audioEngine's Rex Recker Gets To "Heart Of The Games"

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Last Updated: May 22, 2008 3:28 pm GMT
(New York City, New York--May 22, 2008) audioEngine post-production mixer Rex Recker recently teamed up with some longtime colleagues to help make an inspiring documentary on Emmy-winning Olympic filmmaker Bud Greenspan. Produced by Greenspan's company, Cappy Productions, the two-hour special, "At The Heart Of The Games," aired earlier this month on ESPN2.

As he's done on many a Cappy production, Recker served as the film's re-recording sound mixer, working with writer/director/editor Michael Schanzer.

Assembled with footage from memorable Greenspan films, as well as interviews with the filmmaker and numerous sports and broadcast icons, "At The Heart Of The Games" tells the story of Greenspan's remarkable career as an Olympic documentarian. His films, such as "Jesse Owens Returns To Berlin," part of "The Olympiad" series, and the classic "16 Days of Glory" series, are both cherished historical records and moving tributes to the featured athletes and the spirit of the Olympic games. "At The Heart of the Games" features commentary by Bob Costas, Mary Lou Retton, Bela Karolyi, Mark Spitz, David Moorcroft, Brian Boitano, Oksana Baiul and Bonnie Blair, among many others who've been affected by Greenspan's 50+ years of Olympic filmmaking.

Recker's association with Cappy Productions began over 15 years ago, when he served as re-recording mixer on "Barcelona '92: 16 Days of Glory." In recent years, Recker's worked with the Cappy team on "Pride Against Prejudice: The Larry Doby Story," "Bud Greenspan Presents: Michelle Kwan," and "Kings of the Ring: Four Legends of Heavyweight Boxing." On nearly every project, Recker has worked with Schanzer, Greenspan's longtime editor, and the creator of "At The Heart of the Games."

"Rex takes a personal interest in the films that Cappy produces--he really is part of the team," notes Schanzer. "When you work with Rex, you know he is going to give all of his expertise into the production, and that eases my mind greatly. He makes recommendations on how to improve the film (shifting dialogue around, moving effects, etc.) and usually, he is right on the mark."

Recker's work on "At The Heart Of The Games" involved some fairly extensive pre-production, as the film comprised several different chronological chapters and, for the mixer, corresponding OMF files. Working with Schanzer and another of Cappy's go-to crew--sound editor, Esther Regelson--Recker strengthened the dialog sound and balanced the film's diverse audio tracks, including music and sound culled from the Cappy archives. "The biggest challenge on this film was cleaning up the dialog, which I did using a combination of EQ and compression, and the Sonic NoNoise plug-in inside Pro Tools," notes Recker. "My job was really about balancing the music and other sound elements, as their sound editor handled a lot of the pre-mixing—the fades in and out, for example."

Having worked with Recker on various long-form projects over nearly 20 years, Regelson comments, "Rex is extremely intuitive and easygoing, two of the qualities I want most from a mixer. Once he opens a session, before he has even looked at the film as a whole, he knows immediately how to tackle the sound, and he dives right in. If I have left something out or ask him to fix something tough, he manages it swiftly."

Recker's studio inside audioEngine's multi-room facility, located just off Manhattan's Union Square, is equipped with Pro Tools HD3, Digidesign Pro Control, and JBL 5.1 Cinema and KRK V4 nearfield monitoring systems. In addition to their state-of-the-art studios and comfortable client spaces, audioEngine's mixers bring the composure of seasoned professionals to every session. "Rex has a wonderful personality and gets everyone at the mix in a friendly, comfortable mood," adds Schanzer. "He exudes confidence and that is a major attribute." Recker adds, "It was a great honor to work on this film--Bud is a true legend, and the film is a proper tribute."

audioEngine's NYC facility houses four fully equipped recording and mixing studios for the mixers on staff, including Recker, Tom Goldblatt, Joe Vagnoni, Carl Mandelbaum, and Hillary Martell. For a taste of audioEngine's work, visit: www.audioengine.net/cw.html. For more information on audioEngine's NYC operation, or the Phoenix, AZ-based audioEngine|west--home to mixer Bob Giammarco and composer Jason Camiolo--visit: www.audioengine.net.

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