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BLUE Microphones

Every Sunday, Skipper Wise phones one of the retailers that carries microphones made by BLUE (acronymic for Baltic Latvian Universal Electronics), a company he cofounded in the early ’90s with engineer Martins Saulespurens. Wise asks the retailer for names and telephone numbers of people who have recently bought BLUE mikes. Next he’s on the phone with a surprised somebody asking, “How’s it going with the microphone?” That’s super-earnest quality control. (Imagine having received a call from an On the Corner-era Miles Davis, and being asked “Do you like it funky, motherfucker?”)

These colorful mini-machines look like props from a would-be Tim Burton flick chronicling the demented whimsy of a fictionalized Phil Spector, and each mike in BLUE’s catalog has the power to inspire a musician on sight alone-especially if it’s a hopelessly romantic scat-singer who longs for the Art Deco era. After a month of recording with four of BLUE’s phantom-powered condenser mikes-the Baby Bottle, Blueberry, Dragonfly and Mouse-I’ve come to realize that it’s recording engineers and, perhaps without knowing it, audiophile music listeners who will find an even more profound personal connection with BLUE microphones.

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Originally Published