Tips for Preserving and Caring for Mics
A crucial step in setting yourself up for success as a voice actor is ensuring that you choose the right microphone for your voice.
Once you’ve settled on the best microphone for your voice (and for your wallet) you want to make sure that you care for and preserve your microphone so that you can get the most out of your investment.
So what are the proper ways to take care of your microphone and ensure that you keep it in pristine condition over the long-term?
Here are 5 tips for preserving and caring for condenser microphones:
Tip #1: Consider a Pop Filter
In the industry there is a debate on whether or not pop screens are needed and if they are even useful. Well, one great thing about a pop filter is that it will intercept any saliva that may be headed towards the mic during recording and will keep the diaphragm and electrically charged capsule clean.
Over time, a contaminated capsule will eventually have a negative impact on the high frequencies that are emitted and cause unwanted feedback and discharge noise.
Tip #2: Keep Distance Between Your Mouth and the Mic
A general rule of thumb is to keep your mouth about 6 inches away from your microphone during a recording session. This will prevent plosives from damaging the capsule.
If you are too close to the mic and accidentally pop your “p’s” too hard, the continuous popping sounds will eventually wear down the capsule of your microphone.
Tip #3: Turn off Microphone Properly
Make sure that you connect the cable from the power supply to the tube condenser mic before turning the supply on. Shocks from a live power supply can damage the tube of the microphone.
Tip #4: Store Microphone Safely
It’s a great idea to store your condenser microphone in a plastic bag when you are not using it. A plastic bag will stop dust and particles from settling on the capsule.
Put your mic in a plastic bag when you are not working and make sure to bag the mic before storing it back inside the case. If your microphone is set up in such a way that it’s not possible or convenient to store it back in its case between uses, just cover your mic with a plastic bag wherever it lives permanently.
Tip #5: Be Aware of Where You Set Down Your Microphone
Condenser mics are very sensitive instruments that respond to very minimal pressure changes. Think of it this way – you should not put your condenser mic anywhere you would not put your ears (e.g. near speakers is a definite ‘no’).
Also be sure to store your microphone in a place that is not damp and at room temperature. Avoid cold or hot rooms.
Should I Clean My Microphone?
It is very important to avoid water or any liquids when taking care of your condenser microphones. Even a small amount of moisture may damage a condenser element. The short answer is cleaning the diaphragm of a condenser microphone is very tricky and you don’t want to do any damage.
You can hire a professional to clean your mic or just be sure to use a pop screen or filter anytime you are using your microphone so that you can avoid any buildup to avoid worrying about cleaning your microphone too often – if at all.
Sending in microphones for servicing can help detect potential damage early. Slight soiling can be removed much more easily than a layer of nicotine that has been embedded firmly in the diaphragm. Regular check-ups of microphones on loan or those used in dusty or smoky environments can prove especially beneficial, as the cost is small compared to that of a major overhaul.
How to Take Care of Your Mic – Takeaway Tips
Keeping your microphone in great shape takes care and consideration. Be sure to store your mic away properly and use a pop filter to avoid saliva build-up on the diaphragm. Consider regular servicing of your mic by a professional to ensure the longevity of your microphone and that the audio being captured is always of the highest quality audio.