Friday, November 14, 2008

November 1932 Electronics about the Ribbon Microphone

In the November 1932 issue of Electronics, author Julius Weinberger writes about everything you need to know to make a good ribbon microphone for music and broadcast applications. The work comes from RCA labs where of course Harry Olson worked. His article on ribbon microphone response is in the October 1932 issue and is not nearly as interesting as this one.
At the risk of offending the copyright holder, I have scanned in an excerpt from the paper magazine, converted it into a pdf, and attached it here.
Note that phantom power or at least power to the microphone was in use at that time. Also the use of a shunt reactor for tailoring the upper ranges.

By the end of 1932, the US and most of the world had been in a fairly deep recessionary period, with some ups and downs. It remained that way for a number of years and was made worse by bad weather in the Southern Midwest - the Dustbowl Years - a period of drought that got about a million farm people to head for California. Ten years later WWII was raging, deficit spending, and a labor shortage brought out by an emergency draft of men up to 50 years of age reduced unemployment to nearly zero.

1 comment:

Rickshaw said...

Holy Giant Tube Preamplifier Batman!

...And what is this about the ribbon being suspended between poles of an electromagnet? I'd be inclined to think that an electromagnet could induce some hum. Thank goodness for modern N-Dym magnets!

The article is more of a theoretical breakdown of Ribbon Microphone physics, rather than what you need to know to build one of these microphones. However, I know where to get complete plans like that: Click on my name above!

As an aside, having just been laid off from a manufacturing company with serious QC issues (and under the guise of industry-wide "reduction in force"), I found the separate article snippet about "shrinkage" equally interesting.

- Rickshaw