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Microphones and cigarettes


Fred Salles
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Hello,

for a feature I am currently working on in Lithuania, we have been shooting several days (nights actually) an interior party scene, where every actors for the scene, and, well, almost everyone on set was smoking cigarettes  (except myself pretty much, as I am the only non smoker in the team!).

As you can imagine everything including every piece of gear now stinks cigarette smoke.

I am posting here today because I am concerned about my Schoeps mikes (mostly CMC6+MK41 and MK4. we had up to 3 booms  as there was 3 often cameras, plus planted CCM41).

They strongly stink cigarettes now and I do not know how to get rid of the smell. Furthermore I fear that it would affect them in the long term.

Any suggestion?

Am I being paranoid about it (again as I  don’t smoke it tends to disturb me being immersed in cigarette smoke for hours)?

Thanks

🚬 (Gone coughing...) 

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Well, if schoeps doesn't know.. I guess the field is open to throw in guesses. But all the usual ways of getting rid of tobacco smells are probably going to kill your mics faster :

Vinegar, as in gently brushing the items with vinegar, and freezing for several days. 

 

I also guess  just letting them air for a few days will probably lessen the amount of stink, too. 

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Dear Fred,

 

I will not touch "on-set" policies; but I have used Schoeps in salt water with no strange effect (don't know why people talking about durability issues with Schoeps).

 

You are worrying about "decay-effect" in long term - understandable this - but trust Schoeps.

The "decay-effect" on Schoeps (and DPA) is much better from some other microphone manufacturers - over the years.

 

From a guy; which lives in country full of dust - salt and heat weather (which is more concern issue from smoking on set).

 

Best,

VASI

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 9/27/2021 at 5:18 AM, Fred Salles said:

Hello,

for a feature I am currently working on in Lithuania, we have been shooting several days (nights actually) an interior party scene, where every actors for the scene, and, well, almost everyone on set was smoking cigarettes  (except myself pretty much, as I am the only non smoker in the team!).

As you can imagine everything including every piece of gear now stinks cigarette smoke.

I am posting here today because I am concerned about my Schoeps mikes (mostly CMC6+MK41 and MK4. we had up to 3 booms  as there was 3 often cameras, plus planted CCM41).

They strongly stink cigarettes now and I do not know how to get rid of the smell. Furthermore I fear that it would affect them in the long term.

Any suggestion?

Am I being paranoid about it (again as I  don’t smoke it tends to disturb me being immersed in cigarette smoke for hours)?

Thanks

🚬 (Gone coughing...) 

Can hear your coughing  😷    

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It's been a few weeks, so maybe airing them or other things you have tried have been sufficient.

I just wanted to mention that I bought a house where the previous owners smoked.  The real estate agent provided us with an ozone machine.  We closed up the house and left it unoccupied for a weekend with the ozone at its highest setting.  It seemed to help.  I won't speculate on what ozone would do for microphones, though.

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11 minutes ago, Matthew Steel said:

I won't speculate on what ozone would do for microphones, though.

I wonder how production would react if I ask them to consider renting/buying one for my gear ! 😄

 

Yes time outside reduced the smell. Although one of the MK4 capsule is now producing a much higher hiss than before. Difficult to know if it is related but it might...

 

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Cigarette Smoke leaves a residue layer that is all kinds of bad. Unfiltered cigarette smoke was also a factor. You will need to remove this layer of residue that is causing the smell. Unfortunately the entire microphone will need to be disassembled, thoroughly cleaned, and possibly replace the capsule, it might be toast. The guts of the amp should be ok after a professional cleaning. I used to deal with this in real estate properties and vehicles. 

 

I can walk you through allot of it if interested PM me. I need to research what specific chemicals to remove this caustic residue. Your going to need to find a solvent that will eat the residue but not the finish. The capsule disassembles down to the disk/diaphragm and can be cleaning at a high risk of damage. I have had success with 99% high grade isopropyl alcohol. Use wood q-tips because they allow you to scrub a bit more than the paper ones. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tar remover? 

I have a pair of Technic SL1200 in flight cases from 2001 that still smell like they just came out of a nightclub in British Columbia. 

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Indeed, back in my college days when smoking indoors was allowed and many people smoked, I did maintenance at a public facility. The walls had streaks of tar and nicotine dripping down the walls. 

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On 10/19/2021 at 12:22 AM, Patrick Tresch said:

I worked with a 30 year old mk41 used by a well known cigar smoker director who used this mic for nearly all of his voice over work and it still sounds great. 

If it is who I think about and if he used it on his last film from 2018 then I disagree with you cause the sound of his voices was the worse he ever did in his entire career  😆

(but seriously  I think it was recorded on a phone or a cheap recorder of some sort, it really put me out of the entire film)

On 10/18/2021 at 7:09 PM, Dalton Patterson said:

 The capsule disassembles down to the disk/diaphragm and can be cleaning at a high risk of damage.

 

As much as I like working on my gear, fixing and building electronic stuff, that is the one thing I would not venture.

The mikes will be sent to Schoeps for a check up and cleaning anyway because of the excessive hiss on one of the capsule. They are 15 years old now, and one is even more so it is a fair time for a first check up 😉

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