Patrick Baltzell has designed the audio for the past 19 Super Bowls — here’s how he does it has the story on how the Super Bowl halftime show gets set up in just six minutes.

Patrick Baltzell has been the sound engineer for most of America’s most-watched events in the past few decades. He’s sitting alone in the convention halls of NAMM, a trade show for the music making industry. Though I instantly recognize his signature thin frame and curls of white hair, no one looks as Baltzell stands to greet me with unbridled enthusiasm. It’s likely everyone in this room has no idea who he is. But Baltzell was not only in charge of the audio for the past 19 Super Bowls (excluding this year’s) — he also currently designs and mixes sound for the Grammys, Oscars, and presidential inaugurations.

One hundred-eighty countries will be watching this Sunday’s Super Bowl 52 between the Eagles and the Patriots. And, while everyone will be cheering on the players, the halftime performer, and the person who sings the national anthem, we often forget there is someone, unseen, who has spent months making sure you can hear every word and note. Baltzell talks with The Verge to give an insider’s look at how to make sure everything is heard without a hitch during one of the country’s most-anticipated broadcasts.


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