Take the 2-minute tour ×
Sound Design Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for sound engineers, producers, editors, and enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

So, this is kind of an embarrassing question as it alway seems to raise eyebrows.

I'm looking at trying out some underwater recording and I'm looking to find out your recommendations as to which condoms are best for covering the microphone. There are many different types, thicknesses etc, so which ones are best? Is strawberry flavored better than banana? just kidding! I'd also like to know what you have used to clean the mic afterwards?

I'm going to use a Sennheiser E845 (similar to an SM58, I actually prefer it to a 58!) and see what sounds I get.

Thanks in advance for your help.

share|improve this question

5 Answers 5

Sometimes balloons will work better if you're going to use anything more than an SM57 or an SM58 (which are usually ideal since you'll only be losing about $100us if something were to go wrong and the mic gets damaged.

Rule #1, ALWAYS use unlubricated condoms. Lamb Skin condoms smell really funky so completely avoid them, even the unlubed ones; besides... skin is more delicate and prone to tearing easier than latex.

Also look into the balloons that are typically used for bending into animal shapes, as they're pretty durable and shaped well for things like shotgun mics. You also might want to get a pair of soft tipped reverse jewelers pliers to help get the opening open large enough to get it on your mic. Typically these "animal shape balloons" will be more "form fitting", have a tighter seal and not leave a weird smell that might make your clients think weird things about you if they ever get close enough to your mics to smell them.

As far as for cleaning them I would suggest very carefully using unscented baby wipes, as they typically have very gentle chemicals if any at all. They're actually really great for cleaning a lot of things (as I found out very quickly after my wife and I having our daughter 4 years ago).

share|improve this answer
1  
Thanks for that advice. I was definitely thinking un-lubricated ones, especially after a lighting guy put a lubed one over my shotgun and it took me ages to get rid of the smell. Balloons seem like a very good choice. –  Si Charles May 2 '11 at 9:47
    
Glad to help. These are the pliers I was talking about. Oddly, I know about them from making body jewelery in my late teens (I've always been into more types of art than just audio). steelnavel.com/product.asp?ID=221 –  Syndicate Synthetique May 2 '11 at 10:07
    
@Syndicate, Man, those things are no messin'. –  g.a.harry May 2 '11 at 10:32
    
Which things are "no messin"? –  Syndicate Synthetique May 2 '11 at 11:13

I know for concerts and music festivals I use a product called Microphome. Its a foam microphone cleaning kit. I know it makes the artist feel better after I have gone up and used their personal vocal microphone to dial and tune their monitor mix, or at music festivals when every person shares mics.

Ive never tried the condom trick on a microphone, I ended up just getting a hydrophone from aquarian audio. Great products and great prices. Its only slightly more expensive than a 58 or 57.

share|improve this answer

I have no idea what condom to use, but definitely don't go deep! Wow, that sounds wrong... The pressure builds up quick underwater and whatever gap you may have between the cable and the condom will get water quick if the pressure is too much. Make sure you secure as well as you can that area. Maybe with some hot glue and gorilla tape?

share|improve this answer
    
I'm just thinking about dipping it in (That sounds wrong!!) a shallow pool, probably not enough to cover the cable, just the tip. I can see this might be full on innuendoes soon! –  Si Charles May 2 '11 at 9:40
    
Yeah, I bet a lot "will sound wrong" in this thread. lol... Glad I was able to avoid it in my post. I really had to exercise restraint from going off the deep end though. ;) –  Syndicate Synthetique May 2 '11 at 9:52

I would go for unlubricated condoms instead of balloons, they're a lot easier to put on.

I tried it in film school with a Sennheiser 416, and it worked perfectly. We hung the mic from a boom pole like a fishing pole and made some recordings in a swimming pool. I believe we closed the opening at the end with lots of gaffer tape and elastic bands.

I believe we fooled around with it in a pretty careless and playful way, captured lots of interesting sounds, but luckily the condom didn't break and we didn't get a lot of small microphone babies...

share|improve this answer
    
@Morten, I wish my microphones would have babies. It would save me a load of money. What do you think you'd get if a sennheiser and a scheops did the dirty? –  g.a.harry May 2 '11 at 10:36
    
@g.a.harry A Schoepheiser of course! –  Mark Durham Sep 26 '13 at 9:21

Is this usb waterproof microphone could meet your needs? http://orelia.fr/en/security/mico-the-usb-waterproof-microphone-from-orelia.html

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.