Can loud sounds damage microphones? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 12-07-2013, 12:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Loud as in a .22 handgun fired 2-3 feet away from the mic, with the business end pointed in the opposite direction?

I don't think it received any damage, but I'd like an educated opinion on the matter.

I was using a tascam dr-07 mkii to record it, I believe it uses condenser mics...
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post #2 of 12 Old 12-07-2013, 03:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Barbarian887 View Post

Loud as in a .22 handgun fired 2-3 feet away from the mic, with the business end pointed in the opposite direction?

I don't think it received any damage, but I'd like an educated opinion on the matter.

I was using a tascam dr-07 mkii to record it, I believe it uses condenser mics...

Probably not, but what mic?

Most mics are designed to take normal abuse, even dropping on hard floors. The shock and vibration from that sets a high bar.

One exception is ribbon mics, which can become damaged if you cross your eyes in their vicinity. ;-)
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post #3 of 12 Old 12-07-2013, 06:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barbarian887 View Post

Loud as in a .22 handgun fired 2-3 feet away from the mic, with the business end pointed in the opposite direction?

I don't think it received any damage, but I'd like an educated opinion on the matter.

I was using a tascam dr-07 mkii to record it, I believe it uses condenser mics...

High SPL can damage some mics, yes. Depends on the design of the mic. Are yours damaged? No way any of us can answer that.
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post #4 of 12 Old 12-07-2013, 08:52 AM
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Percussive sounds in particular are hard on mics, but like everybody else only you can tell. If it still sounds fine, it's fine.

A .22 is not all that loud, after all. Now, if it'd been my big Super Redhawk .44 Magnum, well... smile.gif

"After silence, that which best expresses the inexpressible, is music" - Aldous Huxley
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post #5 of 12 Old 12-07-2013, 12:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

Probably not, but what mic?
Most mics are designed to take normal abuse, even dropping on hard floors. The shock and vibration from that sets a high bar.

One exception is ribbon mics, which can become damaged if you cross your eyes in their vicinity. ;-)

I wasn't able to find any technical specifications on them, all I can find is that they're condensers in a cardioid pattern

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post #6 of 12 Old 12-07-2013, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

Probably not, but what mic?
Most mics are designed to take normal abuse, even dropping on hard floors. The shock and vibration from that sets a high bar.

One exception is ribbon mics, which can become damaged if you cross your eyes in their vicinity. ;-)

I wasn't able to find any technical specifications on them, all I can find is that they're condensers in a cardioid pattern


Probably omni electrets. Pretty durable!
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post #7 of 12 Old 12-07-2013, 02:30 PM
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Toughest mic in the industry is generally accepted to be the Shure SM 58. This is the widest used mic in the world . It is the gray mic with the gray snow ball on the end that the vast majority of bands use plus you seem them at most every news conference around the world.
Those of us in the industry frequently claim these can be used to drive nails. They are severely abused, beaten, dropped, thrown, caked with lipstick and beer yet miraculously they still work.
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post #8 of 12 Old 12-07-2013, 03:54 PM
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...and SM-57, same capsule in a different case they call their "instrument" mic. Response is almost identical.

For loud sounds, however, there are a number of mics that handle higher SPLs than the 57/58. In addition to measurement mics, look at drum kit and instrument mics.

"After silence, that which best expresses the inexpressible, is music" - Aldous Huxley
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post #9 of 12 Old 12-07-2013, 08:20 PM - Thread Starter
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So is the consensus that it most likely did not receive trauma?

I haven't really used it enough yet to determine whether shooting a .22 2-3 feet away has had any impact on it's ability to perform, as I have nothing to reference.
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post #10 of 12 Old 12-07-2013, 08:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barbarian887 View Post

So is the consensus that it most likely did not receive trauma?

I haven't really used it enough yet to determine whether shooting a .22 2-3 feet away has had any impact on it's ability to perform, as I have nothing to reference.

The acid test is as always - make a recording of various things, some a little loud, some soft, some music, some vocal and see if everything still sounds right.
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post #11 of 12 Old 12-07-2013, 08:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

The acid test is as always - make a recording of various things, some a little loud, some soft, some music, some vocal and see if everything still sounds right.

I just got done testing how a guitar sounds and when i pluck the open A string it sounds like **** on the recorded playback, it's not clipping or anything, it's just distorted and sounds like a fart on the playback...

scratch that, the little speakers i was using to analyze the playback are just blown or something lol
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post #12 of 12 Old 12-08-2013, 04:55 AM
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Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

The acid test is as always - make a recording of various things, some a little loud, some soft, some music, some vocal and see if everything still sounds right.

I just got done testing how a guitar sounds and when i pluck the open A string it sounds like **** on the recorded playback, it's not clipping or anything, it's just distorted and sounds like a fart on the playback...

scratch that, the little speakers i was using to analyze the playback are just blown or something lol

I recommend dong this kind of monitoring with good headphones because they can make small problems seem larger. Besides not everybody can afford or house really good speakers, but a good pair of ca. $100 headphones such as the Sony MDR 7506 or Sennheiser HD 280s are far more affordable and portable.
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