Essential microphone pistol grip and shock mount project

I’m a keen nature recordist and use a shotgun microphone. I have done a lot of recording just holding the mic in my hand but one needs to be careful of handling noise and the bass roll-off switch should be on. With a shock mount, handling noise is much reduced and lower frequencies can be recorded. A pistol-style grip helps for aiming. This article describes a quick and easy pistol-grip and shock mount for a shotgun mic. It has improved my recordings.

Update April 2011: I built a better shock mount for my Sennheiser ME67 mic.

My home-made microphone grip and shock mount.

This mic grip takes about 30 minutes to make and should cost next to nothing. Here is a materials list:

  • Thin-walled PVC pipe. Hardware stores may not sell short lengths. Our local rubbish tip sells odd pieces.
  • Thick rubber bands.
  • Timber for the handle. I found a broken pool cue.
  • One wood screw.
  • Scrap aluminium for a washer.
  • RTV Silicon. All good projects use RTV!

To prevent sagging, cut the pipe long and try to balance the mic. The wind shield should not touch the pipe. Leave access at the back for connecting the mic cable. Next, cut slots for the rubber bands. I cut tabs, broke them off and filed the slots smooth. Position the handle so that the mic is balanced. To mount it, drill holes through both sides of the pipe (the top one is for screwdriver access). The timber handle is filed to match the circumference of the pipe. I fashioned a large, concave washer from aluminium for the inside, to reduce stress around the screw head. I spotted RTV silicon between the handle and pipe before final assembly, so it all fits together solidly.

Detail of microphone grip.

This shock mount works great and is well balanced. My mic is a little front heavy and if the rubber bands are slack, I shift them up a notch (see top picture). I always record with the bass roll-off switch off now. There’s no handling noise, unless I bump the mic cable (!). Search the web and you’ll find similar projects for shock mounts, wind screens, etc. Happy constructing.

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