Saturday, April 22, 2006

Welcome to B-Bob's microphonium blog

Somewhere, Massachusetts: I'm starting this microphone related blog entitled "B-Bob's Microphonium Blog". The sporting goods company REI made a mistake some years ago and started calling me "BBob" on all of their mailings. Rather than correct it, I've watched to see if the BBob error has propagated to everyone that REI might provide their mailing list to. Quite a few pieces of REI mail have the BBob on it, but only from them, so far. Maybe they don't share lists. I started using BBob or B-Bob (cannot make up my mind) on any "artistic" product that I am involved in. Several paintings, collages, and even a music piece are attributed to simply "BBob" . We'll see if it sticks or fails to peform like that odd-looking symbol that Prince tried to use.

The term "microphonium" is straight out of the lips of Curly Howard of The Three Stooges. Ham radio op WA1HLR and many other New England hams refer to the mic or microphone as the "microphonium" these days. It is silly, but that's the way it is.

Anyway I'm into microphones in a very deep way, having designed and built all kinds of transducers, sensors and things that detect vibration, and even went so far as to start a company with my old friend from Boston Scientific, Hugh Tripp, to build and sell microphones used for professional recording.

Now that we're making Crowley and Tripp ribbon microphones and have started intense R&D into new materials used for sensors, the time has come to put up some of the ideas and findings that have come from our work in the field. We like to take apart mics, analyze them, critique the design, and learn from the mistakes that were made. Nothing is perfect and everything can be improved, so all mics, even our own, are fair game.

You should know that we run an R&D lab that we share with technology developer AMBIT Corporation, and we patent some of the inventions we make, which means that I cannot tell you about some of what we do here right away.

About patents: The general public misunderstands patents. I'll be putting in comments about patents and some factoids relating to them from time to time. Factoid 1: Patents are granted for a
limited period of time so that the inventor gets a head start with his or her idea. Governments grant temporary ownership of the idea in return for disclosure, or teaching that idea, to the public. Good to know.

Ok so today is April 22, 2006, Earth Day. More to follow, starting, perhaps, with the famous and venerable RCA 77DX microphone, an icon of the communications age.

This blog is for fun. ONLY! I am doing it for my own enjoyment, and you don't have to believe anything here. In fact, don't believe anything here or anywhere else. Find out for yourself.

Sometimes there will be articles about electricity, science or technology. Electronics and science are fun, and cool, but some of it can hurt or kill you. I am not going to tell you what will or won't harm you or anyone you know. You need to do that yourself, and you need to use common sense.

What I say about art is fact. My opinion about sound, and what microphones sound like, are actual facts. For instance, if I write that a certain singer sounds like razor blades on sandpaper using a certain microphone, you can count on the fact that I do indeed think that. Otherwise, take this blog with a grain of salt. We may have specs on it. None will be earth shattering and nobody will depend on them for their life or livelihood, since they are all about sound and music, which is art, or is supposed to be. You decide.

Otherwise you are free to enjoy this blog. I may link to it from other places, just for fun. Nobody told me to write this blog, and it may get pretty long because I like to use a computer and type, so don't read it too much. Spend some time doing other things.  I will take many of the pictures in this blog. If I happen to use your picture and you object, please tell me and I will take it down. That probably will never happen since I don't use other people's pictures unless it is of a product or something they want to go around the web, for advertising or promotion.  Those are fair game. It's how the internet works today. If you see a picture here that you like, don't take it and use it on your site or ad, or your ebay listing, without my permission. This blog and its writing are copyright, all rights reserved, and owned only by me, even though it is associated with one or more companies. It is a personal blog, with my personal musings, so they could be actual, but since I am an artist, some of it could be made up, artfully or not.

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