Audio for The Match To Be Up-Close and Personal
Woods and Mickelson will be wired for sound on PPV event
Get ready to listen in on two of the world’s top golfers. Turner Sports will wire up Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson and their caddies at Las Vegas’s Shadow Creek Golf Course on Friday for the winner-take-all, $9 million PPV event Capital One’s The Match: Tiger vs. Phil.
“I think that this [show], more than ever, is about access, and bringing the viewer closer to the two contestants, Tiger and Phil, is the key,” observes Chris Brown, director, technical operations, Turner Sports. “So how do we create an experience that allows us not to miss anything. [It’s] in 1080p HDR, and the audio complements that and makes it a more immersive and dramatic experience for the viewer.”
As part of that solution, both golfers, their caddies, and their golf bags will be fitted with wireless lavalier mics intended to pick up their conversations. In addition, wireless parabolic microphones will be aimed at strategic points along their paths and on tees and greens. Also, more than 40 other microphones will capture environmental sound, such as wind and bird sounds, to be spread across a 5.1-surround soundscape.
The event’s audio will be handled by NEP’s two-unit EN2 paired with ND7-C. The former’s Calrec Apollo console is the primary mixer for the show, helmed by lead A1 Peteris Saltans; David Free will run the submix on a Calrec Artemis. The consoles will be linked via Calrec Hydra2 networking, and, in a departure from the usual workflow, the studio set’s audio will also be routed to and mixed through the main console. BSI will be on hand to manage the event’s RF coverage.
All Tiger and Phil All the Time
“The primary goal is to bring viewers into the world and minds of Tiger and Phil,” Brown explains. “The focus is going to be almost solely on them, using wireless parab mics and mics on them and their caddies and bags. We also want the sounds of the ball off the tee, hitting the green, hitting the bottom of the cup. We have five 12-channel frames for this. The sounds will bring the viewer out to Shadow Creek.”
He adds that the effort is made a bit easier by the fact that there’s no field of other players to cover and that there are no commercial breaks. “We’re not trying to cover 30 players across 18 holes; it’s all about those two players,” he explains. “Most of the RF audio will be around the two players.”
Brown says the coverage will build on Turner Sports’ experience covering the PGA Championships since 1991, often in concert with CBS Sports. That long experience helps, he says, in determining what works for golf on television and what doesn’t. Much of that will be heard in the ambient soundscape surrounding the two protagonists.
“What sets this event apart is that it’s less about the course and more about capturing the moments with Tiger and Phil,” he explains. “When you’re covering The Masters, you’re trying to capture all of it, looking for the moments. Here, you know where the moments are going to be. This entire event revolves around them.”