NAB Perspectives: Audio-Technica’s Mike Edwards Sees the Strength of Stereo

Audio-Technica Director of Product Management Mike Edwards says stereo microphones are showing a lot of sales strength in the sports-broadcast market, thanks to demand for well-balanced stereo effects and ambience sound beds on the part of networks.

“Based on the broadcasters we have been working with,” he says, “our stereo shotguns, the BP4027 and BP4029, and the AT4050ST large-diaphragm M-S stereo microphone have been catching on with the A1s and the trucks.”

Stereo shotgun microphones have become a standard for many of the major-network shows. “The stereo shotguns are able to work well as effects mics but still provide a solid stereo signal that sits well in a 5.1 mix,” he explains. Interestingly, though, A-T’s AT4050ST, developed for the music-recording market sector, has also been catching on with remote sports broadcasters. “The 4050ST does the same thing as the shotguns in capturing stereo sound but for stereo ambience, especially crowd sound.”

Stereo effects are part of the larger surround-sound field, helping mixers create an accurate envelope for commentary and picture. “From the microphone perspective, the number-one thing would be achieving an accurate and believable 5.1 audio capture, followed by maintaining the downstream integrity of the signal all the way to the viewer,” Edwards says. “There’s so many layers the audio has to go through once it leaves the remote and the plant that it’s more important than ever to make sure it starts out with a solid 5.1 signal that’s as accurate and good-sounding as possible. We’re trying to give broadcasters the tools they need to accomplish that.”

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