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Sennheiser provides technical support at 2006 Olympics

At the recent XX Winter Games in Torino (Turin), Italy, NBC Olympics deployed hundreds of Sennheiser microphone and headphone products for its broadcast coverage. Spearheading the month-long effort was the company’s technical director, Uwe Sattler. Arriving a week prior to the event’s start, Sattler and his crew provided ongoing support in areas ranging from wireless frequency coordination to ensuring availability of needed accessories like windscreens.

Sennheiser broadcast equipment has become a staple of NBC Olympics over successive Winter and Summer Games, with a roster that includes custom, co-developed handheld microphones, lavalier mics, RF systems and headsets. This reduced the demands on network personnel to help assure smooth sailing on the audio side of things.

One of Sattler’s primary responsibilities was the programming of 56 channels of Sennheiser RF equipment that was shipped to Italy by NBC Olympics and various rental companies. Italian authorities mandated very specific frequency ranges, so accurate compliance was critical. Sattler noted that the on-the-fly programmability of the Sennheiser wireless made it simple to meet local regulatory requirements. At the conclusion of the Games, all units were reprogrammed to their original settings before being returned to their owners.

NBC Olympics sound designer Bob Dixon employed a number of M-S stereo boom mic kits on ENG remote crews. The kits consisted of a Sennheiser MKH 60 shotgun and MKH 30 figure-8 microphone housed within a Rycote blimp suspended at the end of a fishpole. The network’s ENG complement also included two dozen Sennheiser EK 3041-U camera-mounted RF receivers.

Sennheiser wireless was also present in the event’s International Broadcast Center studios, with MKE Platinum 4 lavalier mics providing the input to a numbers of 5000 Series body-pack wireless systems. In addition, a half-dozen channels of IFB were provided via EW300 IEM G2 in-ear monitor systems.

Field reporters were issued MD 46 handheld microphones, which were co-developed by Sennheiser and NBC specifically for the Olympics. Based on its experiences at the Sydney Games in 2000, the network was looking for a long-handheld cardioid mic for use in high-noise environments. NBC also used a large assortment of HMD 25 headsets throughout the sprawling production.

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