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

Rockin' it old-school: Musician converts recording studio from digital to analog
Spartanburg Herald Journal, July 27th

Matthew Knights adjusts his newly acquired antique microphone, "Gladys," for musician Brandon Turner at County Line Studios. TIM KIMZEY/tim.kimzey@shj.com. By Dan Armonaitis. Published: Sunday, July 27, 2014 at 3:15 a.m.. Last Modified: Thursday, July...Read more

McBrides wanted 'Everlasting' perfection
The Tennessean, July 24th

Vintage microphones, some more than 60 years old, were also carefully selected to capture Martina McBride's famous, soulful voice. blackbird-studio. Blackbird Studio in Berry Hill is a monument to recording technology and audio engineering. Fleetwood...Read more

Everynight Charley's Manhattan Beat: June 29 – July 3
Aquarian Weekly, July 23rd

Opening for Black Oak Arkansas at The Bowery Electric, Legs was a tall, imposing figure with bushy hair all over the stage as he threw himself into his howling harmonica and sang into a foggy-sounding vintage microphone. Aktürk similarly threw himself...Read more

Kyuss - Rocker John Garcia Stunned By Robby Krieger Collaboration
Contactmusic.com, July 22nd

Former Kyuss frontman John Garcia was stunned when his hero Robby Krieger agreed to play guitar on a track on his new self-titled solo album. The rocker recorded vocals for a recent Vista Chino album through a vintage microphone owned by the Doors ...Read more

ON THE RECORD: 'Farewell Tours' all about $$
Troy Record, July 22nd

Famed broadcaster Curt Gowdy made some introductory remarks over Fenway Park's public address system from a vintage microphone, stationed near home plate. Williams then briefly addressed the crowd, such as it was. In all, the entire ceremony lasted ...Read more

Placentia teacher, first lady tout music education
OCRegister, July 16th

Cavalluzzi, presented with a trophy shaped as a vintage microphone, won the museum's Jane Ortner Education Award. It's given to a teacher each year and described by Grammy Museum executive director Bob Santelli as the museum's most prestigious ...Read more

AnnaPaul, Bearded Lady play Sou'Wester
Coast Weekend, July 14th

Seaview, Wash. — Suspend time and spin it around you like a well-knitted sweater. Imbue it with Lucky Strike smokiness and Ovaltine sweetness. Squeeze it through 1920s vintage instruments, vintage microphones, vintage countenance and inflection...Read more

New York filmmakers create 'Psychedelic' movie
Victoria Advocate, July 2nd

Gathering around an open area of the bar, Butti and Gold rolled camera as Bianca Casedy sets up her cello and sat behind a vintage microphone. Rebecca Wright, another vocalist in the mix of spectators, join Casedy in the circle. Singing "Tumbleweed...Read more