Blossoms choose Shure for live gigs
Stockport band Blossoms, who were rated highly in the BBC's Sound Of 2016 list of bands to watch this year, are using Shure microphones and in-ear monitoring systems on their current summer festival
Shure Artist: Blossoms
Stockport band Blossoms, who were rated highly in the BBC's Sound Of 2016 list of bands to watch this year, are using Shure microphones and in-ear monitoring systems on their current summer festival tour, which includes forays to Australia and Japan as well as mainland Europe and the Glastonbury Festival.
Dan Woolfie, the band's Tour Manager, has been using a Shure PSM1000 in-ear monitoring (IEM) system on all the band's recent dates, as well as a KSM313 ribbon mic on Josh Dewhurst's guitar and the new KSM8 dual-diaphragm mic for vocals.
Blossoms had been using IEMs for only a matter of months when they recorded a session at Abbey Road and came across Shure’s PSM1000 systems. In that instant the whole band agreed that this upgrade would make a huge difference to their live shows.
The PSM1000s provide dedicated monitor mixes for each band member, but their use on the Blossoms tour doesn't end there — the whole backstage team also uses the system. "The band loves the PSM1000 IEMs, and so do the in-house techs wherever we go, because they're so easy to use," explains Woolfie. "From a crew perspective, PSM1000 allows us to have a crystal clear live audio and access to all the band members' mixes via Cue Mode — so if there are any technical problems on stage, we can hear them straight away and sort them out. We can also do silent line checks and have great communication with the front of house engineers, which is a great help when time is an issue — and that's always the way at festivals. There’s also no drop out in signal when we’re running around, which is something we found happened with the old system we were using."
Josh Dewhurst, Blossom's lead guitarist, has always been particular about his live sound, and used to employ combinations of dynamic and condenser mics together on his amp to create the thick, warm sound he wanted live. This has changed since being introduced to the Shure KSM313 ribbon mic. "I'm very particular about how my guitar sounds from a FOH perspective and also, very importantly, from an IEM perspective too," he comments. "I went from using various stereo mic rigs to just the KSM313 ribbon mic alone. It perfectly captures the guitar and amp's individual tones simultaneously without getting lost or altered in any way. Essentially it makes my setup sound exactly how I want it to with very little mixing needed, either out front or for the in-ears. It sounds incredibly powerful in a charming, realistic fashion." Dan Woolfie sums it up: "The KSM313 does the job of two mics; in fact, it does the job better." "The 313 is amazing," adds the band's Front Of House Engineer Chris Pearce. "It does what the old dynamic and condenser mics did together, and then some!"
Chris Pearce has also found that using the Shure KSM8 on the band's vocals and the Shure Beta 98AMP on Joe Donovan's drums has meant he needs to use less corrective EQ live. "With the Beta 98AMPs, the drums have loads of attack — I no longer need to add EQ at 4-5kHz to create that. It's the same with the KSM8s on the vocals — they have a really warm, smooth response, and I need to add very little EQ now." Dan Woolfie echoes Pearce's comments. "The KSM8s are really impressive microphones; they sound amazing, look amazing, and what’s under the grill is a great piece of engineering."
Blossoms release their debut album on August 5th. A full list of live dates on their summer tour can be found at: www.blossomsband.co.uk.