Smoking around equipment

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Member Since: Apr 22, 2006

Does smoking damage your equipment, because i noticed that when my MXL 990 microphones was being smoked around the sound when i recorded changed alot and it sounded horrible. Luckily i have another brand new 1 that i put in and now the sound when i record sounds back to normal and good. So could this be from the smoke?

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Administrator
Since: Apr 03, 2002


Jan 22, 2007 12:18 pm

Yes, it does hurt, the smoke settles on stuff, the ashes falls on and into stuff...it's horrible, Iknow very few people, even heavy smokers, that allow smoking in their control rooms at all.

Member
Since: Apr 22, 2006


Jan 22, 2007 12:20 pm

Ok thanks for the information.

www.TheLondonProject.ca
Member
Since: Feb 07, 2005


Jan 22, 2007 12:31 pm

I smoke and I don't smoke around my equipment and I have inexpensive stuff. The biggest problem is that smoke is kinda sticky and therfore dust settles on it creating a sticky mess. Yes it will harm gear.

Ne'er ate 'er
Member
Since: Apr 05, 2006


Jan 22, 2007 12:45 pm

Hard drives are not airtight, and smoke can get inside there and interfere with the read/write heads. I'm hopeless, and I've smoked around my equipment for years and haven't had any problems, but I admit I'm taking a risk.

Cone Poker
Member
Since: Apr 07, 2002


Jan 22, 2007 01:31 pm

Very rarely does my stuff get smoke around it. When that does happen its just because I've brought it to someones house to record a practice and everyone is smoking in the house That's maybe once every two years though. I don't even allow smoking in my house though. I go outside, and require everyone else to go outside.

Eat Spam before it eats YOU!!!
Member
Since: May 11, 2002


Jan 22, 2007 11:13 pm

smoke soot contains some rather huge carbon molecules which in some configurations are 10x stronger than steel... not something you want covering your 'gold splattered diaphram.'

Chief Cook and Bottle Washer
Member
Since: May 10, 2002


Jan 23, 2007 12:38 am

Oh Yea! Great stuff for equipment. That same yellow-brown residue on the inside of your windshild is busy coating your electronics; Especially connection points (xlr, tr, trs) and controls (rotary and slide). Oh yea, simple toggle switches too. Turns volume knobs into mega-fuzz machines, connectors into un-connectors... oh yea great for cooling fans too!

Yes-er-ree-dee-bob! Enough smoke can turn almost any piece of audio gear into a random noise generator!


...bringing sexy back
Member
Since: Jul 01, 2002


Jan 23, 2007 08:02 am

random noise generator? cool!

Administrator
Since: Apr 03, 2002


Jan 23, 2007 08:02 am

then smoke up!

Ne'er ate 'er
Member
Since: Apr 05, 2006


Jan 23, 2007 11:20 am

Got a light?

I remember taking my drums into a recording studio once for a week-long session, and the guy made me tear down the drums every day and take them out of his house, because they had sat saturating in bar smoke for so many years , and stank to high heaven.

Now they've even outlawed smoking in bars where I live. I don't go to bars anymore, but there's something not right about that...

Cone Poker
Member
Since: Apr 07, 2002


Jan 23, 2007 12:17 pm

yeah thats the next step on their agenda here. The got rid of smoking in resturants... which okey i ca deal with, even though there were smoking sections whatever.... but no smoking in bars? To quote eddy izzard soon there will be no drinking, no talking, and no fun allowed in bars either

Ne'er ate 'er
Member
Since: Apr 05, 2006


Jan 23, 2007 01:19 pm

What's even more ludicrous is that here in Colorado, smoking is illegal in all public buildings except...wait for it...casinos.

Ehhh, lobbyists, maybe?


bace135 in the house tonight!
Member
Since: Jan 28, 2003


Jan 23, 2007 02:28 pm

Dude, I love the fact that I can go into bars and not be inundated with smoke (it's illegal to smoke in bars here in CA). I hate cigarrette smoke!

Administrator
Since: Apr 03, 2002


Jan 23, 2007 02:51 pm

Yeah, I'm with coolo on that...nasty f-in cig smoke sucks, I HATE coming home from the bar stinkin like some idiots cigarettes...

Czar of Turd Polish
Member
Since: Jun 20, 2006


Jan 23, 2007 04:24 pm

I smoke, not in my house though. And am in total agreement with bars not allowing it inside. Anchorage is going smoke free this spring for the bars (eating establishments did last summer). My wife could have watched some of my shows while she was pregnant if there would have been no smoking.

I also understand that while customers have a choice to go in the bar, the waitstaff does not and are forced to smoke 100's of people's cigarettes for 8 hours or more each night.

Cone Poker
Member
Since: Apr 07, 2002


Jan 23, 2007 04:30 pm

they have the option of not working in a place that is known for being smoking. Come on... it's a bar.. It's not exactly a health club to begin with.

I am not a crook's head
Member
Since: Mar 14, 2003


Jan 23, 2007 04:32 pm

Yes. Up with lungs! Down with livers!

Czar of Turd Polish
Member
Since: Jun 20, 2006


Jan 23, 2007 04:38 pm

Hehe, yes they have a choice.

But let's say, my wife for example. Takes care of the baby during the day while I work. So that leaves her looking for evening work (no daycare for us, I don't need someone to raise my kid). So she could work at a 24hr MCD's, nightstocking, get a paper route, or work at a bar/resturant and make loads of money in tips.

Yes, there are options, just not good options. Basically, if you can't work during the day you are required to work a turd job for little money or required to smoke and make good money. Just don't seem fair to me. And that's coming from a smoker.

Administrator
Since: Apr 03, 2002


Jan 23, 2007 04:40 pm

Quote:
they have the option of not working in a place that is known for being smoking. Come on... it's a bar.. It's not exactly a health club to begin with.


Yes, and there are bars I won't go to bacause they have shitty ventilating systems. Just cuz it's "not a health club" doesn't mean I want to smell somebody else's nasty ****** smoky crap...or have my hair, clothes and everything stink.

It's an ungodly unattractive, nasty stinky stink.

Czar of Turd Polish
Member
Since: Jun 20, 2006


Jan 23, 2007 04:45 pm

At least it makes me look cool........

Ne'er ate 'er
Member
Since: Apr 05, 2006


Jan 23, 2007 04:47 pm

Quote:
It's an ungodly unattractive, nasty stinky stink.


Not any worse than breath after the 14th boilermaker.

Czar of Turd Polish
Member
Since: Jun 20, 2006


Jan 23, 2007 04:51 pm

True... When anyone around me is drinking and I have not been, that is not a nice smell as I have quite a large nose.

So basically we can boil it down to this...

If it makes you feel good, it's going to stink!! :)

Administrator
Since: Apr 03, 2002


Jan 23, 2007 04:51 pm

Quote:
Not any worse than breath after the 14th boilermaker.


Well, that's a whole 'nother subject, though I see what you are going for, you are wrong, yes, a ash tray breath IS worse...

Quote:
At least it makes me look cool........


Yeah, nothing is sexier or cooler than smoking billowing from your face, I agree!

Ne'er ate 'er
Member
Since: Apr 05, 2006


Jan 23, 2007 04:57 pm

Quote:
a ash tray breath IS worse...


Never had a taste for ashtrays. They get caught in my throat.

Czar of Turd Polish
Member
Since: Jun 20, 2006


Jan 23, 2007 05:03 pm

I guess we will have to agree to disagree.

Unless it's hennagins, the no smell no tell liquor!!

www.TheLondonProject.ca
Member
Since: Feb 07, 2005


Jan 23, 2007 05:05 pm

You know, Vancouver has had this bylaw in effect for so long now but it has evolved back into designated smoking areas. These areas are inspected for adequate ventilation by WCB (Worker's Compensation Board). Personally, I don't care if I can smoke at a bar or restaurant. I'm fine with going outside except for sometimes it gets pretty cold around here. They are even talking about banning it in parks. Now this I have a problem with as not all "smoking" is full of toxic stuff (IYKWIM). To ban a certain type of smoking puts a serious damper on my outdoor "adventures".
BTW - smoking is banned in our house. I absolutely hate what it does to the walls etc. The garage is the only place we smoke inside (if you can call it that).

Cone Poker
Member
Since: Apr 07, 2002


Jan 23, 2007 05:30 pm

[quote]Quote:
they have the option of not working in a place that is known for being smoking. Come on... it's a bar.. It's not exactly a health club to begin with.

Yes, and there are bars I won't go to bacause they have shitty ventilating systems. Just cuz it's "not a health club" doesn't mean I want to smell somebody else's nasty ****** smoky crap...or have my hair, clothes and everything stink.

It's an ungodly unattractive, nasty stinky stink.[/quote]

There ya go, you're acting reasonably and making the choice not to go there. That's all that should be needed y aknow? There are many many places that you can go to get a drink or 20 that do not allow smoking (assuming that your town doesn't allow smoking in resurants). Most resturants have a bar. I mean I have no problems with banning smoking for school campuses, resturant, shopping centers, public parks (ok well few problems...) but what they are trying to do it make it illegal everywhere but your home. It's like the whole censoring the tv and radio and internet debate. It's not that hard to change the channel if yo u don't like what you're seeing/hearing. Same thing is it's not so hard to just walk out of a bar if it is too smoky for your liking and find someplace with less smoke.


That said, i do believe if you're going to be a smoker be courteous. Don't blow smoke in peoples directions, don't smoke while in line for a movie, stuff like that. That seems to be the problem, most people (smokers and not) just don't care about anyone but themselves.

Cone Poker
Member
Since: Apr 07, 2002


Jan 23, 2007 05:32 pm

[quote]
You know, Vancouver has had this bylaw in effect for so long now but it has evolved back into designated smoking areas. These areas are inspected for adequate ventilation by WCB (Worker's Compensation Board). Personally, I don't care if I can smoke at a bar or restaurant. I'm fine with going outside except for sometimes it gets pretty cold around here. They are even talking about banning it in parks. Now this I have a problem with as not all "smoking" is full of toxic stuff (IYKWIM). To ban a certain type of smoking puts a serious damper on my outdoor "adventures".
BTW - smoking is banned in our house. I absolutely hate what it does to the walls etc. The garage is the only place we smoke inside (if you can call it that).[/quote]

yeah that public park no smoking thing kind of bothers me, ya know? I enjoy spending a day at a park as much as the next guy... and I think i should eb able to smoke if I want to, seeing as how it's outside so you couldn't ask for better ventilation...

Administrator
Since: Apr 03, 2002


Jan 23, 2007 05:34 pm

Here is the deal with parks and public places in my eyes...most smokers I know (which admittedly may not represent the whole) have no problem flicking their friggin butts any damn place they see fit, which to me is as nasty as dog owners letting their dogs **** anywhere and leaving it.

Few things piss me off more than having a cig butt fly out a window into my car, or walking along a park path with my kids to see cig butts lying all over the place. It's just nasty.

Cone Poker
Member
Since: Apr 07, 2002


Jan 23, 2007 05:49 pm

I agree dB... that goes back to people just being selfish.

www.TheLondonProject.ca
Member
Since: Feb 07, 2005


Jan 23, 2007 06:07 pm

totally agree but why did they stop putting ashtrays in vehicles?

Also, its not just cigs out the window or on the park path it is trash of all kinds. Littering is illegal, we already have a law for that. No need for a smoking ban in a park, just enforce the litter law.

Pinnipedal Czar (: 3=
Member
Since: Apr 11, 2004


Jan 23, 2007 06:51 pm

Mmmmmmm... smoke .

I thought my mixer had payed the price for my smoking in the studio when the left mains quit outputing... turned out to be a sterio Hosa cable dumping it's left . I'd love to quit, I simply have no will-power when it comes to it . I've quit some pretty nasty habits as of late, but know where I stand with this one, unfortunately . I think I might be able to stop smoking in the studio if I had a bunch of high-end gear in my studio... which is (not)funny, 'cause if I stopped smoking, I might afford myself a bit of high end gear .

I know... it's stupid... I suck .

String bender
Member
Since: Unknown


Jan 23, 2007 07:39 pm

Well I quit about 5 months ago but I never smoked in my house or around my equipment. When I wanted a smoke I went out to the garage or the front steps. Even as a smoker I hated the smell. I know I feel much better for not being around it so your gear has to feel the same! ;)

Eat Spam before it eats YOU!!!
Member
Since: May 11, 2002


Jan 23, 2007 07:55 pm

I just don't want my state income tax to go up to make up the difference for lost vanity taxs... :)

Cone Poker
Member
Since: Apr 07, 2002


Jan 23, 2007 07:56 pm

i was recording a band live one night a few years ago, and the singer was smoking as he sung, and he blew the smoke directly into the mic before singing. I about kicked his *** right there.

Czar of Midi
Administrator
Since: Apr 04, 2002


Jan 23, 2007 10:06 pm

I'm a smoker, not heavy anymore but still enjoy a beer and a butt. There has been a no smoking rule in our houses ever since the kids were born. Just not cool in my book. It is a very rare occasion when I have even lit a cig with the kid's in the car. I got me one of those stinkless enclosed little ash tray thingy's for use during camping and what not. Keep it with me pretty much all the time as I'm with dB on the tossing butt's anywhere thing. I have been known to verbally abuse those I see do it as I am a bit of a tree hugger when it comes to pollution and our environment.

AS for the ashtray breath, I buy the strongest gum that I can find and will always have me some before entering someones house after I smoke. I as well wash my jacket every two weeks wither it need it or not as I don't care for the stink of it if I have been smoking to and from work in the car during winter time. I don't like to offend others with my stinky little habit, although I have smoked around dB in the bar, I usually try and keep the little smoldering stench stick as far away as possible. Like fanning it near some lady's fur coat. Well she was smoking anyway so I just figured....

Cone Poker
Member
Since: Apr 07, 2002


Jan 24, 2007 01:23 am

Noize - while the fur coat thing is funny... i got you beat.

A couple years ago I was camping out with a large (read several hundred) group of people for the midevil combat thing I do. We had a weekend long war going on. And about 70 of us made a bonfire and were hanging out around it drinking and having a good time. I was smoking a pipe a friend lent me then, and I was well into my 10th beer so I was very drunk. There was this guy next to me who had been annoying me all weekend, and now he was asleep with his mouth open snoring loudly. Well, I needed to do something with the tobacco in the pipe, now that I had finished, and didn't want to just dump it on the ground. Luckily for me, annoying guy was sleeping snoring with his mouth open. I just reach over, tap the back of the pipe, and empty it into his mouth. He coughed for a minute, and kept on sleeping. I thought it was hilarious and that he deserved it for the comment he made earlier that weekend to my then girlfriend.

Administrator
Since: Apr 03, 2002


Jan 24, 2007 05:49 am

The drag of it is, even though Noize often puts his arm behind him to keep the smoke away from our table, there is somebody else putting their arm behind them to keep the smoke from their table, but putting it straight to ours...it's a vicious circle.

Member
Since: Aug 13, 2005


Jan 24, 2007 02:42 pm

The pickups&vol/tone knobs on my strat are deep yellow with years of soaking up the nicotine.I agree with having smoking area's with extractors,what I don't agree with is a total ban being forced on us and certain freedoms disappearing.A bloke at work got a £50 fine for chucking a butt out of the car window cause he was caught 'on camera'.Yet bus stops are piled up with them,wont be for long though,cameras are popping up everywhere.

The Eternal Student
Member
Since: Oct 08, 2005


Jan 24, 2007 03:00 pm

i'm not a fan of cigarette smoke...

but cigars...

lol... i just love those things... haven't had one in over a year though... =/

guess I don't love them that much?

Administrator
Since: Apr 03, 2002


Jan 24, 2007 03:11 pm

Yeah, I dig a good cigar now and then meself.

Eat Spam before it eats YOU!!!
Member
Since: May 11, 2002


Jan 24, 2007 04:12 pm

maybe I'm weird...but I DO like the smell of smoke... preferbly cigars but I like cig smoke smell too... however I don't smoke... I never liked paying for it... so I'm just a secondhand smoker...

patron saint of quality footwear
Member
Since: May 30, 2002


Jan 24, 2007 05:10 pm

Hujambo, I wouldn't worry too much about the cameras.

Just be sure to keep a nice thick cloud of smoke around you at all times.

Member
Since: Jan 18, 2003


Jan 24, 2007 09:08 pm

i smoke around my triton and my computer and my pod and my mixer, etc. no problems yet. i've been doing this for five months. i never really thought about it. i keep the keyboard covered with a blanket. maybe i'll cover the external drive, too. when i look inside my computer, it doesn't look dusty, though.

are there any real life stories about smoke damage with members of this board? like a hard drive failing or something?

Administrator
Since: Apr 03, 2002


Jan 24, 2007 09:14 pm

Hey, Noize, dare I tell the story of "the smoking family" and the 2 or 3 PC's they brought to me to get fixed when I was teching?

Dude, smoking is bad for electronics, seriously...

Not to mention smoking is bad for you, more importantly...

Czar of Midi
Administrator
Since: Apr 04, 2002


Jan 24, 2007 10:14 pm

dB, that is gagging me just thinking about it. That and the twin reverb and Strat I brought to have sold for a lady, a little before you started working there. They were so smoked up and greasy it felt like they had sat next to a deep fryer in some old greasy spoon for years.

But hell ya, tell the story. It might help someone who still smokes near their gear to see exactly how crudy things can get.

Member
Since: Jan 18, 2003


Jan 25, 2007 03:18 am

yeah please tell the story.

i know smoking is bad for me. i hope i can quit soon. i tried last month and didnt get very far. i need to quit.

let's hear the story.

Administrator
Since: Apr 03, 2002


Jan 25, 2007 05:47 am

I was a computer tech in a local store when this family brought in two or three PC's to have them fixed and/or perhaps sell them to the store. The "off-white cases" were yellowing and the manager and I kinda smelled the smoke on them. The manager told me to fire a couple up and see what the are, as they were not very old. I hit the power button on one and instantly the entire room reeked of cigarettes when the fan kicked in. It was nasty.

Then I heard the CD Rom spinning into action, so I popped it open to see if they left a CD in it...nope, no CD, but there was tobacco around the edge of the CD tray.

So I shut it down after pulling the systems specs off the post screen to open the system up.

That is when it got nasty...

Everything in there was covered with a sticky, dirty coating of crap from smoke. You could literally feel it, and scrape it up with your fingernail.

Bear in mind these computers were maybe two years old and were very well ventilated. One actually had a hole cut in the top of the case which had a shanty-like stove pipe chimney sticking up from it with a massive fan.

This is the condensed version, but it was one of the nastiest experiences of my teching career. Outdone only by the fat, sore-ridden red headed lady with the fat, constantly out of breath mom that brought their PC in to be fixed cuz it wasn't big enough to run every instant messenger available on the net.

Member
Since: Aug 13, 2005


Jan 25, 2007 11:33 am

Yuk!Sticky gunge.lol.Its amazing how much hair gets drawn into fan filters.There was a fire in the London underground due to hair building up.No wonder there's so many baldies.

Ne'er ate 'er
Member
Since: Apr 05, 2006


Jan 25, 2007 11:40 am

Those former clients of dB's must smoke a hell of a lot more than I do, and exhale directly into the fans! I open up the cases on both my PCs about every six months or so and vacuum them out. I find nothing like that, other than some dust around the fans and on the mainboard, but I live by a river in a dusty neighborhood anyway.

Administrator
Since: Apr 03, 2002


Jan 25, 2007 11:43 am

Oh, I will say that's true, they had to have 4 people in the room at all times lighting one cigarette with the previous...cuz it was INSANE...

Member
Since: Jan 18, 2003


Jan 25, 2007 06:33 pm

wow. hope mine aren't too bad. thanks for the story.

Member
Since: Sep 14, 2009


Sep 14, 2009 12:13 pm

Greetings,

I have a simple but perhaps old and somewhat tired question. I have a large attic/small barn size room in which I am setting up a new studio - one room - very DIY project studio and I do keep this space VERY CLEAN with air cleaners, the best vacuum w/ filter and weekly inspection of dust build up if there is any - I take care of it right away.

I do smoke near (never on top of or even really close - but I know smoke goes everywhere) my gear which now includes vintage pieces, analog tape echos, reel to reels as well as my mixing console, computer, etc. I only smoke about once per day if even and sometimes there are months of no smoking and I sit in a 'lounge' area of the room with most of the smoke going straight out the windows as there is much of a breaze or straight into a very high quality air cleaner. I am not smoking nicotine though I am open to the fact that IT IS SMOKE. (hint - looking for advice on the difference if any of tar build up in nicotine vs. other smoke including incense). I like to work while burning incense which again burns near a window and usually is drawn out but does leave some smoke and scent (incense is mostly more of an issue here tbh as I love to work with it but can switch to other methods of natural and uplifting aroma via essential oils).

After 5 years or so I notice a TINY bit of yellowish haze on my computer and some scratchy faders in an old roland digital recorder (more from dust perhaps as I had this from an early age in which I didnt cover it and actually smoked very near it). I keep all equipment covered when not in use. I NEVER allow smoking from others in my studio and never has my equipment been exposed to one nicotine cigarette.

I am wondering if this behaviour could be as bad as what the above posts suggest - I would agree that a complete no smoke studio would be best but this is how I have worked in my studio for many years - just very curious to hear input as I set up a new space.

Thank You very much for any advice,
A.

Yes, I sip some wine while I record as well but never in the recording area - always off to the side - no drinks in the lab area ;)


Czar of Midi
Administrator
Since: Apr 04, 2002


Sep 14, 2009 03:43 pm

The vintage gear and tape machines are what I would be most worried about. I know many of us smoked around our gear years ago, I have not now for nearly 20 years.

And yes, most any smoke that can leave a residue will have an ill effect after some time. That amount of time is open for debate though depending on the ventilation and so on.

http://www.reverbnation.com/2ndg
Member
Since: Nov 27, 2007


Sep 14, 2009 09:18 pm

well, ive always been a non smoker and if someone has smoked near/or then used a microphone after they have had a ciggie i can smell it before i even get near it.

obviously that smelly **** gets stuck on things and stays there.
Hence if you walk into someones house that smokes in it, you can tell straight away. also it makes the walls change colour after a while.

bad **** it is.

http://www.unitedmusicians.info
Contributor
Since: Nov 11, 2007


Sep 17, 2009 10:25 am

@ Studiovino: If you can see smoke in the air...it will settle on your equipment. Exhale through a blanket...hah

I definitely know what dB is talking about. I fixed a guys computer once that was overheating because tar had accumulated on the processor fan enough to keep the dang thing from spinning. Not to mention the airflow vents on the front were completely obstructed. I remember thinking the guy must have had the computer on a desk blowing smoke right through the damn thing.

I used to smoke cigarettes...and even after a very short 4 months of smoking around my old computer, I started to see the tell-tale brown residue on my power supply and cooling fan blades.

Just go outside if you smoke cigs...I think that's best.

Formally Hydrial69
Member
Since: May 06, 2009


Sep 21, 2009 01:28 pm

ya i have never smoked near my gear, even when i directly knew it was not good, it just seems like it would be bad for it lol

yea, just always went outside to smoke during studio time

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