Wohler SoundField Mics Deliver for NBA, NFL

Wohler Technologies has provided mix engineer Jonathan Freed with the SoundField DSF-2 microphone and DSF-3 digital surround processor for his work on NBA games and Monday-night NFL match-ups. Wohler is the U.S. distributor for the SoundField line of mics and processors.

“I’ve known about SoundField microphones since they were invented, and I have always wanted to experiment with one,” said Freed, who has been mixing audio for broadcast for more than 25 years. “The SoundField capsules have an extraordinarily smooth and wide response, at least equal to the very best microphones I have heard in 40 years of mixing, with a tremendous sense of detail and the sonic illusion of being located inside the stadium. The front-side pickup provides a heightened sense of size and place while the rear channels pick up a natural and convincing sense of being surrounded by the excited fans in the stands.”

Freed is responsible for capturing and sub-mixing all of the field-side audio on the Monday night football games, and he has been miking in 5.1 surround since he first began working on NFL’s weekly coverage three seasons ago. SoundField’s multi-capsule microphones capture audio from a single point source, rendering it completely phase-coherent. This is an advantage in 5.1 audio capture, as the surround ambience captured by SoundField mics can be collapsed to stereo or even mono for legacy broadcast without introducing any phase artifacts.

“Audio from the Soundfield DSF-2 always folds down well,” said Freed. “I am a fan of coherence where possible, and I always arrange my arrays so that my audio will fold down well to mono, stereo, or LtRt. SoundField fits right into that philosophy.”

Freed also credits the DSF-2 for its ability to be reoriented, once rigged, by adjustment of the mic’s control box. “If you get an unexpectedly loud section of the crowd in, say, the right rear of the soundstage, you can tip the microphone away from that area electronically. Before I had the DSF-2, I had to shut off one mic array to achieve the same thing, and that could unbalance the sound.”

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