In Part 3, we looked at typical setups for football.  In this 4th article we will focus on how to capture better on-court audio for indoor sports such as basketball or volleyball. 

Because of the crowd noise that reverberates within the building, it can be extremely difficult to capture quality audio for indoor sports.  The sample setups shown here are for basketball but are easily adapted to other indoor sports.

Basketball – Typical Network Setup

While there is a wide variety of setups used by audio engineers, a typical college or NBA basketball game, the networks will utilize the following:

  • One shotgun above each basket,
  • one lapel mic on each rim,
  • one or more shotgun microphone along each side of the court
  • shotgun microphones attached to each court-side camera

The diagram below provides a graphical representation of how the pickup pattern of the microphones cover the court.

Live01

One audio engineer purchased four small parabolic microphones that he locates on the backboard support arm.  He feels that the small parabolic mics provide better coverage of the court and uses this setup when possible.  The images below show examples of how he mounts the parabolic mics.  The diagram below provides a graphical representation of how the pickup pattern of the parabolic microphones cover the court.

Live02


 Live03

Basketball – Very Low Budget Setup

When the budget is very low, a single camera-mounted shotgun mic can be used to cover a portion of the on-court action.  Obviously only a portion of the court can be covered well.  Locating the camera on the “home” side may allow the coach / player interactions to be captured as well as the on-court action.

The diagram below shows the pickup pattern of a typical shotgun microphone along the side of the court.  Notice how the cardioid pickup pattern extends outside of the court itself.  This will allow crowd noise to be captured at a level equal to the play on the court.

Live04

As shown in the diagram below, adding a second camera-mounted microphone along the edge of the court allows both ends of the court to be covered.

Live05

Using a small parabolic microphone on the camera(s) instead of a shotgun mic reduces the level of crowd noise that is captured.  The diagram below shows the conical pickup pattern of two typical parabolic microphones pointed towards the court.  Notice how the pickup patterns reduces the amount of crowd noise that will be captured as the cameras turns parallel to the court. 

Live06

This image shows an example of a small parabolic mic mounted to a camera at the edge of a basketball court.  Again, a second camera in the opposite corner of the court would provide additional coverage.

Live07

Other indoor sports, such as volleyball, would use the same basic approach but it may be possible to relocate the camera-microphone combination to the center of the court, as shown below.

Live08

Cost

Unfortunately, the setup that is used to capture an event is often dictated by budget.  Here are some list prices for several shotgun mics and the three different sizes of parabolic microphones that have been discussed in this series. 

Klover Products is pleased to offer a discount for educators that can make parabolic microphones a more attractive option to schools and colleges.  Details of this program can be found at https://kloverproducts.com/sound-shark/quality-audio-for-educators/

  • Audio-Technica AT8035 shotgun mic - $269
  • Sennheiser ME-67 shotgun (lobar) - $500
  • Sennheiser MKH416 shotgun (lobar) - $1,000
  • Sennheiser MKH-8070 shotgun (lobar) - $1,700
  • Sound Shark 9-inch parabolic - $285 ($240 for educators)
    (plus omni-directional lapel mic @ $60 to $200)
  • Klover 9-inch parabolic - $375 ($320 for educators)
    (plus omni-directional lapel mic @ $60 to $200)
  • Klover 16-inch parabolic - $1,250 ($1,060 for educators)
    (plus omni-directional or cardioid mic @ $60 to $500)
  • Klover 26-inch parabolic - $2,250
    (plus omni-directional or cardioid mic @ $60 to $500)

We hope this series of articles has been helpful.  We would be happy to answer any questions that you may have.  Please email your questions to [email protected]


 

In April of 2012, Paul and Patrick Santini, an Innalytical Solutions customer, created Klover Product, Inc. Previously in 2011, thay had jointly dveloped a paabolic microphone for Fox Sports when Fox audio engineers grew disatisfied with the available products. That original test unit turned out to be the first prototype of the microphone that would latr become the Klover MiK 26. The Klover MiK 26 parabolic microphones have been used exclusiely by Fox Sports for football broadcasts since 2012.


PaulPaul Terpstra has more than 35 years of engineering and product development experience. He founded Innalytical Solutiong, Inc. in 2004, to provide a wide range of engineering services including forensic engineering, Finite Element Analysis, electomechanical design, machine design, and machinery repair. Paul was recently granted his eleventh U. S. Patenr.