This is one of the more interesting audio advances in quite a while. It was posted today in ProSound News.
New York, NY (April 1, 2016)—As we face a cultural epidemic of broken microphones tossed aside by everyone from music artists to politicians, a new boutique pro audio company, MicDrop, has been formed with the specific mission of catering to both performers who want the last word and sound engineers who are sick of having to fix broken gear after a show. The first product—the MD DM MicDrop Disposable Microphone—drops today.
According to company president Sam Juan Imadeup, “The ‘Mic Drop’ is defined in the Oxford Dictionary as ‘An instance of deliberately dropping or tossing aside one’s microphone at the end of a performance or speech one considers to have been particularly impressive.’
“While that sounds exciting, in practice, the mic drop has led to endless headaches for live sound pros who have to pick up the pieces—sometimes literally—after a performance. Our new product circumvents that issue completely by blowing up upon contact with the floor.”
Product development for the MD DM was arduous, he said: “Originally we wanted to make a microphone with a grille made out of rubber, which turned out to be the wrong direction to go in. We blew half our R&D budget on sourcing materials—our entire team was down at the supermarket dropping coins into the gum machines, trying to get one of those really big superballs, ‘cause we were gonna hollow it out for the grille. When we finally did it, we found that surprisingly a rubber grille deadened the sound. More importantly, during real-world testing, we discovered the mic would often bounce back up and smack the performer right in the face. We knew that would be really popular with engineers, but beta testers reported that made it harder for them to get paid after the show, so we were back to square one.”
Eventually, after watching Mission: Impossible on late-night cable, the company was inspired to create a microphone that would self-destruct instead: “This configuration means the sound engineer doesn’t have to deal with dented or broken mics after a performance, because there simply isn’t anything left to fix,” said Imadeup. “As a bonus, the explosion adds a nice emphasis to the performer’s final comment. You might not want to be in the first three rows, though.”
The company is currently taking orders for the first batch of MD DMs, but warns that early adopters will have to wait a while for delivery, as the finalized working prototype was knocked off a lab bench by the office cat and is now a smoldering pile of ash.