Vintage King Blog

Audio news and notable stories

  • Celebrating The 114th Birthday of Alan Blumlein

    There have been many influential creators throughout the history of the recording studio, but one that always stands out is Alan Blumlein. Celebrate what would have been his 114th birthday by reading below and learning about his famous miking technique and other contributions to the world of music.

    Alan Blumlein was born in Hampstead, London in 1903 and took quickly to the world of electronics, as he fixed his father's doorbell at the age of seven-years-old. His interest flourished as he worked for a series of different companies including International Western Electric and Standard Telephones and Cables.

    The great thinker and electrical engineer left STC in 1929 and moved onto the music industry where he took a job with Columbia Graphophone Company. At Graphophone, and later EMI/Abbey Road Studios, Blumlein worked to prefect his thoughts and the creation process behind stereophone sound. 

    The Creation of Stereophonic Sound
    In early 1931, Alan Blumlein began developing stereophonic sound after becoming annoyed by a film that ran the voices for all actors from the same speaker, no matter where they were moved to on the screen. In all, the technology that Blumlein created came to the sum of 70 patent claims including a stereo disc-cutting head and a new miking technique.

    The Blumlein Pair
    The Blumlein Pair miking technique typically involves the use of two ribbon mics or two condenser mics. The two microphones are set to the bi-directional pickup pattern and are positioned 90° from each other. Each microphone is placed in such a way that the capsules are overlapping and occupying the same space. By using this technique at close proximity, the configuration will pick up stereo separation during the recording process. 

    The Stereo Disc-Cutting Head
    As a part of the creation of stereo sounds, Alan Blumlein developed a new kind of cut for phonograph records that would feature two separate channels that simultaneously played at the same time. In the video below, you can see how a record player needle would fit into this new type of record groove and play the two sounds at the same time.

    Changing The Direction of Speakers
    Alan Blumlein also created a shuffling circuit, which would ensure that the speakers used when listening to stereo music would sound like the way the tracks were recorded. 

  • Seven Compressor Shootout With Dave Rieley of Vintage King

    Since the creation of the compressor, this essential studio tool has hardly left the side of discerning engineers, producers and musicians. Whether you're trying to make a vocal stand out or give definition to a drum hit, the compressor can do a whole wide range of things for any track you're working on.

    To make the selection process easier when looking for your next compressor, Vintage King's Dave Rieley has created a seven compressor shootout. The compressors used in the shootout include the Chandler Limited RS124, Highland Dynamics BG2, Tube Tech CL 1B, Acme Opticom XLA-3, Retro Instruments 176, Retro Instruments Sta-Level and Universal Audio LA-2A. Continue reading

  • Closing Out 2017 Summer NAMM With Vintage King Nashville

    In the next few weeks, Nashville will be awash in the best and brightest of the pro audio industry, as NAMM brings its mid-summer gathering to Music City. With more exhibitors and brands being represented than ever, 2017 Summer NAMM is setting up to be one of the biggest celebrations of gear yet.

    After a weekend of presenting products, finding out about the latest industry news and attempting to meet everyone possible, the time comes to relax and reflect on another successful Summer NAMM event. To celebrate, Vintage King Nashville and NAMM will be hosting the final event of the weekend on Saturday, July 15th, at 4 PM. Continue reading

  • First Listen: A Review of Kii Audio Three Active Studio Monitors

    Over this past week, I was lucky enough to get to spend some quality time with the newest, flagship speaker from Kii Audio. The Kii Three is truly remarkable in design, frequency response and customization to fit ANY room you are tracking or mixing in. Continue reading

  • Vintage King Transforms The Sound of Baker's Keyboard Lounge

    Tucked back on the outskirts of Detroit's Avenue of Fashion, adjacent to the famed 8 Mile Road, sits Baker's Keyboard Lounge.The legendary jazz venue started as a sandwich shop in 1933, but began booking pianists when Clarence Baker felt there needed to be music in the building during his shifts. Continue reading

  • Hybrid Mixing Techniques: Leveraging The Best Of In The Box And Out Of The Box Environments

    The great debate: digital vs. analog. I'm sure most of us can sit here all day and discuss why one is better than the other. While there are great benefits to both, most of today's top engineers such as Greg Wells, Tom Lord-Alge, Tony Maserati, and Michael Brauer, are starting to use a combination, or hybrid system, for mixing.

    As technology advances, many would say the line between the two worlds is becoming very blurred. This article will show some different examples on how to set up a system that can work best for your workflow. Since a hybrid system is any combination of digital and analog gear, there is no right or wrong way to set up your system. It really depends on how you want to improve your workflow. Continue reading

  • Talking Tape, Tone And More With Philly Rockers Sheer Mag

    Listen to the first ten seconds of any Sheer Mag song and you won't be able to stop. The Philly-based band's hook-heavy Thin Lizzy-inspired riffs, disco-y beats and powerhouse vocals have led them to become one of America's hottest rock 'n' roll outfits. Continue reading

  • 20 Questions With Vance Powell

    Nashville-based producer, engineer and mixer Vance Powell has built an incredible resume over the past decade, one that features albums from Jack White, Chris Stapleton, Sturgill Simpson, JEFF The Brotherhood, Kings of Leon and more. The multi-time Grammy winner sat down with us to talk gear, favorite eats, beard grooming tips and drum mic placement in our new series, 20 Questions. Continue reading

  • Exploring Workflow: The Analog Approach With Mitch Easter

    Welcome to our three-part blog series on studio workflow entitled Exploring Workflow. Follow these links for Part I with Chris Coady (TV On The Radio / Yeah Yeah Yeahs) and Part II with Mark "Exit" Goodchild (DJ Khaled / Justin Bieber). Continue below to read Part III including our conversation with Mitch Easter.

    Based in Kernersville, North Carolina, Mitch Easter is a veteran engineer, producer and musician who has worked on incredible records from the likes of R.E.M., Game Theory, Ex Hex, Pylon and more. His love of the studio world and all things analog began when his own band first started cutting demo tracks in the late 1960s. Continue reading

  • Exploring Workflow: In The Box With Mark "Exit" Goodchild

    Welcome to our three-part blog series on studio workflow entitled Exploring Workflow. Follow these links for Part I with Chris Coady (TV On The Radio / Yeah Yeah Yeahs) and Part III with Mitch Easter (R.E.M. / Game Theory). Continue below to read Part II including our conversation with Mark "Exit" Goodchild.

    Getting his start at DARP Studios in Atlanta, Georgia, Mark "Exit" Goodchild didn't take the easy route when it came to learning about the recording world. "I learned the hard way," Exit says. "Splicing tape, learning how to use Microlynx to sync and offset machines, flying choruses thru a song with a sampler and punching vocals on the fly." Continue reading

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