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

WrestleMania: Ronda Rousey comes to The Rock's aide
FanSided, March 29th

The Rock made a surprise appearance at WrestleMania 31 as Stephanie McMahon and Triple H insulted the fans. Of course The People's Champion is going to show up when you insult the people. After some vintage microphone work from The Rock, ...Read more

Lindsay Lou & The Flatbellys: Ionia (Lindsayloumusic)
Herald Scotland, March 28th

Standing grouped around a few vintage microphones, they've captured a tight rootsiness that speaks of dedicated immersion in American vernacular music and bodes well for their imminent first trip to Scotland. The highly versatile Lindsay Lou is the...Read more

Q&A With Trout Steak Revival's Travis McNamara
Pollstar, March 27th

He went to school at IU for it and he's got a collection of vintage microphones and all this stuff. He'll just talk your ears off about it. And it's great. We recorded our first two albums in two different cabins up in the mountains of Colorado. The...Read more

'Hound of Baskervilles' comes alive for Sherlockians
MyCentralJersey.com, March 27th

Raconteur Radio is a Metuchen-based troupe that stages radio-style dramas, complete with sound effects, music cues and actors in period costumes standing in front of a vintage microphone. On April 10 at Madeline's in Bound Brook, the actors will...Read more

Cavetone Records to celebrate 7 years
The Daily Eastern News, March 24th

Bands will reunite and travel from all around the Midwest to perform at Cavetone Records' “Seven Year Anniversary Spectacular” at 8 p.m. Friday at the Top of the Roc. The doors will open at 7 p.m., and the concert has no cover charge. Cavetone Records...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

CRUSHED OUT WILL SMASH YOUR HEAD ON THE ROOTS ROCK
Folio Weekly, March 17th

Two things keep Moselle Spiller, 31, and Franklin Hoier, 34, on the road; love and music. The husband and wife duo, originally formed in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bushwick in 2010, are Crushed Out, a surf-inspired country/blues/rock-and-roll outfit...Read more

Woman calls police to have boyfriend's friends removed from their apartment ...
cleveland.com, March 10th

Inside the Jeep were tool boxes and tools, and a vintage microphone. The theft occurred between 5:30 and 9:45 p.m. March 5. ANIMAL CRUELTY, PARK EAST DRIVE: Police were called at 2 p.m. March 5 to the Embassy Suites, 3775 Park East Drive, on a ...Read more