Old Lyme, CT (July 18, 2012)—Sennheiser selected students Zachary Templin and Shawn Brewer to participate in broadcasts by HBO Boxing and Fox Sports, respectively, as part of its Mentorship Program.
According to Randy Flick, senior audio mixer, HBO Boxing, immersing a student in the broadcast of a major sports event provides an experience that the majority of audio schools cannot provide. "You've got to have a grasp of all the technology in your head before you can even think about getting into a show," says Flick. "Zach proved to be a great asset, and my senior RF guy, Lloyd Jacobsen, was very impressed with him."
Templin got hands-on experience with two set-ups for the broadcast of Mayweather vs. Cotto: the weigh-in and the fight. "Randy placed an emphasis on covering the intercom system, which was the biggest mystery to me and is the backbone of any broadcast," recalls Templin.
"This is an initiative that is really on the shoulders of Sennheiser," says Jason Cohen, director of live events, HBO Sports. "Sennheiser has to research and interview and weed through the potential candidates; they have to put their name behind the person; and they pay for their expenses and their time. We do the easy part—we just let them in our door!"
Fred Aldous, audio consultant and senior mixer for Fox Sports, notes that there is a big difference between the typical training a student receives at an audio school and an event such as the long-distance Coca-Cola 600 race from Charlotte, NC. "It's a bit overwhelming when students emerge from the nice, protected environment of a recording studio into this hostile live environment on the road," says Aldous.
Brewer was impressed with the change in tempo of the calls Aldous had to listen to from the producer, a director and associate director from the practice sessions and qualifying, on Speed, to the race, which was broadcast on Fox. "[W]hen the actual race started, it was a mile-a-minute. They were moving just as fast as the cars were!"