Our Shure Stuff
Updated: Mar 20
If you're familiar with our duo, you all know that Orion is very particular about our gear and our sound. Before we buy any gear, he does lots of research; he talks with our Sweetwater reps, the guys at Haggerty’s Music, the guys at Perfect Wave, and then he does a ton of web searching. This involves lots of YouTube “check it out” videos, and finally, a decision. Back in 2009, when we started working with The Potter Family and performing in the basement of the Creamery Mall at the Beanery, he decided we needed a wireless microphone. Already a big fan of how Shure’s wired SM58 mics sounded, he started looking at their SLX wireless systems.
The Shure company was founded in 1925. It began as a radio parts retailer, but during the Great Depression, grew to be known for its microphones. As one of only four microphone manufacturers at the time, Shure made its microphones affordable and of good quality. After producing their first broadcast condenser mic, the Model 40D, they made their minds up to produce a multi-element cardioid mic. In an innovative move, Shure released the Unidyne Model 55: the very first single-element directional microphone. Just $45 in the late 1930s, it started the sound revolution that we see in microphone elements today.
We were so early in the game during our Beanery years that we only bought one mic with one receiver (which we all had to share), and then we also set up the recording mic I had purchased for him a few years earlier, the Shure KSM32. And that’s what we sang on for years – solos on the wireless, group numbers on the KSM32. When we opened our little theater down on the corner of St. Joe and 7th Street, we bought two more SLX systems, because we liked them so much. They have always been dependable and sturdy, and they sound great.
In 2014, Orion wanted he and I to start performing together as a duo, and one of the very first things we did was… get each other Shure microphone SLX systems for Christmas. Since then, Shure has been our go-to for anything wireless. We have Shure wireless microphones, Shure wireless in-ear systems, and Shure wireless instrument systems. If Shure made wireless speakers, we would probably consider going there, too. Of course, when we have to set up for more than just the two of us (like when we put on our Christmas shows with Luke and Lizzie Anderson, for example), we put up our Shure antennae so we don’t have to deal with any interference coming through. That is something a Shure can help you with, as well. Get ahold of your Shure rep and they can scan the areas you perform in to make sure your wireless channels won’t be interfering with any of the area TV or radio channels.
About three years ago, we made another change to our performing format and started playing instruments at our gig. For a while, we went corded – Orion plugged his Strat into his Fender 68 Deluxe and Mesa Triple Crown amps, and I played fiddle into a suspended wired SM58. We quickly decided we were unhappy with being tethered to one spot, dealing with restricting cords and weird performing angles. For his electric guitar, Orion bought the Shure GLXD16 receiver and pedal system, and I got the Shure BLX14R receiver and body pack for my fiddle. Since these receivers run on different frequencies than our mics, we don’t have any issues with interference.
The final piece in our Shure puzzle came with our decision to get in-ear monitors. We went with Westone earpieces (again, because Orion did a lot of research), which each have five drivers in each earpiece. For our receivers, we went with the Shure P3RA receiver and bodypack. As an aside, Sweetwater is the best online music company to work with – they keep all our orders on file, and so our Sweetwater rep was able to look at the frequencies of our mics and instrument packs and point us again to the in-ear receivers that would play nice with all our other wireless gear.
Both Orion and I are super happy with our Shure gear. From our wired Shure SM58s to our Shure in-ear receivers, we know exactly what we are going to get at every single gig: reliability and great sound. Right now, I only have one question for Shure – when are those wireless speakers coming out?