My god, what is that noise??

So, I have the USA vs. Lithuania basketball game on in the background as I write this, and I’m wondering what the godawful noise I keep hearing from the broadcast is. Every few seconds my TV emanates a loud, grating, occasionally screechy metallic sound. It sounds like a few hundred people in the audience bought cheap trumpets and are trying to learn to play them while they watch the game. I know it’s not my TV, because it goes away during commercials, but I find it odd that it could be part of the game because the announcers aren’t commenting on it, and the players don’t seem distracted.

Anyone know what the hell this is? It’s driving me nuts. I should add that I rarely watch basketball, so it’s possible that this is something completely normal and I’m just not used to it.

WAG – it may be some kind of signal feedback or a glitch in the audio mixing.

There is some guy (or gal) mixing the audio so that you hear the ambient sound from the stadium, and the announcers, and a few microphones on the referes, and probably assorted stuff from various camera microphones that are closer to the action. The engineer has to listen to the incoming audio, put it all together nicely (equalizing it so that the volume and tone levels are relativley uniform so that you get a consistent volume level at home) and then it’s broadcast out…

That way if one person who is next to a microphone is cheering really, really loudly, it won’t drown out the announcers who are speaking softly into their microphones and you don’t ahve to sit turning your volume knob up and down every two seconds.

The announcers wouldn’t necessarily hear anything amiss because they’d be patched in to hear mostly themselves (and probably some bits from the deck so they could be sure to know what the referees are saying).

So my guess is that some signal is peaking and it’s getting into the broadcast mix. There may be some signal that is too big coming in that is somehow not getting mixed properly , or is somehow bypassing the mixing stage – occasionally these kinds of glitches can happen with live events.

Like maybe a referee has a microphone pinned to him that’s too senstive so when he tweets his whistle it’s too loud for the mic to handle and the resulting distorted screechy sound it makes isn’t getting edited out.

I watched the game too. I think it was air horns. It only happened when the U.S. had the ball. I agree, it was very annoying.

What? This isn’t about Lithuanians and chainsaws? Never mind. :smack:

I don’t know what your noise is but the squeeeeeak of shoes on the floor has driven me nuts.

I didn’t hear [the broadcast] either but from your description I agree with calm_kiwi: Rubber-soled shoes squeeking on the wood floor as the players start, stop and turn abruptly. Watch closely and see if you can correlate foot movements with the sound.

I just called the game up again on TiVo: it was definitely air horns, or something similar.

Yeah, it’s definitely airhorns. I thought maybe it was some kind of alternative to a referee’s whistle (listen to the beach volleyball, the whistle blows every 3 seconds, drives me frickin’ insane). But it appears it’s just stupid basketball fans being incredibly selfishly annoying.

Funny, I was just reading a blog post from a reporter who covered that game: