In this article I will describe what I learned from Dennis Baxter, which can be transmitted to any audiovisual project, either a live event or installation of a boardroom.

Juan Tamayo

This year I was fortunate to work under the leadership of Dennis Baxter ( who is the sound designer for television's most important sporting event in the world, in my opinion, they are transmitted continuously since 17 days of games, always with the best possible quality in both audio and video.

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You want to catch
Before selecting any audiovisual equipment, in our case, any microphone, the ideal is to know what you want to capture and reproduce. Great mistake is made in the industry not knowing what you want to capture, enhance what detail is required, what emotion you want to convey, what position desired for the viewer.

A fundamental exercise in the design process is put in the position of the person who will use the system, ensure that empathy, sometimes it is difficult. The design process is not limited to paper, a very common case is when a band live mix, mixing engineer must make a design of microphones to know how the band to sound. Sometimes the importance of achieving the desired reproduction is forgotten and is the reason why some live bands do not sound like your disk.

Variety is the Placer
Having such a broad portfolio of microphones allows the designer to use that best suits you and not limit your design to a few references. The question many are asked is: if necessary? According to the industry, now more realistic sounds seeks, purer sounds but also seeks to capture as much detail as possible. For example, it is not ideal to capture the audience in a stadium with a simple dynamic microphone or a condenser low sound pressure level. So if a sound design is done, investigate and test the largest possible number of microphones, so you can find the microphone that fits your solution.

For any professional in any field, the support provided by a manufacturer is essential to develop your project. For over 20 years, Audio-Technica has provided support to Dennis for the development of his sound designs. Support is not only a phone line 1-8000 where it is called to answer questions, support for us is to provide a broad portfolio of microphones so that he can select which is best for the capture you want, and if you do not have a microphone that meets the search features. process research and development is initiated to achieve the desired capture these 7 development have launched new models of microphones, which are most stereos.

Work team
Even if you have the best products, this investment is useless if you do not have an excellent human resource. For any company is required to have a team, not a group. The big difference is that the team always seek the common good, the group everyone does their part and now. For games almost 380 people are engaged only in audio, so if not all seek the same north not capture and achieve desired transmission.

The proposed system must be reliable at all times during this sporting event many of the facilities were made 8 days before and should remain 17 days without any problem and with a really variable climate, have a sunny day and move to a complex rain with very high winds, yet at the end of the event where almost 5000 4 were damaged only microphones were used.

You should be able to trust your system, you should be quiet after completing an installation that the system will not fail, for these failures result in post sales, which in turn translates into money. In the case of a live, whether televised or concert, the signal interruption is deadly to your image as a designer or operator, because people will remind you that your system can not be trusted.

Hand reliability must be assured, if the items should remain at their best, no matter what. In stages microphones on public unhook, you can not afford to drop a microphone on an amateur that these become missiles and can kill someone.

When you make a design or installation must be designed against the user, the climate and "Murphy's Law" and not leave anything to chance, not leaving a loose cable, a microphone without insurance, a speaker without support from falls . Our goal is that the sound system does not become a risk to human life. If a failure and the show is interrupted, element is lost little by comparison if one element fails and someone is injured or killed.

Dennis Baxter path
Dennis Baxter is audio consultant and sound designer for major international sporting events. Has just completed the preparation of the Olympic Summer Games in Rio 2016. His experience, both creative and production technical audio, extends for nine Olympic Games and 30-year career, has won five Emmy Awards and the latest international award has been the New York Film Festival by the Sound of BBC production of "The Sound of Sport".

Author of "A Practical Guide to Television Sound Engineering" published in English and Chinese, Dennis Baxter is currently working on his second book focused on surround sound and sound practices immersed live sporting events. He has written columns and articles in professional journals and sought to give lectures in groups of professional television industry.

Dennis Baxter transmission teaches engineering at both the University and vocational level around the world. He is currently developing innovative teaching materials for teaching audio engineering professional sound.

I tried to summarize how much I learned from Dennis, a great human being I try to teach me a lot with nothing in return. For more information on the design for sporting events please you can write to

Richard St.
Author: Richard St.
Journalist from the University of Antioquia (2010), with experience in technology and economics. Editor of the magazines TVyVideo + Radio and AVI Latin America. Academic Coordinator of TecnoTelevisión & Radio.


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