recording mic upside down
theblotted
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#1
15th June 2006
Old 15th June 2006
  #1
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Thread Starter
recording mic upside down

i've always wondered why ppl put the mic upside down for recording, esp vocal mic's?

if it's about reducing reflection echoes bouncing from mic to body and back; i'm under the impression that sound travels up, so wouldn't it make more sense to keep the mic upright?

or is it that singers would psychologically want to sing up to aim the mic higher, thereby opening up the throat for clearer, better vox? couldn't that be cured by raising the upright mic a little higher?

is there other reasons for this?
#2
15th June 2006
Old 15th June 2006
  #2
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Tube mic's are hung upside down cause heat rises!

Heat away from capsule
#3
15th June 2006
Old 15th June 2006
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picksail's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Polyphony
Tube mic's are hung upside down cause heat rises!

Heat away from capsule
You also, get more guttural emphasis when flipping the mic upside-down.

Works well for less 'masculine' vocalists as well as those feeling a bit more "vaginal" on tracking days.
#4
15th June 2006
Old 15th June 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by picksail
You also, get more guttural emphasis when flipping the mic upside-down.

Works well for less 'masculine' vocalists as well as those feeling a bit more "vaginal" on tracking days.


#5
15th June 2006
Old 15th June 2006
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Steve G's Avatar
I assisted Glyn John on a record a few years back, and he insisted that every mic be hung right side up (capsule on top). I never got any more explanation other than that's the way he likes it. Just food for thought.

Steve
#6
15th June 2006
Old 15th June 2006
  #6
Gear nut
 

In many cases it's just easier to position it if it's upside-down, particularly on vocals and voice-over work. Depends on the mic, the stand, is the talent sitting or standing, tall or short, P-popper, etc...in a lot of the VO stuff we do, we don't use a pop filter because it distracts the talent and we tend to get a cleaner sound without it (the difference is marginal, but there, especially in audiobooks.) So positioning becomes quite important.

Other than that, it's probably just because it "looks cool."

-Zen
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#7
15th June 2006
Old 15th June 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Polyphony
Tube mic's are hung upside down cause heat rises!

Heat away from capsule
Actually... you want the heat to rise past the capsule. Keeps moisture in your breath off of the capsule, so it won't short out when you breathe on it heavily.

I've seen it happen a couple of times. Big breath on the capsule, and it shorts out. The mic will stop working for about 5 minutes. After that, the condensation evaporates, and the mic starts working again. With heat rising past the capsule, condensation won't build up.
#8
15th June 2006
Old 15th June 2006
  #8
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rlnyc's Avatar
 

i think it was originally because the main studios were large spaces to record orchestras and owned huge boom stands, so the mics were hung upside down to prevent the boom from getting in the way of the singer and cause that's the way it was done. the little pole stands that we use nowadays didn't really exist then. get it? all that crap about heat came later, because humans need to develop meaning and reasoning for the inane things they do.


best,
rlnyc
#9
15th June 2006
Old 15th June 2006
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thumper
Actually... you want the heat to rise past the capsule. Keeps moisture in your breath off of the capsule, so it won't short out when you breathe on it heavily.

I've seen it happen a couple of times. Big breath on the capsule, and it shorts out. The mic will stop working for about 5 minutes. After that, the condensation evaporates, and the mic starts working again. With heat rising past the capsule, condensation won't build up.

I find that happens with Fet47 all the time....it's crazy I always bring an extra one....for a quick switch
#10
15th June 2006
Old 15th June 2006
  #10
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thanks thumper....

nobody believes me when i say that......
#11
15th June 2006
Old 15th June 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Polyphony
I find that happens with Fet47 all the time....it's crazy I always bring an extra one....for a quick switch

Yeah, seems fet 47s are pretty suseptable to this.
theblotted
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#12
15th June 2006
Old 15th June 2006
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Thread Starter
so the verdict is to keep it right side up then? i would imagine that same big breath and plosive applies to voice over as well.

unless of course, if recording involves orchestra or recording that's further than a few feet away.

i'm not sure why upside down is easier to position.. if you have a good boom that's solid and easy to manipulate, but doesn't slip; right side up is what's preferred right?
#13
15th June 2006
Old 15th June 2006
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picksail's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by theblotted
so the verdict is to keep it right side up then? i would imagine that same big breath and plosive applies to voice over as well.

unless of course, if recording involves orchestra or recording that's further than a few feet away.

i'm not sure why upside down is easier to position.. if you have a good boom that's solid and easy to manipulate, but doesn't slip; right side up is what's preferred right?
As expressed previously, both yield sonic variations.
#14
15th June 2006
Old 15th June 2006
  #14
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I hang them whichever way, never had any problems with heat or condensation. Of course I don't have 50 year old floppy diaphragm mics....

Usually they are upside down more often.

Reasons are as you mentioned, the singer often likes to reach up a little to get a clearer tone. Some singers I've worked with just hate having a big chunk of metal right in front of their face while singing. Getting the mic above and out of the way, with no stand to trip over, gives them room to wave their arms and sing more into the air.

And -- try putting your hand right in front of your mouth while saying "people". Does the "pop" hit in the center, or at the bottom edge? Mics above can avoid some of the plosive noises this way.

Steve
#15
8th January 2011
Old 8th January 2011
  #15
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Crybaby's Avatar
 

Resurrection

Since we treat the ceiling, not the floor and that the top of the mic picks up alot of sound, wouldn't it make more sense to orient the top towards the treated surface?
#16
8th January 2011
Old 8th January 2011
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SynthLine09's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crybaby View Post
Since we treat the ceiling, not the floor and that the top of the mic picks up alot of sound, wouldn't it make more sense to orient the top towards the treated surface?
I suppose it could. Try both and see which sounds better!
#17
8th January 2011
Old 8th January 2011
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Sigma's Avatar
 

is a cardiod mic "omni" when hung down a foot off the ceiling ...
#18
8th January 2011
Old 8th January 2011
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigma View Post
is a cardiod mic "omni" when hung down a foot off the ceiling ...
I am not sure I understand this ... a cardioid mic picks up alot of sound from the top, no need to be omni.
#19
8th January 2011
Old 8th January 2011
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crybaby View Post
I am not sure I understand this ... a cardioid mic picks up alot of sound from the top, no need to be omni.
#20
8th January 2011
Old 8th January 2011
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In the old daze singers were generally looking at lead sheets or lyric sheets that were on a music stand in front of them. They didn't want a microphone or stand sitting directly in front of what they were trying to read.
#21
8th January 2011
Old 8th January 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studio825 View Post
Like omnipresent or what?
#22
8th January 2011
Old 8th January 2011
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Sigma's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
In the old daze singers were generally looking at lead sheets or lyric sheets that were on a music stand in front of them. They didn't want a microphone or stand sitting directly in front of what they were trying to read.
That's the only reason i switched up..thumbsup
#23
8th January 2011
Old 8th January 2011
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doug hazelrigg's Avatar
I do not mean to insult anybody else in this thread... but it's always great here at GS when a couple "old pro's" come along and set the record straight
#24
8th January 2011
Old 8th January 2011
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I always hang vocal mics due to the visibility offered by the mic and clip being above. Most singers are reading something on a music stand.






Bryant - Hames Music
#25
8th January 2011
Old 8th January 2011
  #25
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Crybaby's Avatar
 

I know about functionality but what about acoustic?
#26
8th January 2011
Old 8th January 2011
  #26
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Another thing to consider is the dust.
The capsule is a bit more protected if the mic is mounted upside down.
#27
8th January 2011
Old 8th January 2011
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Sigma's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crybaby View Post
I know about functionality but what about acoustic?
there is no difference..

the mic diaphragm, it's angle to the singer and the distance from the singer is the only issue

that's what bob was alluding to..there is no meaningful "top or bottom" to a diaphragm
#28
8th January 2011
Old 8th January 2011
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Historically, it's an anachronism of dialogue recording in the early film industry (circa 1920s). Pre-WWII, most audio electronics and accessories were initially designed for the film industry, not the record business. Thus, by the time recording artists were tracking vocals, soundstages and recording studios had already been hanging mics, capsule down, for several years. Further, booms and stands, designed precisely for this purpose, were already prevalent.
#29
8th January 2011
Old 8th January 2011
  #29
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superburtm's Avatar
 

+1 this

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
In the old daze singers were generally looking at lead sheets or lyric sheets that were on a music stand in front of them. They didn't want a microphone or stand sitting directly in front of what they were trying to read.
#30
8th January 2011
Old 8th January 2011
  #30
Gear Head
 
Crybaby's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigma View Post
there is no difference..

the mic diaphragm, it's angle to the singer and the distance from the singer is the only issue

that's what bob was alluding to..there is no meaningful "top or bottom" to a diaphragm
But the headbasket is open on top, not at the bottom.
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