Introduction: DIY Microphone Stand
If you're here, it means you're trying to build your own mic stand. The collective wisdom of the internet will simply tell you to duct tape your mic to a broom and lean it up against a chair. DON'T LISTEN TO THEM. There's a million better ways to do this - here's mine.
Step 1: Parts
All the components for this mic stand can be found at the hardware store. I had to go to Home Depot for some of the joints, but most of it was at the local store.
see the parts list in the image above, and read on to see how they're used.
Step 2: The Boom Arm
What's difficult about making a boom mic stand is that a professional boom stand is riddled with pivot joints - these allow you to adjust the angle of the mic in almost infinite ways. Hardware stores don't carry these kinds of joints (to my knowledge) - so we'll be using the union tee fittings to achieve a similar effect.
These fittings allow you to slip a piece of PVC pipe (we'll use 1/2 inch) right through the top of the tee. On either end, there's a sort of cap that screws on and off, and inside that cap is a little rubber ring. As you screw the cap tighter, it compresses the rubber ring around the pipe and holds it in place. We'll be using these to adjust our boom arm.
Ready for step one, now?
First you'll want to remove the rubber ring from one end of each tee - this way, you'll only need to tighten and loosen one cap in order to make adjustments. So remove the ring at one end, loosen up the other end, and slip your PVC segments into each tee.
move on to step 3 to see how we finish the arm.
Step 3: The Boom Continues
now you've got two of these adjustable tee assemblies. And we're going to connect the longer 2' tee to the shorter one, using the 1/2 inch threaded adapter. The threaded end will screw into the base of the tee, and the slip end will fit over the end of the shorter PVC pipe (for extra power, you can glue the adapter to the pipe) See the pictures for a more complete explanation of how this works.
NEXT (ready?) is the mic clip. I'm positive that you can buy actual mic clips, but whilst I was at the Home Depot, I found a PVC fitting called a 'slip-snap' fitting. It's like a threaded tee joint, but the top of the tee is open (the 'snap' end?) this baby works like a charm for mics - if you can't find one, try a simple 1/2 inch tee fitting - the mic won't 'snap' in, but it should slide in all the same. See picture for assembly instructions.
Don't forget to connect your mic clip assembly to your boom arm with the 1/2 inch elbow fitting.
Step 4: The Base
Here's where it's tricky - Your PVC boom arm is awfully light, and your mic is probably not. You need a base that is sturdy and heavy, so that your stand won't tip. since the tee joint on my boom arm was threaded, I went ahead and got a 1/2 inch metal threaded pipe. It doesn't bend, and it weighs enough not to tip over.
To make it stand up, I screwed a 1/2 inch threaded adapter plate to a board. The pipe screws into the plate on the board, and the boom arm assembly screws onto the top of the pipe.
Step 5: Complete Success and Tips
There's a lot of room for tweaks and adjustments here, but it does what it's supposed to do!
I went through some trial and error with this stand, so here's some tips:
whatever you do for the base, make sure it's sturdy and heavy. I started out using a PVC pipe for the base (cheaper) - but the weight of the mic made it bend and tip.
Make sure all your fittings are the right diameter! Take your mic to the hardware store to measure the clips- make sure it fits. If any of your fittings are larger than 1/2 inch, make sure your pipes and connectors are also larger - everything has to be the right diameter to fit together!
Actual boom mic stands go for as cheap as $25 - I will attest that this DIY stand is rugged and fun to make, but don't spend much more on supplies than you would on an actual mic stand!
Finally, I may have gotten the names of some of these pieces wrong - please correct me if so. Have fun!