Archive on 4 - The Sound of Sport (Dennis Baxter)
When we think of the sound of sport on TV or radio, it's generally commentary. But what's around the commentary?
Broadcast sport would be nothing without the crowds, the kicks, the thwacks and the grunts. This programme is about
those sounds and why they matter.
During the World Cup of 2010, the Vuvuzelas made many people realise that the sound of a sports event, something
they took for granted, does matter.
Dennis Baxter's job is to think about the sound of sport, and he is our guide. For nearly 20 years he's worked on
the Olympics, defining how the broadcast will sound, always trying to increase drama and excitement. For him, closer
is generally better. If he can put a microphone on an athlete, he will.
At the Oxford-Cambridge boat race, the TV coverage is enhanced by microphones on the cox in each boat. Whilst
Wimbledon has a special sonic drama all of its own, as we learn from Bill Whiston who mixed the Bafta-nominated
sound of the 2008 finals.
When good sound isn't available, it's not uncommon for a prerecorded sound to be added to cover the shot. Is this
cheating or merely giving us what we expect?
The experience of "live" events can be highly produced, very different from the experience of being there. Is this
enhanced sound so very different from that of a film or a video game? We meet a Hollywood sound effects specialist
and a video game sound designer to find out what they do to create a sense of authenticity and excitement. Are they
raising our expectations of how "real" sport should sound?
As we approach the 2012 Olympics, this programme will make you think more about what you hear when you watch sport.
Producer: Peregrine Andrews
A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4.
Sat 30 Apr 2011 20:00 BBC Radio 4
Mon 2 May 2011 15:00 BBC Radio 4
App. 57 mins, cut into halves by me.
I think is feature is amazing - I had no intention to do more than listen in for decent recording quality, it being
sounds matter, which I am intersted in, but was completely captivated. To be frank I don't care for sports a hoot,
watching sports that is, but listening to it is an entirely different matter.
Living near a football stadium, throwing open the windows of a summer evening, listening to the crowds, and maybe
the radio, when they still had the full reports of a game on your local station - that also was, of course, before
cheap pushy music and mindless announcers took the field, and stopped giving you breaks.
This feature, for once, keeps even more than the blurb seems to promise, which naturally is never ever the case
- real secrets of the trade are revealed. Sound recording at huge events like the Olympics is discussed (If I remember
right, they used, incredibly, 600 microphones at one point? He says that I believe!), and the engineering of crowds
and emotions by invoking images via the ear, barely touching on what that implies, but not avoiding the subject either.
This also touches on the subject how things have to sound in order to sound right, the stuff foley artists do in film
and media, like why a coconut is a better horse than a horse (my weak example).
Absolutely fascinating, one of the best features I ever heard on anything, and certainly a must-listen if you are
interested in the subject, or in radio. Great sounds, too I had no idea there was a BAFTA for sound - as there
I do hope you'll enjoy this! - FryFan
How this was worked:
Digitally recorded from the BBC Listen-Again files (rarely from the life stream) as .wav, 16bit-stereo, 44.100 samples,
on HD with ancient Soundforge version.
Where applicable: cut to make pieces (preferably) no longer than 30 minutes in places where a cut makes sense, to enable
at least some handling of the files in the average player navbar.
Ends cleaned up, visually checked for stream interruptions; removed where found. Echoes and double-takes likely will have
gone unnoticed but are rare anyway.
1.7 secs of silence added on ends of each file to make room for ripper idiosyncrasies and bugs of the Windows Media Player.
Converted to mp3 with CDEx 1.40.
And since I keep forgetting: unless otherwise mentioned, what you find in this torrent would typically be either one
piece of a running time somewhere between 27 and under 30 mins, or five parts of app. 14 mins each - plus this info
(or most of it) as a text file. If the file list doesn't tally, I forgot ag
But with 128/ 44, it's not that hard to figure. Divide file size by ten and multiply the result by eleven,
and you have a little more than the app. running time. Even I can figure that, and I'm practically a mathematical moron.
The blurb is the Beeb's, often via radiolistings, unless specified. Edited only for fear of spoilers, major repetitions,
and line breaks - occasional comments of mine thrown in that should be easily identifiable.
Original broadcast dates mostly taken from radiolistings, with much gratitude.
Type : mpeg 1
Bitrate : 128
Mode : joint stereo
Frequency : 44.100 Hz
Encoder : Lame 3.92 Alpha