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When sticking your microphone in a pipe, always check these things: 1) What's in the pipe? 2) What's going to be coming and going in the pipe? 3) Always have a softie or something on it to be safe.

During SFX gathering on top of a skyscraper, there was a nice looking pipe that had some cool echo and a regular beeping that I could hear when I put my mic down there. There was also a funky smell and some water sloshing sounds. When I took my mic out, my dead cat looked like a side of it had been licked like actual cat fur looking licked--matted and wet. Always use a softie!

Mic was unscathed.

It turns out that the machines on the roof near the pipe were sewage treatment/water treatment for the building and that also explained the smell coming from the pipe.

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I think my answer will have to be "use common sense".

It's a skill acquired where you know what will happen if you do "so and so".

Meaning: You can sort of predict that your microphone will get soaked if you drop it in water.

I personally never let my mikes get exposed to extreme wind even if the manufacturer says they can be. I also make sure I turn off phantom power or the pre if I can't otherwise turn it off before I plug in or unplug my mic. I also make sure to place my mikes in their boxes or safe compartments or cabinets at night and I never leave them out on a stand overnight or for long periods of time in the studio. This is something I've learned from Bruce Swedien and I used to scoff at people who told me to do these types of things before I held his mint condition U-47 he bought 20+ years go.. It looks brand new. And the quality of sound from mikes I've found to be directly proportionate to their care.

Throw up a brand new MK41 against a used rental model that's been beat up and that will dispel any facts to the contrary, I think.

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