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why do rappers record with mic upside down?

I sow many rappers (on tv mostly...lol) when recording put they mic upside down... why?

Comments

zemlin Fri, 03/23/2007 - 18:37
I sometimes hang an LDC upside down when recording vox, even thought I don't have a tube mic (yet). It's just less of an obstacle for someone trying position lyrics/music they might want to see while singing.

Other than heat on a tube mic or logistics, I know of no other reason to position a mic like that.

MadTiger3000 Sat, 03/24/2007 - 06:51
drumist69 wrote: It seems Zemlin is correct that it is mostly done with tube mics, and maybe has jus carried on as the way a vocal mic is "supposed" to look. Heat disipation doesn't mean shit on a solid state mic. ANDY

Very good point. People continue to do things "just because," long after the original rationale applies.

Reminds of an anectdote about some funny-shaped meatloaf.

Here: I found it:



In times of change, learners inherit the Earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.- Eric Hoffer

I was riding with my wife the other day and she told me this funny and insightful story. A well-known commentator was telling how to make meat loaf. The recipe had been in her family for at least three generations. It called for the usual ingredients and included some very specific instructions for making and shaping the meat loaf.

At the end of the instructions was noted, "cut off the ends of the meat loaf before you place it in the pan to bake." One day the author's daughter was watching her mom make the meat loaf. As the final instruction was being followed, the daughter asked, "Why are you cutting the ends off the meat loaf?".



Her mom wasn't quite sure and said that she would ask her mother. When asked her mom said, "I am not sure why, it's just the way that my mother always did it." Not to be stopped in her quest for this knowledge and blessed by a family of women who lived long lives, this author called her grandmother and asked her, "Grandma, why is it that you cut the ends off your meat loaf before you bake it?"

The grandmother laughed when she heard the question. It seems that when she first made meat loaf, she discovered that it would not fit into the pan that she had for baking. So she cut off the ends to fit it into the pan. Since then, she had only used the same pan for the recipe and she had always cut off the ends.

TVPostSound Sat, 03/24/2007 - 07:50
Hanging any mic causes a different sound, as compared to having it on a stand.
Have you ever noticed that on a stand, it points up to the roof of the mouth, and the nose, hang it, and it points down.

There is a noticeable change (to my ears) when hanging. Less nasal and mouth resonations.

It all depends on the talent.
Try it both ways.

TVPostSound Sat, 03/24/2007 - 07:54
Hanging any mic causes a different sound, as compared to having it on a stand.
Have you ever noticed that on a stand, it points up to the roof of the mouth, and the nose, hang it, and it points down.

There is a noticeable change (to my ears) when hanging. Less nasal and mouth resonations.

It all depends on the talent.
Try it both ways.

MadTiger3000 Sat, 03/24/2007 - 09:17
TVPostSound wrote: Hanging any mic causes a different sound, as compared to having it on a stand.
Have you ever noticed that on a stand, it points up to the roof of the mouth, and the nose, hang it, and it points down.

There is a noticeable change (to my ears) when hanging. Less nasal and mouth resonations.

It all depends on the talent.
Try it both ways.

When people look up to sing, it encourages proper form (open throat, etc.)

drumist69 Sat, 03/24/2007 - 10:06
Hanging any mic causes a different sound, as compared to having it on a stand.
Have you ever noticed that on a stand, it points up to the roof of the mouth, and the nose, hang it, and it points down.

I've been trying recording rock and folk vocals and spoken stuff with various techniques. I used to always position the mic slightly above the mouth, to encourage the performer to have to "look up" at the mic, because this was what I read in several sources. Then I noticed when I tried singing this way, I felt I had a lot of tension in my neck and throat area. I put the mic slightly below mouth level, and it seems to allow more natural neck posture to me.
As for the sound difference metioned above by TVpostsound, do you think that is a function of the mic placement causing the mic to sound different or a function of the physiology of the vocal performer being altered slightly?

Pro Audio Guest Sat, 03/24/2007 - 16:26
Both is true. For some singers it's beneficial to stand upright, others need to cradle the mic with their body. It mainly depends on the way you breathe.

But, coming back to the original topic: A recording session shown in a music video is usually a staged one, and the mic will be positioned the way the director wants it. So, I translate "most rappers" with "most rappers as seen on MTV", and we don't want their really cool body language be hidden by a mic stand.

Pro Audio Guest Sun, 03/25/2007 - 05:24
drumist69 wrote:
Hanging any mic causes a different sound, as compared to having it on a stand.
Have you ever noticed that on a stand, it points up to the roof of the mouth, and the nose, hang it, and it points down.

*snip* I used to always position the mic slightly above the mouth, to encourage the performer to have to "look up" at the mic, because this was what I read in several sources. Then I noticed when I tried singing this way, I felt I had a lot of tension in my neck and throat area. I put the mic slightly below mouth level, and it seems to allow more natural neck posture to me. *snip*

Yes, this is unfortunately a widespread misconception ("looking up at the mic" i.e. tilting your head back). Contrary to claims that it "opens up the throat" it actually locks the larynx and prevents it from moving naturally, which puts a lot of tension and strain on your throat.
When singing you need to have a relaxed throat and neck in order for the larynx to move freely, and the best position is to look straight ahead, or even slightly tilted downward.
Some singers do tilt their head back to get that particular sound (Lemmy), but it's not something I would advice if you want to keep your voice healthy.

Cheers,
MetalGod

MadTiger3000 Sun, 03/25/2007 - 05:38
I normally don't argue back and forth with people here, but

while singing in various ranges, the throat must assume different positions (as well as other parts of the body) to achieve optimal performance. Sometimes, this position will be looking up.

Research laryngeal tilt, head voice, etc. If these don't answer your concerns, I don't know what will.

TVPostSound Mon, 03/26/2007 - 18:14
I think you are confusing head tilt with laryngeal tilt!!

SO my ears have been fooling me for nearly 20 years???
I'll still move a mic above to remove certain nasal, and mouth resonations, and thats the ONLY reason to mount a mic upside down and above.

Another benefit to mounting a mic above, ponting down is less apparent presense, less apparent proximity effect.

song4gabriel Wed, 04/04/2007 - 21:16
MadTiger3000 wrote: [quote=TVPostSound]Hanging any mic causes a different sound, as compared to having it on a stand.
Have you ever noticed that on a stand, it points up to the roof of the mouth, and the nose, hang it, and it points down.

There is a noticeable change (to my ears) when hanging. Less nasal and mouth resonations.

It all depends on the talent.
Try it both ways.

When people look up to sing, it encourages proper form (open throat, etc.)
definitely not true. looking up strains the vocal chords. if you played your guitar this way your strings would break. proper form (and singing techinique) should allow the chords to flex on their own. everything should be loose-shoulders, neck and throat. of course, its defintely not easy this way at first. it certainly looks cooler though.

cfaalm Thu, 04/05/2007 - 03:34
HansAm wrote: This thread has teached me ALOT :D

But just to spill my experience. When I hang the mic, I do it to remove any noise picked up from the floor trough the stand...

That would make sense with the fact that you'd want to boost the lows in that rap voice for a real solid sound without getting any additional rumble from the floor.

edit: this only applies if the mic is hanging from the ceiling and you have no one trippling on the roof ;-)

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