Microphones like most recording equipment are delicate and require good handling.
There are various things that could easily destroy a mic which is why you need to know what to watch out for.
Most newbies to audio production need guidance in handling microphones and this post is going to exactly do this.
I’m going to walk you various things that can ruin a microphone because most people that work in various areas of audio production usually pose this question to me.
With that said, How can I ruin my mic?
Below are ways in which a microphone can be ruined or damaged.
1. By dropping it
Microphones especially condenser microphones are not meant for rigorous work. They are meant for studio work in which they can simply be mounted and not necessarily moved or bumped around a lot.
With that said, dropping your condenser microphone can easily break or destroy important components inside like the diaphragm which would ultimately make the microphone unusable.
Dynamic microphones on the other hand can with stand being dropped but then again it’s not wise to do that
Furthermore, dropping a microphone on hard floors like marble can be more threatening to a microphone’s internal integrity as compared to dropping it on a floor made of wood.
2. Bad storage conditions
Most ribbon microphones require delicate handling.
Furthemore, it’s also not good to store them horizontally because they can easily get damaged stored in such a manner…
With that said, it’s important to store them the right way…
You also want to avoid unplugging your microphones of any kind very roughly because this could easily destroy connector pins.
3. Water & Humidity Exposure
When it comes to any type of microphone, water is the enemy.
Water spilling over and entering inside a microphone can destroy the internal parts and can cause a short when the mic is plugged in.
Therefore, its important to keep your microphones dry as well as far from the reach of liquids because they can do some serious damage.
Humidity is also another thing that can ruin a microphone.
You therefore shouldn’t use humidifiers when working with mics in rooms and you should store your mics away from humidity.
4. Exposure to Huge wind gusts
Microphones like condenser microphones are meant for very specific work which is concerned with getting an accurate representation of an audio signal.
This usage is mainly meant for indoor work such as podcasting or recording vocals and instruments.
Exposing such microphones to huge gusts of wind outdoors can easily ruin them because they are not meant to withstand high air pressure.
Heavy breath pops can also be quite damaging and could potentially destroy the diaphragm of your microphone. Which is why a pop filter is handy.
Also, If you’re going to be doing out door work then you need to ensure that you use a microphone that can withstand extreme conditions in that enviroment.
This usually means a dynamic microphone.
5. Exposure to Direct sunlight
Another extreme condition that can bring ruin to a microphone is direct sunlight.
Exposing your microphone to too much sunlight can cause damage to its internal components so it’s best to avoid that.
6. Jamming in connectors with force
Careful handling is a must when it comes to dealing with any sort of microphone. You shouldn’t be extra reckless just because you’re using a microphone meant for rigorous work because you can easily ruin It.
Wreklessly jamming connectors can easily destroy a microphone which is why you have to be gentle.
For example, Some tube mics have many pins and It is very possible to bend a pin when plugging in the mic.
7. Exposure to Dust
Another thing can easily ruin a microphone is exposing it to too much dust.
The main issue with dust is that it accumulates and can block important components from working the way they should.
Constant dust build up inside the microphone can lead to ultimate ruin especially for condenser mics.
Which is why it’s best to use them in booths that don’t have outside air access to let dust get in.
8. Exposure to Smoke
Smoke is another thing that can ruin most condenser microphones so you’re better off stirring clear of that.
Also, you want to store your condenser microphones away from heat sources because it can be pretty destructive too.
9. Exposure to Loud noise
Most people record instruments like guitars with amplifiers in order to boost the incoming signal from the guitar.
Turning up the amplifier too high and recording into the microphone with a guitar signal that is too loud can easily ruin a condenser microphone.
Which is why you have to apply the right settings and just moderately boost your signal.
You’ll also want to lower your mic gain in order not to overload your microphone when working with amplifiers.
Over amplification can also lead to highly clipped and distorted signals so you might want to use your amp in moderation.
Most microphones have specified maximum sound pressure levels which should be a perfect guide with regard to how loud you can record into a microphone.
So take note of that.