Why Do Microphones Shock You? You Need to See This

Has this ever happened to you that you were using your microphone, and it shocked you electrically? 

At that time, you must think, “I bought you and this is how you treat me? You ungrateful piece of metal!”

Well, thinking this is totally normal. But having an electric shock from a microphone is also normal.

You must be wondering, “Why do microphones shock you?” 

There are many answers to this question but simplest one is because they are technically an electronic device. 

Microphones work with signals and other such tech-savvy technology.

If you want to learn more about shocks from a microphone, read further!

Why Do Electric Shocks Occur?

First of all, you need to understand the basic reason behind electric shocks from a microphone.

A microphone shocks you when it finds you as the shortest path to the ground.

If the other equipment are put correctly, you won’t get an electrical shock. 

Other possible reasons can be that your equipment is faulty due to which your microphone has unused voltage.

Such voltage would flow to a lower potential if you touch the microphone, and it would make you its path. 

Shocks From Mixing Consoles

Microphones shock you when you use a mixing console that is not grounded properly.

The stray voltage in the microphone needs to go to a lower potential through the mixing console.

But if the mixing console is not grounded correctly, the microphone can use you as a source for going towards the ground.

As a result of which, you get electrical shocks.

These electric shocks can be lethal or minor depending upon different factors which we will discuss later.

Shocks By Using A Guitar Amp

If you are performing with a guitar and you are using a guitar amp as well, the chances of getting electric shock from a microphone is high.

In this case, if you touch the metal strings of the guitar or any other metal part, and at the same time, you are in touch with a microphone, you can get an electrical shock.

This occurs because the current from the guitar amp connected to your guitar uses you as a path to reach to the microphone. 

Most of the times, such microphones are near your lips.

If you get a shock there, it can be quite dangerous. 

Shocks Due To AC Outlets

If your AC outlets are somehow faulty, you can get an electric shock.

Usually this occurs due to difference in potentials that a stray voltage has to bear.

The stray voltage might at times use you if you are closer to the ground than the high potential of an AC outlet. 

What actually happens is that when you connect a guitar amp to a guitar, and also use a microphone connected with a mixing console and both these are connected to different wall plugs with different potentials, you get a shock.

Because, in this case, you are much closer to the ground and also an easier path for the stray voltage in the microphone.

Factors Affecting Shocks’ Effects

Electric shocks are not a jock, and they should be considered seriously.

There are many effects of an electric shock which can cause serious harms to you.

The effect of shocks depends upon many factors which are mentioned below.

Resistance Of A Person

The resistance to electricity varies from person to person.

It usually depends upon the moisture of the skin.

Moreover, if your skin is broken or torn, this factor can also affect the resistance of your skin.

According to Ohm’s Law, the amount of current that would flow through your body varies inversely with the resistance of the medium i.e., your skin.

So, if your body is more resistant to current then less current will flow through it. 

Time Period of Contact

If you stay in contact with the current for too long, the effect of it can be severe.

Whereas, if it occurs for a second or a few seconds, its effect can be minor. 

Type of Current

The type of current that flows through your body plays a big role in determining the effect of it on your body.

There are basically two types of current: AC (Alternating Current) and DC (Direct Current).

It has been found that AC  has more severe effects on your body than the same amount of DC. 

Effects of Shocks

The following are the main effects of a shock that can occur to different people differently.

All these effects vary from person to person depending upon the resistance level to current. 

Tingles 

If the shock is minor, and for a short time period, you will only feel some tingling sensation which isn’t a big deal.

Respiratory Paralysis

This effect is a major one but it doesn’t occur as often.

But if the amount of current is severe, respiratory paralysis can occur.

Usually, 30mA current causes this effect. 

Burning Of Tissues

Burning of tissues occur when a current that exceeds 100 A passes through your body.

It leaves burn marks on your tissues.

Ventricular Fibrillation

It usually occurs when the heart trembles instead of pumping due to current.

If you don’t treat such a situation, death can also happen.

Death

The most severe effect of electric shocks through microphone is death.

It can occur only when the current flowing through your body is a lot and for a long time as well. 

Conclusion 

After knowing why a microphone shocks you, you should avoid the reasons it does.

If your microphone shocks you often, try changing it or getting it fixed because it can also become severe some day.

Moreover, microphone shocks affect different people differently.  

Avoiding being the shortest path for the current to the ground is the most important part of avoiding getting electrical shocks.

If after taking all the precautions, your microphone still shocks you, it could be because of it being faulty.

Other than the microphone, your mixing console and other equipment that you might  be using can be faulty as well.

It is necessary to check all of these.

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