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Microphone Month 4

Static in the Studio

Today’s shocking inSync question comes from Eric.

“I receive strong electric shocks in my studio. Simply taking a few steps generates a very uncomfortable amount of static electricity. Is it the wall to wall carpet? What can I do to remedy this problem?”

Our own Einstein of Electrons, Mark Phillips, responds:

I also suspect the carpet, especially if it is nylon. Dry climates will aggravate the problem. Humidity is one of the easiest solutions. A furnace always significantly dries the air, so does air-conditioning. Very dry air augments the production and transportation of static charges. A secondary issue is that very dry air will cause the wood in the environment to dry out and crack (any stringed instrument is at risk).

A relative humidity gauge is relatively cheap (pun intended). Humidity levels below about 50% will aggravate static problems and dry out wood. A good portable humidifier is about $100 and can be used at home after you install a permanent unit on the Furnace/Air Conditioner in your studio. Shoot to get humidity levels in the range of 50% to 75%.

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