Bernt Malmqvist is one of the last remaining links to the golden age of microphone design. Having joined the Swedish manufacturer Pearl as a precision mechanic in 1954, he rose to become Production Manager, product designer and eventually the owner of the company. He talks to Sam Inglis about his extraordinary career and the unique design approach he learned from founder Rune Rosander.
00:00 - Introduction
00:39 - Joining Pearl
01:58 - Rune Rosander
06:05 - The Microphone Market In The 1950s
07:19 - How Mics Were Made And Tested
08:26 - The Rectangular Capsule
11:18 - The ELM Microphone Range
14:10 - Valve To Solid State And Back Again
17:19 - The Milab VIP-50
18:36 - Why Design Matters
19:34 - Manufacturing Today
20:55 - The Importance Of Good Components
22:20 - Why Pearl Mics Are Never Obsolete!
Pearl Milab - Biog
Founded in 1941, Pearl Microphones is one of the oldest continuously operating microphone manufacturers in the world. To this day, every Pearl microphone is built entirely by hand in Sweden and delivered with its own individual frequency chart.
Pearl is perhaps best known for its unique rectangular microphone capsules, originally developed by the company’s founder Rune Rosander in the 1950s. Today, the brand offers a wide selection of condenser microphones based on rectangular capsules and also a range of MS-stereo and surround microphones. Pearl’s microphones have been particularly embraced by the world of classical music and can be found in opera houses and with symphony orchestras all over the world.
In 2017, Pearl was acquired by its previous sister company Milab Microphones and today both Pearl and Milab mics are built side-by-side in the same workshop in Åstorp in southern Sweden.
Editor In Chief Sam Inglis has been with Sound On Sound for more than 20 years. He is a recording engineer, producer, songwriter and folk musician who studies the traditional songs of England and Scotland, and is the author of two books: Neil Young's Harvest (Bloomsbury, 2003) and Teach Yourself Songwriting (Hodder, 2006).
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