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Microphone Month

Upside Down Mic Tone

Q: I see a lot of engineers hang vocal microphones upside down in front of the singer. Do they do this because the tone is different? If so, what difference is there?

A: It’s doubtful that hanging a mic upside down affects its tone. This practice originated when tubes were added to microphones; tube mics were hung upside down so that the heat from the vacuum tube and electronics would not affect the mics’ sensitive diaphragms. Over the years, this became the “standard” way for hanging side-address mics, whether tube or not, and many engineers place such mics upside down out of habit.

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