Whenever we purchase equipment we are all protective of it and most of the times we wonder just how long it will last for.
This is true in any industry that relies upon physical equipment to get the Job done.
Most newbie music producers that work with me usually ask how long condenser microphones last for and I therefore thought that it is a good idea to write out a full article.
With that said, How long do condenser microphones last?
Condenser microphones last long if they are well taken care of because they are made up of internal parts that don’t easily deteriorate . On average a condenser microphone can last for a few decades to around 50 years. This of course greatly depends on how well the owner takes care of the microphone.
How to take care of your condenser microphone
When not in use
Your condenser microphone is meant to help you record and you should therefore ensure that you only put it out when wish to record.
When you’re done recording, properly store your microphone to avoid it from sustaining damage.
You can keep your condenser microphone in a plastic bag or any other plastic bag that can guarantee that no dust will enter the microphone.
Sometimes you won’t even need to go out and buy a plastic bag for your microphone because it would have already came with one in the packaging.
Therefore always remember to keep your microphone safely stored away when it’s not being used….. so you preserve and protect the capsule from dust particles.
Storing it also ensures that it is protected from accidental things that can easily destroy or damage it’s internal parts.
If you can store your mic well you can be guaranteed that it will last you a long time.
Get the right microphone
Certain condenser microphones are not meant for particular work like stage work for example and can be susceptible to damage if they are used in such settings.
Therefore depending on the work that you intend to do…. pick the right microphone.
One that can withstand whatever work you intend to put it through.
Using my earlier example, Most stage microphones are meant to survive bumps and drops because of the nature of the work they’re made for.
However most condenser microphones are not not meant to be used on stage because they are delicate and meant to be used indoors.
Pop filters are meant to block out the plosive sounds that can easily be recorded and captured by your microphone.
Usually audio engineers work to get rid of the plosive sounds the moment they leave the singers mouth and not after they’ve been recorded, which is why Pop filters serve a very important function in recording technology today.
With said, what you may have not known about Pop filters is that they are not only meant to keep plosives away from your recordings, but are also meant to protect your microphones internal capsule from pressure produced by plosives.
With that said, another basic great way of of preserving your microphone is having the singer or performer record a few inches away from the microphone.
You may be wondering why this is necessary and I’ll tell you why.
When most people record they tend to spit out saliva when pronouncing and sounding out certain words. This saliva can enter your microphone if you don’t have a pop filter or are simply recording too close to the microphone. This can easily affect and destroy the capsule inside your microphone.
Bumps and drops
Condenser microphones are meant to be stationery because they are recording microphones therefore you want to avoid bumping into them and dropping them.
They are not dynamic microphones that are meant for live stage performances.
You want to consistently ensure that your condenser microphone is protected from situations that could lead to it dropping or being bumped into hard enough to cause a negative impact.
Take sensitivity into account
It’s good that you remember that condenser microphones are very sensitive microphones therefore treat them like you treat your ears.
Don’t place them where you wouldn’t put your ears.
Condenser microphones are sensitive to changes in sound pressure and excessive sound pressure can cause damage to the capsule and the diaphragm in the same way that your ear drum would be affected when you expose it excess sound pressure.
Taking sensitivity into account and ensuring that your microphone is kept away from high sound pressure can prolong its life span so you can use it for longer.
Connect your microphone correctly
You should always use your microphone correctly, even more so when connecting it to a power source.
Always ensure that you plug your cable into your condenser microphone and then turn on the power supply.
Avoid turning the power supply on and then plugging your cable into your microphone……. because the sudden voltage shock from from a live power supply can damage your microphone.
Condenser microphones can last for as long as 50 years if they are well taken care of. They are constructed with materials that can survive for a long time and don’t necessarily need to be changed every month or week.
So, always remember that if you take good care of your microphone it can last you a long time.