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‘Live sound and Shure go hand in hand’: Shure on the live sector and partnering with AMP London

"The music industry is a massive part of our brand heritage"

AMP London 2020, aka Annie Mac Presents, begins today, a four-day music extravaganza (March 4-7) taking place across London consisting of an exciting line-up of live shows and an all-day conference. Pro audio powerhouse Shure has partnered with the event this year, and will be specifically providing the sound system for the conference taking place this Friday. The conference will see a number of music industry professionals at the top of their game, including Annie Mac herself, discussing current issues, such as mental health and gender diversity, and developments in the industry.

Here, PSNEurope speaks to Shure’s head of market development, artist and entertainment relations, Jack Drury, and associate director of pro audio, Stuart Moots about Shure’s partnership with AMP London and the importance of the live music sector to the pro audio brand…

Tell me more about Shure’s partnership with AMP london? What will it entail? 

Jack Drury: We are really excited about our partnership with AMP. The conference itself has been specifically put together to offer advice to upcoming talent in the industry, including artists, managers, technicians and producers. 

The music industry is a massive part of our brand heritage and it’s no secret that this market is undergoing some very significant changes. Our goal in partnering with events like this is to ensure we are there to offer support and expertise to all the emerging talent coming through, but also to learn and understand ourselves where this industry is heading and what it’s going to look like in five to 10 years. 

Although we are partners for the whole week, our specific activation will be at the AMP London conference programme at Camden House on Friday, where a huge number of heavy hitters in the industry will be holding panels and talks. We are providing the whole microphone infrastructure to allow these talks to happen. We will also have a stand showcasing some key bits of our brand history and a number of Shure staff on site ready to engage with the conference delegates, tell our story and listen to theirs.

What opportunities does this partnership offer?

JD: With this partnership, we hope to continue building on our relationship with the emerging talent in our industry. We absolutely hope to be able to tell our story, but we also want to listen and learn about the new challenges the industry might be facing.

 How important is the live sound market to Shure?

Stuart Moots: I think it’s safe to say that live sound and Shure go hand in hand, you can’t have one without the other. From the early days of the Unidyne microphone and the adoption of the 55 series within professional audio in the ‘50s, we’ve always been pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved with microphone technology and we continue to push that forward today. A great number of Shure employees have a huge passion and drive for live sound and it’s that motivation that keeps Shure at the forefront of technology within the live sound market. Not that we take it for granted, we constantly look to better ourselves and that can be seen within the innovations of the KSM8 Dualdyne Microphone and, more recently, the Twinplex series.

 What is Shure’s most popular live sound product? 

SM: It will come as no surprise to anyone that the SM58 is top of the list. Last year, I attended the Music Venues Trust day and spoke to a huge number of grassroot venue owners and engineers. Every single one of them mentioned they had a ’58 at the venue, with at least one person claiming that their original 1966 mic was still going strong. That makes me extremely proud to be working for a company that has that legacy, but it’s important to note that with changes in manufacturing and technology that their original SM58 has gone through some significant changes over the decades. And for all those who like to claim that the ’58 is “old” technology, let us not forget that it was that original tech that’s still driving innovation today and after all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

What is the importance of independent venues for showcasing live music?

SM: I can’t emphasise how important independent venues are for live music. Shure wouldn’t be where we are today without those bedroom singers, garage bands and producers picking up a ‘58 and getting out there to play to a local audience. Whilst I appreciate that building an online presence and audience is essential, and it definitely has its advantages, there is still an audience that wants to see music performed live.

JD: Independent venues are the proving ground for the live industry as a whole. Every artist performing at an arena or stadium show will have come through the independent music scene, playing packed shows every night to crowds of their potential future followers and fans. It’s hard work, but it’s an essential part of the industry and the only way to get good at being a gigging artist. These are also the places that artists will form relationships with managers and promoters, which leads to relationships with music lawyers, record labels and music producers. It’s also where engineers hone the art of live sound reinforcement. The independent music venues have been the springboard for the legends of our industry, from Led Zeppelin to Taylor Swift. They are a vital resource, it’s incredibly important we don’t lose them.

 How is Shure supporting the live music industry?

SM: From our partners in the rental and concert touring market who have access to the Shure Pro Team globally, to hosting training days for engineers, end users and our education partners such as Backstage Academy, Shure’s support for live music is the cornerstone of what the Pro Audio team do. It’s important that we offer training across all levels of live music, be it from the basics of wired microphone use to RF Wireless Masterclasses for touring professionals. The more we can help, the better the industry will be. And as those artists, bands and engineers develop into national and international tours, it’s that which drives us at Shure to continually push technology to ensure the show is the best it can be. 

 What are Shure’s plans for 2020 as for live sound?

SM: Without giving too much away, we have plenty in the pipeline for the live market, from new products to some really great partnerships. Plus, we have our existing relationships throughout the live sector that are a key role in what we do and it’s important we continue to grow them. And when we’re not working, we’re still out there as fans, players and engineers at the gig.