As you have probably seen in many studios, a lot of microphones are hung upside down. What is with this weird phenomenon? Is there a recording advantage? Why hang a condenser mic upside down in the first place?
The answer is “better performance first… then preference“.
When your microphone is upside down, it obviously means that it’s hanging some how.
This also means that there is limited low frequency noise that comes from actions such as accidentally bumping the microphone stand, touching the mic stand, and more adjustments.
Funny enough, it doesn’t really matter which direction your microphone is facing when you are recording audio. As long as the actual microphone is not backwards (per your microphones manual) then you are good to go.
At the end of the day, what matters to the end user of your product (the listener) is a clean, consistent sound.
Whats more interesting is that there are many different directions/positions that people configure their microphones in while they are recording … like sideways, upside down, diagonally, etc
I personally love it when condenser microphones are faced upside down and hanging above me. This allows me to easily adjust the microphone to the height I want it by easily pulling it down or pulling it up.
The first downside to this approach is that if you are tall, you might be too tall for this configuration.
The second downside is that if you are recording yourself, like for a YouTube video or screen cast, the microphone being upside down will block your face. Your viewers won’t be able to clearly see you at all. Just the boom arm.
When it comes to the upside down configuration, just make sure it makes sense for your application. I find this to be the most convenient when its simply just for recording vocals. Other uses of this method may be uncomfortable or undesired.
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In some instances, having your microphone sideways is a win as well. Maybe you are recording a YouTube video and you would like your microphone in the shot but not blocking your eyes or forehead. The sideways configuration is your best bet.
I also found that its easy to get the microphone levels sounding great too because I can adjust it to be more near my mouth.
The sideways position is also ideal if you are sitting down. This is great for the youtube example above or if you are playing guitar while you are recording your voice. You will need to have room for the guitar and the sideways configuration solves this problem.
Going diagonal is similar to the sideways configuration. This one is purely based on what feels right and what makes sense.
Maybe you have a configuration where you have a desk microphone stand and it cant go higher but the extended boom part. Extending it diagonally give you the best of both worlds – a little bit of side action versus the traditional way of right side up.
Again, this is all based on over all feel and specific application. Will recording with a diagonal set up, hurt or help my recording? Thats the question you have to ask yourself.
So… Why Hang A Condenser Mic Upside Down?
Performance first then preference.
From a performance perspective, hanging your microphone upside down can prevent low frequency noise from touching or bumping into mic stands, adjustments, or accidentally kicking a mic stand.
From a preference perspective, many artists love it when the microphone is hung upside down because it provides the most fluid comfort. Others like it because it makes logical sense to them.
At the end of the day, you should do what makes sense to you and what will give you the most accurate and best sounding recording.
Always remember that above all, your microphone manual will determine what the best recording position is. What ever your microphone allows is what you should follow.
If it’s clear that recording upside down wont cause any problems, per your microphone’s manual, then you are good to go!
Hopefully we have answered the question “Why Hang A Condenser Mic Upside Down?”
Let us know what direction or position you like to record in!