Hot Springs Music Festival recording team
Nile, IL (October 7, 2013)—The Hot Springs Music Festival, an annual festival that pairs world-class musicians with talented apprentices, once again found festival recording engineer Jamie Tagg using a collection of Shure microphones.

“Product quality is critical in this type of arena setting, where the sound reflection isn’t very good and the performances can be very dynamic,” Tagg said. “Given my experience with Shure gear in the past, I knew I could trust the microphones to produce an open, natural sounding reproduction of the musicians’ instruments. The Shure KSM32, KSM44, KSM313, Beta 181, Beta 27, and VP82 were integrated into our set-up, helping us achieve the sound we were hoping for.”

For the 2013 event, Tagg faced the obstacle of recording in a different venue, as the usual building where the festival takes place was shut down for renovations. This location shift made for a variety of logistical challenges, including the need to find new audio gear that could accommodate the new performance site—the Summit Arena.

“The Summit Arena is a large space that presents an extremely difficult acoustical environment for a symphony orchestra. With 50-foot ceilings and a lack of proper stage shell, the room is far less reflective, with a much higher noise floor than the previous concert hall. We needed new microphones and gear that could face this environment and deliver quality sound from over 100 instruments playing simultaneously to the more than 450 people who attend each performance,” Tagg explained.

Tagg used Shure KSM32s to capture the sound of woodwinds, violins and the French horn, delivering even off-axis response at high frequencies. The KSM44 recorded the harps, which typically perform in pairs. The Beta 181, an ultra-compact side-address microphone, was used to capture choir voices, which tend to get lost when performing with an orchestra. By using a pair of supercardioid capsules that widen around 6 kHz, both the large area of the choir, and the sibilant detail of the voices could be captured while isolating the choir from noise and unpleasant reflections.

The festival’s engineering crew also used Shure SRH940 professional headphones for the performances.

Hot Springs Music Festival