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Dorna Sports Looks to Future With Audio-Technica 8.0 Microphone Concept

Moto GP
Audio-Technica's 8.0 Microphone Concept prototype in use at MotoGP Jerez, Spain 2019 (Image credit: Audio-Technica)

Following nearly three seasons of extensive prototype testing of Audio-Technica's 8.0 Microphone Concept at MotoGP, the Grand Prix motorcycle racing Championship, commercial rights holder Dorna Sports S.L. has moved to make the 8.0 microphone a core audio component of its future program broadcasting, which includes ambitious plans toward remote production.

Located at Dorna Sports' Barcelona, Spain facility, the extensive remote production suite, which is planned to be phased in through the 2024 Season, will include a custom-built 7.1.4 / 5.1.4 dedicated Audio Control Room to mix immersive audio received from the track in real time. Audio-Technica 8.0 Microphones are to be located at the podium, parc fermé, pit lane and key positions around the racetrack.

While the Audio Control Room will remain static, audio acquisition at the track needs to capture the complex dynamic audio content of the premier global motorcycling event while also being practical in terms of setup and breakdown, given that there can be over twenty GPs around the world each season. Audio-Technica's 8.0 Microphone Concept is designed to be lightweight and small enough not just for discreet placement in a field of play, but each of the eight 12mm elements can be removed from the core mount and packed away quickly in a compact case, making for fast deployment by a single operator.

The simplicity of the 8.0 Microphone Concept is also its advantage, as producers and engineers who wish to capture immersive audio content in a real time and fast-paced environment, such as live sports, will have a practical and uncomplicated solution without the additional algorithms and decoding required in alternative immersive audio capture applications. As well as sports broadcasting, Audio-Technica sees several applications for its new microphone design, including concert halls and outdoor festivals.

"The ongoing design and technical feedback that we have received from the Dorna Sports audio team, who started out with just a 3D-printed prototype, has been both invaluable and instrumental to our fast development of the 8.0 Concept," said Rodrigo Thomaz, Audio-Technica Project Manager for MotoGP. "Indeed, the learnings gave us confidence to provide over twenty pieces to the host broadcaster responsible for delivering the summer fortnight of sports around the globe in immersive audio from Japan earlier this year."

Audio-Technica plans a market release of its 8.0 Microphone in 2022. Full specifications and pricing are expected nearer to this time.

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