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The Optics of Microphones

Nestle $100,000 Bar TV Ad - 1983 Picture quality in a T.V. ad from 1983 is, to our modern eyes, surprising poor. But if you look closely, the young woman here is singing into a wired handset phone. She has closed herself up in her bedroom to enjoy a Nestle candy bar. When the phone rings, without even knowing who has called, she flips the handset over and belts out the ad jingle to her captive audience of one. Simply by flipping the handset, the normally intimate telephone is transformed into a microphone for performance. The cord comes out the top of the thing rather than the bottom, but that only emphasizes the young lady's ingenuity. Her pose is familiar to anyone who has seen a rock star on stage: Steve Perry - 1981 The microphone has, for the last 70 years at least, been an essential visual component of vocal performance. In many situations a microphone is needed, of course, to amplify the singer's voice for a large crowd or to capture it for a recording. This

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