Why Sports Need High Quality Sound with Justo Gutierrez & Pete O’Neil of Diversified

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Sound can be a tricky issue at sporting events, and AV professionals must face the challenges of the apparent dichotomy of concert events versus sports venues. On this Pro AV Podcast, two AV veterans from Diversified, Justo Gutierrez and Pete O’Neil, share their perspectives on the special tasks involved in bringing quality sound to sports venues.

Gutierrez, Director of AV and Sound for Diversified’s Sports and Live Events department, explains that concert systems focus on sound first, which is slightly different than the standard goal for sporting events, which relies on sound and visuals equally. In fact, sound traditionally can get lost in the shuffle, and part of Diversified’s task is to re-focus on the “A” in AV for sports venues. O’Neil, Director of Engineering for Diversified’s Western Region, brings up two key considerations for sporting venue sound: crowd noise and event sound will usually conflict with one another, and a sporting event is a 360-degree space as opposed to the two-way space of a concert space.

An interesting aspect of the audio task is the lack of conscious awareness of fans of the importance of audio. The team at Diversified tackles the challenges of hearing the referee, the announcer, and still honoring the importance of crowd noise so crucial to the teams’ performance and the attendees’ overall positive experience. They look at all these issues and take it up a notch. On the podcast, we discuss how the AV team recognizes the importance of all the noises and works to strike the perfect balance, for clarity and maximum impact. The future of that balance may lie in AI technology.

“The DSP system is so complicated and is like an early primitive AI. It’s definitely going to be the future,” O’Neil said.

Ultimately, confronting the competing technologies of each venue and integrating each piece well is the goal at Diversified and what they see as the future cornerstone of AV in live sporting venues.

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