The Story of Cloud Microphones
Vintage lineage, modern electronics, responsive, sustainable manufacturing are our culture.
We Do Make ‘Em Like They Used To!
The story began with RCA* when Harry F. Olson developed the 44 and 77 series of ribbon microphones. Jon R. Sank succeeded Mr. Olson and was challenged by RCA to improve upon Harry’s best microphones. He did just that with the BK11, a direct descendant of the 44 series. It has been an industry secret for many years among top engineers, that the BK-11 is the most advanced ribbon microphone in the world.
Beginning at just 10 years old, Stephen Sank studied with his father and began building upon lessons learned from the original RCA laboratory. Jon Sank shared more than 50 years of skill and innovation with his son Stephen before passing away in 1998.
Today, Stephen continues the Sank family tradition of developing quality hand crafted ribbon microphones in collaboration with Cloud Microphones. The Cloud JRS-34 takes the next step in the legendary BK-11 and 44 series of ribbon microphones.
Cloud Microphones has established itself as a industry leader and innovator in microphone technology and manufacturing, since the brand debuted in 2009 at the Audio Engineering Society show in New York City.
Starting with 1930’s microphone technology, as first introduced by Harry F. Olson at RCA, Cloud set out to design microphones that they imagine Harry F. Olson himself might have designed with the availability of today’s resources, technology, and manufacturing capabilities. The result is a line of top tier ribbon microphones that incorporated innovative new technologies, with the heart of the microphone -the ribbon itself- remaining unchanged, from the original process and design used by Olson himself in the legendary RCA microphones of the era.
Through modern design and innovation of the patented gain circuit, which overcomes the low-output signal associated with traditional ribbon microphones, Cloud mics enjoy greatly increased sensitivity, ultra low-noise, and incredible depth of sound field as a result of the natural and rich character of the RCA style ribbon, at the heart of the design.
The Cloudlifter Breakthrough
This gain circuit has also led to the incredibly popular Cloudlifter line of Mic Activators. These uniquely original boxes break out the internal electronics found within the Cloud ribbon mics, into a format that can be used with the vast majority of microphones people already have. Powered exclusively along the microphone cable, these work inline on “Phantom Power” to provide an additional +25 dB of ultra-clean gain and sensitivity from the mic. The result is world-class preampfification, in an easy to use and affordable package that’s widely accessible.
Cloudlifters have changed the industry by drastically increasing the sound quality of microphone/preamp combinations people already own. Cloud’s huge impact spans vast sectors of the audio industry, including professional recording, home recording, professional broadcasting, public address, podcasting, voiceover, live sound, and worship sound applications.
Cloud Microphones has pending and registered trademarks in over 42 countries where their products are sold. With distribution throughout North America, Europe, China, S. Korea, Indonesia, Australia & New Zealand, as well as South Africa and parts of South America, Cloud has quickly become recognized as a manufacturer of world-class quality audio products.
Made in Arizona
Cloud’s continued commitment to local, sustainable, and environmentally friendly manufacturing, has created new jobs and economic growth throughout the supply chain. From metal fabrication in Tucson, SMT circuit board manufacturing and assembly on the Navajo Nation, powder- coating and finishes in Phoenix, to finally assembly and testing at the Cloud Microphones HQ in Tucson, the products are made regionally, start to finish, benefiting dozens of small businesses in the process.
*RCA is a registered trademark of Radio Corporation of America. References to RCA are historical in nature and imply no affiliation with Cloud Microphones.
Cloud Microphones partnership with Tooh Dineh Industries, which is located within the Navajo Nation, remains a wonderful and mutually beneficial relationship to this day. Tooh Dineh Industries is world class in their production and reliability and the quality of work provided is consistently outstanding. The decision to work with Tooh Dineh for SMT circuit board manufacturing and assembly, has helped bring vital well-paying jobs to a community where unemployment levels average 47%.