadium.”

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