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Old July 15th, 2005, 09:35 AM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Stockton, UT
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Amazing Educator

Just spent an incredible afternoon with Dennis Baxter (Team leader for all Olympics in the past 15 years) who (thankfully) confirmed a lot of the unorthodox approaches to sound that I've had over the years, and taught me some amazing new tricks that I never, ever would have considered. If you ever have a chance to hear/see this guy in person, GO! I saw him in Singapore, but it was more by chance that we were both here. He lives in an environment where not only dialog must be captured with perfect clarity, feeding 220+ television broadcasters on every Olympic event, but also in a world where every grunt, slap, broken bone, footslap, and any other "ear candy" is heard and experienced by the audience. He took me through the details of how the Athens games were done mostly in surround, and how they'll be doing the next games in discreet surround vs ProLogic II. Was incredibly refreshing to see someone who also completely eschews the mics that the industry has blindly come to simply say "It needs to be a Schoeps/Neumann/Sanken/Sennheiser" and has not only the creds to back up his decisions, but also has the tests from hundreds upon hundreds upon hundreds of tests at an incredibly wide variety of events for up to 12 years prior to using a specific product. He also showed what mic's he's built specifically for Oly events, including the buried mics for long jumpers, the 48 hidden mics for the equestrian events (all on UHF systems, sometimes as many as 60 wireless channels running in one venue) and his underwater mics. He also spent time explaining how he built custom waterproof enclosures for the sailing competitions. Most fascinating is how they are moving towards a revolutionary new concept in surround mixing the Oly's, Commonwealth Games, and a sports channel that he says I'm not permitted to mention.
During the Athens Games, he had an inventory of over 3500 mics, an on-site warehouse, and a crew that was staggering, but ironically, his setups were more simple in concept than most wedding videographers. He shared blueprint designs of EVERY venue from Archery to Sailing, and shared all the various mic configs for same. The attention paid to the consistency of sound was pretty stunning, regardless of what mic was used where.
I dunno when it'll be finished, but I was able to also obtain a fairly comprehensive interview with him regarding a wide variety of mic uses, some of which I wouldn't have dreamed of in a million years. Hopefully I'll get it posted soon, and can share his words of wisdom and experience with you.
Douglas Spotted Eagle/Spot
Author, producer, composer
Certified Sony Vegas Trainer
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Old July 15th, 2005, 12:05 PM   #2
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Location: Albany, NY 12210
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Thanks Spot. Can't wait. This sounds fascinating.
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Old July 15th, 2005, 10:44 PM   #3
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,483
Yes, I'll be very looking forward to hearing more
on this.
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Old July 17th, 2005, 02:02 AM   #4
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Spot - Thanks for putting this together - look forward to seeing it.
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