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DeepEnd

Mic boom counterweight

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My Samson C01U mike is heavy enough and the base on my mike stand small enough that it tends to tip. I checked online and found out a proper counterweight would run me $15-20 minimum but I'm cheap. A trip to the local hardware store netted a large cable clamp for a penny over $5 with tax:

[ATTACH=JSON]{"data-align":"none","data-size":"full","title":"Clamp.jpg","data-attachmentid":32412449}[/ATTACH]

All is well and if I need more weight later I can always buy another one.

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Cool idea!

 

I assume you have a stand with a round base... if you have one with a tripod base, sandbags and bricks work great too.

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Cool idea!

 

I assume you have a stand with a round base... if you have one with a tripod base, sandbags and bricks work great too.

 

With a round base, barbell weights work well. Pick 'em up cheap at Goodwill and the like.

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Cool idea!

 

I assume you have a stand with a round base... if you have one with a tripod base, sandbags and bricks work great too.

Yes, it's a round base. I bought the stand used via CraigsList, $15 with the boom. I use it for recording. If I were buying new I'd probably look for something with a tripod base. Lord knows I have plenty of crap lying around to use for dead weight.

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I'm using an old textbook.. :facepalm:

No need for facepalms. If it works and it's cheap it's a good idea. ;)

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If you're using a boom, one thing that will help is to not extend the boom arm any further than absolutely necessary. For a vocalist you should be able to keep it fairly close to the center pole of the stand, with most of the boom arm extended behind the stand, on the opposite side of the clutch from the singer. Use the center part of the stand to raise the mic to the appropriate height.

 

The closer you can keep the mic positioned towards the stand's center, the more stable it's going to be... especially when using big, heavy mics.

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If you're using a boom, one thing that will help is to not extend the boom arm any further than absolutely necessary. For a vocalist you should be able to keep it fairly close to the center pole of the stand, with most of the boom arm extended behind the stand, on the opposite side of the clutch from the singer. Use the center part of the stand to raise the mic to the appropriate height.

 

The closer you can keep the mic positioned towards the stand's center, the more stable it's going to be... especially when using big, heavy mics.

Thanks. The vocalist I record is me, sitting in a chair playing acoustic guitar in front of a computer desk, one mike to pick up both vocals and guitar. Not ideal but that's how I record and my needs are simple, one mike and Audacity. I just have the stand far enough away to be out of the way and the boom as short as possible, as you noted. Unfortunately, the stand still tips, which is why I needed a counterweight.

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Unfortunately, the stand still tips, which is why I needed a counterweight.

 

So, how's it working out? Do you think one is sufficient, or are you going to add another one?

 

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So, how's it working out? Do you think one is sufficient, or are you going to add another one?

I haven't experimented with it much but believe it or not, it's currently tipping slightly in the opposite direction. I need to move the counterweight closer to the center pole (or maybe extend the boom a bit more) until I achieve a balance. But the original problem appears solved, and for cheap too. Yay! If I think of it I'll put it on Mrs. DeepEnds's diet scale and see how much weight we're talking about. :)

Edited by DeepEnd
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No need for facepalms. If it works and it's cheap it's a good idea. ;)

 

Its actually quite effective. The weight is pretty evenly distributed along one of the stand legs. It's able to stabilize my stand with the boom at a horizontal mounted with an SM7B. I just don't like how it looks and the amount of floor space it takes up. Luckily its just tucked away in the corner of the room, and isn't in the way of anything.

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If I think of it I'll put it on Mrs. DeepEnds's diet scale and see how much weight we're talking about. :)

 

If you get a chance, please let us know - I'd be curious to know too... :wave:

 

 

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Okay, update: I haven't weighed my "counterweight" yet but with the counterweight pretty close to its end of the boom (next to the grip) the stand appears to balance when the boom is connected to the center rod at about the midpoint, with equal lengths of boom on either side. If I ran the boom out much further I'd probably need two counterweights, maybe not as far from the midpoint. One should probably work most of the time.

 

Its actually quite effective. The weight is pretty evenly distributed along one of the stand legs. It's able to stabilize my stand with the boom at a horizontal mounted with an SM7B. I just don't like how it looks and the amount of floor space it takes up. Luckily its just tucked away in the corner of the room' date=' and isn't in the way of anything.[/quote']

Effective is a necessity, pretty is optional. I like pretty as much as the next guy but given a choice between a pretty shovel and one that actually does job I'll take the ugly one. Could be because I'm not exactly "pretty" myself. ;)

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If you get a chance' date=' please let us know - I'd be curious to know too... :wave:[/quote']

Okay, final update: Mrs. DeepEnd's diet scale says a bit less than 12 ounces, about 335 grams. It's not a Postal scale so it's not super accurate but it should be fairly close. I could add small amounts of weight by adding extra nuts if I wanted, probably less than 50¢ each. All told I'm happy with it and I recommend it to anyone who needs a cheap solution.

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Okay, final update: Mrs. DeepEnd's diet scale says a bit less than 12 ounces, about 335 grams. It's not a Postal scale so it's not super accurate but it should be fairly close. I could add small amounts of weight by adding extra nuts if I wanted, probably less than 50¢ each. All told I'm happy with it and I recommend it to anyone who needs a cheap solution.

 

Nice. I'm curious of how it looks. Do you have any pictures of the setup?

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Yes, it's a round base. I bought the stand used via CraigsList, $15 with the boom. I use it for recording. If I were buying new I'd probably look for something with a tripod base. Lord knows I have plenty of crap lying around to use for dead weight.

 

A dumbbell or barbell weight works well.

 

I think they sell them in singles at Walmart.

 

If you have the tripod kind you can use a wheelbarrow inner tub, remover the stem and fill it with sand or water. Then put the stem back in place. Drape it over the tripod part.

 

 

 

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My Samson C01U mike is heavy enough and the base on my mike stand small enough that it tends to tip. I checked online and found out a proper counterweight would run me $15-20 minimum but I'm cheap. A trip to the local hardware store netted a large cable clamp for a penny over $5 with tax:

[ATTACH=JSON]{"data-align":"none","data-size":"full","title":"Clamp.jpg","data-attachmentid":32412449}[/ATTACH]

All is well and if I need more weight later I can always buy another one.

 

Might be useful for me. I use a boom with a flexible extension to get my mic over my two keyboard setup. Balance is often an issue, and a bit of extra counterweight couldn't hurt.

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Nice. I'm curious of how it looks. Do you have any pictures of the setup?

You just take the clamp apart by unscrewing the nuts, slide it over the boom, and reassemble it. It's mainly just a big U bolt. Here's a bad pic (sorry, my camera was almost out of juice so I only got one shot):

[ATTACH=JSON]{"data-align":"none","data-size":"full","title":"C_Weight.jpg","data-attachmentid":32417014}[/ATTACH]

That's the grip on the left and the main part of the boom is off to the right. The background is the wall of my basement. I'd say 60% of the boom is on the side away from the mike. It works well and it was cheap. :thu:

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Might be useful for me. I use a boom with a flexible extension to get my mic over my two keyboard setup. Balance is often an issue' date=' and a bit of extra counterweight couldn't hurt.[/quote']

$5 and a trip to the hardware store might be worth it. :thu: If you decide to go for it let us know how it works for you.

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I had the same issues with some boom stands maybe 10 years ago. I relied on using what I had lying around at home for the fix.

 

On the Vocal mic the drummer used a goose neck which adds allot of weight.

 

[ATTACH=JSON]{"data-align":"none","data-size":"full","title":"thumbnail_IMG_0423.jpg","data-attachmentid":32417486}[/ATTACH]

 

 

I used a heavy clamp like tool used to remove pressed bearings as a counterweight. Chances of me ever removing bearings again is a million to one so it's been repurposed.

 

[ATTACH=JSON]{"data-align":"none","data-size":"full","title":"thumbnail_IMG_0424.jpg","data-attachmentid":32417487}[/ATTACH]

 

Here's another you'll love. My overhead mics are mounted to a small piece of wood. Even though its fairly light, the quality of the mic stand is not very good. (You typically use your non critical, beat up mic stands for drums)

 

[ATTACH=JSON]{"data-align":"none","data-size":"full","title":"thumbnail_IMG_0425.jpg","data-attachmentid":32417488}[/ATTACH]

 

Between the weight of two mics, the holders and the cables the weight caused the stand to bow down and keel over.

I finally found the best fix was even better then duct tape. You can add a Bungee cord to those must have studio tools. It worked better then a counter weight in fact.

 

 

 

[ATTACH=JSON]{"data-align":"none","data-size":"full","title":"thumbnail_IMG_0429.jpg","data-attachmentid":32417489}[/ATTACH]

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I had the same issues with some boom stands maybe 10 years ago. I relied on using what I had lying around at home for the fix. . . .

 

. . . I used a heavy clamp like tool used to remove pressed bearings as a counterweight. Chances of me ever removing bearings again is a million to one so it's been repurposed.

 

Here's another you'll love. My overhead mics are mounted to a small piece of wood. Even though its fairly light, the quality of the mic stand is not very good. (You typically use your non critical, beat up mic stands for drums)

 

Between the weight of two mics, the holders and the cables the weight caused the stand to bow down and keel over.

I finally found the best fix was even better then duct tape. You can add a Bungee cord to those must have studio tools. It worked better then a counter weight in fact.

Yeah, found items can work. I could've used a C clamp or pretty much any fairly heavy object. I could've also attached something long and reasonably heavy to the boom with wire ties. The advantage of the cable clamp is that it's designed to be used on something round (like a cable--duh! or a mike boom). I keep a couple of bungee cords in the trunk of my car. You're right that you never know when you're going to need one. If I need one at home the car is right there in the driveway. A bungee cord can't do the same job as a counterweight though: If the stand is unbalanced it will still tip. The first step is figuring out what the actual problem is. After that you can search for the best solution.

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$5 and a trip to the hardware store might be worth it. :thu: If you decide to go for it let us know how it works for you.

 

Will do. I need to go to a hardware store, anyway.

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Here's another you'll love. My overhead mics are mounted to a small piece of wood. Even though its fairly light, the quality of the mic stand is not very good. (You typically use your non critical, beat up mic stands for drums)

 

[ATTACH=JSON]{"data-align":"none","data-size":"full","title":"thumbnail_IMG_0425.jpg","data-attachmentid":32417488}[/ATTACH]

 

Between the weight of two mics, the holders and the cables the weight caused the stand to bow down and keel over.

I finally found the best fix was even better then duct tape. You can add a Bungee cord to those must have studio tools. It worked better then a counter weight in fact.

 

 

 

[ATTACH=JSON]{"data-align":"none","data-size":"full","title":"thumbnail_IMG_0429.jpg","data-attachmentid":32417489}[/ATTACH]

 

 

That IS an interesting idea!

 

Now about your cable management... ;)

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That IS an interesting idea!

 

Now about your cable management... ;)

 

Neat cables are the sign of a sick mind.

 

Yer SPOSETA trip over 'em :rolleyes:

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Neat cables are the sign of a sick mind.

 

 

Guilty as charged...

 

[ATTACH=JSON]{"data-align":"none","data-size":"full","title":"fetch?id=31139349&d=1398720428.jpg","data-attachmentid":32419364}[/ATTACH]

 

 

 

 

 

Yer SPOSETA trip over 'em :rolleyes:

 

 

It's one thing if *I* trip over them, but if a client does, it's a potential injury and liability... but more importantly, they'd mess up my carefully positioned drum mikes! :mad2:;)

 

 

 

 

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Guilty as charged...

 

[ATTACH=JSON]{"data-align":"none","data-size":"full","title":"fetch?id=31139349&d=1398720428.jpg","data-attachmentid":32419364}[/ATTACH]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It's one thing if *I* trip over them, but if a client does, it's a potential injury and liability... but more importantly, they'd mess up my carefully positioned drum mikes! :mad2:;)

 

 

 

 

Drums are for marching bands :rolleyes:

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Drums are for marching bands :rolleyes:

 

There's a similar line in the Buddy Holly Story where a Nashville producer (Owen Bradley) tells him that drums are for parades or something along those lines... of course that didn't go over very well with the band, and is one of the reasons Buddy headed to Clovis to work with Norman Petty.

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There's a similar line in the Buddy Holly Story where a Nashville producer (Owen Bradley) tells him that drums are for parades or something along those lines... of course that didn't go over very well with the band, and is one of the reasons Buddy headed to Clovis to work with Norman Petty.

 

Ask any purist bluegrasser or folkie ;)

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Guilty as charged...

 

[ATTACH=JSON]{"data-align":"none","data-size":"full","title":"fetch?id=31139349&d=1398720428.jpg","data-attachmentid":32419364}[/ATTACH]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It's one thing if *I* trip over them, but if a client does, it's a potential injury and liability... but more importantly, they'd mess up my carefully positioned drum mikes! :mad2:;)

 

I can't believe you let your cables cross each other. Don't you know that that will generate unmusical harmonics? ;)

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That IS an interesting idea!

 

Now about your cable management... ;)

 

 

 

I don't run many cables along the floor. They look bad and get tripped over which is a major cause of them failing. Instead I used hooks suspended from the ceiling where I can bundle all the cables overhead. In the case of the drums I use an 8 channel snake and it terminates over the drum set and then I just use short 6' drops from the ceiling.

 

I usually have them clipped together in a bundle but I had them apart recently when I took some of the mics cables to a gig.

 

Having a mic cable hang from the ceiling is a real blessing when swapping out mics too.

If you don't have a semi permanent setup or you're worried about having cables hung I can see where leaving them on the floor is your only option.

 

I do that with my guitar setup of course. I run the wires then use clips to gang them together then stiff throw rugs in areas where thay might be tripped over.

 

NEVER use duct tape on cables. The sticky stuff gets on the cables, collects dirt and gets real nasty.

If its fairly permanent, go to the dollar store and buy wire ties. you can get the smaller ones in a bag of 100 for a dollar, and the large ones 20 for a dollar. You have to use nippers to remove them.

 

For temporary management, I use these all the time. I get them for free at work when I have office gear coming back from customers and you can clip a half dozen cables together with the big ones. The tongs can be hung on a screw in the wall of ceiling. I can even clip a cable to a desktop edge easily and remove it any time its necessary. Use a couple on a boom stand too. Keeps the cables neat and tight and I can run my Voice box tube along side when I use it.

 

[ATTACH=JSON]{"data-align":"none","data-size":"full","title":"AClip.JPG","data-attachmentid":32421104}[/ATTACH]

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NEVER use duct tape on cables. The sticky stuff gets on the cables, collects dirt and gets real nasty.

 

Yup - I learned that lesson the hard way decades ago.

 

If its fairly permanent, go to the dollar store and buy wire ties. you can get the smaller ones in a bag of 100 for a dollar, and the large ones 20 for a dollar. You have to use nippers to remove them.

 

There are actually some nylon ties that have a tab that allows you to remove them without having to cut them, although you're correct that the vast majority have to be cut off once applied.

 

For temporary management, I use these all the time. I get them for free at work when I have office gear coming back from customers and you can clip a half dozen cables together with the big ones. The tongs can be hung on a screw in the wall of ceiling. I can even clip a cable to a desktop edge easily and remove it any time its necessary. Use a couple on a boom stand too. Keeps the cables neat and tight and I can run my Voice box tube along side when I use it.

 

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I use those occasionally too - they can definitely come in handy.

 

Ball-end elastic hair ties are also something I use fairly often - they're much faster and easier to use on coiled cables than velcro straps.

 

 

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Guilty as charged...

 

[ATTACH=JSON]{"alt":"Click image for larger version Name:\tfetch?id=31139349&d=1398720428.jpg Views:\t1 Size:\t325.0 KB ID:\t32419364","data-align":"none","data-attachmentid":"32419364","data-size":"full","title":"fetch?id=31139349&d=1398720428.jpg"}[/ATTACH]

 

It's one thing if *I* trip over them, but if a client does, it's a potential injury and liability... but more importantly, they'd mess up my carefully positioned drum mikes! :mad2:;)

 

Phil...you need to build a riser for that drum kit and put a bank of XLR jacks around the perimeter. I did this in my old home studio, and I also had mic cables routed across the ceiling through a series of eye bolts and hooks, and then I could just drop the connectors over the mic locations ...

we've also done overhead drops in the 'new' Alta Dena studio's drum room, but I have not built the perimeter strip yet...that's on next year's schedule. I will also be making 'custom' length XLR cables for the house drum kit mics...

Edited by daddymack

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they also tend to look askance at non-traditional materials...do not bring a Rainsong to a bluegrass jam...

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Phil...you need to build a riser for that drum kit and put a bank of XLR jacks around the perimeter.

 

A studio I was CE at had installed a riser before I started there - I asked them to remove it, which they did once I showed them a frequency response plot of the drums recorded sitting on the riser vs. sitting on the concrete floor. Unless they're done just right, the dang things can be huge bass resonators. I'm not really a fan... YMMV.

 

 

 

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