Reporter's Notebook

The art and science of the interview

Shock Mount

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Shock Mount

Ok, I’m going to geek out a little about some new gear.

A shock mount is a fitting which connects to a microphone stand and into which a microphone goes. Its purpose is to deaden vibration that the microphone might pick up from bumps guests or hosts might make with knees into desks or consoles upon which the microphone stand is sitting.  It’s a really simple gadget, actually.  Imagine two rings, both mounted above, in parallel and perpendicular on opposite ends of a short bar.  Elastic crisscrosses the opening of both rings.  And the bar screws into the microphone stand.  The microphone itself is threaded into the elastic so that, if done properly, what you have is a microphone essentially suspended at the center of the rings by vibration absorbing elastic.  It’s simple and ingenious.  Here’s why.

Radio stations spend lots of money on goose neck like mounts that attach to desks or walls or ceilings that supposedly do the same thing.  But I have yet to see one of these things that doesn’t eventually lose its spring compression or joint bearings.  So what you have is a thing that no longer stays where you want it.  Radio people know the experience of trying to put a microphone where they want it in space but can’t because this mount no longer works.  It can sometime feel like trying to adjust a microphone on the end of a rope.

This shock mount for a desktop is efficient, effective and relatively cheap, but delivers the same result – a more professional sound because it helps deliver recordings devoid of knee and ankle collisions with consoles and desks.  You’ve heard them.  They sound like short, low rumbles, like mini earthquakes that come and go in about a second during an interview.  I have some of them in some of my interviews, and I was sick of them.  I thought I could be more careful when doing interview from my studio, but realized my feets are just too big, I guess.  So I picked one up.

I have this urge to drop stuff on the floor or kick one of the corners of the desk to see if it works.  Me and new stuff, you know.  But really, I’m excited that the quality of my interviews is about to get a little better.  And that none of my stuff is consumer or even prosumer.  It’s professional all the way.

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Written by Interviewer

April 3, 2013 at 11:18

Posted in Scratchpad

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