Crappy Helmet communication

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VT5700
VT5700
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Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2020 12:18 pm

Crappy Helmet communication

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hello, new here! I have always been curious why F1 communication sounds so crappy ? Even Mercedes sounds bogus, although I hear a difference since last year or so ? Hamilton sounds better than before, but still, there is so much background noise and that applies to the pitcrew as well now and then, depending on who is talking.

I wonder how important this is to the team ? As I have good knowledge of sound-egineering I wonder, why can't this seem to get better than how it is?

Jolle
Jolle
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Joined: Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:58 pm
Location: Dordrecht

Re: Crappy Helmet communication

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They have their mics in the baclava and not in the helmets. And the cockpits are incredible noisy. If you compare it to motorcycles for instance, speeds are double where you communicate at with a lot more turbulence.

If you would drive them without earplugs, you’ll get tinnitus within a few races.

For the speeds, the helmet noise and the physical stress the drivers are under, I think they are doing a good job.

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strad
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Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2010 12:57 am

Re: Crappy Helmet communication

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SKY can't seem to balance any of their sound inputs. I do like that sometimes they now show a print out of what the drivers say. Too bad they don't do it every time or learn to run a mixing board.
To achieve anything, you must be prepared to dabble on the boundary of disaster.”
Sir Stirling Moss

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El Scorchio
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Joined: Mon Jul 29, 2019 11:41 am

Re: Crappy Helmet communication

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strad wrote:
Tue Jul 21, 2020 7:19 pm
SKY can't seem to balance any of their sound inputs. I do like that sometimes they now show a print out of what the drivers say. Too bad they don't do it every time or learn to run a mixing board.
I’d imagine it’s the F1 producers on the world feed responsible for that rather than Sky, so they probably don’t have much control over levels. If it was Sky doing it then I think they’d time it better so they’d never have to interrupt themselves or stop in the middle of a sentence for a radio message.

I could be wrong trough

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strad
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Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2010 12:57 am

Re: Crappy Helmet communication

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Of course FOM controls the what SKY receives for use but SKY should have a sound engineer at a master mix board where he can adjust the volume of every input from ambient track noise to mics in pit lane to the announcers, all of it.
We didn't have so much problem with the U.S. based transmission.
The only thing I see better about SKY is that they have no commercial breaks and I really laud them for that.
I spent ages wishing for Martins grid walk that I heard so much about only to be totally disappointed along with great disappointment over the announcers. I don't tune in to be screamed at without any good cause or to hear what they ate for breakfast, or personal inside jokes.
As for them talking over the car to pit transmission, there is a tone warning them but they don't shut up.
To achieve anything, you must be prepared to dabble on the boundary of disaster.”
Sir Stirling Moss

VT5700
VT5700
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Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2020 12:18 pm

Re: Helmet communication

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I have driven 270km with not much noise in my helmet microphone system, and have a recording at 220km/h already made 20 years ago with much much better sound than F1. And it was made in the turbulence so, that isnt really much slower than F1, the F1 drivers sometimes I hear them driving slower and it still sounds soso..

Do you maybe know why they have it in the Balaclava ? Is there any known reason for it ?
Last edited by VT5700 on Wed Jul 22, 2020 11:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Radley
Radley
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Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2014 3:10 am
Location: San Francisco

Re: Crappy Helmet communication

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Strad's right. Sky receives "stems" from FOM and then decides what to do with them. They could easliy have the in-car pop up in left or right channels only.

-the teams do have the bandwidth to have clear audio, the hardware they use isn't up to snuff.
-most of the teams and FOM use Riedel digital intercoms on a fibre network.
-this weekend especially Sky's audio has sucked big ones. There's been hardly any audio on the Left or Right channels and the surround channels are totally off.
-gearheads like me & Strad like the ear splitting sounds of race car engines. The only time we get that with Sky is when Martin Brundle walks the course during FP2, but even then, his mic is only mono.

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gary123
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Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2013 7:49 pm
Location: Italy

Re: Helmet communication

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VT5700 wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 6:22 pm
I have driven 270km with not much noise in my helmet microphone system, and have a recording at 220km/h already made 20 years ago with much much better sound than F1. And it was made in the turbulence so, that isnt really much slower than F1, the F1 drivers sometimes I hear them driving slower and it still sounds soso..

Do you maybe know why they have it in the Balaclava ? Is there any known reason for it ?
The reason is that sometimes the microphone integrated to the chin of the helmet might stop working and the drivers needs a new helmet but with the same visor configuration and so on. So its harder to switch a helmet compared to the balaclava. Also there is much more noise since it is closer to the ventilation holes for the face/chin. The one in the balaclava instead offers a clearer sound from the driver since its pretty much attached to the mouth of the driver. Hamilton from 2019 uses the microphone inside the balaclava, and the sound has improved compared to 2017/18. Kimi uses the one integrated into the helmet to make a comparison.
https://www.fia.com/sites/default/files ... rm_v08.pdf Here you can se how Bell integrates the microphone inside the helmet.