The Oliver Typewriter Company was a big player in American industry from the turn of the 20th century until they stopped manufacturing typewriters 1959.
The specific typewriter that we acquired was a No.9, which was made between 1915 and 1922 in Chicago. Despite being over 90 years old, the one we found is still in excellent shape. Oliver pioneered the “down-strike” method of typewriter design, which brought the typeheads down from above and allowed the typist to see the entire page as it was being typed. This open air design led to the bowed arms that would occasionally jam if one types to fast.
The typewriter had a loose front plate that was very interesting sounding, and the keys gave us that classic typwriter “clack”.
We miked this instrument as three seperate mono perspectives, and each is split out in the sound collection. The front perspective came from a Schoeps CMC6.MK41 setup aimed up through the keys and pretty tight on the typewriter. The back perspective came from a Schoeps CMC6.MK4 setup and was sitting behind the carriage aimed at the back and a little further away. The third perspective was an AT4050 in omni about 5 feet away in the room for that nice, distant wide sound.
This was an expressive and interesting device, and it gave up tons of interesting noises as we clicked, yanked, shook and dropped it. Check out the file list and sound demo for a full accounting of what was recorded, and listen to the bent demo to get a feel for what the full package with the Kontakt instrument can coax out of the sounds we caught.