About Martin Mitchell

I am a Freelance Sound Engineer,  Lecturer in Music Technology, and full member of AES. I work mostly in the fields of Touring Theatre,  Live Recording and Mastering. I am a microphone junkie and have a large collection which includes a number of interesting vintage  models.

The purpose of this blog is to share pictures and information about Microphones and Microphone Techniques past and present.

I am also gradually putting in links to SoundCloud to help illustrate these posts. No good talking about microphones if you can’t hear them!!

46 responses to “About Martin Mitchell

  1. Hey I like the blog and I certainly like the comments, Ooooh! Shiny most certainly!

    Andy G

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  2. Fab blog Martin… I look forward to more of your objet d’art.

    How about a feature on the Jecklin Disc recording you did?

    arny

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  3. Fantastic Stuff, do you currently have a youtube account?

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  4. Thanks for your encouraging comment. Have only recently started this blog. At present I am not using YouTube but may well in the future.

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  5. Dear Martin,
    I have an STC 4021 but no lead to plug it in can you help? I hope to use it for a vintage theatre gig 1st March

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  6. Thanks Martin – are your microphones available for hire?
    Paul

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  7. Dear Martin – checked out Canford and also your video – remarkable!
    I’m using the 4021 to record a 1930’s Kalamazoo guitar – so very apt
    All the best
    Paul Balmer
    Author The Haynes Guitar manuals

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    • Glad you liked the video (my first attempt!)
      Your project sounds interesting. The STC 4021 should do a good job. Just needs a quiet pre-amp with plenty of gain.
      Good Luck
      All the Best
      Martin

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  8. The only time I hire them out is on theatre shows and recordings where I am engineering.
    Martin

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  9. Will I need an external pre amp – what would you suggest?
    The project is at the Core theatre Corby – and is ‘Guitar Cubed’ – 1000 years of the worlds most popular instrument. With luck we will have 8 channel surround sound from Martyn Ware! Paul

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  10. I use a Focusrite TwinTrak Pro on mine, which has the Focusrite A-D converter module. But really any of the Focusrite models are good. The Focusrite Red is probably the best of the range. The AEA TRP- The Ribbon Pre also sounds terrific, with up to 80db of gain!! At the cheaper end of the market, I am a big fan of the M-Audio DMP3. Very clean and uncoloured with around 60db of gain.
    Anyhow, I hope you have a great night.
    Martin

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  11. P.S.
    I forgot to say….. the reason I particularly like the TwinTrak is because it has a variable impedance control on the input, which is great for matching up strange old mics! (also found on the Red and the AEA)

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  12. Hi Martin – great blog! Nice to come across a fellow microphone fanatic.
    Stewart, Xaudia

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  13. Dear Martin,
    About two months ago I dived a mystery ship, off the coast of Sri Lanka and found a Telephone Hand Set. After cleaning it up carefully, I found an inscription “Admiralty Pattern M318”. I understand that British Admiralty had pattern numbers for everything they used. I believe this ship to be a World War II Destroyer. I looked up M318 part but couldn’t find any reference anywhere. Perhaps this is a dead end but I am writing to you on the off hand chance that you may have an insight or give me a lead to follow.
    Thank You
    Dharshana
    Sri Lanka

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  14. Hi Dharshana,
    That sounds very interesting. Unfortunately at present I can find no information on this item. During WWII several manufacturers made communications equipment for the military. These included STC, Vitavox, and GEC. Documentation is hard to find. I’m sure there must be a reference to it somewhere! If I come across anything further I’ll let you know.
    All the Best
    Martin

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  15. Thanks for your efforts in sharing this information – very much appreciated

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  16. Hi Martin, do u have an email adress? I’d want to send u an email with a Picture of a brazilian vintage microphone, that was used in a big tv broadcast (SBT) in the 80,s, but nobody knows what is it brand or model… and maybe u can know that! Or send me an email alanbrandaogomes@hotmail.com Tksssss

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  17. Hello, I am looking for some advice on an old microphone I currently have and am thinking about selling. It is Microtech Gefell GMBH microphone UM70S. Could you possibly give me any advice on this?

    Many Thanks!

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    • Hi,
      Unfortunately this is not a microphone I have ever used. I am told that they are great sounding mics and compare well to the Neumann U87. Certainly this review from Sound On Sound seems to bare that out :- https://www.soundonsound.com/sos/1995_articles/may95/microtechgefell.html

      If you are thinking of selling on ebay I would advise putting in links to audio clips so that buyers can hear how good it sounds. I would also advise putting in a link to the SOS article and also the technical specifications.
      This is a fairly rare microphone and I am not sure how much it is worth. If you are putting it in any kind of auction I would recommend having a suitable reserve price.
      Good Luck!

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  18. Ramon Sancho Pérez

    Poseo un micrófono Grampian DPL pero no tiene placa de identificación. Busco y no encuentro. Si usted tiene me la podria mostrar?
    Thanks. Greeting

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  19. Hi Martin. It seems you and I have a few Microphones in Common. Im a young sound engineer interested in these lovely old specimens and using them to record too. I too am building up quite the collection.

    I also have an STC 4017C unfortunately though, mine isn’t functional. It seems to have lost its magnetic properties. I was wondering if you might have any knowledge that may help me bring this beautiful old microphone back to life.

    Thanks for your time.

    Joe.

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    • Hi Joe.
      Good to hear from you. Be warned, vintage mics are very addictive time and in no time at all you will need a bigger house! So many of them do sound great and even those that don’t can often be used to add interesting colour. Good luck with your collection!

      Sorry to hear about your dead STC4017c. I don’t think I have ever come across one with a defunct magnet. Usually the problem is that something has gone wrong with the voice coil or there is a bad connection. When I got mine the screw terminals hadn’t been used for many years and needed a very thorough clean before the mic stopped cutting in and out. Does it make any sound at all? I have often come across ribbon mics with weak magnets and usually they just have a very poor output. This can be cured by adding small and powerful modern magnets to the existing ribbon motor.
      I’m sorry that I can’t be more helpful.

      All the Best

      Martin

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      • Hi Martin.
        Thanks for the speedy response.

        Your rite there! They are certainly starting to take up some room.

        Thanks for the info, ive done some reading and it seems there is an internal electro magnet still installed within these mics, wich may of been used to magnetise them in the first place. I had thought if running a current through it to see if it breaths new life in to it. Ive tried a 9volts dc through it and it took 4 volts off the battery and seemed to create a small magnetic field for a time.

        I have checked the wiring from the terminals and im getting continuity, but alas, the microphone isnt outputing anything. So i may just replace the wiring and clean the contacts anyway, but as i say, it just doesn’t seem magnetic anymore.

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  20. Yes, you are right about the magnetising winding but I have no idea exactly how it was used to create the original cobalt steel permanent magnet.(voltage etc) I have a friend who works for ATC Loudspeakers and they have machinery which they use to make their own magnets. I’ll ask him if he has any suggestions.

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    • Hi Martin

      If you could shed any light on that electro magnet that would be fantastic! Im willing to run some voltage through it to see if i can the mic back in working condition.

      Thanks for your help!

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  21. Hi
    Looked through some of my old mics found a working stc 4021 ser no 113
    do these units have much value still sounds nice!

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    • The 4021 is a mic that sounds good on many different sources. Very much like it on acoustic guitar and flute.
      As far as monetary value goes they fetch anything from £100 to £350 depending on age and condition.

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    • So far I haven’t been able to find anyone who can cast light on the mystery of this magnetising coil. I will keep making enquiries. Meanwhile if you discover anything further please let me know.

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  22. Hello, may you help about how to take apart an stc4021? I can’t find the right way. thank you very much.

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    • Hello, Unfortunately I haven’t ever had cause to take one of these apart. Judging from this diagram http://www.coutant.org/4021/cutaway.jpg
      there are 2 screws at the base of the connector socket. Looking at mine, the heads of the screws appear to be covered with hard wax. From the exploded diagram it looks like these screws undo the bottom half of the case. Once inside hopefully it will be obvious which screws to undo next. I’m sorry I can’t be any more helpful. Let me know how you get on. I would be really interested to see any photos.
      All the Best
      Martin

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  23. David Van Rysselberghe

    Hello,

    Can you by any chance identify this microphone?
    Dutch tv from the seventies, around the eighties a black version appeared. Used as a handmic and a shotgun from time to time.

    Dutch tv used moostly akg, sennheiser (415?) and beyer-dynamic.
    Thanks




    It was difficult to find better pictures.
    The presenters handmic:

    Thanks!

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    • Hi,
      This is not a mic I recognise! I wonder if it may have been made by Philips. It looks like some kind of condenser with a very long body. Or maybe it is a shorter mic with an extension piece. I will carry on looking and I’ll let you know if I find out what it is. Meanwhile if you find any other information let me know.
      All the Best
      Martin

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    • Martin,

      Do you do repairs?

      I have an AKG C460 B.

      Nice microphone but currently intermittent. I’m sure it just needs some TLC.

      Paul

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  24. Hi Martin I bought an old mic recently on a car boot. I was told it was a Varivox admiralty pattern mic. It looks similar to one that you show in your pics but this one has very little wrote on the back except No 8553. Can you tell me what the terminals are? One is E for earth are the other 2 simply the coil on the mic? What is the screw for on the back? Do I need a special cable for this and how is it wired to connect to a PA system? If you can help me with this it would be appreciated. I would like to try recording with this mic are they any good for songs or just speech?

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    • Hi Graham, The wiring is as you suggest. To wire to a modern XLR plug E is the earth (screen). Terminal 1 goes to pin 3 and terminal 2 goes to pin 2 (hot) . It is the same as the STC4021 picture here:- https://martinmitchellsmicrophones.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/stc4017-c-wired.jpg
      You can make up a suitable lead using ordinary twin core screened mic cable. I have recorded various things with these mics. Best thing to do is to plug it in and experiment! I have a friend who uses one for blues harmonica and it sounds terrific! Good Luck!
      P.S. If I remember rightly the screw on the back helps to hold the magnet and voice coil assembly in place. So maybe don’t undo it unless you are taking the whole thing apart!

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  25. Thank you, Martin, for this wonderful website. I only wish you had many more mics, and unlimited time, to post constantly. I’m sure you know how many microphone enthusiasts you gladden with each revelation. –Jackson

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  26. Hi Martin, I have a pair of stc 4037s ‘the stick’. I was wondering if the 4069 adapter(3 pin to xlr) that is for the 4038 ribbon mic would work with it. As the pics on your site show the 4037 mics cable is called a 4069A. great site by the way.thanks so much for any help you can give.

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  27. Thanks Martin…i thought as much, just wanted to double check before dropping the cash…i’m forward to using these mics now.
    cheers

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