How NAMM TEC Awards Nominee Shure Develops Innovative Pro Audio Technology


Here at Sound & Picture, we’re huge fans of the annual NAMM Technical Excellence & Creativity (TEC) Awards. Presented at The NAMM Show in Anaheim, these awards celebrate the spirit of innovation and honor the individuals and companies behind the best new pro audio technology in music, film, broadcast television, video games, and beyond. This year, the 33rd annual TEC Awards will be announced on January 27, 2018 and will honor creative and technical achievements in 31 categories.

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Among the many distinguished TEC Award nominees is Shure, a company that has continued to set worldwide standards in the pro audio industry since its inception in 1925. Shure received two nominations this year: one for its Remote + Mic Lightnight Accessory Cable in the Audio Apps & Hardware/Peripherals for Smartphones & Tablets category, and one for its Axient Digital Wireless System in the Wireless Technology category.

We reached out to Shure’s Vice President of Global Product Management, Scott Sullivan, about the company’s approach to developing innovative new pro audio technology.

S&P: How does Shure collaborate with customers and industry professionals to develop new pro audio technology?

Scott Sullivan: At Shure, we pride ourselves on the close connection we maintain with customers and industry professionals. Our researchers, engineers, and product management teams spend hours in the field to understand our users’ needs and challenges, all the way from the inception of a project, through feature development and beta testing, and even after launch. All of the features found in Axient Digital were developed with deep involvement from key customers, and incorporate many of their ideas and suggestions.

Shure’s TEC Award-Nominated Remote + Mic Lightnight Accessory Cable

S&P: What are Shure’s priorities when developing pro audio peripheral technology for smartphones and tablets?

Sullivan: In recent years the improved processing power of consumer smartphones and tablets have enabled them to be used as tools for professional quality production. As our customers incorporate these tools into their productions, we have been creating an ecosystem of hardware and software to help them capture high-quality audio – whether they are journalists, podcasters, video bloggers, musicians, or any other type of content creator. Our MOTIV line microphones interface directly with mobile and desktop devices, and users can control mic parameters like DSP, polar pattern, and gain via intuitive mobile apps – making it easy to capture professional audio straight into their digital device.

S&P: What are Shure’s priorities when developing pro audio wireless technology?

Sullivan: Our main priority for wireless technology is to enable our customers around the world to support increasingly complex productions, in an increasingly constrained spectrum environment, without worry. As wireless spectrum is allocated to mobile telecom operators, the space available for wireless microphones is becoming limited. At the same time, productions are becoming more complex – with more channels of wireless, interfering stage effects like video walls, and performers utilizing multiple areas of a venue. Our customers need wireless microphones with rock-solid RF stability, high spectral efficiency, and advanced control features like networking and Dante, to succeed in the face of these challenges. And of course, the audio quality must be flawless. Our Axient Digital line is an example of these features coming together into a system that we believe is best in class for any professional production.

Shure’s TEC Award-Nominated Axient Digital Wireless System

S&P: What is coming up next for Shure in 2018 and beyond?

Sullivan: Shure is always listening to our customers’ needs and looking for innovative ways to address them. We’re pleased with the success of recent technology launches such as Microflex Advance array microphones, Axient Digital wireless systems, MOTIV digital microphones, KSM8 Dualdyne microphones, and Bluetooth earphones. We expect to continue building on these successful platforms, as well as introduce new ones.

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