Nothing lasts forever; most electronic devices can easily break if you drop them. However, these devices have varying durability. So there exist several things that might happen to your Condenser Mic when you drop it.
Most Condenser Mics are fragile because they contain a host of different electronic parts inside of them and are not meant to be utilized in on-stage performances. So dropping them can cause them to break. So staying safe with your equipment is important.
With that said, let’s dive deeper into the question of what happens to condenser mics if you drop them. In doing so, we’ll discuss whether your condenser mic is broken and whether the condenser mic can be repaired.
What happens if you drop a Condenser Mic?
Well, if you drop a condenser mic, then there really are really three major things that can happen. It can either have fallen, and due to the impact been broken completely, which means that it cannot be used anymore.
Or that the device, after being dropped, could have its harshness sharply increased. Which can be extremely problematic if you’re looking for recording accuracy and performance fidelity.
Finally, in an optimistic turn of events, it might be possible that your Condenser Mics might not receive any damage. Thus your condenser mic might end up not breaking at all and might not even receive any increase in the harshness of its recordings.
What Is Harshness And How Does It Affect Your Condenser Mic?
Before we understand how harshness affects your condenser mic, we first need to know what harshness is when it comes to an audio recording. Essentially, harshness exists at the frequency of 3 kHz to 5kHZ. This problematic frequency area bothers many listeners.
Harshness occurs as a result of a faulty audio core. The effect of harshness is often described by people as the vocal sounds sounding too bright. In this case, “bright” is the term that is utilized to describe vocal bands that sound much higher or airier than they should be.
If the balance is not maintained, then harshness can cause the audio to sound far airier, and most listeners will be sensitive to the audio output. This often reduces the overall quality of the audio that you are producing. This can be quite harmful if your condenser mic.
If you’ve dropped your condenser mic recently, then it could become incredibly harsh as the quality of the equipment greatly impacts the levels of harshness within the device.
How To Tell If A Condenser Microphone Is Broken?
1. Visual Inspection
Of course, probably the most obvious way to inspect whether you’ve got a broken condenser microphone is if it has clear visual damage. This is similar to any electrical gear that you might be using because all of them can have damage even if you do not drop them.
The best method to check the status of your condenser mic, however, is to inspect its various parts to check if they are not broken and do not seem to be connected as they should be. An immediate and initial visual inspection is an excellent idea for any device that has just received significant blunt damage.
Initially, we suggest checking the XLR input pins. These can be found at the bottom of the mic. If these pins are in good condition, then that means much of the damage has been mitigated somehow.
Afterward, we suggest that you check the rest of the body of the microphone for any other damage that might exist on the various parts of its body. The microphone’s backplate is especially important to inspect as it holds the condenser mic’s diaphragm. This vibrates when sound waves hit it.
If there is damage to the backplate, there is a potential for damage to the diaphragm to also exist. This means that it is susceptible to erosion if not checked upon properly. Finally, check any electronic component inside of the microphone. If any of the electronic components are damaged, we recommend immediate repairs.
2. Frequency Response Testing
So what is a frequency response test? It is perhaps one of the best ways to determine whether your condenser microphone has broken or not. The frequency response of a microphone indicates the frequency range that can be picked up by a microphone’s diaphragm.
If your microphone is damaged, it will not be able to pick up all of the frequencies in a particular sound being captured. Often the recorded sound from a damaged microphone is thin because it cannot receive or capture the low, mid, or high frequencies.
How to perform a Frequency Response test?
A simple way to perform the frequency response test is the following:
- Find a duplicate microphone to the one that you wish to test
- Record a vocal performance with your duplicate microphone
- Re-record the same vocal performance on your potentially damaged microphone
- Route the two audio signals to separate mixer channels
- Load the same parametric EQ audio effect on both channels
- Playback both audios and analyze the parametric EQs on both channels very carefully, head to head
If the microphone is working properly, there should exist no difference or minimal difference between the two recordings.
3. Impulse Response Test
An impulse response predominantly refers to how fast and accurately the microphone captures sound waves. If a mic is broken, it will have a slower impulse response rate. This means that sound waves will be captured at a significantly reduced rate.
This directly affects the quality and precision of the microphone in question. And is a good parameter to check when assessing if your microphone is still working properly or not. However, Impulse Response Testing is not something that can be performed by an average person.
In this instance, we recommend that you visit a professional that can utilize their equipment to check these measurements for you. And provide you with an accurate assessment of the damage that has occurred to your device.
And that’s all you need to know about what can happen to your condenser mic if you drop it. Ultimately, we recommend not to make a habit out of dropping any of your devices; however, especially take care of fragile devices such as condenser mics.
With the various tools we’ve given, make sure to assess the damage that has been done to your device, and hopefully, you won’t have to run into trouble.