This Is How Close You Should Be to a Blue Snowball

While the Blue Snowball is relatively easy to operate, where you position the mic can drastically change the quality of your recordings. Learning how far you should be from your Blue Snowball is an effective way to improve audio quality.

You should be around 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 cm) away from your Blue Snowball. Otherwise, the audio will suffer because the mic will pick up other noises in the environment. Also, try tilting your mouth to the side a little to avoid heavy breathing noises that might be picked up.

In this article, we’ll talk about the specifics of placing a microphone. Read on to find out exactly how close you should position your Blue Snowball when using it in a recording studio. 

Blue Snowball 1 1

Where To Position Your Blue Snowball

Position your Blue Snowball microphone 6 to 8 in (15 – 20 cm) away from you, slightly tilted away from your mouth. The best way to approximate this distance is to measure about a hands-lengthOpens in a new tab. away. Of course, this may not be the exact spot, but it’s a start.

You can experiment with the recording by placing the microphone at various points. Move it further or closer, and observe the subtle differences by listening to the final recording. I’d recommend keeping all other factors constant to ensure the best results when experimenting.

In other words, don’t change your settings, voice, room, or background noises while recording. This setup will allow you to accurately determine the ideal position for your microphone. And once you have that, you can adjust the rest accordingly.

Keep in mind that finding the right position for your microphone may take some trial and error. As such, it’s best to set aside some time to play around with it. You should also consider how comfortable you are in relation to the microphone. Are you laid back and sitting comfortably, or do you have to reach toward it? 

If you’re uncomfortable with the position of your microphone, you’re likely to move around during the recording. Try to choose a place where you will be comfortable during the recording session.

Factors To Consider When Positioning Your Microphone

It’s helpful to know which factors come into play when positioning your Blue Snowball. If you’ve got the settings you’re looking for, consider the following factors when positioning your mic.


The distance between your Blue Snowball and the sound source is probably the most important factor to consider when positioning it. Microphones are designed to register sound within a specific radius, and staying within that range should be the first thing you think of when placing a mic.

A crucial thing to note about distance and mic placement is their significance in video recording. The way you place your mic for different kinds of audio recordings, like songs, podcasts, and voiceovers, is pretty much the same. However, you’ll need to consider a different approach when recording a vlog or other video.

A microphone might be in its optimal position for audio recording but at the wrong angle while recording videos. These details will differ based on the project, but it’s worth factoring this into your decision of where to position the microphone.

As mentioned already, it’s crucial to consider whether the distance between you and the mic allows you to be positioned comfortably. You don’t want to be stuck in an uncomfortable position once the recording begins.


Keeping your microphone tilted away from your mouth is the best practice. It’s especially important if you’re recording a podcast or other audio where the microphone is typically close to your mouth.

During normal speech, we naturally let out more air when saying certain letters, such as p, t, k, or even b. When recorded, plosivesOpens in a new tab. disrupt the audio by creating a popping sound, which is undesirable and affects the quality.

Tilting your Blue Snowball away from your mouth when speaking helps direct it away from airflow, thus reducing the noise created by articulating plosives. Some people also use a pop filterOpens in a new tab. for this purpose, but tilting is a strategy that has been proven to work effectively. 

Another reason to tilt the microphone away from your mouth is to avoid recording breath sounds. Most amateurs figure out later that breathing into the mic is a recipe for bad audio, no matter how well it is edited later. 


It’s crucial to consider the direction of your Blue Snowball when setting it up. Because this microphone can be set as directional or omnidirectional, you need to factor in that setting when considering your mic’s placement. 

For example, if you set your Snowball to “omnidirectional,” the mic would register sound waves from all directions (360 degrees) around it. You need to ensure that the sounds being recorded are at an equal distance from the microphone at all sides, not just the front.

On the other hand, placing the microphone close to you in the unidirectional setting while recording sounds from all directions is a bad idea.

Make sure you understand microphone pick-up patterns and directions well before choosing which way to point your Snowball.

Your Preference

Ultimately, you should be the one who decides the final outcome of your recording. Tweaking the settings and mic placement should be a part of your artistic process. Before the final setup, take the time to know the Blue Snowball and how it sounds at different positions relative to the sound source.

Once you find the most appropriate placement for your requirements, take note of it and try to stay consistent when recording. Most professionals develop a system to ensure consistency in their recordings, which helps to keep the audio quality constant. 

You will find that consistency in audio quality is the key to success in any type of recording you produce, whether you’re recording music, a podcast, or even using the microphone in remote work meetings.

Once you find the sweet spot in microphone placement most suited for your specific needs, you can easily get back to that position for subsequent recordings. 

The 3:1 Rule of Multiple Microphone Placement

When you record with more than one microphone, you also need to factor in the distance between them as much as the distance between each speaker. There is a general rule of thumb to follow regarding multiple microphone placement: the 3:1 ruleOpens in a new tab.

This rule states that the distance between one source of sound and its dedicated microphone should be a third of the distance between the source and the adjacent microphone. So if you’re doing a podcast with a guest speaker that needs to be recorded, place one microphone a hand’s length away from you and your guest’s microphone three hands length away from you. 

Don’t forget that the other microphone should also be one hand’s length away from your guest. Of course, this is not a strict rule, and there is some leeway. However, sticking to this rule as closely as possible will improve audio quality.

The 3:1 rule pertains to a recording when using multiple microphones, whether you’re recording from multiple sources or a single sound source. Typical applications where multiple mics are used include podcasting and music recording.

Changing Positions According to Use

Pay close attention to the differences between microphone placement for different recording applications. If you’ve set up your Blue Snowball and placed it correctly for one use, that placement may not necessarily work for other uses.

For example, you can use your Blue Snowball microphone to record musicOpens in a new tab. or a single-person podcast, or connect a second microphone for a two-man podcast. Here’s how you want to position the microphone for each application:

  • Single-person podcast: Place the microphone around 6 to 8 in (15 – 20 cm) away from your face, slightly tilted and off-center.
  • Multiple-person podcast: Place each microphone 6 to 8 in (15 – 20 cm) away from the respective podcast guest/speaker. Ensure that each microphone is three times as far from the adjacent speaker.
  • Music recording (vocals): Keep the microphone 6 in (15 cm) away and use a pop filter to eliminate plosives and breath sounds.
  • Music recording (instruments): Ensure that the microphones are set to cardioid (unidirectional), and place each one in front of its respective instrument. 

Why Microphone Positioning Matters

Generally speaking, there are three reasons why the placement or positioning of your microphone is important:

  • Gain before feedback
  • Signal-to-noise ratio
  • Acoustic phase cancellation

Each factor plays an important role in determining the best placement for a microphone. These factors are especially important when it comes to live audio. 

This is when the audio is recorded and played simultaneously, such as in a concert. Live audio also includes live streaming from a home studio or recording a live podcast with multiple microphones.

Experts recommend finding a balance between the factors that affect mic positioning for the best audio quality. However, it’s worth mentioning that, in the end, this is something that depends on personal taste.

A perfect audio recording for one person may not sound ideal to another. If you’re recording a podcast or livestream where you’re entirely responsible for creative decisions, choose according to your preference and adjust according to feedback.

Gain Before Feedback

GBF (Gain Before Feedback) is a measure of how much you can amplify a mic before audio feedbackOpens in a new tab., and mainly concerns live audio. You may recognize this sound if you’ve moved a microphone close to the speaker it is connected to—that squealing noise is the audio feedback. 

“Gain” in audiology is a term used to describe the degree of amplification. Gain before feedback is used to describe how much a microphone can be amplified before it starts recording the sound playing from the speakers.

This factor isn’t so important if you aren’t recording live audio because there can’t be any feedback if the speakers aren’t connected. However, your mic’s position is critical in getting the right GBF.

Signal-to-Noise Ratio

To get the best results from any microphone, you should aim for a balance between the sound waves the mic records and the noises it shuts out. The signal-to-noise ratioOpens in a new tab. (SNR) is a measure of how much of the signal a mic records in comparison to the background noise it picks up. 

Using a unidirectional mic can help you get a better SNR, which is why many people recording in home studios set their Blue Snowball to cardioid instead of omnidirectional. This setting ensures that the mic is only picking up sounds in front of it and ignoring signals that originate behind it.

Remember that sound waves travel with direction, so it is easier for a microphone to only record the waves traveling in a chosen direction. This way, you can begin with a clean recording, and there is less need to edit and remove background noise.

While positioning a Blue Snowball mic, SNR is the factor you have the most control over, as it is directly affected by your microphone’s position.

Acoustic Phase Cancellation

Finally, you should take into account acoustic phase cancellationOpens in a new tab. when positioning multiple microphones in the same room. This factor is a measure of how the sound is affected when two mics are placed close to each other. When the distance isn’t ideal, the resulting recording can sound hollow.

The sound waves registered by the two mics cancel each other out, so the recording sounds as if it is missing something. To ensure that this problem doesn’t occur, recording studios follow the 3:1 rule described earlier.

Phase cancellation isn’t all bad, though. In fact, electronic phase cancellation is used to clean up audio when necessary. However, reducing noise this way means losing the crisp quality of the original recording, which is why it’s best to account for phase cancellation when positioning your Blue Snowball. 

Final Thoughts

It’s best to learn how to correctly position your Blue Snowball so you’re in the goldilocks zone—not too close and not too far. As long as you consider the various factors that are affected by mic placement, you should be good to go. 

Experiment with different positions till you hit the right spot, and you’re guaranteed to receive the best audio recording from this mic.


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I'm Vinnie, and I'm here to support you to create your own studio at home, whether it’s for photography, recording audio, podcasts, or videos!

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