#1
I've heard rumors that screaming into a condenser mic is bad and could damage it. Is this true?
#2
As long as you
1. Are using a pop filter
2. Are standing the proper distance away from the mic
3. Have the gain set right so the output isn't clipping,
you shouldn't have any problems. Get spit all over the mic and overload it by eating it (too close), then maybe.
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#3
I have a pop filter. What is the proper distance to be away from the mic? I like it decently close so the sound is more richer and it doesn't sound too room-reverby.
#4
The biggest issue is just making sure spit doesn't get into the mic. I've got a pop filter and a foam cover for my condenser for screamers and I've never had an issue.
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#5
Well I won't do much of it but I'm just making sure. I know condensers are more sensitive and delicate than dynamics.
#6
You will probably not be able to find someone who screams (properly) at a volume that would cause any damage to the mic at all. Aside from the aforementioned 'moisture' damage (which is assuming there was enough to get through the mic's grille and into the capsule) there is no real risk whatsoever on vocal applications. Many people have even used spare U87's on kick, snare and guitar cabs so it's pretty safe to say that if their mics still functioned after that battering, someone screaming into a condenser is not going to hit its danger zone.

In fact, I wouldn't even worry about hitting max. SPL's unless you were using a ribbon mic, regardless of the application. Most mics will hit 112dB SPL minimum these days, and that's the kinda volume that would drown out a typical band at a rehearsal...


As for distance from the mic, that's more about setting a consistent gain level; reducing the plosives and sibilance attack; getting the desired amount of proximity effect (assuming you're going for the typical cardioid pattern favoured with most vocal mics); and making sure the singer has a target distance to aim for so they don't keep drawing closer to and further from the mic for different parts of their range, as they might do with a live vocal mic when singing at a gig. Tracking them into light compression can help reduce this problem in vocalists that have picked up that habit of moving the mic further and closer that is so detrimental in the studio when you just want a consistent tone and signal level with as few variables as possible.


Edit: Also, what the guy below said about dynamics just being more of a standard is true. But I will add that a pop shield will do sweet f.a to the volume level hitting the mic (as anyone who has looked into soundproofing should remember, guys ) and is designed to split up the air hitting the mic to reduce the plosive sounds.
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Last edited by DisarmGoliath at Jan 1, 2012,
#7
I scream my face off into my condensors. Admittedly, I thought I broke one when just quickly tracking some guide vocal tracks and didn't bother with the popshield but it came back to life a few days later with no lasting effects! So as the others state - use a popshield.

I wouldn't worry about SPL from being too close, they can handle drum overheads right? I think that it's more a case that the industry standard screamer mics are dynamics, there's no reason why a condensor can't be used.
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#8
The pop filter definitely helps remove the air blast from my voice and plosives. I usually have the mic 1 or 2 inches away, because if it's further it gets too quiet and the tone becomes flatter.

The whole purpose I got the mic is to maximize quality of vocals and other recording applications. I have a decent dynamic but the high frequencies aren't as good.
#9
Quote by Odirunn
The biggest issue is just making sure spit doesn't get into the mic. I've got a pop filter and a foam cover for my condenser for screamers and I've never had an issue.


Yeah, my singer found that out the hard way. He now has a nice Rode NT1 for a paperweight
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