Beijing, China (February 14, 2022)—The Winter Olympics are once again in full swing, broadcasting from Beijing through Sunday, February 20. With dozens of events to bring to sports fans around the world, the host broadcaster is employing more than 2,300 Audio-Technica microphones, plus headphones and accessories, to capture the sounds of competition.
A-T’s mics have been used to capture the games for 26 years, and this time around, camera positions are often being set up with Audio-Technica’s shotgun microphones. In fact, more than 700 were sent to Bejing, with the majority being BP4027 and BP4029 stereo models.
Conveying a vibrant competition on ice, such as speed skating, ice hockey and figure skating, requires capturing the sharp yet subtle sounds of skates. Used to net that unique sound, approximately 60 pieces of AT880b contact microphone are on-hand, sunk into the ice fields before being frozen.
The competitive side of curling is conveyed through the use of more than 50 channels of ATW-5000 Series wireless belt-pack microphone systems, often working continuously for up to 13 hours per day in what can be a challenging competition environment, both in terms of temperatures and radio frequency planning.
A long-running signature of the Winter Olympics is the detail of a venue’s “ambient” sound, delivered in 5.1 surround, which relies on a combination of AT4050 mono and AT4050ST stereo large diaphragm microphones, often hung from high in venues, as well as the more recent introduction of a pair of stereo BP4025 microphones fitted to a custom windshield mount in a 4.0 setting. In total, there are more than 200 of these ambient microphones throughout the various competition sites.
U851R boundary microphones, in special “winter white” colors, BP899 and BP898 lapel microphones hidden discreetly around the fields of play, and a number of in-ear E-Series monitors and Mx-Series headphones are also part of the inventory delivered by Audio-Technica to the host city.
Finally, making an appearance at the Winter Olympics after their initial use last summer in Tokyo are 14 of Audio-Technica’s prototype 8.0 Microphones, each consisting of eight 12 mm diameter microphone elements. The 8.0 microphones form part of the host broadcaster’s immersive audio program delivery package, mixed real-time in this fast-paced live sports environment; they all contribute to delivering close-up action and an encompassing audio experience of each sporting discipline.