a new, custom, lo-fi, machine age, badass microphone

a small amount of back story may be in order…  i’m obsessed with tube amplifiers, guitars and microphones. when i record i sing into a vintage electro-voice ribbon mic from the 1930′s. not the kind of mic i’m going to gig with. when i rehearse, which is rare if ever, i sing through a tube pa head with a beat up dynamic mic that doesn’t feed back as easily as an sm-58, but i get a nice, dirty, tube overdriven, fat vocal sound. when i play in clubs the pa is always too clean making my vocals overly clear and smooth, which exactly what i don’t want. so recently i took this old tape recorder mic out to a gig mounted to a copper pipe i could jam into a mic clip and it did the trick. nice and gritty with some of it’s own compression. but, it did look kind of lame.

a few weeks ago i had a conversation with someone who turned me on to this cool mic he had recently purchased. it both looked and sounded great. a lo-fi masterpiece. as soon as i saw the mic i knew i would make a mic body,  and soon. not unlike the cbg hollowbelly inspired me to build, this mic came together quickly, like it wanted to be made.

i installed a vintage, controlled magnet element for a super lo-fi vocal sound. it has great output and sounds nice and gritty. i’ll be using it on my upcoming set of shows in michigan starting at the end of this week.

i have thoughts on how i could improve the mounting of the yoke as well as the manner in which it is held together and either 1/4 inch connector or an xlr (or both). the parts for this mic where almost all in my basement inside of things i have cannibalized. i have several more of these elements as well as a few crystal elements (which are far less expensive) so i might make a few more. the mic is just over 3 inches long and can hold most any element, 2 inches and under.

One Response to “a new, custom, lo-fi, machine age, badass microphone”

  • olds says:

    that mic is very cool…i know what you mean about the “clean”vocals bit when playing live….ruins the whole song. keep following that “just wanted to be made” vibe…

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