d&b Soundscape thrilled audiences with a more visceral, immersive experience at the 2022 Defense of the Ancients 2 (DOTA 2) live world championship held recently at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Currently in its eleventh iteration and dubbed ‘The International’, the annual eSports world championship tournament was hosted by Valve, the game’s developer, and is considered one of eSports biggest events. Sound designer and owner of post production and live events agency Aural Fixation, Jason Waggoner has served as the live audio sound designer and department lead for the tournament since 2018, with d&b consistently being the audio manufacturer of choice.
The d&b system is primarily focused on game sounds, announcer commentary and video playback in the arena, as well as supporting live entertainment elements when called for. While d&b has been part of the event for several years, Soundscape was specified just last year. But due to COVID, the 2021 tournament was cancelled at the last minute, so 2022 was the first time the audience was able to experience its incredible sound capabilities in person.
For Valve, the game audio in the arena needed to sound as close as possible to what it would be like if the audience were wearing headphones or watching at home.
“Soundscape gave the audience not only a better overall experience but a more homogenous one to what they're used to,” commented Waggoner. “This audience is used to watching at home on Twitch and YouTube, probably on headphones, and so we needed to deliver something more akin to that experience but at the same time had all the excitement of a live show.”
Waggoner used d&b’s ArrayCalc Simulation software for the d&b Soundscape project. The visualization tool is designed to accurately model a Soundscape system’s real and perceived acoustical performance within a space. The simulation tool allows d&b users to evaluate how the spatialization created with a Soundscape system will be experienced, which helps audio technicians optimize system design early in a production’s planning phase.
“This feature allowed me to deploy the system in a non-traditional way, and have a lot of flexibility in how the content was delivered to the audience,” said Waggoner.