Fig. 1 The The top recording didn’t use TriPads; the lower one did. It’s pretty obvious which has less noise.
Isolate your mic stand from floor resonances and vibrations
If the floor or stage vibrates, those vibrations could work their way up a mic stand and into your mic. Actually, they will; the only question is, how much.
With TriPad, the answer is, “a lot less.” TriPad consists of three pads made of high density, opencell acoustic foam. They wrap over the leg tips of any tripod mic stand that’s angled the same as the industry-standard K&M 201 stand (the non- K&M tripod stands in my studio matched the angle properly). The foam is quite firm, so the mic stand remains stable; because they wrap around the leg tip, you can pick up the mic stand and move it around.
Give Me A Break. Does it Really Work?
We thought you’d ask, but we didn’t just want to say “Yeah, it sorta seems to work, I guess” but instead, actually come up with a way to test it.
Part of my studio floor floats, so I set up a tripod mic stand, mounted a Shure SM58, fed the mic out into Wavelab, and turned the gain up full. To make the floor vibrate without creating noise, I did silent squat thrusts that moved the floor up and down slightly, with those vibrations transmitted to the mic stand.
I first stood about a foot away from the mic stand. The difference with and without TriPads was dramatic—but then I thought that was too easy. After all, sound levels fall off with distance, and few singers would have the mic stand set up a foot away from, say, a kick drum.
So I tried the same test about five feet away, and the results were still dramatic (Figure 1; note that the waveform levels were raised within Wavelab by an equal amount of gain to make the waveforms easier to see). The top recording is without TriPad, and you can see the floor motion peaks hit mostly between –2 and –6dB. With TriPad, the peaks fall between about –6 and –15dB. But, also look at the non-peak vibrations: The non-TriPad waveform has a lot more low-frequency content.
So does it work? Well, ask the waveforms.
One of my favorite trade show moments was when Peter Janis, Primacoustic’s head honcho, was demoing the Recoil Stabilizer for the first time. When he tried to describe it, he was at a loss for words; as he held it and tried to figure out what to say, he blurted out, “Well, it’s kind of a dumbass idea, but it really works.” TriPad is yet another idea that’s so obvious, no one ever thought of it before, but apparently, Primacoustic’s specialty is dumbass ideas that really work. The price is certainly right for keeping crud out of your mic. After all—are you the singer, or the floor?
Dumbass idea, but it really works. Inexpensive. Works with most tripod mic stands. Really does help decouple the mic stand from floor vibrations.
Not applicable to mic stands with circular bottom plates.
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