Founded by former software engineer Philip Graham, Portland, Oregon–based Ear Trumpet Labs originally grew out of Graham’s desire to build a microphone for his own use, and is now among the leading manufacturers of microphones designed for acoustic musicians. Ear Trumpet Labs mics offer great sound, cool looks, and relative affordability, and they have become a common sight on stages everywhere. We’ve been using an Ear Trumpet Labs Edwina mic in most Peghead Nation video lesson shoots for several months (see our demo of the Edwina here), and have also been using the company’s Louise and Myrtle mics to record performances with multiple musicians. In this demo, you’ll hear how the Louise and Myrtle mics sound on performances by the Chris Luquette Band (guitar, mandolin, bass, and vocals), Sharon Gilchrist and Scott Nygaard (guitar and mandolin), Small Town Therapy (mandolin and fiddle), and Evie Ladin (banjo, vocals).
The Louise and Myrtle are fundamentally similar microphones. Both are cardioid-pattern large-diaphragm condenser mics suspended by a set of springs (four on the Louise, eight on the Myrtle) inside a metal hoop and mounted to a brass barrel that houses the electronics and an XLR connector. Although the two mics can be used in similar situations, with a one-mic approach for a small ensemble, for example, but Ear Trumpet Labs says that the Louise offers slightly more high-end details and a fuller low-end than the Myrtle, which is tuned to be a great general-purpose vocal mic. Both mics are designed to be placed at a distance from the source, instead of the common close-miking technique, and are tuned for a maximum of feedback rejection.
I’ve been impressed by how easily the Louise and Myrtle mics have captured great sounds in a variety of settings in the Peghead Nation video studio. Both mics are forgiving in regards to placement, and we’ve been very pleased with their sound and ease of use. I highly recommend them, especially for one-mic approaches to recording or amplification.
LOUISE SPECS:Large-diaphragm condenser microphone. 26-mm. diaphragm. Cardioid polar pattern. 20–17K hz (-3dB) frequency response. – 38.8 dB (11 mV/PA) sensitivity.
MYRTLE SPECS:Large-diaphragm condenser microphone. 26-mm. diaphragm. Cardioid polar pattern. 20–15K hz (-3dB) frequency response. – 38.6 dB (12 mV/PA) sensitivity. Eartrumpetlabs.com