Dennis Baxter – Sound Designer of the 2012 London Olympics

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Dennis Baxter, the sound designer for the 2012 London Olympics, has been bringing the sounds of the Olympics alive since 1996. His innovative methods recently won him an Emmy for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

In a great interview with NPR (see below), David explains that when he first came on board, the sounds of sport were often overwhelmed by the noise of the crowd and announcer, making the experience less authentic for the viewer at home. Cut to 1998, and Baxter had then revolutionized the “sounds of the Games” forever, combining strategic sound capture and design, occasionally pre-recordings to make it so that “you [the listener] should be able to close your eyes and know exactly where you are.”

On his website, Baxter speaks of his continual inspiration for new innovations in sound design – remaining a “student” of sound:

“Even as professional audio engineers, we are still students of sound. With each new technological innovation in broadcast, the Internet, and digital media, sound evolves. As students, we need to learn the latest technology and discover the opportunities it presents. As professionals, we need to practice the art of quality and the science of sound production through our own innovation in creating exciting and entertaining broadcast performances.”
– Dennis Baxter

Learn more about Dennis’ inspiring career at DennisBaxterSound.

 

Making The Olympics Sound Right, From A ‘Swoosh’ To A ‘Splash’

by Becky Sullivan for NPR

The Olympic Games are officially under way, and we’re watching sports many of us glimpse only every four years: gymnastics; track; judo. But we’re willing to bet that the sports’ sounds are just as memorable: the clanking of foils, the tick-tock of table tennis, the robotic “Take your mark!” before swimmers launch.

Those unique sounds are part of the Olympic experience. And it’s one man’s job to make sure we hear them clearly: Dennis Baxter, the official sound engineer for the Olympics. He’s been at it since 1996.

Listen to the interview and read the full article on NPR.

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