Have you ever seen someone performing or singing to a microphone that is hung upside down and wondered, is that right? In this article we’ll take a look at some of the benefits and reasons why it might be a good idea to switch it up and use your mic hanging upside down as well. Let’s get right into it.
Why You Should Use Your Microphone Upside Down
Here we go. In no particular order, are listed below a few reasons why you should take that mic and turn it upside down.
1. More Freedom, As The Microphone’s Just Out Of Your Way
The first and foremost reason, maybe the logical one that comes to mind first, is that having your mic placed upside down suspended from the ceiling or a boom keeps it out of the way. Think of any other thing suspended from above, a TV suspended on the wall, a fan suspended from the ceiling, the furniture cabinet suspended from the wall from above.
In all of these cases, suspending something from above gives you a lot of room underneath it. The same goes for microphones too, once they are suspended from above, you get a room to do other things or place other items needed for your performance.
2. Opens up your air way to sing better
Think about it, a microphone placed or used upside down at face level or above forces you to straighten up your head with your eyes horizontal or facing up. Unlike microphones that are placed upright, that force you to crouch down and close yourself off as you reach down towards the mic capsule, placing the microphone upside down and above opens up your chest, your airway and expands your singing chords enabling you to sing higher with less effort.
This is one of the secrets known by top performers who have their microphones held upside down and sing up to what’s it instead of downwards.
3. Gives you a better posture and less muscle strain for long sessions
Expanding on the point mentioned above, having your microphone hung upside down will straighten you up. Overall, you have a better performing posture and avoid straining neck muscles or your back. If you are performing or recording for long sessions, you will appreciate not having to crouch or bend your neck and head downwards towards a microphone that is placed upright.
You may argue that microphones placed the right way up can be placed high enough to keep you upright as well. It’s all about the subconscious need to crouch down to the mics receiving capsule. This is what causes us to extend our neck and head downwards towards a microphone in a bid to get our voice into it. Reversing the position of the mic reverses this psychological need and makes us look upwards towards the mic.
4. Upside Down Microphones Can Be Positioned To Avoid Pops From Plosives
As you will have your microphone capsule placed higher up with it being upside down, it can be placed in an offset position and just far enough to avoid getting blasted with air from your mouth during the pronunciation of plosives like P or B.
While Gravity also helps as well to reduce the intensity of this blast of air before it reaches the mic (as you will be mostly speaking or singing upwards), the addition of a pop filter in front of the microphone capsule will all but eliminate plosives from your recordings. This is a professional setup you should aim towards.
All this helps keep your recordings cleaner and needing lest work in post.
5. Makes it easier to read music charts or lyrics.
With your microphone hanging upside down and suspended, you’ll be able to read lyrics or music charts placed at eye level. This is one of the benefits of this better positioning of your mic.
6. Mic upside down and out of the way makes for hand gestures galore
The first reason we mentioned above was that having a mic upside down and suspended from above gives you room and freedom. This means you have room to do all the hand gestures you want, without the fear of smacking the mic’s boom and sending thunderous shock waves through your recording.
That sure will mess up the session and have you starting again afresh..
So if you love doing gestures, or you are a rapper and actually need to, then make room under your mic by having it suspended from the ceiling or a boom while being upside down.
7. The Big Stars And Performers Do It
Yes, you got that right. Even the big stars are doing it. They probably do this because of all the important benefits listed above. But your favorite performer may be already singing into a microphone that hangs upside down.
So if you have them as your idols, and look up to what they do in hopes to be like them, then following how they position their microphones during the recording sessions might be something to look into.
8. It Just Looks Cool, Let’s Be Honest
Hanging your microphone upside down or having it suspended from the ceiling just looks cool. It’s almost like the scenario “hey look mom, no hands”. The mic is suspended and out of the way giving you space to do hand gestures underneath it in front of you.
Even pictures showing people performing nothing into a microphone that is hung upside down just look cool. So if looking cool and chic while performing is something you are interested in, though superficial, then keep in mind that you would look cooler with the mic hanging upside down.
FAQ about handing mics upside down
Should A Mic Be Upside Down?
Whether the mic should be hung upside down or placed the right way up is all a matter of preference. The main reason why you have it hanging upside down is for pure convenience and to have it out of the way when you’re performing. As long as the microphone’s capsule is facing the user, the recording will be picked up just fine no matter how the mic is placed.
Can I use a mic upside Down?
Yes for sure. You absolutely can use your microphone hanging upside down. As long as you face the microphone capsule when you’re singing or performing or speaking, it should all be all right. You also should be able to have it hanged in a safe and secure manner, so it doesn’t all come crashing down on you.
So there you go, I hope this article helped clear your doubts about the direction in which your microphone should be positioned, upside down or the right way up.
It really is up to you, but we hope that the reasons we mentioned above are sufficient to make you think about having your microphone upside down and out of the way during your recordings.
Either way, upside down or the right way up will give you the same recording result as long as you keep the right distance from your mouth and the microphone capsule.
It makes no difference in the grand scheme of things, but it is good to know that you have options and both options have their advantages and disadvantages.
Best wishes in your mic use and recording sessions.