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University of Memphis Wins Fantastic Scholastic Recording Competition

Shure Incorporated announced that a five-member team (pictured) from the Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music at the University of Memphis has won the second annual “Fantastic Scholastic Recording Competition.” The winning team members—William Boywid, Alex Fleming, Christopher Larkin, Jeremy Smith and Fallon Stillman—won this year’s contest with an original song by Lauren McCuistion called “Burn Me A Goodbye.”

“This year’s contest was just as surprising as the first one, welcoming repeat performers as well as some new schools to the competition,” said market development specialist Dave Mendez, who coordinated the competition. “All ten schools turned in some amazing work, and it’s always great to get Shure mics in their hands at such an early stage of their career. We’d like to congratulate the winning team from the University of Memphis and thank the students from all of the schools who participated.”

In addition to the University of Memphis, there were nine other competing teams from The DePaul School of Music, New England Institute of Art, College of Saint Rose, Cleveland Institute of Music, Barton College, Capital University Conservatory of Music, Northeastern University, Lebanon Valley College and Shenandoah University.

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 as well as raw tracks for review by a panel of industry professionals who were selected by Shure to judge the competition.

“There are three fundamentals that we try to instill in our students early on: the importance of pre-production, the importance of mic technique and the importance that recording music is a creative, artistic discipline,” said University of Memphis Professor Jeff Cline, faculty advisor at the Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music. “The recording contest was a perfect arena for each of those three fundamentals. With the constraints of only a single microphone manufacturer and no processing available during tracking, each and every member of the team was forced to closely examine the above fundamentals.”

The judges for the competition were Joe Barresi, Dave Hewitt and Bob Ludwig, who evaluated the recordings on their overall fidelity, clarity and sonic balance, as well as creativity in selection and placement of microphones.

“I think the Shure recording competition is a great thing, and I support it because it gives recording school students the context to really try their best in competition with other schools around the country,” said Ludwig. “The competition forces the students to really listen hard to the differences that simply placing the right microphone in the right spot can yield. Many of them come from computer-only backgrounds and for some it is the first time they face the challenges and joys of putting microphones on a live drummer or dealing with vocalists. Every year the top contestants create near-commercially viable products. It is exciting to hear just how good some of them are.”

As the winning school, the University of Memphis takes ownership of the entire Shure microphone locker, which comprises one Beta 52A, one Beta 91, two Beta 98s, two KSM27s, two KSM32s, two KSM44s, two KSM141s, four SM57s and one SM7B. The entire microphone package is valued at more than $10,000. In addition, a donation of $3,000 towards a scholarship fund was awarded to the University of Memphis, and each member of the winning team receives a KSM27 valued at $575.

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