IPL 2020: Empty stadiums in UAE come alive, thanks to Mumbai’s ‘sound bank’

Host broadcaster Star Sports “studied” sounds of matches from its archives to recreate the same buzz in IPL 2020

According to Gupta, Star Sports had to re-record the sounds in a studio as they couldn’t use the actual game sounds

IPL 2020 matches in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah are being played in front of empty stadiums, but viewers on TV get to hear sounds of fans cheering their favourite cricketers. How is it happening? Star TV has explained about its “sound bank”.

This year’s IPL is a different experience for cricketers and fans. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, players are staying in bio-secure bubbles. Spectators and media personnel do not have access to stadiums, even during practice sessions.

To create the same stadium atmosphere with fans rooting for their teams, the host broadcaster Star Sports has put together stadium sounds from previous editions. These sounds are being played out during IPL 2020 matches.

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“We went back and studied the sounds of over 100 IPL matches starting from 2018. We studied the sounds associated with a specific team, and also the team they are playing against. For example, if Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians are playing, the decibel level is very different from a game between Kings XI Punjab and Delhi Capitals,” Star India’s head (Sports) Sanjog Gupta, was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.

The sounds you hear for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) captain Virat Kohli are different from MS Dhoni, the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) skipper. All those have been mixed in a studio in Mumbai.

“We had to arrive at a framework of sound that is unique to every player and every team. When MS Dhoni, Rohit Sharma or Virat Kohli hits a six, the cheer is different compared to a player who is unknown or an upcoming youngster,” says Gupta.

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According to Gupta, Star Sports had to re-record the sounds in a studio as they couldn’t use the actual game sounds.

“We formed a sound bank. We recorded the sound again in a studio. We could not use the actual game sound because it has too many things like fireworks, cheerleaders, songs playing in the stadium. There are various layers of sound, the first is the stadium ambience. There is another sound, which is added to the moment, like for a six or four. The most interesting sound is interactive audio, like when Dhoni hits a six and we hear the Dhoni chant. It’s to do with the situation of the match,” he said.

Thanks to Star Sports, players in IPL 2020 are not missing the crowd support, their home ground atmosphere. The stadiums might be empty in the UAE but they seem to be “full” when you hear those cheers, chants.

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