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Sennheiser supports Riedel for 36th America’s Cup

Sennheiser supports Riedel for 36th America’s Cup

Sennheiser supports Riedel for 36th America’s Cup

New Zealand:

The 36th America’s Cup, presented by Prada and considered the pinnacle of yachting, took place in the Hauraki Gulf off the coast of Auckland. Riedel oversaw the technology concept for broadcast and race management for the host broadcast partner, circle-o, delivering camera, audio and sensor solutions embedded in a comprehensive technical infrastructure.

Riedel provided extensive remote support from its Remote Operations Center (ROC) in Wuppertal, Germany, which served as a monitoring and engineering hub that could remotely access the system setup in Auckland, including video, audio, and intercom signals. This was supported by a 30-strong onsite team managing audio, video, communications, tracking, and data transmission systems, including signals from onboard cameras, chase boats and helicopters. Riedel deployed custom-made Sennheiser microphones for the event coverage, which saw the two German companies collaborate closely.

Sennheiser engineers provided custom-made, waterproof microphones for the crews’ boom sets and onboard cameras, matched to Riedel’s Bolero wireless intercom and integrated into the communication setup. “We are absolutely delighted to having partnered Riedel on this spectacular project,” said co-CEO Andreas Sennheiser. “The America’s Cup is a high-tech race that puts both the teams and equipment to the very hardest of tests. In addition, it is yet another proof that sports broadcasting is a true innovation driver.”

Added Thomas Riedel, CEO and founder, Riedel Communications: “Decades of experience in the most demanding production environments culminated in this very special project with very special challenges. Together with our partner suppliers, all of whom represent the global standard in their fields, our team created a seamless production infrastructure that enabled circle-o to take its live coverage to thrilling new levels. Their stunning coverage opened up entirely new perspectives on sailing and perfectly illustrated the great impact technology can have on entertainment formats and the tangibility of sporting events.”

Any microphone onboard the race boats had to withstand becoming completely immersed in water, as well as loud wind noise. Michael Horn, manager of Sennheiser’s Competence Center for Acoustics and Mechanical Design, worked with his team to develop a solution based on the MKE 2 subminiature lavalier. This resulted in a professional broadcast microphone (frequency response 20 Hz – 20,000 Hz), its capsule protected against water by an umbrella diaphragm that covered the acoustically active diaphragm without altering its performance. The capsule was also fitted with a grille that prevented water getting into the mic. Added to this was a windshield made from a special foam that retained its wind protection properties even when soaking wet, giving waterproof protection up to 1 bar (1m for 30 minutes). Elastic suspension prevented the mics reacting to structure-borne noise, whether in headset configuration or as ambience microphones.

“The interaction of all these components is what makes this microphone so special,” explained Horn. “Other models might withstand some spray or even the odd splash, but this microphone is the one. It just performs, no matter whether it is dry or wet, delivering captivating live audio from the boats and making communications within the teams easy.”

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