Tag Archives: Shure

Shure Petitions FCC for Dedicated Wireless Mic Channel

FCCChicago, IL (February 4, 2021)—In recent years, RF audio pros have faced increasing difficulties as the amount of usable spectrum available to wireless microphones has steadily vanished—first in 2010 as the FCC bumped pro audio out of the 700 MHz band (roughly 698-806 MHz) requisitioning that range for the use of public safety, and then again in 2017, as it auctioned off most of the 600 MHz service band (617-652 MHz and 663-698 MHz). While the FCC some conciliatory stabs at ensuring space for wireless audio gear were made at the time, those rulings recently fell by the wayside, and now wireless mic manufacturer Shure has petitioned the FCC to reverse its recent decision and ensure that at least one “vacant” 6 MHz UHF channel is designated in each market for wireless microphone use.

The petition comes just weeks after longtime FCC Chairman Ajit Pai stepped down on January 20 as President Biden was inaugurated (Jessica Rosenworcel has since been appointed acting FCC chair). Pai’s occasionally contentious stint atop the FCC began in 2012; among the last events taking place under his stewardship, in early December, 2020, the FCC terminated the “Vacant Channels” rulemaking that was opened during the 600 MHz incentive auction and declined to authorize a dedicated UHF TV channel for wireless microphone use. Shure disagrees with the FCC conclusions and rationale for terminating the proceeding and has asked the Commission to reverse the decision.

Shure’s petition argues the wireless microphone community needs clear spectrum now more than ever, as the 600 MHz band has been reallocated to mobile phone use and the DTV repack has moved many TV stations into the 500 MHz spectrum. At the same time, broadcast, performance and sporting productions continue to demand more channels of wireless microphones than ever before.

According to Shure, the “alternative” frequencies identified by the FCC in 2017 for wireless microphone use at 900 MHz, 1.4 GHz, and 7 GHz fall short of addressing the needs of wireless microphone users, as they are less flexible than UHF frequencies. Because these bands are occupied by licensed users in other industries, access to these bands for wireless microphone use is conditioned on sharing requests, which can be lengthy and ultimately denied.

The company noted that ensuring the presence of at least one dedicated channel in a market is important to meet demand for wireless microphone use, and that channel would also be important for applications that include intercom, IFB and others.

“The amount of available UHF spectrum for wireless microphone use continues to shrink,” said Ahren Hartman, vice president, Corporate Quality, Shure. “With the loss of 700 MHz, 600 MHz, and the DTV repack into 500 MHz, we are at an all-time low for access to UHF spectrum. However, the need for open and clear wireless microphone spectrum is higher than ever before.”

The petition marks one of Shure’s first forays back into lobbying following the unexpected death last October of longtime Shure executive Mark Brunner, VP of Global Corporate & Government Relations. Brunner previously led the company’s lobbying efforts in Washington D.C. to promote industry interests in wireless device regulation, frequency spectrum allocation and more.

Shure • www.shure.com

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

Shure Beta91A Condenser Boundary Microphone – A Real-World Review

Shure’s Beta91A Condenser Boundary Microphone
Shure’s Beta91A Condenser Boundary Microphone

The original Shure Beta91 was one of those rare mics that seemed to defy expectations at every turn. Born out of live touring engineers repurposing the table-top boundary mic SM91 as an inside kick mic, the Beta91’s popularity and user base spread from live stages to studios, not the other way around as typically happens. That thin proprietary cable with mini-XLR TA3F and TA4F female connectors that looked like it was sure to fail after a few uses actually held up admirably well over time. And at the most basic level, who would think you could get such solid, extended bottom-end out of a miniature diaphragm in a boundary mic?

I owned a pair of Beta91s (you’ve got to have two if you expect to record double-kick heavy metal properly) and one of them had its output jack fail, so I sent it in to Shure for repair. Sure enough, with the Beta91 discontinued and replaced by the Beta91A, they offered to replace my mic for flat fee of $120, half the cost of a new $239 91A. I took them up on it.

Upon receiving my new mic, I saw that Shure had updated the color to match the rest of the silver-grey Beta line (although they’re also available in black), but the mini-XLR connector for output and the in-line XLR-barrel preamp? Both are gone and replaced by a standard XLR jack—no more special cable required!

I set out to carefully compare the 91A’s performance to my remaining, thumpy, early-model Beta91, tracking a singular drum performance at 44.1 kHz. To do this, I miked my 22” Mapex maple kick drum with both the 91 and 91A mounted on a Remo kick-dampening pillow, amplified with a pair of Cranborne Camden 500 mic preamps (known for their linearity, reference response and unit-to-unit consistency), without any signal processing.

The new 91A had a hotter output, requiring about 10 dB less amp gain. Even though the mics sounded much more similar than different (similar dynamics, punch, noise floor; yes, they’re a bit noisy, as is typical for smaller diaphragms), there were pretty obvious differences in frequency response. The old 91 had a little more bump down low, with a usefully defined beater-click high-end attack, whereas the 91A was a little tighter in the low-end, with a more pronounced and a more balanced high-end beater snap.

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The newer 91A also has a small response curve switch on the bottom side (recessed and firm enough to avoid accidental switching) which attenuates 400 Hz by about -7 dB. Shure chose these parameters well, as they tend to mirror the way many engineers often EQ a 91 anyway. With this filter engaged, the 91A’s bottom-end response seemed fuller, any boxiness was gone and that click was prominent enough to satisfy the needs of any hard-rockin’ engineer—FOH, monitors, studio or otherwise.

If you’ve got any Beta 91s lying around in need of some TLC, allow me to recommend Shure’s replacement service. With judicious use of input gain and low-end shelving EQ, you can get any older 91s in your locker/case to match any new 91As you add to your collection. In the live music world, since the 91As have a cleaner and smoother top-end and also that mid-range contour switch, I believe you can get a bigger and bolder kick sound at FOH that will cut through a crowded rock/metal/extreme mix easier with less EQ.

In the studio, all of the 91A’s attributes hold up as well, and using a standard XLR cable takes very little getting used to. Try putting a Beta91A inside the kick with flipped-polarity and add your Beta 52 (or D112 or U47, etc.) to the outside on the resonant head and you’ll see why every drum recordist needs to add this affordable secret weapon to their kit.

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

Perfecting the Art of the Interview on ‘Longform’

Jenelle Pifer
Jenelle Pifer, editor of Longform. Emily Evashevski

Brooklyn, NY (January 28, 2021)—It’s telling that Longform editor Jenelle Pifer spends more time perfecting the flow of the conversations on the podcast than obsessing over the audio quirks of an episode—and that’s not a knock on the latter. Longform, the long-running podcast that features authors and journalists talking about their craft, is simply all about the art of the interview and how to present it.

“My approach to editing is to make it as clean as I possibly can, and condensed as I possibly can, without ever letting people hear an edit,” says Pifer. “I do relatively little reordering of the conversation—sometimes it’s necessary, [but] a lot of times, I find that you can tell when the conversation is reordered. It’s more chipping away at the raw file to kind of make the arc of what seems to be the most meaningful themes pop up.”

Max Linsky
Max Linsky, co-founder and co-host

Co-founder and co-host Max Linsky, who also owns the podcast production company Pineapple Street Studios, hit up his friends who worked in audio for interview tips when Longform first launched in 2012. “They would always say, ‘You want it to feel like a casual, informal conversation’—but if you actually listen to a casual, informal conversation, it’s incredibly boring. And that’s part of what the editing process does to it.”

Pifer’s editing job doesn’t begin until Linsky and co-hosts Aaron Lammer and Evan Ratliff wrap their work. Each host books and interviews their own guests over Zoom, recording themselves through Shure SM7B microphones while guests like ESPN writer Wright Thompson and New York magazine’s Olivia Nuzzi record locally on a smart phone, which Pifer later syncs. A typical interview conversation runs 90 minutes, while the final edit clocks in around one hour.

Aaron Lammer
Aaron Lammer, co-host

“Whoever was the host that week will send me the raw tape along with some general notes about how they think the conversation went, any concerns they have, anything that I should particularly look out for while I’m editing,” says Pifer. “I’ve been doing this for about five years now, so the notes have gotten lighter as they started to trust me and know we were on the same page about how we wanted the show to sound.”

After editing the raw audio in Adobe Audition for content and pacing, as well as eliminating distracting stutters and filler words like um and uh, Pifer applies noise reduction and compression from processing built into the program.

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Evan Ratliff
Evan Ratliff, co-host Jonah Green

Although Linsky says he’s proud of the work the Longform team has published since the pandemic began, there are some drawbacks to videoconferencing. “From a technical aspect, it’s hard to have it really be a back-and-forth conversation,” he says. “You do lose a lot in terms of body language, and part of that is just the rhythms of how people talk. It’s hard to know when to jump in, almost.”

One of the secrets of the podcast is the guests themselves. “Do you know who’s incredible at telling stories? Journalists. They’re great, natural talkers and storytellers, for the most part,” he says. “And one of the things that I’ve learned doing the show is that most journalists, even investigative war reporters, most people who do this work are on some level writing about themselves. The most memorable moments for me in the show are moments in which we’re able to see something, some kind of pattern or trend in someone’s work, that they haven’t totally recognized or seen themselves.”


Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

NAMM Believe in Music Week Wraps Up

NAMM Believe In Music

Carlsbad, CA (January 27, 2021)—Forced to move online for a virtual event, NAMM turned its annual Winter NAMM Show into Believe in Music week in mid-January, attracting 93,226 attendees from 187 countries for the five-day occasion.

Between Monday, January 18 and Friday, January 22, Believe in Music week hosted 983 special sessions and events for a total of 611 hours of content, 36 of them livestreamed. That included nearly 200 education, training and professional development sessions presented by 391 speakers. The event’s Marketplace hosted 1,227 participating brands.

“The Yamaha team put a ton of effort into bringing our dealers and customers a great experience at Believe in Music week. Our team members met with hundreds of our dealers and many of them noted they were the best meetings they have ever had—either in person or virtual. And tens of thousands of customers dug into the content we presented in our 11 virtual booths,” shared Tom Sumner, President of Yamaha Corporation of America.

Mitch Gallagher of Sweetwater offered “More than a substitute for the traditional trade show, Believe in Music week established a new venue for manufacturers, retailers, press, and music-makers to connect, interact, and learn from one another. A huge success!”

“We’ve been thoroughly impressed with the overall virtual experience of NAMM: Believe in Music week,” said Abby Kaplan, VP of Global Retail Sales at Shure. “While we miss seeing everyone in person, we have still been able to connect with customers, introduce them to our products, and do planning with our channel partners.”

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“Believe in Music week vastly exceeded my expectations, packed with valuable information, education and in-depth product seminars. It truly felt like a global music community connected by this platform that became a social network for the music industry and attendees,” said Chris Tso of Full Compass. “This was a great way for our staff to participate, gain skills we can use today and a powerful way to promote the benefits of making music.”

Alan Macpherson, CEO of L-Acoustics Americas, said, “This year, rising to a new challenge with its Believe in Music week, NAMM proposed a well-thought-out alternative to the in-person show and has accompanied us as we built our show presence. The new format is providing excellent opportunities for interaction with new and existing clients and a platform for us to present our products and services to a wide and varied audience.

For the Audio Production and Technology Track, sessions for recording, live sound, house of worship professionals, and music technologists dove into the landscape of new technology. Programs included TEC Tracks, which offered big-picture sessions and high-profile topics in recording, live sound, and music business, highlighted by interviews with top producers, engineers, and artists, including Dave Cobb, Craig Bauer, John Boylan, Suzanne Ciani and Peter Asher, and live streaming and remote music production tips sessions for house of worship audio professionals.

The Audio Engineering Society presented educational sessions on key topics for audio professionals, including streaming live performances and new music industry business models. In a first, the Event Safety Alliance (ESA) joined the NAMM event. The ESA shared a suite of educational sessions with a roster of academics and industry professionals that explored critical issues within the live event space, including safety in production design, risk management, COVID-19 mitigation planning, and more.

The Believe in Music platform is open to all until February 28, 2021.

NAMM • www.namm.org

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

Shure Unmasked on Fox TV Shows

Shure mics are used on The Masked Singer and Dancer
Shure TwinPlex mics are used on The Masked Singer and Dancer FOX Image Collection via Getty Images

Los Angeles, CA (January 22, 2021)—The celebrity guest panelists — Paula Abdul, Ashley Tisdale, Brian Austin Greene and Ken Jeong — are sporting Shure’s TwinPlex TH53 subminiature headset microphones on the new Fox TV series The Masked Dancer, which premiered in December, 2020.

The Masked Dancer, a spinoff of the network’s hit series The Masked Singer, features famous contestants hidden inside TV-friendly, full-body costumes while performing dances in a variety of styles. After each dance, the celebrity guest panelists use clues to try and determine each performer’s identity.

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Shure’s TwinPlex headsets, which have been in use since the first season of The Masked Singer in 2019, allow the series’ often-demonstrative panelists to move around freely while still maintaining exceptional and consistent audio quality—a use case for which TwinPlex was specifically designed. In addition to Jeong, panelists on The Masked Singer include Robin Thicke, Jenny McCarthy Walberg and Nicole Scherzinger.

Sean Prickett, Drop Ship Audio A1 audio mixer and audio supervisor for both Fox shows, reportedly does not typically use headset mics for production, but no one wanted the panelists confined to their seats and lavaliers were not practical in the studio’s noisy environment. Prickett accepted Shure’s offer for the then-unreleased headsets in 2019 and has since kept TwinPlex onboard for all four seasons of The Masked Singer as well as the 2021 debut season of The Masked Dancer.

“Things I love about TwinPlex – the consistency of the element, if placement moves on our active talent,” said Prickett. “It also has natural sound across the board with very little EQ needed.”

Shure • www.shure.com

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

‘Rarified Heir’ Podcast Readies for Pandemic Recording

Shawn Kay, daughter of Steppenwolf founder John Kay (left) and Rarified Heir host Joshua Mills
Shawn Kay, daughter of Steppenwolf founder John Kay (left) and Rarified Heir host Joshua Mills

Los Angeles, CA (January 21, 2021) — Rarified Heir, a new podcast that takes listeners into the surreal lives of children of celebrities, recorded its entire seven-episode debut season before COVID-19 social distancing protocols and shutdowns went into effect in spring of 2020. While many podcasters have already tweaked their recording and production workflows during the last year, Rarified Heir’s production team is now catching up to distanced recording.

podcast producer and engineer Erik Paparozzi.
Podcast producer and engineer Erik Paparozzi.

“It worked out great to be face to face, but now obviously since the pandemic has set in, we’re reassessing how that goes,” says podcast producer and engineer Erik Paparozzi. “I’ve been really trying to make sure that we don’t lose the integrity of the sound that we’ve worked hard to achieve through the channels that are available to us now working remotely.”

On Rarified Heir, host Joshua Mills, son of actress and comedian Edie Adams, interviews other children of celebrities who grew up just out of the spotlight. Season one guests include Carnie Wilson, daughter of The Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson who had multi-Platinum success of her own in the ‘90s pop trio Wilson Phillips, and film producer Antonia Bogdanovich, daughter of film director Peter Bogdanovich.

Mills and Paparozzi, along with co-host Jason Klamm, recorded the entire first season at Paparozzi’s garage studio in Los Angeles. Guests sat with them in a circle in front of Shure SM7B microphones—chosen because the famed SM7 was used on Michael Jackson’s Thriller, the best-selling album of all time—while Mills led the conversations. After wrapping recording sessions in March, they got their first taste of working while distanced when it came time to edit the episodes.

On a pre-pandemic recording of Rarified Heir were (l-r): co-host Jason Klamm, guest Jason Culp, son of actor Robert Culp; and host Joshua Mills, son of comedienne Edie Adams.
On a pre-pandemic recording of Rarified Heir were (l-r): co-host Jason Klamm, guest Jason Culp, son of actor Robert Culp; and host Joshua Mills, son of comedienne Edie Adams.

Beginning later that month, they met once a week on a video conference while Paparozzi edited in Pro Tools. “Josh and I would hop on a conference call and literally go over word for word and figure out what was essential and what could be trimmed down for time purposes, or for potential future Patreon episodes that we are considering,” explains Paparozzi. Then, he would send the entire episode to Mills for another review and get back time codes for further edits. “I can just go in and chop that stuff out, and that’s been a pretty effective way of working.”

The team is working through potential setups for recording season two now. “Josh has been experimenting with what works in his home office, as far as doing Zoom calls,” notes Paparozzi. “The technology is pretty plug and play these days, but Josh, who’s not a musician or a sound dude, he’s still learning [that a] room has a certain tone to it and the microphone should maybe move a little bit, or [his] face should be closer to get the best tone.”

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Gear wise, Mills is currently planning to use the Focusrite Scarlett Solo Studio kit, which includes a USB interface with a Scarlett preamp, a condenser microphone, headphones and cables. “When it was becoming apparent that being in a 15-by-15 studio was not realistic during this time, I did a cursory search on Amazon and sent Josh a few ideas [of gear to purchase],” he says. “Just to sort of get him started, we had him open up a GarageBand session. We did all this over FaceTime and he was getting a signal.”

They’re also considering audio quality on the opposite end of the recording from future guests in season two. “I think are going to focus on people that we know can record themselves well and see how it goes,” says Mills.

Rarified Heir • https://rarifiedheirpodcast.com

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

Shure Aids Andrea Bocelli Foundation

Andrea Bocelli Foundation
Shure has donated a substantial amount of hardware to the the new Camerino Music Academy in Italy, built by the Andrea Bocelli Foundation.

Camerino, Italy (December 7, 2020)—Since it was founded in 2011, The Andrea Bocelli Foundation (ABF) has raised more than 30 million Euros and constructed eight schools, including the new Camerino Music Academy in Italy, replacing the former Academy’s previous building, which was destroyed by an earthquake in 2016. Aiding the effort, Shure provided microphones and headphones for the new facility.

The new Camerino Music Academy was constructed in less than 150 days thanks to the funds and oversight of the ABF. The new facility will host the lessons of more than 160 enrolled students. Architect Renzo Piano, the Municipality of Camerino, the Associations of the territory, the University, the music high schools, and the Conservatory of Fermo were also involved in the project, built with modern and anti-seismic construction techniques.

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The Andrea Bocelli Foundation, like other nonprofits, has experienced a significant reduction in fundraising due to COVID-19. Additional income for the project was also impacted as the result of a break in live performance concerts by Bocelli. The Camerino project and its need for donated audio equipment was brought to the attention of Shure by Andrea Taglia, sound engineer for Andrea Bocelli.

“Shure has worked with Mr. Bocelli and Mr. Taglia for years, providing invaluable feedback to our product development process,” said John Born, Senior Product Manager at Shure. “Their recognition in the industry and ability to bring a world-class audio experience to the largest performance venues are second to none. While we continue to be their first choice on tour, we are especially honored that Shure equipment was selected by their installation team on such an ambitious and complex project.”

Shure provided an assortment of audio gear including KSM studio recording microphones, Microflex gooseneck mics, SLX-D digital wireless microphone systems, and professional studio-quality SRH headphones.

“We are pleased to lend our support to the Andrea Bocelli Foundation for this important and worthy project,” added Christine Schyvinck, president and CEO at Shure. “The Camerino Music Academy aligns with the objectives of Shure’s Corporate Social Responsibility program, supporting the development of future generations of musical artists, particularly under challenging conditions. It is a privilege for Shure to be associated with Mr. Bocelli and Ms. Berti and their exceptional organization.”

Shure • www.shure.com

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

Shure Acquires Stem Audio

shure acquires stem audioChicago, IL (November 24, 2020)—Expanding its footprint in the conferencing audio ecosystem market, Shure has acquired California-based Midas Technology, Inc., also known as Stem Audio, which specializes in providing a suite of products including table, ceiling and wall microphones as well as loudspeakers, control interfaces and hubs.

With the acquisition of Stem Audio, Shure aims to further expand and diversify its solution offering for organizations of all sizes, while Stem will gain access to the global infrastructure and support capabilities that Shure provides.

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“We both believe in ecosystems. Working together, we aim to provide customers with better options to deploy great audio in more spaces, more cost effectively and more quickly,” said Chris Schyvinck, president and CEO, Shure. “Shure and Stem Audio understand the importance of good quality audio and taking care of customers, so this acquisition is a great fit for both organizations.”

According to Shure, the addition of the company complements Shure’s product offering and provides customers with a greater choice of products as their needs evolve. “We’re thrilled to be joining a company with an unrivaled pedigree and history in manufacturing audio products,” said Jacob Marash, CEO and founder, Stem Audio. “Shure’s scale and global reach will help make Stem Audio products more available to customers, providing improved value, quality and support.”

The two companies will continue to operate separately as integration plans for sales and support are finalized. Future plans for the respective product portfolios will be shared later. In the meantime, customers will continue to buy and receive support for Stem Audio products from Stem Audio’s current channels, including StemAudio.com in the U.S. market.

This acquisition also includes Midas’ Phoenix Audio Technologies brand.

Shure • www.shure.com

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

Shure Makes Strategic Investment in Wavemark

Shure Wavemark logosLondon, UK (November 11, 2020)—Shure has made a strategic investment in Finnish software company Ab Wavemark Oy, a software house centered around solutions for theater, broadcast, and content streaming applications.

In addition to products such as Wavetool and WTAutomixer, Wavemark has recently expanded its software portfolio into streaming applications with the debut of WTAutomixer, a multichannel gain sharing automixer plug-in that can be inserted to almost any DAW, enabling auto-mixing for uses like podcasting, remote learning and house of worship services.

Wavemark software has been used in conjunction with several high-profile theater applications using Shure Axient Digital Wireless Systems. Shure itself is no stranger to software solutions, as its offerings include Wireless Workbench for live events, as well as Designer, SystemOn, and its new IntelliMix Room Audio Processing Software for integrated systems.

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“This move reinforces our commitment to the evolving needs of the pro audio and events industries,” said Brian Woodland, vice president, Global Business Development, Shure. “Both Shure and Wavemark have established strong relationships in the industry by understanding user workflows. Leveraging this mutual success, we will further support the growth in wireless system scale and complexity, help customers navigate the challenges of congested RF spectrum, while enabling advanced remote control, monitoring, and system management tools.”

“We are very proud of this collaborative approach with Shure,” said Timo Liski, commercial director at Wavemark. “The ability to share ideas and leverage synergies around software will be beneficial to customers in the audio industry.”

Shure • www.shure.com

Wavemark • www.wavetool.fi

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

Shure, Focusrite Team for New Production Bundles

shure focusriteNew York, NY (November 10, 2020)—Focusrite and Shure have teamed up for a trio of production bundles aimed variously at singer-songwriters, podcasters and drummers, bringing together the in-demand microphones and interfaces of each company for a limited time.

The first of the production bundles, intended for podcasters, is the ‘Create and Cast’ Bundle all the tools one would need to kick off a new podcast, as it is comprised of a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 USB audio interface, Shure SM58 dynamic vocal microphone, 25-foot XLR cable, Shure SRH440 closed-back headphones, and recording software.

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Meanwhile, the ‘Track Pack,’ aimed at drummers who need to record their beats, serves up a Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 USB audio interface and Shure DMK57-52 Drum Microphone Kit, along with four XLR cables.

Lastly, the ‘Up to Eleven’ Bundle focuses in on providing the necessary tools for guitar and vocal recordings. The collection centers around a Focusrite Scarlett Solo USB audio interface, Shure SM58 dynamic vocal microphone, 25-foot XLR cable, Shure SRH240A closed-back headphones, and production and effects software.

Focusrite • www.focusrite.com

Shure • www.shure.com

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com