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Microphones page 3

Microphones page 3

Microphones part 3 - The Modern Era

  • Microphones part 1 - The Carbon Era 1915-1925
  • Microphones part 2 - The Electrical Era 1925-1945
  • Microphones part 3 - The Modern Era 1945-present
  • Microphone History Sources
  • 1941 RCA 77D
    diagram from Olson 1977
    1949 Neumann U47 mic
    from Neumann History
    The polydirectional microphone was introduced in the 1940's with the ability to switch directionality from a narrow cardioid pattern to a wide omnidirectional pattern. "During the 1950's Neumann microphones also were sold through Telefunken, and carried the Telefunken logo. Thus the U47 was also known as the 'Telly'. It was reported about 'The Voice', Frank Sinatra, that he wouldn't sing without his 'Telly', the Neumann U47." (from Neumann History)
    1952 Neuman M49
    diagram from Olson 1977
    Neumann M49 condenser mic
    from Neumann History
    "The M49 was introduced to the German Radio Broadcasters in 1952. Because of its unprecedented versatility it conquered the international recording studios rather quickly. Due to the innovative feature "remote pattern control" it found widespread application as the important main microphone above large orchestras. Other applications were as a spot microphone for wind and string instruments, for piano and as the favorite announcer's microphone." (from Neumann History)
    1954 RCA uniaxial BK-5B
    diagram from Olson 1977
    omnidirectional axial mic
    diagram from Olson 1977
    1954 Neumann KM54
    from Neumann History
    1961 speech by JFK
    from Audio 1961/12
    In the 1950s, the axial microphone became popular with a ribbon transducer located in the end of a slender cylinder, ideal for portablility. KM54 - "After the introduction of the KM54 in 1954, it very quickly acquired an excellent reputation as a voice microphone for radio and television. It was used in many chambers of parliament and served at the lectern of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. It was equally successful as a supporting microphone for musical recordings. The KM 54 was produced from 1954 to 1969. Thousands of highly revered 54s are still in service today." The Gotham Audio Corp. ran an ad in 1961 featuring JFK speaking at UN into pair of Neumann mics - "President John F. Kennedy Addressing the UN on the Berlin Problem - Sept. 25, 1961" - "Neumann is honored to serve United Nations communication through the accurate and reliable performance of their world famous microphones."
    electret omnidirectional mic
    diagram from Olson 1977
    electret omnidirectional mic
    diagram from Olson 1977
    The electret electrostatic microphone ca. 1970 has a permanently-charged plastic film diaphragm plated on one side. The addition of a field effect transistor allows high impedance input and a uniform frequency response of 30-15,000 Hz.


  • Microphones part 1 - The Carbon Era 1915-1925
  • Microphones part 2 - The Electrical Era 1925-1945
  • Microphones part 3 - The Modern Era 1945-present
  • Microphone History Sources


  • - 1999-2003 by Steven E. Schoenherr. All rights reserved.

    Return to Recording Technology History Notes | this page revised 1/15/03
     
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