Monday, August 26th, 2019

Neumann – Know Your Classics

By editorMarch 31, 2012

Neumann U87 "Leonardo Davinci"

This year Neumann is starting an international campaign “Know Your Classics” 2012. For decades the microphones of Georg Neumann GmbH have been one of the few benchmarks in the constantly changing world of recording studios.  

What is a classic? Whether in the field of art or technology, a classic is always the best of its kind, pointing the way and providing a standard against which all others are measured.

Masterpieces are not simply a window to the past. Da Vinci’s wealth of innovations and his technical brilliance are timeless; his search for perfect proportions as an expression of inner harmony imparts to us a sense of perfection and of deeply felt humanity. Neumann microphones also convey these ideals. Classics such as the U 87 revolutionized our expectations of studio microphones and today are considered to provide the epitome of a balanced, well-proportioned sound: A type of perfection centered on humanity.

In the luminous colors of expressionist painter August Macke, we experience the harmony of people and their surroundings. His abandonment of traditional perspective anticipated in some sense our modern understanding of recording: Since the 1960s at the latest, as visionaries such as the Beatles and Brian Wilson were redefining pop music, the goal has no longer been mere reproduction, but rather the presentation of an experience: Emotion and expression. The recording process has itself become an art form. Here sound colors are the palette and microphones the paintbrush for a new type of musician, the recording artist. There were – and still are today – Neumann classics such as the U 47, M 49, U 67 and U 87 with which almost all the great masterpieces of pop music were created.

Jan Vermeer – the incomparable warm light in his paintings fascinated his contemporaries and to this day continues to inspire our admiration. Few painters have so often been copied, and yet Vermeer’s mastery remains unequalled. Many of his works still pose new mysteries for us: For instance, who is the Girl with a Pearl Earring? Books and films attempt to reveal Vermeer’s secrets, nevertheless, like all great masterpieces, his paintings ultimately remain inexplicable. Countless myths have also grown up around Neumann classics such as the legendary U 47, and the success and technical brilliance of Neumann microphones have repeatedly attracted imitators. However, the many vain attempts to imitate classics such as the U 47 or the U 87 ultimately only confirm the status of the originals as timeless masterpieces.

Classic Neumann microphones continue to set standards with innovations such as (remotely) switchable directional characteristics, sophisticated acoustic designs and pioneering circuit technology. Even today, classics such as the U 47, M 49, U 67 and U 87 influence our expectations of large-diaphragm condenser microphones: Technical mastery united with a subjectively pleasing sound and an iconic design. Technology that inspires! However, it is due to its lasting quality that a masterpiece becomes a classic. Their legendary manufacturing quality makes Neumann microphones trusted companions throughout the years. Like some paintings by the masters, many Neumann classics have even increased in value over the decades. Neumann microphones have everything which is still being sought by others: They are originals – true classics in fact!

The “Know Your Classics” campaign will highlight various Neumann products.  It currently features the U 87 studio set, consisting of the large-diaphragm classic U 87 Ai in a high-quality wooden box with the accompanying elastic suspension.

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