Sennheiser MKH Mics Capture Champion Red Sox

New York (November 5, 2007)--We're still cleaning up the confetti around the PSN office from celebrating the Red Sox' World Series victory (OK, not really), so what better opportunity to talk more about the mics used to capture the team's various victories? For the 5.1 broadcast of the series, audio mixer Joe Carpenter used Sennheiser's new MKH 8000 Series microphones for field and crowd coverage.
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New York (November 5, 2007)--We're still cleaning up the confetti around the PSN office from celebrating the Red Sox' World Series victory (OK, not really), so what better opportunity to talk more about the mics used to capture the team's various victories? For the 5.1 broadcast of the series, audio mixer Joe Carpenter used Sennheiser's new MKH 8000 Series microphones for field and crowd coverage.

Carpenter reported that, while he might typically use a narrower pattern mic, the omni-directional MKH 8020 was better suited for pairing with the parabolics, especially at Fenway Park. "In Boston, the parabolics are mounted up on a screen behind home plate. If foul balls go back there and knock them slightly off axis, cardioids are not as forgiving, because the pattern is a little tighter. My guys can't get to them during the game, so we have go with what happens. So I had the omnis in there."

The MKH 8040 microphones in center field have improved the sound of the crowd in the surround channels and have the additional advantage of improving the downmix to stereo, says Carpenter. He typically notches out crowd noise in the 710Hz to 820Hz range from the parabolic mics positioned behind home plate in order to focus on the crack of the bat and the pop of the glove in the front channels, he says. "But I also want there to be that nice, bright, big crowd bed in there. I use those cardioids, which sound so warm, and I brighten them up a little bit. Letting the encoders naturally do the downmix, those MKH 8020 mics spill back into my front channels and also brighten up my rear channels, which creates a nice downmix."

A crowd submix of microphones in the announce booth, above first and third base and on cameras positioned in the crowd are available to feed into the front speaker channels, he elaborates. "But I don't always have those mics open when I have the bat crack mics open. I try not to feed too much into the front. What's happening naturally in the downmix is that the bright rear crowd is keeping my crowd mix brighter and more natural. The natural out of phase information from my rear channels that folds back into the front is brightening up my crowd bed, so it doesn't sound so hollow with only the parabolics open. That's something new that I haven't tried before."

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