Introduction: Tabletop Microphone Shockmount
A while ago, I picked up a Zoom H2n recorder to go along with my DLSR video rig. Since then, I've found myself using the H2N more and more. Most recently, I recorded an open mike night at a local venue. What I've found is that low frequency vibrations (i.e. bass and/or drums) cause distortion in the recordings when the unit is placed on a table or other surface. An isolation mount or stand of some sort is an absolutely necessity. After building several of the DIY shockmounts found here on Instructables and other places on the internet, I decided to roll my own style. I wanted something that I could sit on a table, offered a decent amount of isolation, and that would attach to the Zoom H2n by threading into the tripod mount on the bottom of the recorder.
So this is what I came up with. It does well to reduce the distortion created by low frequency vibrations when recording live music. It will work to a lesser degree to reduce table noise during podcasts, interviews, narrations, and other similar activities.
All of the materials used come from my scrap bins, but if you were to purchase everything new, total cost would still be less than $15 (US). Total build time is less than an hour, not including paint drying time.
4" Hole Saw and a suitable drill
1/4" drill bit
Small flathead screwdriver
Ruler or tape measure
Sandpaper and/or electric sander
Materials you'll need:
6" x 6" x 3/4" MDF, wood, or plywood
1/4-20 bolts, 1 1/2" long with washers and nuts
Elastic hair ties
Step 1: Main Components
This version is made from 3/4 inch thick MDF (medium density fiberboard), although it would work just as well with plywood, pressboard, or solid wood. You'll need a piece about 6 inches square.
Using a hole saw drill a large hole in the middle of the square. The exact size does not matter. In this case, it's 4 inches, as that's the size hole saw I had on hand. If you don't own on, and can't borrow one, the same effect can be achieved using a jigsaw.
We'll be using both the square piece and the round cutout, so don't discard anything.
Step 2: Sanding
The hole saw doesn't produce a perfect edge, so a little sanding cleans up the rough edges. Reducing the diameter of the round part will help later on, so don't be shy with the sandpaper. I'm using a benchtop belt sander here, but any sanding method or machine will do just fine.
Step 3: Drill Some Holes
Now it's time for some holes. There's 9 of them in total, although we already drilled the one in the middle on the first step.
On the square piece, drill 1 hole in each corner, 1 inch from the inside edge of the hole with a 1/4 inch drill bit.
On the round piece, drill 4 evenly spaced holes 1/2 inch from the edge with the same 1/4 inch drill bit.
It's important that all of the holes are drilled straight up and down as acurately as possible. Errors made during this step will change the alignment of the assembled mount.
Step 4: Hardware Time
Now it's time for some hardware. I've chosen 1/4-20 nuts and bolts as they're available everywhere (at least here in the US), and they're inexpensive. We're going to use the following:
4 x 1/4-20 1 1/2 inches long
8 x 1/4" washers
4 x 1/4-20 threaded coupling
At each corner of the square piece, assemble the hardware as shown.
Step 5: Hair Ties
For the round piece, thread a stretchy hair tie through each of the 4 outside holes. I used a small screwdriver to push them through.
In the middle hole, I used a short 1/4-20 bolt. This will be used to attach the recorder.
Step 6: Assembly
One at a time, stretch each hair tie over the nut/bolt at each corner. Attach the recorder to the middle bolt and you're ready.
If the edge of the round piece touches the inside of the square piece, try adjusting the hair ties to center the round piece in the hole. If that doesn't help, reduce the diameter of the round piece by sanding or filing it.
Step 7: Viola!
Here's our finished product, ready to be used.
While it looks nice, and appears to function as desired, only a side by side comparison will show if it does actually work. As mentioned earlier, its' intended purpose is to reduce low frequency vibrations picked up by the recorder through the surface that it's sitting on. Initial testing seems to indicate that it works fairly well.
Some optional extras you might want to add to this project are:
Add some paint
Put rubber feet on the legs to avoid scratching the table
Make a strain relief or other method to secure headphone/remote wires to the square piece
Use a proper thumbscrew (like a tripod) to attach the recorder.
Add something heavy to the square piece for more stability
Thanks for checking out my first Instructable. Comments, critiques, and kudos are most welcome.
8 years ago on Introduction
Looks like a simple build that gets the job done. I like. I've been looking at the H2n myself and will most likely need something like this platform shock mount. If you don't mind, could you tell me what you like and don't like about the H2n? Have you used other recorders, and if so, how do they compare? I don't need a full review of the product, but a brief opinion of the pros and cons would be greatly appreciated.
Reply 8 years ago on Introduction
The H2n has performed well for me so far. I've used it both with external microphones, as well as with the internals. Battery life is good, and the audio quality is on par with other similar units. When using the internal microphones, it's important to avoid touching the unit, as it will pick up handling noises. The available wired remote control helps with reducing these noises. The menu system takes a little getting used to, but once I learned it, it's not particularly difficult to use. Overall, I'm happy with my purchase, and the price was good. Like with any other audio recorder, proper recording techniques will produce good results.
8 years ago
great!... this concept i am traying to build a smartphone mount for my car... i use smartphone as a DVR camera, and vibrations of diesel engine and bad roads make it hard to record good and stable video... thanks!...
10 years ago on Introduction
great idea! maybe the holes could be done before the cutting? thanks 4 sharing
Reply 10 years ago on Introduction
Yes, that would probably make the drilling easier. I would suggest not drilling the middle hole before using the hole saw unless you use the same size bit at the pilot bit of the hole saw. If this hole is a loose fit, the hole saw might not drill properly. If you're using a different method to cut out the circle, such as a jigsaw, drill the middle hole ahead of time would be fine.
Thanks for adding to the project.
10 years ago on Introduction
10 years ago on Step 7
Great Work ! This concept could be extended to a floating chair bottom.