A pioneer in microphone production, Mr Rune Rosander began making crystals for microphones in 1939. Two years later, at the age of 27, he founded PML - Pearl Microphone Laboratories.
In the 1950s he invented the rectangular capsule which is the origin of the design still in use today. A number of great sounding microphones were built around this unconventional capsule, e.g. the DC-63 and the DC-96. The latter was first manufactured in 1967 and - 50 years later - still remains a very popular microphone thanks to its clear, natural sound and small size.
In 1978 PML was split into two companies and within a few years the separation was made permanent. Rune Rosander's son, Hans, became the managing director of the new company, to which all PML products, technology, facilities and employees were transferred. Models that had previously been labelled PML, like the DC-63 and DC-96, were now sold under the new name Milab (Microphone Laboratories).
The first new microphone to be developed under Milab's new name was the LC-25 handheld condenser. Very few if any microphone manufacturers had been able to make handheld condenser mics that were tough enough to meet the demanding life of stage use and successfully compete with dynamic mics. Hand noise must be minimised, feedback rejection dealt with without deteriorating the sound reproduction and the build quality must be rugged enough to handle the life on the road. The LC-25 was able to meet all expectations, and with a superior sound compared to its dynamic competitors it became immensely popular. B. Larry Gittens (bandleader for Stevie Wonder) humorously called it -The Wondermike.
The LC-25 was to be followed by several handheld microphones, including the LSR-1000 and the LSR-2000. In 2004 Milab launched the jewel in the crown - the LSR-3000 - arguably one of finest handheld microphones ever made.
Following the success of the LC-25, Milab released the mic that today remains most commonly associated with the brand name - the legendary VIP-50. The clear, open sound of the VIP-50 took the recording industry by storm and became the preferred vocal mic for some of the greatest artist and record producers in the world. Veteran producer Richard Perry said: -I cannot remember being so impressed with a microphone. The Milab VIP-50 appears to be a versatile mike. I've tried it on different combinations of male and female voices, and every time it has won hands down in comparison with all the best mikes available. It is now my first-choice vocal microphone! While recording the 1989 album Back on the Block for Quincy Jones, Bruce Swedien used the VIP-50 as a vocal mic for Ray Charles who immediately after the session asked: -What mic is that? I have to have one! (He allegedly bought three.)
Another classic Milab product from this period is the very popular VM-44 system, a remake of the VM-41. The VM-44 Classic was released in 1990 and was later followed by the Link and the Gooseneck.
Founder Rune Rosander sadly passed away in 1993. That year also came with a new start for Milab when TN Development AB, owned by Thomas Nöjdh, purchased the company and moved it to Helsingborg, a coastal city in southern Sweden.
The great build quality of Milab mics resulted in very few warranty returns and in 1997 the company decided to introduce a lifetime warranty valid for all Milab microphones sold after January 1st 1997.
In 1999 Milab once again took the role as innovative pioneers when the DM-1001 digital microphone system was released. Many misconceptions about digital microphones were proven wrong with the warm natural sound of the DM-1001. UK magazine Resolution called it: -A digital microphone with a soul.
R&D manager Per Ove Almeflo kept improving the design of the Milab 2700 rectangular capsule, and in 2006 Milab released the DC-196 based on the new design. It has been hailed by studio professionals and recording magazines from all over the world.
In 2008 another groundbreaking Milab product hit the market. The spectacular SRND 360 surround microphone was released. German audio magazine Soundcheck named it -Mike of the year! in early 2008.
In 2016 Milab celebrated the 75th anniversary since Rune Rosander founded PML by launching the Milab DC-196 Platinum Edition, a collector's item limited to 75 units.
After almost 40 years as separate companies, Milab and Pearl were reunited on November 1, 2017 when Milab acquired all the shares in Pearl Microphones. The merger meant a unique possibility to combine the resources, knowledge and capabilites of two of world's finest microphone manufacturers under one roof. In early 2018 Milab moved its production to Pearl's facilities in Åstorp, where both brands are now being produced side by side.
At Milab Microphones we are proud to be part of Rune Rosander's legacy and for many years to come, we intend to keep our position on the frontier of technical innovation and to continue making some of the finest microphones in the world.
See also: Historic microphone models