Shure Incorporated has announced that a three-member team from the Music Department at Texas State University is this year's Grand Prize Winner of the fourth annual Fantastic Scholastic Recording Competition. The three-student team of Joel Cowen, Adam Brisbin, and Jordan Lott, with faculty advisor, Mark Erickson, won this year's Shure contest with an original composition by Graham Wilkinson and the Underground Township entitled “Let It Go.”
“First off, we’d like to congratulate the winning team from Texas State and to thank all of the students who participated in the contest from all of the schools,” says Dave Mendez, market development specialist from Shure, who coordinated the competition. “The winning project really stood out on top of all the entries in this year’s contest and it’s even more incredible when you look at the amazing panel of judges we had doing the evaluations.”
The judges for the competition were Chuck Ainlay, Joe Barresi, Frank Filipetti, Mike Fraser, Chris Kimsey, Chuck Meyers, Elliot Scheiner, and Al Schmitt, who evaluated the recordings on their overall fidelity, clarity, and sonic balance-as well as creativity in selection and placement of microphones.
"It's always great to give back to the business that's provided me with so much enjoyment,” comments Ainlay. “I see the same spirit in the work these students submitted to the contest that I'm encouraged for the future of recorded music. I applaud Shure for creating the platform where students from across the country can gain crucial evaluations and a better understanding of the art of recording."
In addition to the Texas State University team, there were nine other competing teams from Anderson University, Biola University, Butler University, California State University (Chico), Middle Tennessee State University, Ohio University, The Hartt School at the University of Hartford, the University of New Haven, and the University of South Carolina School of Music.
The runner-up in this year’s competition was the team from The Hartt School at the University of Hartford and the students from Biola University received an honorable mention.
Each of the 10 student teams worked on a recording project that consisted of tracking and mixing a performance, exclusively using a “microphone locker” provided by Shure for the competition. Teams submitted a stereo mix for review by a panel of industry professionals who were selected by Shure to judge the competition.
“Using the Shure microphones actually gave them as many if not more choices than they would normally have when they come in to do a recording project,” says Mark Erickson, the team’s faculty advisor. “My experience with Shure mics has been a lot of [SM] 57s and [SM] 58s, of course…but they were also talking about the SM7…they liked that one. Based on what they’ve said, I’m pretty excited to hear what the KSM44 sounds like.”
The winning team used all of the microphones in the locker provided by Shure to create their project, but the students definitely had a few favorites and they gained experience with some microphones that none of them had previously used.
“I like the SM7 for vocals…rock vocals,” comments senior Joel Cowen.
“I hadn’t really ever used many Shure condenser mics, but we put the [KSM] 44s on everything, lots of stuff…guitars, vocals,” added sophomore Adam Brisbin. “It gave a really clear, really nice sound.”
“You know, if I need a good snare sound I don’t hesitate to grab a [SM] 57,” says senior Jordan Lott. “I know it’s going to sound good and I’m not going to have to worry about there being any problems with it. You know it’s going to work.”
As the winning school, the Texas State takes ownership of the entire Shure Microphone Locker, which consists of: (1) Beta 52Aâ, (1) Beta 91, (3) Beta 98D/Ss, (2) KSM27s, (2) KSM32s, (2) KSM44s, (2) KSM141s, (4) SM57s, (1) SM7B, (1) VP88, and (1) A27M. The entire microphone package is valued at more than $12,000. In addition, a donation of $3,000 towards a scholarship fund will be awarded to the winning school, and each member of the winning team will receive a KSM27, valued at $575.