Since I started in sound I’ve heard about those lucky few who’d get invites from sound equipment manufactures to view the soon to be released audio equipment. You know, the all expenses paid, dined, schwag laden, get their hands on the new releases, and maybe even a sneak peak at the equipment not available to the rest of us little people, tours. Well yesterday I was one of those lucky ones!
Shure invited me to media day with a handful of media/writers representing some of the biggest sound, video, and production magazines we’ve all read. Now, I consider myself an operator not media, so I felt a little out of place, but Shure (to my surprise and nicely played may I add) informed me I was an influencer and were happy I came – really? I’m a doc sound op who lives in a small town. Yes I blog, have a skookum web site, and wrote Location Audio Simplified, but an influencer? Not sure I’m ready for that pressure. But if these types of “hang out and be stroked” events are the reward, I’ll keep influencing and you keep reading – deal?
Since this was my first event like this, I gotta say, it was fun. The media/writers were an interesting lot and the Shure folks did it up well. It started with a great tour of an incredible facility, then a light lunch, more Shure promotion, then dinner at a great restaurant with tons of laughs and good conversation (everything sound), and finally a comfortable hotel – and let’s not forget the parting gifts. It was like an audio all-inclusive mini vacation, and I didn’t have to hold a boom pole. The only downside, we weren’t aloud to take photos.
So what did I learn? Well, first we got to see the not yet released……..? Then tried out the……, it was so cool! Then they showed us the never been seen before…? Sorry, I signed a nondisclosure agreement, but Shure will be unveiling the gear I got to see at NAB in April – it’s something definitely needed. You’ll want to check it out.
Now the stuff I can talk about. We’ve all heard company lip service about quality control and the rigorous testing the equipment goes through before it’s available to the buying public, right? Well, Shure abuses their gear more than one would imagine. Heat, cold, humidity, drop tests, more heat, perspiration tests (this was surprising) more dropping, more humidity, you get the gist. They really kick the #**@$! out of their gear! And Boris has the best job ever – he does the #@!#! kicking!
Now being my first tour of a facility like this I gotta admit it was pretty impressive. But the highlight for me was in their archives. I got to hold one of Roger Daltrey’s SM58’s with the XLR cable still shrink wrapped and taped to the handle, with a dented wind screen – check out the white gloves I had to wear. Awesome! Totally awesome!
Thanks to everyone at Shure and Formula PR for inviting me and giving me a peek into the designing, testing, and hard work that goes into Shure products. The trip was time well spent.