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Old July 11th, 2013, 09:21 AM   #1
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Humidity and microphones.


I am now the owner of a Rode NT-3 mic, which I have been really pleased with after running extensive tests along with my Shure FP 33.

Inside the box/case for the microphone was an absorbent gel packet. Somewhere in the instructions it said to keep the mic as dry as possible, and to use the gel pack. I also understand that the pack can be re-generated by heating it up.

So this got me wondering, how much does humidity actually affect microphones. I'm sure there will be as many answers as there are different types of mice.

And how do you pro's handle the humidity issue. Suggestions? Right now I've had my NT-3 set up on a boom in my studio for a while and I'm wondering if I am killing it!

Thanks so much.

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Old July 11th, 2013, 10:13 AM   #2
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Re: Humidity and microphones.

Electret condenser mikes can be affected by moisture---even breathing too closely to one without a proper breath shield---because it "shorts out" the condenser effect in the mike capsule. This is (afaik) temporary until the capsule dries out again. My instrument mikes came with a warning not to use them as vocal mikes for this reason, their capsules are unprotected.
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Old July 11th, 2013, 11:11 AM   #3
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Re: Humidity and microphones.

It actually can be a double sided thing as humidity can cause the diaphragm to corrode and oxidise on condensor mics but some may like this effect as it gives them a more vintage sound!

Dynamic mics can also be affected if the mangnet rusts and becomes less effective but once again some may see this as an advantage that gives older and classic mics their vintage sound.
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Old July 11th, 2013, 12:50 PM   #4
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Re: Humidity and microphones.

I don't think you're going to hurt it, unless your studio is VERY humid. I have had an AKG 414 sitting on the same mic stand for about 20 years and it's still functioning like new.
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Old July 11th, 2013, 03:57 PM   #5
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Re: Humidity and microphones.

With vocal mics, put foam pop filters on to catch the spit, and wash them out with mild soap and water every so often.

The Rode NT-3 left setup in the studio is Ok, but depending on its polystyrene or elastic suspension, its 370gm weight might cause it to sag after a while.

After the session put a cloth cover or its WS3 foam pop filter over the capsule to keep airborne microdust specs of it.
Keeping fresh Silicagel in the mic case is a good idea.

Stay clear of Silicagel in tiny paper packets, they tear and spill the granules. When Silicagel turns pink, its absorbed enough humidity
and it's time to dry the sachets out in a hot oven till they turn blue again. It's easy to forget to do it, and easy to forget they're in the oven too :(

Run a temperature/humidity thermometer in the studio. If humidity is a problem you can buy buckets of Silicagel or even an AC powered dehumidifier.
We've had an Italian DeLonghi running all day in our offices for 12years now, just empty the water tank about once a week.

30+ years with our own audio and visual production company and studios.
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Old July 12th, 2013, 10:36 AM   #6
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Re: Humidity and microphones.

Battle, Gary and Jerry thanks. Allan, thanks for the advice too. I keep the foam wind screen on even in the studio. I have to remember to re-heat the gel pack when it turns pink, and hope that I'm better at doing that than I am at making toast.

Best wishes.

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