Leading The First-Ever Broadcast Of A Virtual Crowd In The US

Rob Oldfield
3 minute read

Since COVID-19 restrictions forced sport to be behind-closed-doors, many content creators across the globe worried that the excitement of live sport would be significantly reduced for viewers without the crowd sound providing the emotional soundtrack. Without fans at the venues, they would have to work harder to ensure viewer engagement.

A new challenge in live audio production was born - ‘how do we create compelling, convincing and contextual crowd sound...live?”

At Salsa Sound we addressed this early on with vCROWD™ to help bring the sound of the fans back and provide familiarity to viewers. Our goal from the outset was to provide an intuitive and easy-to-use tool for broadcasters/content-creators to enable them to augment their closed-doors content with a dynamic and contextual virtual crowd sound.  

Requiring just a touchscreen PC and with an ultra-intuitive interface and pay-as-you-go pricing model, vCROWD dramatically lowers the bar to entry for those looking to add virtual crowd to their productions. One such broadcaster was CBS Sports who were looking at a cost-effective solution for their NWSL (National Women’s Soccer League) in the US. This was the first professional sport to return in the US following the COVID-induced national shutdown and CBS were keen to respond and provide their audience with a natural feel to the games.

Taking several hours of historic footage, we were able to edit together and curate a set of contextually authentic sample banks for them with a very short turnaround going from initial conversation to full product roll-out and transmission in just a couple of weeks.  

Having given the team at Vista Worldlink a half hour training session with vCROWD they were up and running and producing great sounding virtual crowd for the NWSL content which received record viewing figures of over 1,000,000 per match for that competition.  

how we did it

Better, easier, closer sports audio for clubs and broadcasters. Contact us to find out how we can help you.

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