STC 4033

Large ribbon/cardioid microphone

This was another £30 well spent, particularly as this STC (Standard Cables and Telephones, later bought by Coles Microphones) is actually quite useable for ambience or special effects.

Unusual and decades ahead of it time, the 4033 combines both ribbon and dynamic elements to offer a distinctive, albeit ‘middley’ sound. I’m not sure I’d pay the £600 or so these fetch these days but it was definitely a snip when I unearthed it from a pile of door knobs back in 1993.

Large ribbon/cardioid microphone, used by BBC radio & television and on tv studio microphone booms. Notes: The 4033A was produced as a direct result of the needs of the ‘talkies’, which required a microphone that could eliminate unwanted sound from the camera and other noises off. It contains two elements, a ribbon and a moving coil (similar to a 4021 minus the biscuit). The microphone incorporated a screwdriver-operated switch that allowed either or both elements to be routed to the output. The switch was marked P. R. C. P – (Pressure) – omni directional – moving coil only. R – (Ribbon) – bi-directional (figure of 8) – ribbon only. C – (Cardioid) – uni-directional – combining both elements. The 4033A was somewhat of a compromise as it tended to be “toppy” in all three positions. Nevertheless, it was the standard TV Boom microphone for many years and was also used on Radio OBs where its cardioid response was useful for rejecting colouration from PA. (Chris Owen-Senior BBC sound engineer)