Prism Sound audio conversion has played a key role in the creation of music for the opening and closing ceremonies at this year’s FIFA World cup in Qatar – all of which was recorded and mixed at Katara Studios in Doha.
The company’s products were used extensively to ensure that all audio produced delivered the highest levels of clarity and quality.
“Katara Studios has over 50 Prism Sound converters ranging from the flagship ADA-8XR multichannel converters, through to DA2 stereo D/A and AD2 stereo A/D converters,” says internationally acclaimed mastering engineer Mazen Murad, who is Katara Studio’s Director of Music Production and Mastering Engineer.
“We use them for everything, all the time. For the FIFA World Cup project, every activation that had anything to do with music involved a Prism Sound unit at some point in the creative chain – from recording live musicians, through to mixing, mastering and post production.”
The 2023 World Cup has seen FIFA break with tradition by scrapping the concept of one official song.
Instead, it has released the FIFA World Cup™ Official Soundtrack featuring multiple songs from artists such as US star Trinidad Cardona, Afrobeats icon Davido, Qatari sensation AISHA, Puerto Rican multiplatinum award-winning superstar Ozuna and French-Congolese rapper Gims.
Produced by FIFA’s Creative Entertainment Executive, RedOne, three songs on the official soundtrack were recorded at Katara Studios in Doha.
These included Hayya Hayya (Better Together), featuring Trinidad Cardona, Davido and AISHA, Arhbo, featuring Ozuna, GIMS and RedOne, and Light The Sky, featuring four of the Arab world’s most famous female singers – Balqees, Nora Fatehi, Manal and Rahma Riad.
“We began working on audio demos in 2021, soon after FIFA Sound announced its new entertainment strategy,” Murad says:
“The aim of the songs is to connect audiences through a shared passion for music and football. Artists from all over the world have been involved, representing many different countries and musical genres.”
Katara Studios is the most technically advanced film and music recording complex in the Middle East.
To capture the music for the FIFA World Cup opening and closing ceremonies, Katara Studios hosted a week of full orchestral sessions, which were engineered by Matt Howe, Katara’ Studio’s Chief Recording Engineer and formerly of AIR Studio and Metropolis.
Howe and Murad invited British-based composer and conductor Youki Yamamoto to lead from the podium. As a similarly-minded and ardent fan of Prism Sound products, he was more than happy to work on the project.
“We were literally reading from the same page, not just the sheet music,” he says.
The orchestral sessions used Prism Sound converters to input audio from around 64 microphone signals into Pro Tools.
“Some of Katara’s larger systems are configured with up to 96 channels worth of Prism Sound ADA-8XR’s in transportable racks,” Howe says.
“We can even go higher than that if we unite them in tandem with our other interface racks, at mixed sample rates and connected to other capture systems.
“This is useful when we have requests for very high definition “audiophile” multichannel recordings such as Dolby Atmos and Immersive sound “Stem” capture and delivery when we can afford to go outside of the remit of broadcast standards.”
The FIFA World Cup 2022 kicked off on November 20th and runs through to December 18th. It is the first to take place in the Arab world the first to be held during the latter part of the year.
“The work we did for FIFA sounds great,” Murad says. “Prism Sound converters play a big part in our success, and we really couldn’t have delivered such high quality audio without them.”