It looks like we won't missing out on any tennis grunts this coming London Olympics, which sets to kick off next Friday. The reason being is that those noises will be picked up by the incredible movie caliber like production when it broadcasts on TV.
The Atlantic has a fantastically interesting look at how this is done and talks to people behind the process. Dennis Baxter, a sound engineer who's been working for the games for 20 years. In the article:
For the London Olympics, Baxter will deploy 350 mixers, 600 sound technicians, and 4,000 microphones at the London Olympics. Using all the modern sound technology they can get their hands on, they'll shape your experience to sound like a lucid dream, a movie, of the real thing.
Let's take archery. "After hearing the coverage in Barcelona at the '92 Olympics, there were things that were missing. The easy things were there. The thud and the impact of the target — that's a no brainer — and a little bit of the athlete as they're getting ready," Baxter says.
We'll just have to tune the volume down a notch, seeing players like Sharapova is one helluva screamer. But just what other sounds and noises will we be able to hear? Pants and sighs? [The Atlantic]