Introduction: DIY Shotgun Zeppelin Blimp and Shock Mount!
Hey everyone! This will be my first instructable ever so i hope to make it right and make it useful for you!
My friends would not believe that for less than 10$ one can assemble a pretty solid and professional Blimp and shock mount for your shotgun microphones! I know right?! It's amazing!
You will need some household and very common -easy to find- materials, a couple days off your work, maybe a couple free weekends, a bit of patience and of course good company of a friend or family ;) having mom around was pretty useful! hahaha!
Ok let's get to it.
Step 1: Get the Stuff Together
The stuff for your shock mount:
- A plastic PCV ring for your shock mount. Mine has a diameter and lenght of 8cm.
- A handful of wide rubber bands or some girls underwear strechy thin straps.
- A drill, a little metal hacksaw and a marker.
The stuff for your blimp:
- A segment of 50 x 50 cm of plastic gardening grid.
- A leg (yes, a leg!) of woman nylon sock.
- A bag with a fair amount of cable wraps, medium size and handful of the large ones.
- A Scissor.
- A variety of sticky tape: i got paper and gaffer tape.
- A segment of bicycle seat tube, preferably aluminum.It should fit in your mic clamp.
- A common mic clamp of course.
- A can of matte black spray paint.
- A bit of common sewing thread.
- A spare xlr cable (you can assemble this one yourself)
Step 2: Mark the PVC Ring and Open the Ditches.
You will place a total of 8 marks.
4 of them will be 1cm deep, the other 4 marks will be 2cm deep.
There you'll be able to place the rubber bands/stretch bands.
Pay special attention and care while you're using the hacksaw blade not to break the little flange created in between the two cuts. PVC will be easy to cut, you wont need to apply much force.
Step 3: Place the Elastic Bands.
There, right in the ditches previously depicted. Remember, the strenght of the straps will depend on the weight of your microphone. I had to tie them really tight for a Sennheiser 416 shotgun mic. Just give a couple tests and you'll get the right amount of tension. I preferred the underwear straps because i could tie them with the desired amount of tension.
And that's it. You just got yourself a shockmount for your microphone!
When i finished the project, wrapped a bit of gaffer tape around the mic's body parts that made contact with the elastic bands to make the fit a bit more tight.
Step 4: The Blimp Main Section
Here you'll use the gardening plastic grid and your cable wraps.
First of all, you need to measure and be sure that your mic will fit inside the blimp and have enough room around it with a XLR cable connected. You don't want it to bump into your blimp's structure.
- Cut the needed area of plastic grid, it should be enough to wrap a cylinder around your shock mount.
- Use your cable wraps to tie the ends together. Apply the cable wraps in a linear fashion along the fold zone, front to rear.
- Remember, at this point the only cable wraps applied will be on the fold union. This will be your TOP side. On the bottom you will attach the bicycle tube.
- I used like 6 cable wraps to tie the body together.
- Be sure the PVC ring sits tight, fixed inside the grid cylinder.
- Cover the two external rings /openings of the blimp's body with tape. Cover every sharp/uneven plastic spike.
- You can also cover the fold zone and the cable wraps with tape.
- Remember that at this point it wont look cool enough haha! Focus on creating a regular and perfect grid cylinder around your shock mount.
Step 5: Front and Rear Cups!
Ok. This is the tricky part.
- Belt (this one wraps around your blimp's body)
- Straps (these form the cup)
It is not that hard though.
Cut a strap of your plastic grid about 3 fingers wide and long enough to brace arond the body's cylinder, like a belt.
Then cut 4 straps of about 2 fingers wide and long enough to form an arc from a side of the base belt strap to the other side, the oposite. These four straps should be the same lenght!
Use a cable wrap to tie the four straps together in a double cross fashion. Then again use cable wrap to tie these 4 straps to the base belt strap. It wont seem so strong at this point but dont worry.
Use your tape to cover any pointy edges!
Step 6: The Extension XLR Cable Hole.
Ok now, you're close!! first you need to decide which will be your rear and your front end.
Use your scissor to create a small opening for your XLR connection cable. It should be near your read cup as you can see on the pictures. This is a delicate spot, be gentle! Use your gaffer tape and paper tape to cover the edges of the hole, be generous.
The objective of your 1 ft XLR extension cable is to drive it through this opening and leave it there like, forever...only changing the mics, not the cable.
Basically once you reach this point, you'll have your blimp almost ready to rock.
Step 7: The Bicycle Seat Tube Part!
This is the most surprising part!!
Use your Drill to carefully open 4 holes on the BOTTOM of your Zeppelin/blimp.
Remember, the bottom side, is where the XLR hole also lies.
These 4 holes you will use for attaching the bicycle seat tube to your blimp's body.
Make sure to tie the tube tightly! You can add another two holes if you feel the need.
Use your mic clamp to hook the boom pole to your new zeppelin!
Step 8: Paint and Aesthetics!
And finally the painting!
Use your spray to give your assembly a serious and professional look. Cover it entirely!!!! <3
Sunny days are perfect for this (=
Depeding on the caliber of your bicycle seat tube, you'll be able to fit the boom pole xlr and your extension xlr cable inside.
This will make your connection ninja secret hehehe ;)
isn't it beautiful? :D
Step 9: Internal Cover for Your Blimp!
At this point you could use te help of someone with sewing skills. My mom helped me here! (ty ma!!)
So you can get the idea with these pictures!! ;D
- Basically we created 3 parts of internal cover and joined them together with velcro straps. This way you will always be able to change your rubber bands or tighten your straps.
- The cups are also covered with nylon socks, they're kind of difficult to cover but its ok. You'll figure it out. Just make it neat, and everything as tight as possible.
- With some furry clothing you could create a new external wind cover or "dead cat" for your new zeppelin. I think i'll make a tutorial for this afterwards because it is not ready yet!
Step 10: Test and Enjoy Sound Without Airbursts!!!
So that's it!
With a bit of patience and common sense you'll have a completely functional blimp and shock mount!
Darn! I'm completely surprised with the results, trust me!
I'll save my money to buy some other equipment ;)
Hoping that you guys/gals enjoyed this instructable, feel free to write, comment and ask any question you can think about.
Big hugs everyone!
pd: If you liked and use this for your personal or professional purposes, be kind, spread the word and give a bit of credit! xo <3