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Say you're on a shoot in the Caribbean.

You've got your mics stored safely in a hotel room with wonderful A/C and you're going out for your first shot of the day which will be pretty humid and hot compared to the room.

Do you treat microphones the same as a camera with acclimation via a freezer-ziplock bag?

Or do you just go with it and let the mics go from cool and dry to hot and humid quickly like that?

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I've been looking at this since I've just completing my first recording rig. Consisting of Sennheiser me66(Sennheisers, I've heard, do better with humidity than other shotgun mics), sound devices mm-1, and an h4n just for the recording (if i want ambience, my h2 has 4 mics).

I'm currently living in Japan, and the humidity is just starting to set in right now. In a few months, I'll also be traveling south east asia for sounds. This will be even greater amounts of humidity and heat.

That being said, I've been preparing for humidity. You definitely do not want to be letting the mics go from cool and dry to hot and humid or vice versa very quickly. Condensation may build in the mic from doing that, which would obviously be not good at all.

The ziplock type bag is a good idea, but I'd also wrap it in a towel or some sort of insulation in that bag to help it acclimate more gradually.

However, the most important things to have in that ziplock bag with your mic are some silica gel packs. You know the ones in food packages that absorb moisture to keep food from spoiling? Buy some at a camera store and keep your mic from spoiling!

  • Great idea! Yeah, I suggested a while back on here to someone that he put 2 or 3 of those bags inside his rycote blimp while he is recording - heh! Thanks for the answer! I'll definitely be using the towel advice. – Utopia Jun 6 '11 at 16:58
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ummm, I've also wondered about it. So many times I open a nice air conditioned room and the whole floor gets socking wet in a split moment. Probably not great for electricity/electronics.

The D.O.Ps ideally try wait at least 30 min for acclimatization, but that's mostly for lenses and not the body.

My shotgun mic (MKH 418s) is rated for 98% humidity, and I haven't heard any issues. I'm not sure the rating for my lavaliers (DPA 4060s & ME 2s), but they also seemed to perform fine.

When I can, I keep them in my Pelican case till the last moment. They are designed for that. That said, often I'm shooting indoors and then running outside, but the short answer is all my recorders and mics have been fine and I've been pushing them in really hot and humid African countries.

Not really a convincing answer, but rather a bit of reassurance that it will be fine ;-)

  • Hi Andrew! Thanks a bunch. The pelican case is an awesome idea. Is that why it has those little screws on it that opens it just a little bit? Someone told me that was for something to do with altitude or something - hah! I'm sure it's great for acclimation. I gotta get me some 418s. – Utopia Jun 6 '11 at 16:59

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