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Jacob Collier Uses Shure KSM44A for Native Instruments Audience Choir

Jacob Collier just released a new album including audio of his audiences recorded with Shure KSM44A microphones and Axient Digital wireless. Now you can create your own compositions with the same choir samples using free software from Native Instruments.
February, 29 2024 |
Jacob Collier in front of an audience

Six-time Grammy winner Jacob Collier is famous for getting fans at his concerts singing, but now you can conduct his crowds to sing just for you. 

Virtual gear giants Native Instruments (NI) have created the Jacob Collier Audience Choir, a new plug-in that is powered by samples made with the Shure KSM44A, a precision large-diaphragm condenser microphone. Custom created for Collier’s new album Djesse Vol. 4, it puts thousands of unique voices at your fingertips.

Need a chorus to soar? Got a bridge that doesn’t feel quite finished? Looking for a quirky human touch that your virtual instruments lack? The Jacob Collier Audience Choir can do all of that, and a bunch more. It’s your go-to instrument for the human voice – and it’s entirely free.

Here’s how the whole thing came about. 

During his shows, contemporary classical genius Collier regularly conducts his audience so that they turn into a live choir. Which got him thinking – could this be recorded and turned into an instrument he could use to make music?

It could, thanks to four KSM44A microphones and an Axient® Digital wireless system using AD3 plug-on transmitters. Collier had his team place the mics amongst his audience across multiple concerts, capturing the rich mids and highs that the KSM44A is known for. This rig hit 70 venues across the globe as part of his Djesse World Tour in 2022.

“My audiences are so musical and they participate so readily in the music,” explained Collier. “When I play live, I’m not just showing up to entertain, it feels like we’re all coming together to make music in unison.”

Turning to the KSM44A for the high-quality samples was a no-brainer for his audio engineers, because Collier has long been a huge fan of Shure mics. 

“When I think about musical instruments and microphones, I don’t discern a huge amount of difference,” said Collier. “It’s the same process of learning what this microphone or instrument does best in music to get your idea across.”

Native Instruments then shaped the combined choir recordings captured by the KSM44A rig into an instrument that can be played using NI’s Kontakt platform. Given their experience building virtual instruments, the team at NI was perfectly suited to undertake such a complex task. 

And the final product speaks for itself: Collier used the choir on his new album, Djesse Vol. 4

The Jacob Collier Audience Choir can express all kinds of articulations, harmonies and spaces. It can also be used for background texture – a totally organic synth. But that’s not all, because NI added a bunch of extra features that turn this instrument from an interesting curiosity into an absolute must-have: 

A vocal morph pad makes the choir evolve, creating organic moments; percussion recordings put natural stomps, claps and snaps into your percussion tracks; delay, reverb, timbre, and stereo width are all built in; while a chord generator gives you access to the rich tonal mixes used by Collier himself. 

The Jacob Collier Audience Choir is out now. Created by a musical genius, forged at NI, and made possible by Shure mics, it’s a free virtual instrument unlike any other.

Click here to learn more about KSM microphones from Shure.

Andrew Anderson
Andrew Anderson is a freelance writer for Shure. When he isn't touring with one of his several bands, you will find him hunched over his desk at home writing articles for the likes of Vice, The Guardian, Loud & Quiet and more.