Sunday, August 24, 2008

RCA 44-BX & RCA 77D

I grew up in radio surrounded by the RCA 44-BX and RCA 77D. They are the greatest microphones the world has ever known. I substantiate that with the fact that these microphones, many well over 60 years old sell for almost $2000.

I bought a Nady ribbon mike the other day for $60. It sounds ok but the real sound of an RCA is wrapped up in the mystique of Elvis, Johnny Carson and hundreds of entertainers who used these microphones.

The secret of the RCA is that it is a large ribbon diaphragm microphone with great coupling transformers. The RCA will make your voice sound better than it is. Many recording studios today still use the RCA for voice work and some instruments.

I have one, pictured to the right. Elvis may have even used this very microphone at the Robinson Auditorium in Little Rock, very early is his career. I can't prove that but if my uncle were still alive he probably could.

A comment was left about a much earlier post. Be sure and click on the link to read the early post. I would like to hear from even more KBBA alumni. The station was started by Preston Bridges and Lavelle Langley in the mid 50s. I was in high school and KBBA was my first radio job. I remember skipping school, so I could work the board at KBBA while all the regular announcers did a remote broadcast at a high school track meet. That's right, a track meet on the radio.

Here's the comment:
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post
Ah yes... KBBA. My first radio job. I believe that RCA ribbon mike in your picture was the one I used to see collecting dust in the transmitter room. The control room was using a Shure mic by the time I worked there in the late 1970's.


A KBBA alumni

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh, boy, those mics are sweet! I'd not had the fortune of having worked with them, but I have played with some decent mics in the past, having been a sound tech in the Mobile, AL area for about 15 years. And having to use lower-end mics for singers, I always worked that EQ and reverb HARD to make 'em sound good.

I'd always worked in live venues with instruments and singers and have played with a few ribbon mics, but not with just plain speech and announcers. When I did some announcing intros and outros for programs for churches to go to local radio stations, I had to use what was afforded me...there again, judicial useage of effects. It was fun, however! Bud, Mobile, AL