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Cleaning Mics

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Cleaning Mics

PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2019 1:34 pm
by Dave B
At Saturday’s gig, whilst checking out the monitors, the FOH looked at the vocalist’s preferred mic and asked “when was the last time you opened it up and cleaned it out?”. Both myself and our regular FOH looked up in surprise - we simply hadn’t thought of that.

Does anyone here do it? Presumably just cleaning the basket. Do they gunk up much?

Also, I’m thinking that I should wipe them down at least after use (germs more than anything) - any suggestions?

Re: Cleaning Mics

PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2019 1:42 pm
by Hugh Robjohns
When I was involved in live sound much more than I am now I did clean mic grilles and foams regularly. Amazing (and disgusting) how much food particulates get in there! :shock:

So carefully disassemble and rinse out any foam and brush out the grille. I then wipe over with an antiseptic wipe, leave to dry, then reassemble and test.

Re: Cleaning Mics

PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2019 1:52 pm
by MarkPAman
While I'm sure it's nothing special, and that something that does the same job could easily be found more cheaply, this https://www.thomann.de/gb/thomann_mikrofon_reiniger.htm fits in a mic box nicely..........

Re: Cleaning Mics

PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2019 2:22 pm
by Sam Spoons
The multi layer mesh baskets on my SE-H1s have no foam so are easy to rinse under the tap and leave in weak bleach (Milton) solution, the only downside is the smell of the bleach lingers. Next time I'll try something that smells nicer.....

Re: Cleaning Mics

PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 4:07 pm
by Wonks
I used to wash my mic grilles and foams out from time to time in Detol or any anti-bacterial wash handy.

Re: Cleaning Mics

PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 4:30 pm
by Watchmaker
When I used to play out, we brought our own mics to shows just in case the house mics were a little too used. Some of them are unbelievably disgusting and reek. ugh, I'm nauseous just remembering.

Re: Cleaning Mics

PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 4:43 pm
by MarkPAman
While it's getting more common than it was for a vocalist to provide their own mic, it's still a minority at the gigs I do.

The benefits are not just hygiene reasons either - surly much nicer to have a mike you've learned the characteristics of?

Re: Cleaning Mics

PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 5:05 pm
by awjoe
I suppose that's the second advantage of pop filters - they keep the mic clean. Hey, you know those devices that electrocute insects that brush up against them? Well, you could have a pop filter that did the same with anything coming from a vocalist. It would add a whole new category to mixing - in addition to dealing with plosives and breaths and lip smacks, there'd also be 'zaps' to deal with. It would be seen to be a mark of an 'earthy' vocal delivery. Just thinking out loud here, of course... ;)

Re: Cleaning Mics

PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 6:03 pm
by AlecSp
MarkPAman wrote:While it's getting more common than it was for a vocalist to provide their own mic, it's still a minority at the gigs I do.

The benefits are not just hygiene reasons either - surly much nicer to have a mike you've learned the characteristics of?
Yes and no. I've seen the whole range of mics with various vocalists - from the sublime to the dire.

Frontman in a "name" act had an SM58. Sounded dreadful and feedback-happy, with lashings of handling noise. I suggested trying replacing it with one of mine and the difference was night and day. I then asked where he bought it from - sure enough, it was eBay.

While I'm happy for most singers who provide their mics to use them, there are times when it's worth suggesting they try something different/better/genuine.

Re: Cleaning Mics

PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2019 9:49 pm
by robare99
I swap out the mix screens every few months. New screens are $6 for an SM58.

Re: Cleaning Mics

PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2019 9:49 pm
by robare99
I swap out the mix screens every few months. New screens are $6 for an SM58.

I might do 2 gigs a month these days.