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Choosing a Shockmount for a Shotgun Microphone

By Sam Mallery

Shotgun Basics

Shotgun microphones are very sensitive tools. The problem is that unwanted noise is picked up when they vibrate. The solution is to utilize a small suspension system for the microphone called a shockmount.

What are the rubber bands for?

The rubber bands in a shockmount absorb the vibrations that would otherwise be transferred to the body of the microphone itself.

If you’re riding down the street in a vehicle that doesn’t have any shock absorbers and the pavement is riddled with potholes, you can bet that it'll be a really bumpy and noisy ride. A microphone shockmount works the same way shock absorbers do. They allow the shotgun to quietly float through the rough spots.

Shotgun microphones are used primarily on video cameras, boompoles, microphone stands, and pistol grips. All of the following methods benefit from the use of a shockmount:

In the near future, The B&H Pro Audio Update will feature more in-depth articles about the techniques and equipment associated with boompole operation, and many other aspects of field production, so stay tuned! Below we have created a brief breakdown of some popular shockmount options:


Rode SM3

The SM3 from Rode has the most features and flexibility in its price range, plus a 10-year warranty. It has a built-in camera shoe mount, and a 3/8" thread for boompole and pistol-grip mounting. With an MA100 adaptor from On-Stage, it can also mount on a mic stand.


Audio Technica AT8415 Deluxe

The AT8415 Deluxe from Audio-Technica works well on a boompole or pistol grip, and it comes with an adapter to mount it on a mic stand. This B&H exclusive utilizes K-Tek K-SUS deluxe 4-point polymer suspension mounts for optimal shock and motion isolation. With the optional AT84697 adaptor, it can mount on a camera shoe.


Azden SMH-1

The SMH-1 from Azden is a more affordable way to mount a shotgun directly on the shoe of a camera, or on a 3/8" thread of a boompole or pistol grip. It cannot swivel up and down like the Rode SM3, but it can mount on a mic stand with an MA100 adaptor from On-Stage.

Not all shockmounts fit every shotgun microphone universally. Shotguns have different sized diameters, and there are some size-specific mounts designed to accommodate them:


Rycote Multimount

The Multimount from Rycote is essentially a large rubber diaphragm, and therefore it’s more resistant to damage. It can mount directly to a camera shoe or to a 3/8" thread on a boompole or pistol grip. It comes in three sizes, small for 19-20mm diameter microphones, medium for 21-22mm, and large for 24-25mm.


K-Tek Shockmounts

K-Tek makes a variety of shockmounts for shotgun microphones with different diameter sizes. They have models for camera shoe mounting and models specifically for boompole mounting.

In the event that you need to mount a sensitive shotgun to a videocamera, but you don’t have an available shoe, a few products are available that occupy the camera’s built-in microphone clip. It might seem odd at first... a microphone mount that mounts inside of a microphone mount. Keep in mind that these are shockmounts that suspend the microphone from noise. Here is a short list:

For the Canon XL1 and XL2:

Lightwave MMXL

Panasonic and Sony video cameras:

Rode SM5 and the Rycote Mount with Clamp adaptor in small, medium, and large.

To clear up any questions you still may have about shotgun shockmounts, feel free to give us a
call at 1-800-416-5090. For more information on some of Pro Audio’s finer details, be sure
to check out future B&H Pro Audio Updates.

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