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Hanging Microphones

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Everyone recognizes the traditional microphones - handheld, shotgun and studio mics, for instance. But an audio professional knows better than to stop there. Mics come in all kinds of different varieties, and when you're recording choirs, groups or stages, you're entering the territory of hanging microphones. The concept here is simple: to get the most balanced recording, you've got to approach from the best angle, even when that's overhead.

Hanging microphones are usually cardioid condenser mics, which makes them versatile enough for virtually any application. They're right at home in studio booths as well as above stages or choral rows, where they're used for live sound amplification and recording. You could also put one of these microphones in a DJ booth or suspended in front of a podium; there's really no limit as long as there's a ceiling for hanging it.

Just like any other microphone, a hanging mic gives you the opportunity to go as basic or high-end as you like. For instance, the Nady OHCM-200 and Audio-Technica PRO 45 are solid options for modest budgets. You could opt for a more mainstream model with something like the Shure MX202P MicroFlex Overhead Condenser Mic, or if you want to go all-out with a state-of-the-art option, consider the Earthworks C30 Hanging Choir Microphone. The C30 shows the sort of innovation you'd expect from Earthworks, with a creative design that moves the electronics back from the tip so it's incredibly easy to aim.

Putting the microphone where you need it is essentially Recording 101. But that also means choosing a mic designed to go in that location. There are three things that really set hanging microphones apart: light weight, aim-ability and a response pattern ideal for picking up group performances. When those are the traits you need in a mic, this selection of hanging microphones is sure to have the solution.