Strawberries, cream, cheering and grunting
While commercial radio listeners love a bit of the grunting at Wimbledon, it seems BBC 5 Live is letting listeners mix the audio the way they want it.
The BBC, in conjunction with audio software company Fraunhofer have created the Wimbledon NetMix, a new audio feature for 5 Live’s coverage of the Wimbledon tennis commentary.
NetMix lets the listener adjust the commentary level relative to the sound of the court: the crowd, base-line grunting and ball.
The BBC says “one of the biggest audio challenges for broadcasters covering sports events is knowing how much of the ‘roar of the crowd’ to include along with the commentary”.
The listener has control of how they want to enjoy the sound meaning they can reduce the volume of the crowd and even players’ grunting noises. Listeners adjust the sound mix from one extreme with lots of crowd sounds and base-line grunting and the commentary as a very quiet voice, to the other extreme with loud commentary and very quiet sounds from the match.
It’s great to see new technological advances adjusting how listeners can enjoy their radio experience. Innovations like this help retain attention in the battle for share of mind against TV’s HD and 3D etc.
You can read more of the experiment from Rupert Brun, Head of Technology for Audio and Music at the BBC on the BBC Internet Blog.