Microphones are one of the most important tools used in the music industry, and various events around the world today. The credit of a good song goes partially to a good vocalist, and a vocalist will sound completely different in the audio playback without a good microphone. People may think that there isn’t much variety in microphones, but this is a totally wrong perception. There is a diverse range of microphones available created by different manufacturers. Some of them even produce microphones dedicated to a certain type of music. A specific type of microphone which is frequently misunderstood by people is the astatic microphone.
First of all, an astatic microphone is not a type of microphone, it is a name itself. The CAD Audio Corporation, primarily named the Astatic Corporation, has produced many microphones over the decades and now, their microphones are known as astatic microphones.
The name was developed from the invention of the first static-free microphone, thus, the title “Astatic” was born. The microphone was primarily designed to be used with a ham radio and was jointly invented by C. M. Chorpening and F. H. Woodworth who were both ham radio operators. They later founded the Astatic Corporation which primarily produced a great variety of microphones as well as an assortment of electronic goods. They were also known to have produced underwater audio equipment to be used by the U.S. military during World War II. Later, in September 2009, they changed their name to Conneaut Audio Devices (CAD) and kept the name ‘Astatic’ as a brand name of their microphones and related electronics manufacturing sector.
Astatic microphones started out with the D-104 model. This microphone was quite different as well as superior from the other microphones at that time because it was much clearer and had a noticeable reduction in static. It possessed a piezoelectric Rochelle salt crystal pickup, which basically translated the physical pressure induced by the singer into electrical signals. The D-104 quickly amassed a tremendous amount of popularity which was enough for the Astatic Corporation to continue producing this specific microphone for 68 years with only a few slight changes. The legacy of the D-104 ended in 2001 when its production was finally put to a halt.
Today, CAD has a wide variety in their line of microphones, producing about half a dozen different types of microphones as well as numerous accessories. A few of the different microphones available in the Astatic Commercial line include many sophisticated types. ‘Boundary microphones’ are able to lessen the effect of acoustic reflections from other surfaces. ‘Variable polar pattern microphones,’ on the other hand have the ability to be programmed into producing different audio at varying volumes when the singer sings at different angles into the microphone. They also have the simple, everyday microphones such as flexible microphones which can be fixed in any shape, overhead microphones and even intercom microphones.
CAD also produces many specialized microphones which are suited to a specific type of music or enhance the quality of a specific instrument or vocal range. One such microphone is the JT30 Roadhouse Harmonica microphone. It made its debut over fifty years ago with its primary use being for ham radio operators and public address systems. It was later discovered by blues players that the microphone enhanced the sound of harmonicas by cupping their hands against the front of this microphone. It was able to produce a very rugged and raw sound which was craved by many blues players of that time. The JT30 quickly earned its name became popular enough as to become a favorite amongst many popular blues harmonica players. The astatic model of the JT30 Roadhouse uses the same shape and structure of the original JT30, but this one includes a volume control knob.