I've heard that tapping the microphone head shouldn't be done because it might damage the microphone. I don't know if this true or just a myth. If it is true, then how is the microphone get damaged with tapping it?
When I first read your thread I wondered why you were putting tape on your mic head and whether it was some sort of performance trick that I didn't know about.
I can't tell you for sure whether it's true or not, but tapping on the microphone head could damage the thin, delicate diaphragm inside the mic. If it's tapped firmly, especially more than once, it can also create an audio spike which could cause damage as well. In all of my years of teaching children music and helping with the church programs I've seen many a kid and adult do that very thing and no microphones have been ruined. Of course, I tell them not to tap on it, but it seems like an ingrained habit that tapping is how you test the mic. It's not a good way to test the microphone whether it causes damage or not.
gofar99 Messages: 1523 Registered: May 2010 Location: Southern Arizona
Illuminati (4th Degree)
Hummm. Considering that microphones are designed to handle SPLs in the 100+db range I suspect that most are really quite durable. Some for specialized applications might not be that sturdy but I suspect that any you are likely to encounter are not going to be harmed by tapping. Equally unless it is extreme and the gain is set really high I don't think it likely to harm anything else in the system. I have never seen or heard of one being damaged. When you think about it microphones are everywhere...phones, DJs, home devices of all sorts...even refrigerators. They take a lot of abuse and keep on working.
You got a good point, gofar. We can place this one into the myth section. Common folks may just be irritated by the loud sound the microphone makes when someone taps on the microphone, especially when the speaker makes feedback.
Gofar has a good point. Besides, when you tap the microphone you're not tapping the device itself, but rather the cover. It has to be done though if you need to check the volume it is going to be giving out.