Buyer’s Guide: How do I choose the right Microphone Shock Mount?
In this buyer’s guide, we're going to look at the technological aspects of various microphone shock mounts so you can make an informed decision about which one to buy.
It won't come as a shock: the shock mount!
What is a shock mount, exactly? To the naked eye, it's a complex frame made of metal and synthetic materials, connected with some elastic bands and a few clamps. But a lot of engineering has gone into the design of the shock mount, which is devised to prevent as much vibration as possible from travelling to a microphone on a stand. How does it work? A microphone will pick up the vibrations of anything it comes in to direct contact with, including the stand it's mounted on, and the floor the stand is on, and the monitors that are on the floor, and so on. The best way to avoid capturing unwanted vibrations, therefore, is to suspend the microphone in mid air! With its complex frame and elastic bands, the shock mount is the way to do that.
Will my microphone fit in this shock mount?
Before we can answer the question, "Will my microphone fit in this shock mount?" we need to look at some aspects of the microphone itself first. Does it have a screw thread connector, for instance, and what size is it? (3/8" or 5/8" are the most common thread sizes.) What is the diameter of your microphone? Which brand is it?
All shapes and sizes
There are all kinds of methods of attaching your microphone to a shock mount, depending on the specific type and model. Most shock mounts have one or two different methods of attachment. If the shock mount's screw thread size is compatible with that of your microphone, it's simply a matter of screwing the mic onto it. If you choose a universal shock mount (meaning it hasn't been designed for any specific type of mic), then 9 times out of 10, it should fit without any problems.
There are also shock mounts with clamps or holders. These are more common than shock mounts with a screw thread because most microphones don't have a separate screw thread connector. The only thing you need to keep in mind with these types of shock mounts is the maximum diameter of the shock mount clamp and the diameter of your microphone. If these measurements fall into the same range, you're good to go!
Some brands have taken shock mount development one step further by producing completely versions made completely of elastic bands. In that case, all you need to know is the maximum diameter of the shock mount and compare it with that of your microphone. If it's smaller, it should fit. It's usually a pretty self-explanatory system which involves sliding your mic in between the bands to suspend it.
Bax-shop tip: before making any decision, check to see if there is a specific shock mount that was designed especially for your microphone! That's a sure-fire way to ensure as perfect fit!
Why should I invest in a shock mount?
There are plenty of reasons to consider investing in a shock mount for your microphone. First of all, it will effectively reduce an enormous amount of background noise that would otherwise end up on your recording. Things like feet tapping, a bass drum that's on the same floor, or even passing traffic are all examples of noise a shock mount will prevent your microphone from capturing! By using a shock mount for a camera, you can go ahead and tape audio as well as video, and not have to worry about loud footsteps ruining your take!
The acoustics of your space will also have an influence on the amount of ambient noise you have to deal with - a wooden floor will transfer more vibrations than a solid, concrete one, for instance. Still, a shock mount is a great tool that is definitely worth the investment, especially since many of them are quite affordable to begin with. If you're curious whether a shock mount is meant for a dynamic or a condenser mic, then the answer is: both! Any type of microphone will benefit from a shock mount, but certain models, like large-diaphragm condenser microphones, will benefit more than others.