As part of my preparations for teaching at DMAC Institute (Digital Media and Composition: official site; or the DMAC blog) this summer at Ohio State, I’m (very slowly) getting my new media production gear in order. I recently a decent shock mount (audio-technica 8415) for my desktop station to keep my mic (audi0-technica 8035) sounding good even when I’m typing or I need to move the mic during recording. Mostly, I use the station to put together screen casts, how-to’s, and revision comments for my students. It’s also a great mic for Skype calls or video podcasts.
Anyway, I’m going to be pretty mobile this summer, spending time in Ann Arbor for Computers and Writing 2011 and in Columbus for DMAC. But there are other people I’d like to visit this summer, too. And I’m also thinking about getting out and being more mobile, maybe working some interviews into this blog (local book artists, local grad students, people I run into at conferences, etc. We’ll see). Basically, I want to figure out workflows/protocols that will break down some of the most common barriers to regularly creating content, especially while I’m on the road or out of the house. I’m thinking… iPhone, iPad (be here soon!), Macbook, Edirol, etc. But I want a better mic than what’s available on those machines. I think it’s probably part of my wanting to take a little more pride in the content I’m creating, as well as figuring out the role of hardware in the development of a new media writer’s “style” (with a nod and apology to stylists like Joseph Williams or Strunk/White). I think a DIY aesthetic/orientation is essential to new media production and scholarship in the academy. (Maybe I’ll get into this later.) I wanted to be able to use a decent mic, insulate it from knocks and machine noise, and make it easily/quickly/portably clip-able to my iPhone, iPad, Macbook screen, or tripod. It took longer than I expected, but I’m happy with it.
So, I offer the following simple little project. A shock mount for my small/portable/great shotgun mic (Azden SMX-10). Basically, I just copied a how-to video from Scott Egelston at his amazing blog: TheFrugalFilmMaker.com. He covers the details better than I do, but my design has a couple variations on his. He’s obviously more skilled/experienced than I am, but I’m still very happy with what I produced. The mount is exactly what I wanted it to be, and it’s waaay cheaper than the consumer mount I mention above. Here’s a few pics (available via Flickr, if you want ’em), followed by a show-n-tell video, and that followed by a brief note.
If you’ve got a link to your own DIY project related to film making, photography, or anything else you think might be relevant, please post a link or send me something so I can comment on it, repost it, etc. And if you have any ideas about how I might improve the design, I’d love to hear the ideas. I’m probably going to be making one more before DMAC this summer.