KSM8 Proves A Shure Move For London Speaker Hire
LSH Looks Back On A Record-breaking 2016 With Shure's KSM8
Audio-visual equipment supply company LSH Events (part of the London Speaker Hire family) has been an enthusiastic supplier and promoter of Shure equipment over the last 10 years, and was closely involved with testing the mic manufacturer's technically groundbreaking dual-diaphragm KSM8 even prior to its official launch in January 2016. Throughout the microphone's launch year, LSH supplied KSM8s to many high-profile artists and engineers, and even helped it to play an important part in the setting of a new world record, as LSH Managing Director Grant Turner relates.
"Since we opened our event and band rehearsal facilities in East London, LSH Spaces, we've been involved with a lot of current high-profile bands and their technical support staff," explains Turner from LSH's London HQ. "We put some KSM8s in one of the rehearsal rooms there alongside the usual SM58s, and people soon started to ask us about the new mic."
Early adopters of the KSM8 were up-and-coming Essex-based Dirty Pop band Arcaves, who had previously been using Shure SM58 and Beta 87As as live vocal mics. The band auditioned prototype versions of the mic at the 2015 V Festival, and progressed to using two KSM8s as their main live vocal mics by mid-2016: the black edition for their female vocalist Bekile, and the brushed nickel version for lead vocalist Billy Wright. Both mics feature clearly in the video shot to accompany the band's most recent single, 'Out Of The Blue', which was one of the first videos shot in the UK using a high-resolution 8K sensor.
Arcaves were not alone, as Grant Turner continues. "Everyone who used the KSM8 gave us very positive feedback; it took off very fast. Matt Lewis, the live sound engineer for Nick Mulvey and Jamie Woon, was keen to audition it, and the next thing we knew, it went from 'Nick's trying it out' to 'Jamie would like the KSM8 for his summer tour...'. In the end, we supplied KSM8s and other Shure mics for that tour, along with PSM1000 in-ears. We gave LeAnn Rimes a black KSM8 to use when she was promoting her new album Remnants with a live 'unplugged' session in the piano room at the Yamaha Music London Showroom in Soho in August. And of course, the KSM8 was also used in 2016 to set a Guinness World Record...!"
Sure enough, in April, the KSM8 was the vocal mic used for what was subsequently certified as the World's Highest Ever Stand-up Gig. Stand Up On Everest, as it was known, involved UK comedians Tom Wrigglesworth and Martin Mor, together with Australians Wayne Deakin and Mickey D, performing on a temporary stage erected solely for the purpose at Mount Everest South Base Camp in the Nepalese Himalayas, 5365 metres above sea level. "We got involved through our work with Save The Children, which sponsored the event," explains Grant Turner. "They asked us to spec a PA for the gig, and we brought Shure and Martin Audio on board. We have a great relationship with both companies and that really stood us in good stead for this event; we had to be sure that the mics and speakers would still work at the temperature and pressure extremes you find at the Everest Base Camp — we made a few calls to the technical support departments of both companies! But as you would expect, everything worked perfectly, the gig went without any problems, and it raised lots of money for Save The Children."
To see off 2016, Arcaves threw a free pre-Christmas concert on London's South Bank on December 9th. As at many LSH-supported events throughout 2016, the KSM8 was the main vocal microphone. "Promoting a new Shure microphone is never a very hard sell, thanks to Shure's excellent reputation in the field," concludes Grant Turner, "but we've been particularly pleased with the response to the KSM8."