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Shure backs student masterclasses and Frank Carter performance at West Herts College

The company supported an education open day featuring seminars, workshops and live performances

Shure recently supported West Herts College students at an educational day of seminars and performances at Watford Colosseum, featuring a special performance from Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes who decided to support the college in their hometown with a masterclass and live show at the event.

The day consisted of three seminars. The first was a production talk with Carter and Dean Richardson from the Rattlesnakes on their approach to recording their latest album with Cam Blackwood. The second talk was with the band’s road crew and featured the bands tour manager Ian Dowdell, guitar tech Elliot Russell and monitor engineer Will Taylor covering life on the road. The final talk was with the bands manager Matt Greer, focusing on building a profile, the album campaign and developing an artist.

Stephen Carter, HND Music and curriculum developer, West Herts College, commented: “Taking the vocational industry approach that we have at West Herts College and the help from companies like Shure is hugely beneficial to the next generation. Not only are they able to achieve the theoretical knowledge to pass the qualification but the hands-on industry experience of putting on events like this one, help them to build a working portfolio to take with them on their journey into the music industry. Without companies like Shure being so hands on with education and offering their expertise, the next generation would not be prepared and ready for the industry.”

He continued: “Shure’s sponsorship to the college has been incredible. Having the team on hand to talk to students about Shure as a company, the products they sell and their impact on the wider music world was exceptional. Having that firsthand experience is invaluable to the students from the college.”

Following a day of masterclasses for the students, there were performances from three bands in the evening: Jiminy Crickets Psychedelic Circus – a band from West Herts College who won a competition to open the show – Lyoness and Black Futures also played a set, and Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes headlined the evening.

All of the bands were using Shure equipment, as Mike Woodhouse, sound engineer, explained: “As Rattlesnakes are long time Shure product users, we have a plethora of Shure gear aiding us in our live sound. Starting with microphones for this run we had a Beta 91A on the Kick, SM81 on the hi-hats and the old faithful SM58 across the front, on all drums, backing vocals and Franks vocal. The techs and I also use SM58 switch mics to communicate before and during the show. We have 4x dual PSM1000 IEM units, combined using the Shure PA821B active combiner and beamed across stage with the 8089 Shure Helical antenna. We also have 2 x Dual UR4D+ units for all guitar and bass, our guitar tech plays on some of the newer songs so having 4 x channels is great as we have a backup in case one starts getting RF interference. All wireless units are networked together with Cat5 so our monitor engineer can scan first thing and plot frequencies using wireless workbench for all IEM and guitar wireless. We always choose Shure for RF as it’s just unparalleled in quality and reliability.”

Meanwhile, Jack Drury, market development specialist, Pro Audio, Shure, commented on the company’s commitment to supporting the next generation of audio professionals: “There is a huge amount of creative and technical talent emerging into our industry right now, which is very exciting! It’s our privilege as a manufacturer to work with institutions such as West Herts College, ensuring that their students have the opportunity to work with high tier wired and wireless microphones as part of their qualification. Perhaps more importantly than working with the equipment is the ability to share our experiences, knowledge and advice with the students, and ultimately help them start to build a successful career in the industry. We are hugely appreciative that artists such as Frank Carter share these values and it’s been fantastic to work alongside their team and West Herts College on this project!”

Woodhouse concluded: “It’s companies like Shure that really need to interact with the up and coming engineers. With their support, relationships can build and hopefully flourish, creating a healthy support network group between Shure and the soon to be front runners for potential major acts. Getting involved early on is a great way to open young engineer’s minds to the finer details of microphone applications and the increased requirements for RF on stage.”