I'm not that good at reading electronic schemes.

If I minimize the gain ~1/10 of condenser mic and make some continuous noise of enough dB to have just no clipping, and then increase the gain 10/10, can this damage the mic?

PS: just want to mention, I've got Zoom H2n.

  • 1
    The chances of damaging the mic are not affected at all by what gain you have on the ip channel; it's purely a function of the max physical SPL the mic can take - see sound.stackexchange.com/questions/30/… for a similar question
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Nov 22, 2016 at 9:01
  • @Tetsujin, thanks you, sir. How about blowing into the mic with a mouth? Can it be damaging?
    – Qeeet
    Commented Nov 22, 2016 at 14:30
  • 1
    Blowing into the microphone has an excellent chance of being DAMAGING. It is NEVER recommended to do anything like this. That is a main reason that microphones indented for vocal use have blast filters between the mouth and the microphone. Commented Nov 23, 2016 at 5:35
  • @RichardCrowley, I thought it is mainly for eliminating plosives
    – Qeeet
    Commented Nov 23, 2016 at 7:24
  • 1
    There is no difference between plosives and blowing into the microphone except the length of the event. Commented Nov 23, 2016 at 16:10

2 Answers 2


The signal chain starts at the microphone array and goes out from there. There is no possible way that altering the gain will affect the microphone capsules.


The existing comments and answer are clear about the situation with the mic, so to expand on your question a bit, there is some chance that you could damage the input amplifier on your recording device and anything else in the chain past that point.

Square-waves (basically what happens when you have an over-driven signal) are bad for speakers especially. There are some exception with techniques using mic or guitar-amp speaker breakup etc., but be very careful about recording and playback amplitude in those cases.

Basically, never overload a mic in any way unless you take sufficient action to protect the rest of your signal chain

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