21 April 2008

"The Hitler Bottle" (No, Not the One With His Brain...)

Found via jwsound.net:

NPR's All Things Considered recently profiled John and Mary Peluso of Peloso Microphone Lab. Snip:

But unlike some of their rural neighbors, who may rise before dawn to cast their lines in the local creek, this couple rises early to meticulously assemble microphones by hand. The Pelusos' microphones are modeled after some of the world's legendary mikes, but at a price more affordable for today's musicians.

The Pelusos are part of a boutique microphone-making movement — an effort to inexpensively replicate the look and sound of classic mikes. Peluso microphones have been used to record the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the bluegrass band Blue Highway and the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, among others...

As a recording engineer, [John] eventually worked with all the classic RCA, Sony and AKG microphones, and particularly the German-made Neumann mikes. But it was when he went to work for a mysterious physicist named Verner Ruvalds that he learned about what he calls the "black art" of making microphones...

Ruvalds had helped produce the Neumann bottle mike, designed in 1928 by Georg Neumann, and considered a technological breakthrough. Neumann took the old carbon-grain broadcast microphone, which uses bits of carbon sandwiched between two plates, and turned it into a mass-produced "condenser" microphone, which has one fixed plate and another that forms a diaphragm moved by sound waves...

The Neumann mike — the CMV3 — was so widely used by the Fuehrer and Nazi Party leaders that it acquired a nickname: The Hitlerflasche, or the Hitler Bottle.

Be sure to listen to the full story, which includes recording samples made with Peluso mikes.


No comments: