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Microphone Month 4

Five tips to prolong the life of your gear.

Our lives seem to be ruled by opposites; Things that taste good are usually bad for us, and things that taste bad tend to be good for us. In electronics, the law of opposites is that electronic components produce heat, yet heat is the number one enemy of electronic components. While most electronic devices have on-off switches, power cycling is also a prime enemy. Here is a series of tips to prolong the life of your gear.

  1. Many experts recommend leaving your studio gear powered on. Modern electronic equipment likes to have current running through it all the time. The amount of current it draws when idle is very low. The only exception is components that wear out, such as backlit displays on synths and cooling fans. However, high-quality PC fans, such as those Sweetwater uses in our Creation Station PCs can last more than 10 years without ever being turned off. In fact, the torque on the fan’s bearings at start-up is more harmful.
  2. Try not to run your equipment in a warm environment. If you’re concerned about noise from a window-mounted air conditioner, get one with a remote control, so you can turn it on and off as you need, without leaving your mix position.
  3. Make sure your electronics are well ventilated. A 10-degree increase (or less) from optimal operating temperature inside the box can severely shorten the life of your gear.
  4. If you have a unit that generates a lot of heat, make sure that it’s isolated from your other equipment as much as possible. This is especially true for rackmounted units. Try to put at least one rack space (1U) between them. Sweetwater carries rack spacers for that very reason.
  5. If you have heat registers in your home, make sure they aren’t under or behind your gear.

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