Thursday, May 31, 2007

Upcoming Trade Shows










Tape Op Con is next week, in Tucson. Last year it was a mere 100 degrees in the shade. Like last year, Crowley and Tripp ribbon mics will have a small table showing the microphones.

The image is of a popup display that we've been using for the last couple of years at AES. Here product manager Chris Regan ponders the layout and copy for AES New York which will be held in October 2007.

Monday, May 28, 2007

The Latest From Larry Killip


This guy is prolific! Larry is a good friend of ours from New Zealand, helped us out quite a bit when we were getting started about four years ago. Here's a shot of Larry's completely restored 1962 Mark 2 Jaguar.

Watch Larry's latest video here.

Please put on your headphones - those crappy little laptop speakers are NOT good enough to get an idea of Larry's well blended and increasingly complex pop sounds.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

CNC and Ribbon Microphones

Rounding out, so to speak, this little vignette of abstract, offbeat posts for the week, is a fisheye view of the insides of a CNC mill artistically depicting its main use - that of machining the many components that go in to new microphones here at Crowley and Tripp. Shown here is an old Lafayette mic that we converted into a ribbon mic, just to see if we could do it.

CNC stands for Computer Numeric Control and is used to denote those machine tools that can be programmed and run via a computer. This is the inside of a brand new Haas vertical mill that we got. Believe it or not, these still come with RS232 interfaces! That's because so many of the still-good machines out there were designed to accept RS232, so even the new ones have it. Also USB, Ethernet etc. of course.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Putting a stop to Microphony

Few things are more annoying, even disturbing, than unwanted microphonic resonances, especially in vintage NOS vacuum tubes that have been cryogenically treated.

These DUENDE CRIATURA TUBE RINGS will prevent the anguish of premature microphonic resonances in your 12AX7, or even your 6L6. DUENDE CRIATURA TUBE RINGS are carefully constructed with teflon inner supports surrounded by massive metal toroids.

2 X 10 to the tenth C Minimum

Is it impossible to get google blogs (blogger) to display an exponent in the title?

how about here? 2x1010

or here?

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Microphone stock on May 20

Naked Eye 10 day delivery from order date and we expect to be caught up on June 20.
Recordist 15 day delivery from order date until June 20.
Studio Vocalist Low stock
Soundstage Image Adequate stock
Proscenium In stock
SPLx min 4 week delivery from date of order

Thank you everyone for your business! We are ramping up carefully to preserve quality and have managed to just keep up with orders. After the Summer we expect to have some shelf stock, in the meantime we will be shipping to orders and planned allocations as builds are completed.

Price Changes
We have decided to leave Naked Eye at its current price as long as we can fill orders within two weeks.

Music Break: Producer Tarek Madkour


Check out Tarek's studio here. Below is an excerpt from Tarek's excellent website.

Tarek Adel Madkour, born in Cairo (May 22nd, 1967) with a passion in music made his father bring a piano teacher to teach him the basics. In primary school, the music room was the place where you can usually find him all day long.

At the age of sixteen, he created his first band with his friends, named "The Hummers", playing different genres including rock and pop in nightclubs and gigs, two years later, he played with the most famous Egyptian band at that time, "Les Petits chats", which brought out many talented musicians like "Hany Shenouda", "Ezzat Abo Ouf" and "Omar Khayrat". Madkour played on keyboard and he was the youngest member of the band.

Fat'hy Salama (the famous Egyptian producer), used to tutor Madkour in the area of music composing and producing. He gave Madkour the chance to work on a song for "Amr Diab" in 1984, entitled "Ya Leila", and then "Eish Hal", this was Amr Diab's first album and it was a hit.

In 1988, he traveled to USA to study more about western music, he also got his engineering degree in architectonics.

Another big step in his life was in 1989 when he produced a song for the Egyptian super star "Mohamed Mounir" in a song written by "Abd Al Rahman Al Abanody" and composed by "Kamal Altaweel". It was a challenge to work with such big names in his early career.

In 1994, Tarek was contracted by Roland Japan to incorporate the oriental samples in the company's first oriental keyboard, the E40, which became a best seller the middle east region.

Tarek Madkour now is one of the most important producers and songwriters in the Arabic region, he has changed Arabic music's look and feel by incorporating the eastern magic with western beats in a unique way, inducing him as the standard partner in every mega-hit during the 90s and up to this moment.

Working with the most famous Arabic super stars like Amr Diab, Mohamed Mounir, Mustafa Amar, Samira Said, Hisham Abbas, Nancy Ajram, and many others, Madkour's music has won several World Music Awards in addition to many local and regional achievements. He has also introduced new talents to the industry like Mohamed Hamaki.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Ribbon Microphone Transformer Test

To accurately measure various transformers we use a sweep generator, a known resistance, and an oscilloscope. In this image there are two ribbon mic transformers being measured here. The one on the little PC board is a Lundahl and the other is a Sowter. We have them all here, plus a bunch you've never heard of. An interesting one is the Oktava.

The are all quite different.

What are we looking for when we spec out a ribbon mic transformer? Primarily, it is efficiency. That's why larger conductors, and transformers, perform better in most of the required categories. Smaller transformers may have the appropriate ratio but then suffer high internal resistance, and there are some puny transformers of the past (like the B&O) that were so miniscule they hardly did the job. Certain considerations, such as hum aperture, internal shielding, and Ohmic resistance, compete with each other to some extent, and knowing how to manage that is part of an integrated total product design.

In guitar amps, microphone transformers, preamps and a lot of other things we find that high efficiency and low noise are the two most important attributes that contribute to a clean sound.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

The Soup Kitchen - Tape Op Con 2007 - Tucson


Last year I had some kind of mental block and kept calling the TapeOp Con Potluck Studio "The Soup Kitchen". Strange.

Here is a shot of the scene and what it probably will look like again in a couple of weeks. Attendees are hearing about various gear and microphone combinations, and finer points about mic placement, ambiance, and tone as I recall.

Tape Op Con is a great meeting, a real meeting and not just a bunch of gear sellers (although we are there too!) and a true learning environment. Once again it is being held at the el Conquistador resort in Tucson, which is a golf type resort! Some of the people who were used to New Orleans thought that the el Conquistador was a little too corporate, and admittedly the appearance of various recording types in their all-black garb in the Arizona desert was a trifle dissonant. But in the end everyone had a good time, someone threw Fletcher into the pool, the powerful (and needed) air conditioning froze everyone nicely, and now it's on again, June 8, 9 and 10th.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Creaking Tree


If you have even the slightest interest in modern acoustic bluegrass, (we are partial to it here) get your headphones on now and just go here.

Do it now.

Carey Bell


I got this message today from Steve Jacobs, who is himself a great blues guitar player and a friend since high school.

Steve writes:

"For those that may not know. Carey Bell died in
Chicago Sun May 6th. He had complications from Diabetes. It was a
privilege to spend 15 years with him as guitarist / road manager &
friend. He was
one of the last of the post war blues Harmonica greats.
A true Bluesman, he will be missed especially by those that knew his
encouragement, humor & intelligence. Steve."

I saw Carey and Steve play together not that long ago. It was in a small club in Plymouth MA. Not much of a turnout, but a great show, and I got to meet Carey, who was a great and friendly guy. Carey Bell is the recipient of the Handy Award which is the pinnacle of blues recognition.


Sunday, May 06, 2007

AES Vienna Report - Crowley and Tripp


And speaking of horns, here we have a very serious looking visitor at AES Vienna trying out the Naked Eye and Soundstage Image ribbon microphones that are on display.

Don't let that mute scratch the back of the Naked Eye! Actually, it won't, that coating is pretty tough, and no worries about high SPLs even up close. This is our second AES Europe and in the Fall we will do our third AES US, in New York this year.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Philco Predicta


Here is a shot of your bloggist checking out a Philco Predicta TV at a motel somewhere in New Hampshire. The Predicta was unusual since the guts were mounted within the countertop and only the protruding CRT, which swiveled, was exposed. Hotel rooms were sometimes equipped with these with the idea of preventing TV thieves from making off with Zenith and Magnavox consoles inside the bed linens.

Things haven't changed that much. Now they give you a TV worth about $16 and charge $9.95 for wifi.

Photo taken previously.

Two Bad Horns and a Hammer Drill


This Spring's NEARFest electronics and ham radio flea market was held at Deerfield, NH, which is mecca to the terminally nerdy hams.

I usually pick up 60s vintage transistor radios and XLR connectors by the bunch, but not this year. For some reason these two horn outdoor PA speakers caught my attention. That one in the back is a biggie. The exponential horn is an easy to understand acoustic matching device, patterned after the ear, which also matches sound energy and directs it into the aural canal.

The horn is penetrating and loud.. They can sound very bad, yet be very effective in getting the message out. Not all horns produce poor audio, and there are some famously successful speakers by Klipsch that are great sounding and take about a half a watt to drive.


An impulse buy, destined to blast lo-fi audio at high SPLs in the lab, or perhaps towards the Fisher Cat that lives in the backyard..

The hammer drill is a powerful, percussive device for drilling concrete. This one is a Hilti, which is a highly touted brand, noted for its robust capabilities. One could say that the hammer drill is a low frequency, high excursion one-note transducer, and that the drill is a straight transmission line the delivers the alternating axial force to its tip.

Some more about horn loudspeakers at enjoy the music.com

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Chris Regan to be at AES Vienna - Crowley and Tripp Microphones

A year has wizzed by since AES Paris where Crowley and Tripp Product Manager Chris Regan introduced our ribbon microphones to European dealers and customers. Like last year he will collaborate with Christophe Bouillot of Audioaddict. On display will be the Naked Eye, Proscenium, Soundstage Image, Studio Vocalist and Recordist Ensemble Stereo Kit.


Booth 2524 is the place.

AES Vienna starts this Saturday and runs through Tuesday.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Naked Eye Update

We were in a shallow backorder for Naked Eye and had to turn off the "buy" page on our website. Call 508 231 4515 for now and we will work to meet your schedule.

Thanks! Bob Crowley and Hugh Tripp