Lama introduces AutoMix v2.0 for better sports broadcasting listening experiences

Netherlands-based software developer Lean And Mean Audio (Lama) has introduced version 2.0 of its AutoMix solution, which includes a number of improvements that will enable sport broadcasters to make listening experiences simpler, faster and more efficient.

One of the specific new functions of AutoMix 2.0 that clients of the business requested is a new GUI for remote control of the new web user interface, which will allow operators to securely control and monitor the solution from anywhere, without a remote desktop tool.

The company says this remote capability also prevents an operator accidentally altering any settings since the virtual machine is virtual and divorced entirely from the browser interface.

“It has been on the wish list of clients for a while,” says Ewan Cameron, chief commercial officer and co-founder at Lama.

The backend of the new GUI now connects to an API, which allows integration with third-party solutions. As an example, this allows clients to control the AutoMix software through an orchestrator like BNCS or DataMiner.

In terms of quality, the latest version has improved microphone bleed detection, another development based on customer feedback.

Cameron explains: “When there is more than one commentator in a booth there will always be bleed between the different microphones. The improved bleed detection ensures that only the correct microphone is levelled while the commentator is talking, leading to a cleaner, more coherent mix. It also means that no operator has do any sound check on levels.”

When interviews are included in the International Sound Feed, the software’s new Voice Activity Detection can now identify this and automatically ride the level to ensure intelligibility.

“Often commentators are having to broadcast from locations with a lot of background noise,” Cameron says. “AutoMix now has the option to apply intelligent noise reduction to effectively reduce this issue.”

The main use case for AutoMix to date has been sports broadcasting, but the underlying technology can be applied to other purposes such as podcasts and talk shows.

Jeroen Dieks, chief product officer and co-founder at Lama, states that the business has created an AutoMix version that can level a host and several guests and also mix in leaders and underscores, which, in the context of sports, could also be used for highlight shows from sporting events.

Dieks, an experienced broadcast engineer who worked for Eurosport for eight years, conceived the idea for AutoMix when noticing that increasing automation only seemed to address the video side of the broadcasting business. He saw an opportunity to use software and audio DSP to revolutionise the automation of the broadcast mix process.

To develop his vision, he brought onboard two key co-founders, Yorgos Karafotias, an artificial intelligence (AI), data and computer scientist, and Jochem de Jong, a DSP, C++ and audio plugin developer. Working closely with a number of key European broadcast companies, the team developed the AutoMix prototype.

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