MLB Parks Will Use Crowd Sound From MLB The Show During Games

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Players in the league will still hear the roar of the crowd, although the stands will be empty when the baseball season begins next week.Inspired by two European football leagues, Major League Baseball will play crowd noise from its official video game via PA systems during games. The sound engineers at the stadium will have access to around 75 different effects and reactions, according to MLB, which provided teams with crowd sounds captured from MLB The Show.

The San Diego studios, a branch of Sony Interactive Entertainment, have compiled the noise during the games over several seasons.

Clubs have started using the sounds during summer camp games and will be able to test them more during exhibition games.

“There was some reluctance when you first talk about crowd noise in an empty stadium because you don’t want to do something that distracts you,” said Chris Marinak, executive vice president of MLB for strategy, technology and innovation. “It is heard in a way that is natural with the game and on the field. The sounds correspond to what is happening. ”

The English Premier League and the Spanish Liga were the first to return to the action with the sound of the video game crowd. The leagues have recruited EA Sports to provide crowd effects they have designed for the FIFA video game franchise. Marinak said that MLB had spoken to several companies before deciding to join Sony.

Baseball hopes that the sounds of the crowd, as well as stadium announcers, walk-in music and video in the stadium, will reproduce the experience of the game as faithfully as possible without real fans in the stadium. Some ball fields also offer fans the opportunity to purchase cut photos that will be placed in the stands.

Brewers’ inside fielder Eric Sogard said Thursday that the noise of the crowd had helped intensify competition for some guys in intrasquad matches.

“You are still focused on the game, but this noise is very useful. I could say that the first screams with pure silence were difficult for some guys, “he said. “You could hear the other canoe talking, and it was rather embarrassing. ”

The sounds will also be heard on radio and television. The Korean baseball league spreads the noise of the crowd in the stadiums so that they are not completely silent, but this is barely audible during the matches broadcast on ESPN.

Some fans and broadcasters are wary of artificial crowd noise, as it takes away a unique opportunity to hear player conversations during games this season. Alex Rodriguez noted during an ESPN conference call that the only time fans can hear this type of interaction is if they are going to spring workouts.

ESPN’s announcer, Matt Vasgersian, hopes there could still be some sort of audio hotspot to provide a little bit of everything.

“I think it still allows us to capture some of this and make the viewing experience feel right at home,” he said. “I can’t wait to hear what we hear. No one involved in the dissemination of baseball wants to compromise the strategy. We are not looking to delve into the game book, but we do want to hear things that we might not normally hear. ”

The NBA has been in touch with 2K Sports regarding the possible use of its sound library when the league resumes play outside Orlando, Florida.

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