Daily Care for Your Microphones - dummies

By Jeff Strong

After investing hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in microphones for your home recording studio, you probably want to know how to take care of them properly. A good microphone lasts a lifetime. Take care of your mics, and they’ll give you years of service.

The most important thing to keep in mind when using your microphones is to resist the temptation to blow into them. You’ve probably seen someone on stage blow into a mic and yell “Test” to see whether it is working. And you figure that’s how the pros must check their mics.

Well, it isn’t. Blowing into a mic is a sure way to literally blow out the diaphragm in some mics, especially those expensive ribbon mics. To determine whether a mic is working, just speak into it in a normal voice.

You don’t need to blow or yell into any mic unless, of course, your singer’s style is to yell into the mic and you’re trying to set the input level. In this case, offer him or her your trusty dynamic mic and keep that expensive ribbon mic hidden.

Another thing to remember when handling your mics is that they can be fragile. Condenser and ribbon mics don’t survive rough handling well. In fact, if you drop a condenser or ribbon mic, you may break it (this is another good reason to have a sturdy stand).

Dynamic mics, on the other hand, are more durable, which is why they are often used for live applications and on drums. (It’s not uncommon for an overzealous drummer to whack them by accident.)

Try to keep your mics away from dust and high humidity. Dust is probably the number one enemy of a microphone because the dust can settle on the diaphragm and reduce the sensitivity of the mic — and even alter its frequency response. Always cover your mics or put them away when you’re not using them.