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Re: MS-stereo and figure-8 mics

Subject: Re: MS-stereo and figure-8 mics
From: "Scott Fraser" scottbfraser
Date: Sat Jan 2, 2010 7:25 am ((PST))
<< Thanks for heads-up Mike. Are the Rodes more susceptible than any
other condenser mic? Or is it just the NT5s? Do they "recover" after
the failure? >>

<<My NT5's didn't recover. After the initial event (popping and
squealing sounds) they were both intermittent back in the studio. The
failure can be subtle and intermittent, making it frustrating when you
are trying to record.
I'm not an expert on this topic, but this is one reason folks spend
the big bucks for RF mics like Sennheiser MKH series for their high-
humidity tolerance. I know there are many discussions on this in the

I can't comment specifically about the Rode NT5's, but in a true
condenser mic (the Rode may be a true condenser or an electret
condenser) the popping caused by high humidity is a result of the
polarization voltage discharging through the air gap between the front
& back elements of the diaphragm. Dry air doesn't conduct, thus no
discharge, while in moist air a sufficiently high voltage potential &
a sufficiently short distance between elements can cause an arc across
the gap. In all cases I've experienced as soon as the mic dries out
enough it returns to perfectly normal operation. There's no reason for
the mic to continue arcing in dry air, unless a design flaw allows the
diaphragm to be dislodged by the discharge, although I would assume
Rode to have higher quality assurance than that. From what I can tell,
electret condenser mics are not susceptible to popping in humid air
since they don't rely upon an external polarization voltage to charge
the capacitor.

Scott Fraser

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