Shockproof Microphone Mount Project
A budget design for this handy accessory.
If you are short of either time or money, here is a project which scores on both counts. An hour and a few pence are all it will take from your life and pocket to produce a shockproof microphone holder.
The materials required to construct this simple device are a large PVC drainpipe mounting clip, a short section of small diameter PVC Pipe and a foam rubber tube of the type used to insulate water pipes. The choice of insulation and pipe gauges depends upon the body diameter of the microphone to be used, and, since there is a wide range of both pipe and foam available from hardware shops, there should not be any problems obtaining a suitable match for the microphone.
None of the dimensions are given for the project because the constructor will have to make adjustments to suit his own microphone. The method is quite simple. A piece of PVC tube is cut to a shorter length than the mic body and a similar length of foam tube is also cut. A fine tooth hacksaw is suitable for cutting both of the materials. The next step is to cut four 'V' notches in each end of the tube, to locate the rubber suspension bands. The method by which the notches are aligned and correctly positioned at each end of the tube is quite simple: Identify an extrusion mark which runs the full length of the tube (ie. the plastic 'rib' left over from the moulding process), mark a cutting line ¼" in from each end of that extrusion mark, then take an inch wide strip of paper and, starting at the ¼" mark, wrap it around the tube and cut off the overlapping portion of the strip. The strip is then folded in half and then in half again which results in the creases falling at 90° intervals around the tube when the paper is wrapped around it, indicating the position of the notches. These should then be marked at each end of the tube. The same process is used to mark the positions of the four suspension locating holes on the support ring (mounting clip).
The foam rubber sleeve, which, if desired, could be formed from a foam rubber sheet, is inserted into the PVC tube and the ends sanded smooth in order to afford a neat appearance.
The support ring is a large drainpipe clip, of the type used to secure a pipe to a wall. Any unnecessary lugs are removed, the joint in the clip is glued and the modifications are sanded smooth. A wooden block is then either glued, screwed or pinned into position between the remaining lugs. (Alternatively, the support ring could be cut from a large section pipe.) A hole of sufficient diameter to permit the insertion of a threaded adaptor for a microphone stand is drilled into the support ring or block. The adaptor should be a tight fit in the hole and glued into place to prevent it from working loose. Four holes are then drilled at 90° intervals around the ring, their diameter being sufficient to allow a pair of stout rubber bands (available from most stationers) to pass through - a ¼" hole should be adequate.
The actual method of threading the suspension depends upon the length of elastic bands and the desired tension. The suggested method is as follows - fold a rubber band in half and draw it through a hole in the support ring. One way of doing this is to loop a piece of thread around the fold and draw the band through by pulling the thread. The loop is retained by a short wooden dowel (matchsticks are ideal) on the inside of the ring.
When the four bands have been fitted and all eight of the loops are the same length, they are stretched onto the central microphone support tube. The bands should be stretched systematically, to ensure that they are all properly located and symmetry is achieved. There are several choices for the path of the suspension bands, and the actual choice will depend very much upon the length of the bands, ideally a choice of path which uses triangular patterns as opposed to parallel will provide the best location in all planes.
Before final assembly, the PVC may be painted using an aerosol spray, if the material's standard grey finish seems a little drab or if microphone identification is required in a multi-microphone installation. The end result should provide you with a very useful, inexpensive accessory for your studio.
Feature by Steve Taylor
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