About 30 years ago, Martin came into possession of a classic Neumann U47. After replacing some missing parts, he fired it up and immediately fell in love with the rich, smooth sound of this iconic condenser microphone. Little did we know then, but that initial encounter with the magic of microphones would change our lives and become an ongoing pursuit.
Not long after hearing the U47 for the first time, Martin began exploring the idea of building a faithful replica. This would be no easy task as the parts had become difficult to source. But Martin was determined to bring the old classic back to life for a new generation of musicians and recording engineers.
The greatest challenge would be finding the large diaphragm, German-made capsules. He finally discovered a company in former East Germany that still produced them, and because the iron curtain had just fallen the company was now accessible. With the help of his mother who was a German teacher, contact was made, the capsules were delivered, and Martin made his first microphone. He called his version the NU-47.
As the years passed, he designed several re-iterations and new models, each time perfecting and improving the performance and sound. With each new release and over the next 30 years, the demand for his microphones grew. Even major players in the industry like legendary sound engineer Bruce Swedien began to take notice. He said:
“Martin is the one I’m really interested in. I know he has something unique to say. I respect what he does, and his approach to the business. He works the way I do, except he’s a lot more technical. His knowledge of the technological aspect is so vast that I don’t think he understands the scope of what he knows! Martin is the microphone guru of life.”
That’s high praise coming from a man who has won multiple Grammys working with artists such as Michael Jackson and Jennifer Lopez.
Eventually, many others would discover the astonishing sound quality our microphones are able to capture, and today Martin’s small side-gig has blossomed into our full-time family business called Nordic Audio Labs.
At Nordic Audio Labs, every stage of development, manufacturing and testing takes place at our recording studio, lab and factory in northwest Finland. Each component is machined in-house, and every microphone is hand-made and individually measured by us. We are so confident in the craftsmanship of our microphones that we offer one of the most generous warranties in the industry.
Suvi & Martin Kantola