The Major League Baseball All Star Game will have something new this year as Fox plans to expand the field audio coming from the players. This is made possible by a new type of microphone that can actually be buried on the field. The company plans on burying 13 of them on the infield, outfield and near the pitcher’s mound.
This new-look audio setup comes as a result of a unique microphone from a company called Q5X that specializes on player microphones, which have been used by MLB previously, as well as the NBA and NHL. It’s latest QT-5100 AquaMic is wireless and completely waterproof and totally submersible, although it may be a different story with dirt. That said, the biggest factor with the mic that makes it all possible is that fact that its internal lithium battery lasts eight to 12 hours on a single charge, plus the transmitters can be turned on and off remotely to reserve power. Battery life was the biggest issue in the past with putting microphones out in the field, but now that problem looks to be alleviated.
There will be other mics on the field beside the buried AquaMics. There are mics on the bases, two parabolic mics positioned out of play on either side of the field, and a total of more than 100 spot microphones sprinkled throughout Marlins Park. In addition, certain players and the umpires will be miked up as well. Many of the field mics will be submixed through a PreSonus console inside the stadium.
Miking the field isn’t anything new, but the latest technology makes it easier to do than ever before. Network sports crews have always been very experimental when it comes to audio, hoping to up the viewer experience. It should be interesting to see if the buried mics provides more of an “in-stadium” feeling than traditional All Star Game sports miking.