Sports Mixing Heats Up with SALSA

Fairlight, collaborating with DTS and the University of Salford, has developed a real-time automated mixing process to assist sound engineers with live sports productions.
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Sydney, Australia (April 19, 2016)—Fairlight, collaborating with DTS and the University of Salford, has developed a real-time automated mixing process to assist sound engineers with live sports productions.

The Spatial Automated Live Sports Audio (SALSA) solution identifies the location of specific sound events from a grid of microphones. The algorithm, developed by the University of Salford, identifies the type of sound event, its 3D location and its duration, and automatically drives console fader movements to open the relevant mic(s). This real-world solution came to life when SALSA was combined with the object-based audio live production system co-developed by DTS and Fairlight.

Leaving microphones at a fixed level can result in crowd noise masking field sounds in the broadcast mix. With the introduction of even more mics and immersive object-based audio, it will become even more challenging to manually create the best possible mix. SALSA reportedly helps address this problem by allowing different game sounds, such as ball kicks and referee whistles, to be processed automatically by the mixing console. SALSA can be adapted to search for different sounds, allowing the automated mixing to be applied to different sports.

By choosing to use the open object-based audio standard MDA (ETSI 103-223: Multi-Dimensional Audio), SALSA was integrated by Fairlight into its next-generation live production systems, supporting both conventional and object-based broadcasts.

“By combining cutting edge technology from our three organisations, the SALSA project automatically translates pitch mics into 3D audio objects,” says Tino Fibaek, CTO at Fairlight. “This allows broadcast mix engineers to focus on the overall mix, whilst the system does the hard labor of extracting the best possible sound from the pitch for sports aficionados.”

Fairlight:
www.fairlight.com.au