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What Happens When You DROP a Mic

We drop a dynamic vocal mic – to see what happens!

Live dynamic mics are pretty robust. Dave Hilderman proves this by dropping one in this video. (Note: the same is NOT true of condenser mics…) We don’t recommend that you try this yourself.

Dave Hilderman Bio

David Hilderman is the Chief Operating Officer of TC-Helicon Vocal Technologies in Victoria, BC Canada where he lives with his wife and two teenage children. He is engaged in hardware design, strategic planning and product development. Visit TC-Helicon.

  • genome58

    How easy is it to damage a condenser lavalier mic.? When clipped to myself or a guest, at times they do drop to the floor. Is the damage from dropping a condenser mic all or none (works or doesn’t work) or can there be other types of damage (works, but frequency response is altered, or there is distortion)?

  • Neil Stewart

    Thank goodness. My Shure 58 keeps falling off the mic stand or pulling it over if I extend it too far. It’s a bit bruised, but I’m glad to know it’s still working inside as good as ever.

    I see you have a Voicelive 2 there. Why did you stop supporting it? I have a Nova and a Boss Looper so had no need to upgrade to the Voicelive 3 extreme, but I’m using it more now than ever and it’s still a class act. It would be great to have more detailed info on how the effects work etc. For example, I’m a Baritone, and found I had to really reduce the compression on the auto voice effects to get the richness back (I think!) I guess the 3 extreme has a lot in common as far as the detailed effect changes. I just feel I’m flying blind with it, though I still love it. The software editor helps although it’s not a TC Helicon product.

  • In general it would be easier to damage a lavalier mic than a rugged handheld dynamic mic; however as lavalier mics don’t weigh that much, I think it is more likely you would damage them from standing on them or crushing them with something heavy than you are by a small drop. When dropping condenser mics it is easier to damage components inside than with a dynamic. Usually any serious damage would be obvious as there would be no output or the mic would emit strange noises. However, frequent dropping of a condenser mic could potentially damage some of the sonic characteristics of the mic and cause it to have an altered frequency response. In the vast majority of cases this change is going to be fairly minor and only noticeable if you A/B’d it against an undamaged mic. It is also more of a problem with studio mics that it is with mics designed for the stage – which lavalier mics typically are.