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

Point Source Audio to Offer Worship Facilities Expo Attendees FREE Microphone ...
Broadcasting & Cable, November 5th

Petaluma, CA — November 5, 2015 —Point Source Audio (PSA), manufacturer of the award-winning SERIES8 miniature microphones, will return to the Worship Facilities Conference and Expo (WFX) in Nashville, Tennessee to showcase the world's first ...Read more

Big Mike and Jesse: Two Canton guys with a new network TV series, 'Lost and Found'
Canton Repository, November 5th

Page 3 of 3 - Schario showed me a pair of '50s-vintage microphones from the Grand Ole Opry that a woman in her 90s gave him, then he pulled out an Opry program signed in ink by a pre-fame Elvis Presley after he'd played there. Finders Keepers, which is ...Read more

Studio Spotlight: Sarm Music Village
Audio Media International, November 4th

Vintage microphones from the extensive collection at Sarm are available to clients across all of the studios. These include originals from Neumann, AKG, Sennheiser, and Shure, regularly maintained and serviced by Sarm's experienced tech staff. For...Read more

Patsy Cline Jukebox Musical at Cortland Rep, November 1st

Scenic designer Sam Sheehan has devised a homey, impressionistic set of a barn captured with perspective music staffs and symbols, and a bandstand and vintage microphone on a stand front and center, meant to suggest the stage of the Grand Ole Opry...Read more

Latin Music's Biggest Promoter Henry Cardenas on L Fest's Debut and Lessons ...
Billboard, October 30th

A similarly themed microphone collection. "Because guitars take up so much space, microphones have become more practical," he says. Cynthia Lynn. What makes you so confident that this momentum will continue? It already is: We'll have six or seven big ...Read more

'Sinatra: An American Icon' is a deep look into Ol' Blue Eyes at Grammy Museum ...
Los Angeles Times, October 29th

A replica of Capitol Studios' fabled Studio A in Hollywood, where Sinatra made many of his greatest recordings for Capitol Records, includes a mixing board, a stool and a vintage microphone. The set includes a music stand with sheet music from one of...Read more

Neverly Brothers will scare up fun at Halloween show
Chicago Tribune, October 28th

"Our microphones are the vintage microphones from the '50s," said guitarist and vocalist Kevin Giragosian, the founder of the popular retro band that was formed in 2003. "I'm, like, the tour guide," noted Giragosian, who — during the course of a show...Read more

Stephen Bartlett on the pros and cons of vintage microphones
Audio Media International, March 24th

Producer and engineer steps into the classic vs modern debate and explains what to look out for when making a mic purchase. Producer and engineer Stephen Bartlett steps into the vintage versus modern debate and looks at how the choice of microphone ...Read more