Singer/songwriter John Grant has been using Shure KSM8 and KSM9HS vocal microphones on his most recent UK tour, as well as the PSM900 in-ear monitors.
Grant was the frontman of alt-rock band The Czars in his twenties and thirties, left the music business altogether for six years, and has enjoyed a more soulful renaissance as an electronica and orchestral-driven solo artist in his forties.
Following the release of Grant’s third solo album Grey Tickles, Black Pressure in autumn 2015, he took to the road for a tour of the UK and Ireland.
It was on these dates that he began using the Shure microphones, as Ber Quinn, the tour’s front-of-house engineer, explains: “The difference once John started using the KSM9HS was startling. A voice as rich and detailed as John’s is deserving of the finest microphone; to be able to hear every subtle aspect of his performance is a joy.”
Quinn adds: “Rejection of ambient noise is extremely important for us, as John uses a vocal processor onstage. The KSM9HS has been excellent in that regard, extremely focused, neutral and detailed. I’ve never once had to worry about feedback, even when using heavy vocal distortion.”
Shure’s recently launched KSM8 microphones are used on backing vocals for the tour, and these have also proven popular with the tour’s monitoring engineer Matt Pengelly. “The KSM8 is far and away the most neutral-sounding handheld dynamic mic I’ve heard. Spill that was once ‘fizzy’ in microphones we’d tried previously became more like added ambience in the IEMs,” he comments.
The PSM900 in-ears and Shure’s Wireless Workbench software, which manages all of the wireless tech in use on the tour, was also used. Pengelly says: “Being able to turn off the RF on PSM900 is a godsend, especially for festival changeovers.”
Jennifer Lopez also used the KSM8 for her residency at Planet Hollywood’s AXIS Theater in Las Vegas.