World Cup Special: What makes sports sound great:

With the 2018 football/soccer World Cup beginning today – and with 3.2 billion people (!) tuning in for the last one – let’s explore the talent, effort and creativity that goes into making sports sound great.

For starters, two classics from Vox and 99% Invisible give you the story on why sports sound better in the living room, and on how sports sound is designed.

You’ll also get the inside-story behind the sound for legendary game franchises such as FIFA and Madden NFL, the science behind stadium sound, the sound of tennis, basketball, boxing, hockey, skiing, UFC and American Football + an interview with the Patrick Baltzell, responsible for the sound of the past 19 Super Bowls. And finally, discover the most popular sound effects libraries when it comes to sports.

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Why sports sound better in the living room:

“We don’t often think about audio when we watch sports on TV, but it’s a huge part of the experience. We spoke with several A1 audio engineers who mix the sounds of sports to learn more about what it takes to capture the crack of the bat and the swish of the net.

From the cadence of the quarterback to the sounds of skates on ice, audio mixers are tasked with getting microphones close enough to the action to gather the sounds but still out of the way of the players and the fans.

Once the microphones are set up, they handle the stressful task of live mixing all the audio for the broadcast, so that we can hear the announcers and the sounds of the game, despite thousands of screaming fans and the PA system blaring music.

In the end, if they do the job right, you’ll forget they exist.”

99% invisible: The sound of sports:

“The experience of “live” events can be highly produced, very different from the experience of being there. Is this enhanced sound so very different from that of a film or a video game? We meet a Hollywood sound effects specialist and a video game sound designer to find out what they do to create a sense of authenticity and excitement. Are they raising our expectations of how “real” sport should sound?”

Hear the podcast:

Bonus videos – NFL recording, football reactions, bare-knuckle boxing + the sounds of Wimbledon recreated:

Recording the sounds for Madden NFL 17:


What it sounds like when Brazil scores in the World Cup:

Sports aren’t just loud in the stadium. Here’s what it sounded like when Claus Wahlers captured the neighborhood reactions to a football/soccer game between Brazil and Croatia in Moema, São Paulo:


Designing the sounds of bare-knuckle boxing:

Need the sound of an UFC-style bare-knuckle boxing fight? This layer-by-layer feature on the punch sounds from Fight Club might give you some sonic inspiration:


Recreating the sounds of Wimbledon – with Lou Brown and Rick Blything:

What does Wimbledon sound like? For this great initiative, Foley artist Louise Brown and sound designer Rick Blything worked with a group of young people from Wandsworth Vision Support Service to recreate the sounds of Wimbledon:

Popular sports sound effects libraries:


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A Sound Effect gives you easy access to an absolutely huge sound effects catalog from a myriad of independent sound creators, all covered by one license agreement – a few highlights:
Latest sound effects libraries:




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