Scary Truths, Clean Microphones
If some questions are better left unanswered, the music industry has at least one company that never got the memo. Mic Check, known for its maximum-strength freshness wipes for microphones, has devoted an entire marketing campaign to one disturbing prospect: “Where has that microphone been before you used it?” In a series of graphic but hilarious web videos, Mic Check dwells in disgusting detail on germs, gunk, bad breath, and horrors even more unmentionable. What kind of company would subject its customers to that sort of thing? Seemingly, a company that knows how to make it all go away.
First sold in 2011, Mic Check was invented by Reed Tyack, who describes himself as “a lone musician in search of freshness.” He recalls, “After repeatedly using sneeze-infested, beer-drenched, bad-breath-stinky, all-around-filthy microphones, I dreamed of a way to put all of those problems in check.” In Mic Check, Tyack developed the only single-pack microphone cleaner formulated to clean, deodorize, and disinfect without damaging the microphone. Its thick, oversized wipes are made to cut through grime, while a concentration of 70% ethyl alcohol kills 99.9% of all germs. As far as cigarette odor and bad breath are concerned, doses of ethyl alcohol and mint combine to “kick the funk,” as Mic Check puts it. Its individually sealed packets are made to be slipped into pockets or thrown into gig bags for whenever they’re needed.
After just under two years on the market, Mic Check is now being sold throughout North America and Europe, with distribution also established in the Philippines. Currently, the company is looking at new ingredients to add to the Mic Check mix, with plans to introduce a new and improved formula next year. “We have a unique product that no one else has out there, which is our biggest advantage,” says Tyack. If there’s a disadvantage, he adds, it’s that not everyone spends time thinking about microphone hygiene and how to address it. “We are using educational marketing to help them understand the need,” he says—and that’s where the videos come in.
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