The phrase “vintage microphone” usually prompts images of a beveled, rectangular device with a radio or TV station's call letters emblazoned on its top or side. These are the big mics Bing Crosby sang into, or that Orson Welles and his Mercury Theatre on the Air used to scare the bejeezus out of millions of people with their broadcast of "The War of the Worlds" on October 30, 1938. Microphones, good ones anyway, make things real.

In fact, realism is exactly what a German electrical engineer named Georg Neumann was striving for when he came out with his bottle-shaped CMV3 condenser microphone in 1928. In 1932 he upgraded the mic by releasing the CMV3a, which allowed users to swap out the mic’s heads to pick up sounds from a single-direction (as in a cardioid microphone), two-directions (sometimes called figure-8s) and all directions (omni). After World War II, Neumann rebuilt his Berlin factory and by 1949 he’d released the U47, which was distributed internationally by Telefunken and favored by recording engineers throughout the 1950s and ’60s. Artists as varied as Frank Sinatra and The Beatles used the U47 in the recording studio.

While Neumann was pushing microphone technology in Europe, RCA was doing the same in the United States, especially during the 1930s, the golden era of radio, when it released a number of bi-directional ribbon microphones, including the Photophone and Velocity models. These ribbon microphones take their name from the .0001-inch thick piece of corrugated aluminum (the ribbon) that’s placed between the ends of a horseshoe-shaped magnet. Another iconic ribbon microphone of the prewar period was the BBC-Marconi Type A, which was designed by a BBC technician named Dr. Alexander and manufactured by Marconi’s Wireless Telegraph Co. of London.


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Recent News: Microphones

Source: Google News

'Swing into Spring' will be a joint performance of Peoria Area Civic Chorale ...
Peoria Journal Star, April 30th

To add authenticity to the event there will be vintage microphones, a mirror ball, and swing dancing. The Friday night performance will feature a festival chorus of more than 50 fourth graders from community schools and Saturday night's performance...Read more

Looking for Art in the Elsewhere: Fifty Years of David Hammons on View at ...
Village Voice, April 27th

(2001) is a trio of vintage microphones standing together, unplugged, their cords coiled on the floor next to the stands. Their human analogues are Jackson, Jordan, and Tyson, so the courses of action on offer are to entertain, play ball, or box. Are...Read more

Listen To Aaron Hendra's Songs To Hear How Tiffany's Husband Is Inspired By ...
Bustle, April 18th

wanted to make sure that they were included in the process. During the recording process, we thought it would be amazing to go to Sudan to record the children singing the songs. We packed up our vintage microphones and took them all the way to Sudan...Read more

Listen To Aaron Hendra's Music To Hear How Tiffany's Husband Is Inspired By ...
Bustle, April 18th

During the recording process, we thought it would be amazing to go to Sudan to record the children singing the songs. We packed up our vintage microphones and took them all the way to Sudan. One Friday night in a mud brick church, we got 300 African ...Read more

LCD Soundsystem shows serious electronica in Coachella reunion
Yahoo News, April 16th

have easily fallen flat, the band moved the crowd with a modern take of David Bowie's "Heroes" led by Al Doyle's flowing guitar as singer James Murphy -- who collaborated with the late rock legend -- brought a rawness through his vintage microphone...Read more

Singer chooses jail in Mayberry for music video
Mount Airy News, April 9th

Bunn made a cameo appearance in the video. Terri Flagg | The News. Tim Frye, music director and d.j. at WPAQ, works the board while Beth Spangler poses for photos with one of the stations vintage microphones during a tour Friday. Terri Flagg | The News...Read more

Mix Regional Southwest: New Home for Kitchen Sink in Santa Fe
MIX, April 7th

Manson says that while having a great rig and a great-sounding tracking room, along with a nice selection of vintage microphones, amps and keyboards, is ideal, the most important aspect of the studio is the human element. “Being a great producer or ...Read more

A behind-the-scenes peek as 'American Idol' tunes up for its final bow
Los Angeles Times, April 1st

The somewhat iconic image of an anonymous female singer holding a vintage microphone, her hair covering her face, was used again for the final season poster (Lynn kept in touch with the original model, the wife of an Interscope Records executive), but...Read more