EA has announced that FIFA 20 crowd noises will be used for real Premier League fixtures. The season is due to resume later this week following an indefinite delay since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The system EA is adopting for the fixtures has been termed “Atmospheric Audio”. What it entails is 13 hours of sounds, developed from 1,300 individual ‘assets’. These will be used for English Premier League and Spanish La Liga TV broadcasts.

Sky Sports has already confirmed as a broadcaster, that they’ll be using this new system. For the time being then, all matches will take place in empty stadiums, in a bid to prevent the spread of coronavirus. As posted via Twitter below, Valencia’s recent match against Levante adopted the system within the stadium.

Interviewed by ESPN, Sky Deutschland’s SVP sports production, Alessandro Reitano explained how “Atmospheric Audio” would work. He cited the Dortmund v Bayern game as an example, and said: “we took the basic audio carpet from the last match they played against each other.”

Reitano explained that with the basic crowd noises of fans, the sound could be delivered to an outside broadcast van on-site.

“Our audio engineer in the OB van is mixing the authentic sound, which is happening at the stadium, together with this audio carpet. We get this feed into our broadcasting center in Unterföhring, near Munich, and now comes the tricky last bit”, explained Reitano. 

Audio samples have been created for particular scenes within the game, for everything from penalties, fouls, and VAR decisions.

Reitano said: “We created samples from the dedicated fans and there is one guy, a Sky sound producer, who is watching the match live. Their job is to insert a specific sample if an action happens.”

In the event of a penalty or a foul, the samples of fans’ reactions will be filtered into the audio mix. Altogether, in order to achieve the best results from this system, it can require up to ten people to work on it over a weekend.

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