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Inside Shure’s renewed partnership with RADA

According to Shure’s pro audio group director Tuomo George-Tolonen, the company is currently working towards building a ‘stronger industry for today and tomorrow through a commitment to education’. Here he tells PSNEurope about the firm’s renewed partnership with RADA and the work it is doing in the name of education...

The direction in which education starts a man will determine his future in life.” These are wise words from the ancient Greek philosopher, Plato, and if this statement is true of one individual, it is undoubtedly true of our industry collectively.

In a 2017 government study covering the creative sector’s contribution to our economy, it was revealed that the creative industries (including arts, TV, film, and much more) are worth £91.8bn to the UK economy, up from £85.4bn in the previous year. It’s clear that we are part of a sector that is growing rapidly, and if we are to sustain this growth, a solid investment in education is absolutely paramount.

In essence, the way we educate our sector today will directly affect the industry of tomorrow, and it’s for this reason that investment in education makes good business sense.

Supporting the industry’s top institutions

We have a long history at Shure of supporting the industry’s leading institutions. Most recently we have renewed our partnership with the Royal Academy for Dramatic Arts (RADA). We chose to partner with RADA, as their values are complementary to our own, and I can’t talk highly enough of the work they’re doing to ensure a bright future for dramatic arts, particularly in London’s West End. It’s important for us to nurture and support the industry of tomorrow, and we recognise just how challenging it can be for these facilities to stay on top of the latest industry standard products. We are proud to support RADA with some of the best microphones and wireless systems on the market that ultimately students will recognise across the industry when they graduate. By combining this support with hands-on masterclass training sessions, we’re able to provide students with valuable real-life training in skills that will make them more employable.

Shure offers similar support to a number of leading music schools, such as Backstage Academy, BIMM, ACM and ICMP where we provide a wide range of support from studio sponsorship to training, as well as marketing initiatives through competitions and giveaways. Similarly to RADA, the institutions we support across the music and audio education space represent best-in-class institutions, and we’re proud to support what they do. Collectively, it’s positive for all involved; the industry receives a high standard of graduate talent, while at the same time, students experience a positive connection with our brand.

Supporting the industry of today

Technology in the pro audio industry moves at a fast pace, particularly in the case of wireless microphones, where we’ve experienced significant changes in recent years. What’s clear to us at Shure is that education doesn’t stop at graduation. Engineers at the forefront of modern productions must continually renew their skills in order to uphold the production values expected by modern audiences. Education in audio is a process of continuous improvement, and for this reason, we launched our Shure Audio Institute programme to support the wider industry through product training, best-practice masterclasses, and e-learning.

Our Wireless Mastered seminar is perhaps the best-known example of Shure Audio Institute at its best. Through this initiative, we continue supporting the industry in staying up-to-date with the latest developments. Wireless radio frequency (RF) management is often considered a dark-art across the industry (in part because RF isn’t strictly audio), and it’s safe to say we’ve helped lead the way in providing the best practice training to engineers in this space.

Audio professionals that take the time to continue their education beyond college or university will be best placed to tackle the unique challenges of modern productions. RF is an excellent example because it’s subject to constant change. In the last six years alone, we’ve lost over 40 per cent of our preferred operating space for wireless microphones, and therefore it is critical to us as a business that we continue to help our customers navigate such a significant shift.

This approach to business is both good for the greater industry and for Shure as a company. We’re proud to support the industry from grassroots education to professional touring veterans. It’s a long-term strategy, but we believe it’s a wise investment to ensure our industry continues to thrive in the years ahead. We are pleased to say that we now have a full team dedicated to the Shure Audio Institute programme across Europe. By remaining committed to education, we find that our investment in people rewards us with great networking opportunities and more loyal customers. Customers know when they’re being marketed to, so it makes greater sense to offer real value: “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest,” as Benjamin Franklin once said.