Founded by Philip Graham, ETL’s workshop is based in Portland, OR, where a small team meticulously handcrafts each microphone. Their impressive sound and signature style has landed them on stages and in studios across the world with a growing list of artist enthusiasts including Andra Day, Elvis Costello, Violent Femmes, Brandi Carlisle, Jason Mraz, The Milk Carton Kids, and Old Crow Medicine Show. Tim McGraw and Faith Hill chose ETL’s Edwina and Chantelle models when they performed a memorable duet at the 2014 ACM Awards and in 2016 the Infamous Stringdusters selected Edwina and Myrtle for their performance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
The story of Ear Trumpet is personified through their fearless leader, Philip Graham, who, like so many innovators, made the jump from a steady career to pursuing his passion. “It was an improbable leap five years ago to quit my job and try to make a full-time business out of the basement tinkering that had kept me sane as a software engineer,” he recalls. “I look around now with surprise and an abiding sense of good fortune at our beautiful workshop space and the craftspeople building dozens of mics each week.”
Above all Ear Trumpet Labs is a family business. Graham first began experimenting with microphone construction in order to record his daughter Malachi, who is now the business manager. When he landed on what are now ETL’s signature models, the Edwina, Louise and Myrtle, the family spent a week coming up with the company name. Malachi did the graphic design, Philip programmed the web site and Ear Trumpet Labs was born.
In five short years, Ear Trumpet Labs has carved a distinguished place in the competitive MI industry from their impressive list of artists, monumental sales, and stellar line of diverse microphones. One can only imagine what the next 5 years will hold. Graham notes, “Most of all I enjoy the chance to see our mics bringing the music of artists to audiences. That’s what it’s all about.”
“I can’t begin to express my gratitude for the artists and engineers who shared their experiences and helped me figure out what it was that my mics could uniquely contribute, that no one else was doing. I am profoundly lucky that I had such people take an interest in the possibilities and guide me to some answers. I am even more lucky that they took my mics on the road, showing them off through night after night of beautiful music. Our story is really all about the artists, musicians and engineers who have spread the word, shared their happiness and most importantly let us help them make their music,” concludes Graham.