Introduction: Microphone Blimp
Wind across a microphone causes distortion and unwanted noise for videographers and nature recorders while taping outside. The purpose of the microphone 'blimp' is to attenuate the wind noise without interfering with the desired sound. Blimps are expensive. This project came in under $40.
Mics are interchangeable in this blimp (if the mic's diameter will fit inside).
Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.
Step 1: Materials
'Nugget' bird feeder from Agway ~ $20
Paint roller from Walmart ~ $2.25
Scrunchie hair elastics ~ $3
Sink strainer from Bed Bath & Beyond ~ $4
Microphone(s) (assumed you already have these)
(Materials not shown)
Five feather boas from Michael's craft store ~$10
Black thread and needle
paint roller extension pole from Home Depot ~ $16
Step 2: Attach Mic Shock Mount Cords
1. Use a hacksaw to cut off the fixed end of the bird feeder tube. Pull the removeable end of the tube off and retain for later use.
2. Cut the elastics in half and thread the elastic through the grill in the bird feeder (a long pair of hemostats is helpful).
3. Clip one end of the elastic (a bulldog clip or similar) and thead the other end of the elastic through the grill and clip that end (see figure with clips).
4. Use superglue to glue the elastic band ends together. If the ends don't stick, use scissors to cut the glue off of each end before attempting to glue again.
5. Continue with other bands until an 'X' pattern is achieved.
6. Repeat 'X' pattern until three sets of elastics are mounted (see figure)
7. Test elastics position by sliding the mic through the sets of elastics as shown in two figures. Ensure that the mic doesn't touch the sides, because any movement of the blimp will cause the sound of the knocking of the mic against the grill on the recording.
Step 3: Mount the Grip Handle
1. Use a hacksaw to cut the roller from the paint roller handle. Ensure that the cut leaves a small amount of tip above the bend, so that this tip can be inserted into the grill for support purposes.
2. Bend the handle away from 90 degree, if desired. In other words, check the angle of the handle in the completed project. I didn't want mine straight up and down when I pointed it at my sound source.
3. Insert the tip that was left after cutting the roller off into the tube grillwork.
4. I used thin brass wire to attach the grip handle and then followed that with epoxy. Your ingenuity is probably better - U-shaped bolts or whatever.
Step 4: Mount the Screen in the Removeable Top
1. Use a Dremel or other cutting tool to remove a 2-inch diameter disc from the removeable top of the bird feeder.
2. Insert the sink strainer screen into the bottom of the modifed bird feeder top to measure the amount of screen to be cut. A grease pencil is useful to mark the screen -- otherwise, eyeballing it is OK.
3. Use a heavy set of scissors to cut the strainer screen to the proper size.
4. Insert the screen cutout through the bottom of the bird feeder cap and epoxy it into place.
5. With a needle and black thread, sew the tip of the feather boa to the apex of the screen. Wrap and sew the boa to the screen in a spiral fashion over the screen and glue the remainder onto the rim of the feeder top. Hold it up to a light to ensure there aren't any gaps in the sewing job.
Step 5: Wrap the Tube
Note: Recommend that the boa string be tied instead of glued to the grillwork, because an elastic might break or some other minor disaster; you might need to unwrap and repair. Make use of the elastics as tie downs for the boa wrap.
1. Wrap the boa around the feeder tube. Leave enough tube space for the cap to be put on.
Step 6: Test the Mic Blimp
1. Insert a mic into the elastics and cable it to your pre-amp & recorder.
2. Take off the removeable cap & blow into the end of the mic. Noisy? You bet.
3. Put the cap back on and blow into the mic. No distortion? Good it works