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Condenser SPL How much is too much?
Old 19th June 2005
Gear Addict

Condenser SPL How much is too much?

I've heard many a tale studios using multiple U 87's for direct milking on drum kits.
There must have been some large budgets as I also heard about them being trashed in the process.

How much spl do you guys feel comfortable inflicting on the more expensive large diaphram condensers? Especially if replacing the ones you have would be financially devastating?

I wouldn't place an expensive condenser anywhere near a potential stick hit but do the high spl's stretch out the diaphrams and lower the quality levels of the mics over time?

Most condensers are rated for 140 db yet it kinda leaves a sick feeing in my stomach to stuff one on the grill of a guitar amp that's loud enough to have wear earplus for soundchecks.

Am I being paranoid?

Thanks in advance.
Old 20th June 2005
member no 666
Fletcher's Avatar
Well I don't work with drummers that miss quite enough to hit mics... but I've seen it happen. There are damn few condenser mics I've met that can't handle at least to the threshold of feeling [127db SPL], and most go well beyond that.

While drums can move a good bit of wind, I've never had a problem using condenser mics on them [I had a problem with a "Wright" microhone once, but seeing as they're not made any more and are generally rarer than hen's teeth I doubt you'll run into that problem].
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