Different temperature conditions have different effects on microphones. It pays to know what weather to watch out for, in order for you not to ruin your microphone.
Equipment handling is one of the most important things that every sound engineer out there has to take seriously…because the cost of gear keeps getting higher these days so you might want to use what you already have well.
This post will discuss humidity and microphones because its a popular topic in music production forums and I thought writing out a full article about it is a great way to teach what I know from personal experience.
With that said, can humidity ruin a microphone?
Humidity is bad for your microphone and can ultimately ruin its inner circuitry if it is constantly exposed to it. Microphones are meant to be stored in places that are dry with no wetness in the air.
Below are the two common problems that are associated with humidity.
Microphones are delicate objects that should be well taken care of otherwise you’ll run into some problems.
Crackling is one side effect of a microphone that has been exposed to too much humidity.
Once you notice this, you might want to assess how you’re both using and storing your microphone and if any people recording are using humidifiers while recording in the booth.
This is one thing you have to take seriously because you don’t want to a crackled recording at the end of a session.
So if you’ve noticed some crackle in your recordings you might want to take a step and possibly get your microphone off the stand and let it dry up.
You can put it next to a heater turned on only to a moderate temperature. The last thing you want is heating your microphone to the point of ruin.
Which is why you can also point a light bulb directly at the microphone if you’re not sure about using a heater you can use a light bulb point toward the microphone at close range.
Loss in frequency response
Another problem associated with a microphone being exposed to too much humidity is the loss in frequency pick up.
If you notice that your microphone is not doing what it’s supposed to do with regard to frequency pick up then you might want to assess what kind of conditions you might have exposed it to.
Therefore it pays to be very attentive when working with microphones because you can easily miss a poor frequency responding microphone.
If you suspect that your microphone may be responding poorly to frequencies you can run it through some tests by recording different vocals and assessing them.
You can also employ an additional microphone that you can test your suspect microphone against.
Keeping your microphone well
Below are some good practices you can employ to ensure that your microphone is well taken care of, so that it can last long and not give you problems.
Avoid places that expose your microphone to dust. So find a good place to store your microphone.
Dust can accumulate and make your microphone sound unclear.
You may also notice that its frequency response may greatly diminish.
A good precaution is storing your microphone in a safe place and using a blow dry to clean it out if you sense internal dust accumulation.
Humidity like we’ve discussed through out this post is the enemy. So you want to avoid it by all means.
Avoid recording in places that have wet air.
Ensure that your recording booth is free of any dampness in the air.
Avoid wet places
Another thing you have to look out for are wet places. You want to avoid your microphone getting into contact with water if it is not meant to withstand such kinds of environments.
You may end up ruining your microphone without even knowing it.
Which is why you have to be careful and ensure that you avoid people recording with liquids in hand especially if the microphone is within reach…
An accident could lead to a cup slipping from the hands and the liquid may end up splashed all over the place including the microphone.
Therefore its best to play it safe.
Use silica in case
Another great way of keeping your microphone safe is putting it in its case when it’s not being used. Most people over look this simple way of maintainence but it’s very handy.
Also ensure that you have a small bag of silica in the case so it can maintain a dry atmosphere inside the case to avoid any humidity from damaging your microphone.