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  1. #1
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    Default Condenser Mics mounted upsidedown?

    Maybe a dumb question, but why (in most photos I see) are condenser microphones always mounted with the connector on top? Is there an audio reason or as simple as keeping the dust out? I have never seen this addressed.
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    Default Re: Condenser Mics mounted upsidedown?

    I do it because the joint in the mount is usually put under less stress when the mic is hanging upside down, so the joint will last longer and it will be less likely to accidentally move when I don't want it to.

    Good question though, because I remember someone telling me once that it picks up the low frequencies better when it's upside down. Absolute untrue by the way.

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    Default Re: Condenser Mics mounted upsidedown?

    I have desk broadcast boom type of deal that holds the mic. For me just a matter of logistics, which way works best and easier to get out of my way when I don't need it etc.

    I try it one way then the other.

    Seems like I heard something about tube mics like I use where upside down lets them cool better since the heat would go away from the element.

    Think it would only come into play if you were leaving it on for 8 hours at a time or something though, so wouldn't matter to me.
    I never finish a mix, just abandon it.

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    Default Re: Condenser Mics mounted upsidedown?

    My understanding is it makes no difference. The heat thing is interesting and maybe has some merit.
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    Default Re: Condenser Mics mounted upsidedown?

    As Tac alluded to the rumor is that when the capsule heats up from the heat of a TUBE mic where the tube is in the mic body, the capsule changes shape from the expansion of the heat therefore changing the response of the mic. For any other mic this does nothing. I have listened to upside down, sideways and right side up mic's there is no difference in sound. Even on the tube mic's they have not been able to prove that the sound changes.

    I do it to look cool from time to time.LOL

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    Default Re: Condenser Mics mounted upsidedown?

    I vote for the cool factor. That's why I do it, although I've always heard about the heat story. Maybe it's true but I haven't heard a difference. Same with letting the tube heat up for 30 minutes before using it (yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, it's a myth, but I read it in my Mojave Audio MA-200 manual or website).
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    Default Re: Condenser Mics mounted upsidedown?

    I heard just yesterday that if you're playing guitar and singing at the same time, hanging the condenser mic upside down will actually pick up some of the guitar sound as well (although the guitar would obviously need to be miked up by some other method as well to get a good sound). Not sure if this true, as I haven't tried it.

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    Default Re: Condenser Mics mounted upsidedown?

    Originally Posted by humiliatedgrape
    I heard just yesterday that if you're playing guitar and singing at the same time, hanging the condenser mic upside down will actually pick up some of the guitar sound as well (although the guitar would obviously need to be miked up by some other method as well to get a good sound). Not sure if this true, as I haven't tried it.
    I guess it's not impossible that the polar pattern of the microphone is different coming from the top of the cage than the bottom.

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    Default Re: Condenser Mics mounted upsidedown?

    well just to be difficult, which way is upside down? and which way is right side up?

    from the directions i just skimmed for my mics there is no instruction as to which way is up and which way is down.

    Obviously the polar patterns are measured looking from the top down, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the top should be facing up?

    in the case of the guitar and vocals, thats just cause your facing polar pattern down towards the vocals and guitar, as opposed to putting the mic in the vocalists face, and have the mic's "back" to the guitar.

    i didnt know it puts less stress on the mic stand when you hang it upside down. This is good info, thanks for that boz
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    Default Re: Condenser Mics mounted upsidedown?

    Originally Posted by paul999
    As Tac alluded to the rumor is that when the capsule heats up from the heat of a TUBE mic where the tube is in the mic body, the capsule changes shape from the expansion of the heat therefore changing the response of the mic. For any other mic this does nothing. I have listened to upside down, sideways and right side up mic's there is no difference in sound. Even on the tube mic's they have not been able to prove that the sound changes.

    I do it to look cool from time to time.LOL
    If there was any effect from the heat, I would guess that the hotter air rising past the capsule diaphragm and distorting the air flow would be the problem.
    Sort of like looking at a distant road on a hot day and visually seeing the rising air, like a mirage effect.

    I personally hang them upside down to lessen the strain on the mounting clip, that and like Paul said, it looks cool.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Condenser Mics mounted upsidedown?

    Just remember that if you hang the mic upside down, you need to sing into it upside down, or sing the lyrics backwards to avoid phase problems.


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    Unhappy Re: Condenser Mics mounted upsidedown?

    Originally Posted by lsutigh
    well just to be difficult, which way is upside down? and which way is right side up?

    from the directions i just skimmed for my mics there is no instruction as to which way is up and which way is down.

    Obviously the polar patterns are measured looking from the top down, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the top should be facing up?

    in the case of the guitar and vocals, thats just cause your facing polar pattern down towards the vocals and guitar, as opposed to putting the mic in the vocalists face, and have the mic's "back" to the guitar.

    i didnt know it puts less stress on the mic stand when you hang it upside down. This is good info, thanks for that boz
    Actually the polar pattern is measured from the front of the capsule (the gold or silver disk you can see through the wind screen). The capsule is on the top of the mic. Now the mic makes a difference in how it is used too. An Audio Technica ATM450 is a side address mic, as is a Joesphson e22S. Heil mics are end address, even though they look like a condenser. There is no difference in pick up whether the mic is up or down. The only difference is front side to back side. Ribbons pick up both sides, darker on one side than the other usually. Figure of 8 condensers use two capsules that are matched.
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    Default Re: Condenser Mics mounted upsidedown?

    Originally Posted by String7th
    Just remember that if you hang the mic upside down, you need to sing into it upside down, or sing the lyrics backwards to avoid phase problems.


    Well, duhhhh....that's a blind flash of the obvious! I'll post some pics of my singers hanging upside down!
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    Default Re: Condenser Mics mounted upsidedown?

    Originally Posted by venuestudio
    Actually the polar pattern is measured from the front of the capsule (the gold or silver disk you can see through the wind screen). The capsule is on the top of the mic. Now the mic makes a difference in how it is used too. An Audio Technica ATM450 is a side address mic, as is a Joesphson e22S. Heil mics are end address, even though they look like a condenser. There is no difference in pick up whether the mic is up or down. The only difference is front side to back side. Ribbons pick up both sides, darker on one side than the other usually. Figure of 8 condensers use two capsules that are matched.
    I love it when you talk dirty!!!! Polar patterns...capsules....side addressing... yeahhhh!

    I don't know how many times that I accidentally faced an LDC the wrong way, especially the NT-1 and AT4050. I always hang 'em upside down thought. Seems more comfortable to the vocalist.
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    Default Re: Condenser Mics mounted upsidedown?

    Originally Posted by TonyB
    I love it when you talk dirty!!!! Polar patterns...capsules....side addressing... yeahhhh!

    I don't know how many times that I accidentally faced an LDC the wrong way, especially the NT-1 and AT4050. I always hang 'em upside down thought. Seems more comfortable to the vocalist.


    I have that problem with my AT mics too. I spend half my time peering into the wind screen looking for the solder points on the capsule!
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    Default Re: Condenser Mics mounted upsidedown?

    I think the heat problem is a good reason, but for other condensers I NEVER hang them upside down, if it falls down, the cable/conector will hit the ground, if it's upside down, the capsule part will do it !!!

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    Default Re: Condenser Mics mounted upsidedown?

    Originally Posted by venuestudio
    Actually the polar pattern is measured from the front of the capsule (the gold or silver disk you can see through the wind screen).
    Right. Polar pattern is only measured on 1 plane, but how does it respond along the other plane? with a side address mic, it's possible and even likely that it sounds different coming in at 90 degrees to the south than 90 degrees to the north, especially with frequencies whose wavelengths are shorter than the body is wide.

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    Default Re: Condenser Mics mounted upsidedown?

    Originally Posted by bozmillar
    Right. Polar pattern is only measured on 1 plane, but how does it respond along the other plane? .
    Well no, not really. The polar pattern is three dimensional. Think of the head of the mic being inside a balloon. The mic is facing you and it is closer to the back of the balloon than the front. Now push your finger into the back of the balloon until you hit the back of the mic. You have just created the typical cardiod polar pattern. It is three dimensional with a heart shape (if you look at it from a one dimensional view point). So with that in mind, now think of a mic sitting up straight. When you talk into it, you are talking into the meat of the polar pattern. As you slowly swivel the mic downward, the polar pattern is more off axis. As you start to reach the back you get to the two lumps of the heart shape, the back lobes. (Gez, Tony's going to need a shower after this!!!). As you get to the very back of the mic, where we stuck our finger into the balloon, the pickup is almost zero.

    Originally Posted by bozmillar
    with a side address mic, it's possible and even likely that it sounds different coming in at 90 degrees to the south than 90 degrees to the north, especially with frequencies whose wavelengths are shorter than the body is wide.
    Absolutely correct, and that is due to the amount of pickup as you move away from the front lobe of the pattern.
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    Default Re: Condenser Mics mounted upsidedown?

    Originally Posted by venuestudio
    Well no, not really. The polar pattern is three dimensional. Think of the head of the mic being inside a balloon. The mic is facing you and it is closer to the back of the balloon than the front. Now push your finger into the back of the balloon until you hit the back of the mic. You have just created the typical cardiod polar pattern. It is three dimensional with a heart shape (if you look at it from a one dimensional view point). So with that in mind, now think of a mic sitting up straight. When you talk into it, you are talking into the meat of the polar pattern. As you slowly swivel the mic downward, the polar pattern is more off axis. As you start to reach the back you get to the two lumps of the heart shape, the back lobes. (Gez, Tony's going to need a shower after this!!!). As you get to the very back of the mic, where we stuck our finger into the balloon, the pickup is almost zero.
    right, the polar pattern has a 3d response, but in the spec sheets, you only ever see it on 1 plane. And cardioid is a very simplistic view of the polar response. it is much more complex than just cardioid.


    Originally Posted by venuestudio
    Absolutely correct, and that is due to the amount of pickup as you move away from the front lobe of the pattern.
    for a hand held shaped microphone that is symmetric about the origin on the x-y plane when looking into the capsule, this is true, but for a lot of side address microphones, this isn't the case. When looking at the capsule, above is sky and below is casing. It's not really about the polar pattern of the capsule itself, it's about how the casing effects the polar pattern. Even if the capsule did have an ideal cardioid pattern, the casing could make it not so.

    How much does the casing effect the sound? I have now idea. But when looking into the capsule straight on, sound coming from above could sound different than sound coming from below.

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    Default Re: Condenser Mics mounted upsidedown?

    Originally Posted by bozmillar
    right, the polar pattern has a 3d response, but in the spec sheets, you only ever see it on 1 plane.
    Obviously you forgot your 3D glasses.

    lol
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    Default Re: Condenser Mics mounted upsidedown?

    Originally Posted by bozmillar
    right, the polar pattern has a 3d response, but in the spec sheets, you only ever see it on 1 plane. And cardioid is a very simplistic view of the polar response. it is much more complex than just cardioid.




    for a hand held shaped microphone that is symmetric about the origin on the x-y plane when looking into the capsule, this is true, but for a lot of side address microphones, this isn't the case. When looking at the capsule, above is sky and below is casing. It's not really about the polar pattern of the capsule itself, it's about how the casing effects the polar pattern. Even if the capsule did have an ideal cardioid pattern, the casing could make it not so.

    How much does the casing effect the sound? I have now idea. But when looking into the capsule straight on, sound coming from above could sound different than sound coming from below.

    Sorry Boz, yes the casing does make a difference due to shading effects and/or defraction, but to what extent I do not know.
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    Default Re: Condenser Mics mounted upsidedown?

    Originally Posted by venuestudio
    Sorry Boz, yes the casing does make a difference due to shading effects and/or defraction, but to what extent I do not know.
    neither do I, but my approach to anything that deals with acoustics is that it generally has a far greater affect than I would think it should. Acoustic interference is my number 1 nemesis.

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    Default Re: Condenser Mics mounted upsidedown?

    You guys have really gone off on this question. I am thinking "its the coolness factor" with a lot of scientific justification. I think I will leave mine upright so that the vocalist doesn't have to look through the cable to see me or the lyrics.
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    Default Re: Condenser Mics mounted upsidedown?

    I know this has been addressed but I have heard that old tube mics generated alot of heat and when that heat rises it could possibley damage or even melt the diaphram.

    Thus hanging a mic upside the heat can rise and not hurt anything. When it comes down to non-tube condensor mics, people hang them upside down because it looks cool.

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