Trashblitz is a site about obscure dynamic microphones, with the occasional stray electret in between – welcome to the dark side of Telefunken, AKG and Sony! You won’t find any tips on how to score vintage condensers cheap here, but if you are willing to indulge, you are welcome to embrace the weird and wonderful world of old consumer and prosumer microphones which are simply still around and few people bother. Yup, our site is quite probably entertaining rather than objective.
So, we’re holding our breath and digging our path through cigarette spit-drenched microphone windscreens, even more cancerogenous foam-turned-to-dust inside microphone cases, we’re removing rusty screws from stage microphones that have discoloured from the sweat they’ve been exposed to. It’s about saving stuff from the ever-growing trash heap of technology and from obsolencence, not about building a museum. It’s Applied Media Archaeology with a rather slight archival bent.
And it’s about recklesss and badly planned adventures, wrestling with this obsolete microphone technology, haphazard fixes, improvised permanent solutions and the reorganisation of sound that hasn’t been heard in a long time. Because the fascinating thing is: Most of those microphones still work, and they sound fine. They might be 60 years old, but very rarely used, built from solid materials – this isn’t old trash, it’s quite often very usable studio gear in disguise. And it’s extremely easy to use old dynamic microphones with contemporary studio gear, so you should do it, too!
It’s not about conserving these microphones in their pretty cases in mint condition for the advanced collector to enjoy, it’s about mercilessly cutting off plugs and soldering on new ones to put those old and forgotten things back to good or very bad use. A large diaphragm microphone from the 1940s with variable impedance? Ok, let’s see if it opens somehow, squeeze a male XLR plug in there and have it on bass drum. Oh, a high-impedance dynamic stereo mic? Let’s pull out the high-impedance transformer and see how a dynamic XY stereo snare drum sounds. (Hint: Not very good.) And let’s zap that obsolete battery-driven electret microphone with phantom voltage while we’re at it. (Hint: It works)