Hi Gang. I know the larger percentage of our readers are musicians, and that most of you are creating your fine musical works independently, in your own home project studio, and usually with both the DIY mindset and an equal DIY budget.
Because of this, every once in a while I like to share some cool leads on music creating tools that I feel are equally obtainable as they are inspiring to you, our Indie Darkroom friends.
-Affordable budget price for a mic that is in no way a budget microphone.
Lets start off with a little bit about Placid Audio:
Located in Dallas, Texas. Placid Audio was started by bass player and engineer Mark Pirro. You may recognize Mark from such bands as The Polyphonic Spree and Tripping Daisy.
As a musician with high standards for creativity, and as a studio engineer with equally high standards
for build quality and function, Mark started Placid Audio and set out to create a microphone that
reflects this. On placid audios website, Mark sites an “emphasis on durable build quality, attractive design and distinctive sonic character,” and these descriptions are not to be taken lightly.
Placid first introduced the beautiful and unique Copperphone in 2003, and it had created quite a buzz
as studios and musicians (big and small) the world over have embraced it for its unique (understatement) musical color. Since then, Placid Audio has moved forward adding even more inspired and unique microphones to the company’s product line.
Not your mothers microphone (but maybe your grandmothers):
The Copperphone is a sonic and aesthetic nod to the past with a modern ear aimed at the future.
Right off the bat when you look at this microphone its solid copper steampunk design instantly
Takes you to a pre-edison mad scientists sound laboratory dreamed up by H.G. Wells. Just sharing a room with this microphone is enough to inspire your creativity and take you somewhere outside yourself for a moment. And then you plug the mic in….
The sound of this microphone is both old and new. Upon first use, it is immediately evident what Mark was after with his creation. If you could, picture the sound of Judy Garland singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” in The Wizard of Oz, mix that with the sound of an old Edison wax cylinder, mix that with the sound of a World War II radio broadcast and lastly, remove all that noise, crackling and imagine that tone with perfect clarity and fidelity. The Copperphone is somehow both hi-fi and lo-fi
at the same time and man, does it sound amazing.
Don’t take my word for it, check out these audio samples on Placid Audios website,
When inspiration strikes:
The Copperphone is a dynamic element microphone so it can be used easily on stage as well as the studio without the need for phantom power (although precautions should be taken to prevent feedback when used live). Situations where one might want to use this microphone are when you would like to simulate an authentic recording from the 20s or 30s, when you would like the sonic aesthetic of an old recording while retaining modern fidelity, when you want a specific affect in a piece of music that sounds unique, or when you come across that part of a song where you need that kind of filtered telephone voice and want it from the source. My favorite use of this microphone though, is when blended with other sources. I like to use it on the voice to get “that sound” but when used as a room mic for drums or guitars and blended with the other microphones on the instruments some really magical stuff happens. The specific sound of this mic is not something you can create through EQ in mixdown as it is a combination of the frequency curve of the capsule and the microphones copper chamber combined.
At first one might assume that this mic just does one thing (and does it well) but this is definitely not a one trick pony. It has become one of my most trusted microphones in my mic locker at Four Foot Studios.
If you want to be inspired with an amazing and versatile creative tool, you can purchase the Copperphone directly from Placid Audios website at:
Get the mic, experiment, be creative, enjoy life, thank me later.
Check out this funny bit of publicity placid got a while back: