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should I clean my condenser mic?

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should I clean my condenser mic?

Postby kcseb » Sun Mar 18, 2018 10:11 pm

Hi all

I have a Rode NT-1000, had it about 10 years. It has always been left on the stand, I never dismount and store it.

I'm currently tweaking my whole studio setup and am worried that I should have been doing the freezer bag thing over the Rode, to keep dust out.

It sounds ok to me though (link below, recording done today on the NT-1000 for another thread) - but would it sound better/clearer if it was opened up and cleaned? Having said that it's not a very high end mic so I'm not sure if that would be cost-effective labour wise?

https://www.dropbox.com/s/9h6i9v341pwut ... p.mp3?dl=0

Ta!
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Re: should I clean my condenser mic?

Postby James Perrett » Mon Mar 19, 2018 12:36 am

Cleaning condenser mics is a fairly skilled job and I'd be tempted to leave it to someone who knows what they are doing. The main symptom of a dirty mic is additional rustling noises - if the mic is as quiet as it always has been then you are probably OK.
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Re: should I clean my condenser mic?

Postby resistorman » Mon Mar 19, 2018 4:43 am

James Perrett wrote:The main symptom of a dirty mic is additional rustling noises

Is that from the spiders?!!
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Re: should I clean my condenser mic?

Postby Matt Houghton » Mon Mar 19, 2018 9:04 am

resistorman wrote:
James Perrett wrote:The main symptom of a dirty mic is additional rustling noises

Is that from the spiders?!!

No. It's from leave-ing it unused for so long.
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Re: should I clean my condenser mic?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Mar 19, 2018 9:27 am

kcseb wrote:It sounds ok to me though...

Then I'd leave it well alone. You're far more likely to cause damage by attempting to clean it than you are to make any audible improvement.

While popping a polythene bag over the mic when not in use is a good idea, dust really isn't that much of an issue in a clean, dry, warm space. Keeping the mic in a small room full of heavy smokers would be a completely different matter...

If the capsule had become contaminated you'd be aware of a need for cleaning because you'd be complaining about background rustles and other unwelcome noises.

So like James, my advice is leave well alone.

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Re: should I clean my condenser mic?

Postby garrettendi » Mon Mar 19, 2018 9:34 am

resistorman wrote:Is that from the spiders?!!

Wait a tick... Spiders live in microphones? Those d**n freeloading squatting spiders!
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Re: should I clean my condenser mic?

Postby James Perrett » Mon Mar 19, 2018 10:57 am

Hugh Robjohns wrote:Keeping the mic in a small room full of heavy smokers would be a completely different matter...

You're describing a typical studio in the days before the smoking ban - in those days you absolutely had to keep condenser mics covered when not in use.
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Re: should I clean my condenser mic?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Mar 19, 2018 11:19 am

Yep. I still remember recording voice-overs for TV news reporters back when I was a newbie at the Beeb and there were times when I couldn't actually see the reporter through the window into the studio booth because of the smoke-laden air. The voice mic was an early C414 and when repositioning it I often found the body sticky with tar, so I dread to think what the diaphragm was like -- but it still worked and sounded okay!

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Re: should I clean my condenser mic?

Postby Alba » Mon Mar 19, 2018 1:57 pm

Perhaps a good load of ciggie tar is the secret to that warm sound we loved so much from back in the day.
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Re: should I clean my condenser mic?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Mar 19, 2018 2:20 pm

:lol: You might be onto something there... :shock:
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Re: should I clean my condenser mic?

Postby Wonks » Mon Mar 19, 2018 2:33 pm

There's obviously a gap in the market for reliced pre-tar stained mics.
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