Thursday, October 30, 2008

Guitar and Vocal Humidification

Oh yes! Winter is fast approaching and the humidity in the air is already doing a nose-dive. Low humidity,(below 40%), can wreak havoc on your instruments causing soundboards to crack and strings to go quickly out of tune. There is another instrument that we all own but often take for granted. That is our voice. Nose, ear and throat specialists have identified a condition known as Environmental Laryngitis. The symptoms of EL are: nasal and chest congestion, cough, watery eyes and constant throat clearing which often leads to the loss of your voice. Dry air can also leave mucus membranes in the nose and throat unable to defend themselves against airborne germs and pathogens. This need not happen if you use both an air cleaner and humidifier in your studio.

If you have a large studio area and don't want to have to refill humidifier tanks daily, we recommend the AIR-O-SWISS 2071 Combi-Unit. It is both a humidifier and air cleaner combined. This professional quality unit has two HEPA and one active carbon filter plus two water tanks for carefree operation. We have used this in the larger area rooms and found an almost instant improvement in air quality and humidity. The active carbon filter eliminates odors instantly. The HEPA filter traps the smallest micron sized particles such as dust, dander, dust mites and pollen. It has three settings and offers silent operation on low which makes it perfect for use in your recording studio. Silence is golden! Photo right: AOS 2071 Air Cleaner & Humidifier Combined.

What about a small studio or bedroom? AIR-O-SWISS has solutions for adding humidity to these areas as well. For smaller studio spaces up to 860 sq feet, the AOS 7142 Digital Warm & Cool Mist Ultrasonic humidifier is perfect. This unit offers everything. A mineral cartridge which eliminates the "white dust" often found with other humidifiers. An ion silver stick which keeps the water in the unit clean and bacteria free. A warm mist setting which heats the mist exiting the humidifier to a comfy 104 degrees. This means it will not lower the ambient temperature of the room. It is recommended that you keep your instruments between 40-45% humidity. The AOS 7142 has a digital hydrometer and shuts off when the selected humidity level is reached. With a unit like this, you can have your instruments out on their stands and they will stay in tune longer because the room itself is properly humidified. Good for you AND your instruments! Photo right: AOS 7142 Ultrasonic Humidifier
If you have a smaller bedroom or area of up to 650 sq feet, the AOS 7144D can handle it. This is perfect for vocalists especially who may need a smaller unit in different work areas but still want many of the same features offered by the AOS 7142. Therefore AIR-O-SWISS has a model of humidifier / air cleaner for every space need. Since using them, I have recovered more comfortably from colds and hoarseness. In fact last year, despite a terrible upper respiratory infection, I did not lose my singing voice. That was a first for me. After using the AOS 2071 Air Cleaner & Humidifier combination unit, my breathing is completely clear and I no longer suffer from congestion, coughing and constant throat clearing which was causing my vocals to be strained. These are the best solutions I've found to Environmental and cold related Laryngitis. If you value your musical instruments and your voice, take a hard look at your home and studio's air quality and humidity. You'll never know how good you could sound unless you address these important environmental factors. Photo left: AOS 7144D Ultrasonic Humidifier
Visit the AIR-O-SWISS banner ads to your left or online at:

Just in Case....
Obviously you can't take your pollen free, perfectly humidified air with you on the road! You'll need another solution to keeping the humidity at just the right level inside the guitar case. Planet Waves makes perhaps the neatest solution to in case humidification that I've seen so far. Simple, easy to use, it is their Acoustic Guitar Humidifier. Wet the little sponge. Slip it back in the holder. Place unit between the strings down into the sound hole. Close the lid. That's it! Depending on the ambient or surrounding humidity, it will keep your guitar humidified for about 4 days. It is great for trips and gigs out of town where you can not be sure of the surrounding mositure levels. Planet Waves does it again! I keep one in both my acoutsic guitar cases and found that when I take them out to play, they are not way out of tune. A couple of minor tuning tweaks and I'm playing! Photo left: Planet Waves Acoustic Guitar Humidifier.
In the Works: "Makin' a list, checkin' it twice..." It's that time of year again! Yes, we are making our final selections for our list of 2009's Best Guitar Accessories! Wait till you see what we've found for you, just in time for the Holidays. Gift giving time is almost here so check our review first. Right now you can check out 2009's Top Gifts for Audiophiles over at the Best Picks BLOG by clicking here:

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