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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Microphones

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Recent News: Microphones

Source: Google News

A Miracle on 34th Street Classic Radiocast: Penfold Theatre's well-executed ...
Austin Chronicle, December 17th

The Old Settlers Hall in Round Rock is dressed to transport audience members to radio studios of yore: black curtain backdrops, a Foley table, three vintage microphones, and even a light-up 'Applause' sign. The actors play (or voice, really) a myriad...Read more

Silence falls on London's recording studios
Aljazeera.com, December 6th

Along with the studio's vintage consoles, microphone collection and partitions, Bob Marley's specially designed one-metre-deep shower bath will also remain on-site. "There was always a want from the family to try and retain as much for music use as...Read more

Jamestown Revival: 'Leaving behind the old and starting anew' (Includes ...
Digital Journal, December 4th

And, instead of a reproduction vintage microphone, we would have used a real 1960s microphone —all the stuff we didn't have the money for the first time around. That's where Republic helped out. We got back in the studio and re-recorded 'California...Read more

'Wonderful Life' will take you back to radio days
Belleville News Democrat, November 29th

Local collector Rob Lippert loaned the production four vintage microphones to use, and there will be sound effects and an old-time organ playing. In addition to the play, the Mistletones, a local trio specializing in holiday music, will be featured at...Read more

Industrialighting, a Nashville Based Custom Lighting Studio, Is Announcing Its ...
PR Web (press release), November 26th

The Vintage Microphone light has been hand crafted and specifically designed to reflect the spirit of the melodies that many of the customers have become attached to over the years. Each light is handmade and will now contain a 20-year extended life...Read more

Wednesday Video Spotlight: JD McPherson to release sophomore LP "Let the ...
NewsOK.com, November 19th

As previously reported, McPherson worked with producer Mark Neill on his follow-up to his 2010 breakout “Signs and Signfiers,” which he recorded with Jimmy Sutton of the roots music label Hi-Style Records using vintage microphones and a Berlant ...Read more

Frigid Touch to Play CD Release Show at Mahall's
Cleveland Scene Weekly, November 13th

“While it was indeed recorded and mixed on a laptop, I used to run a recording studio, so there's my collection of vintage microphones, guitars and keyboards sprinkled throughout. We have always had a DIY approach. We shoot our own videos and do our ...Read more

SpinArt Co-Founder Dealing Ecstatic Electric, Vintage Microphones
SonicScoop, June 17th

“I happened to know the guy who owned the VintageMicrophones.com domain name, so I got it from him and started the site. Ecstatic Electric is still going strong, and now Vintage Microphones is open to the public for boutique microphone and pro audio ...Read more