Going through my research on microphones, I started to wonder if there were any types of microphones that are fragile and break easily. Well, any microphone will break if it is repeatedly dropped. If it is thrown against a wall in a fit of anger then you probably just lost some money. So, actually all mics can be considered fragile microphones.
But Wait … There’s More
That’s not what you really want to hear. If you abuse anything it will eventually break. From an earlier post we know there are basically two types of microphones: Dynamic and Condenser. Dynamic microphones are the more sturdy of the two, unless it is a ribbon microphone which I’ll hit on later.
Dynamic vs. Condenser
Dynamic microphones are built stout to take louder sounds. Condenser microphones are good for picking up subtle sounds. They have more complex inner workings which makes them more ‘fragile’. A simple drop or two may not damage a dynamic microphone, but one drop will probably end a condenser microphone.
Rippin’ on Ribbons
Ribbon microphones are dynamic microphones with a thin metal conductor instead of a wire coil. The conductor vibrates from direct contact with sound waves. So, a strong blast of air from a bass drum could ruin this sensitive piece of equipment. Exposing the mic to phantom power could also destroy it. Despite being the most fragile microphones out there, they are quite expensive and favored by some musicians for their warm, detailed sound.
So … What’s The Verdict?
Whatever type of microphone you have try to take care of it. No matter how sturdy or well-made it is, it can still be broken. So handle all mics as fragile microphones. They will last and give you great sound for years to come. That will leave you with money to buy other studio equipment and really make that studio something special.