Sorbothane Reduces Vibration in Microphones for Hook Studios

The Client: Hook Studios in Los Angeles, California


Hook Studios features the industry’s most advanced accessories for classic and contemporary microphones. “The Hook” offers pop filters, stand decouplers and more to aid in micing vocals, guitars, drums and all instruments. Hook caters to engineers in both recording and live sound production whose projects demand the highest quality.

The Challenge: Vibration Issues When Recording Music

Recording engineers, artists, producers, and songwriters have always tried to achieve the best recording sound possible in their current environment. In some cases, a single microphone on a single source, or multiple microphones on many sources such as drums, ensembles, and choirs will cause vibrations. For example, a drum kit in a recording studio can have 8+ microphones. Directional mics are used with very tight (hyper-cardioid) patterns. All the activity also creates unwanted sounds, like shaking noises and stage floor vibrations.

Audio engineers are always looking to reduce vibration affecting microphones to obtain more clarity of recorded sources in studios, on location or live stages. Reduction of vibration to the mic results in better quality recorded sound.

In each case, the question remains as to how to record the best individual sound. Cumulative harmful sounding elements add up. Physical separation of performers, instruments, and equipment, if possible, can help. The use of acoustic sound dividers, portable padded wall systems help to address these issues. But the cumulative noise-vibration issue (i.e., floor sounds transferring via the stands) often shake a microphone and its capsule.

Moving Away from the Conventional Microphone

Conventional microphone holder clips are typically an ABS plastic and metal threaded insert.

The suspension mounts are meant to work with only “one” specific microphone. Current suspension mounts are an intricate design of the frame and associated stretch cords fitted on the frame to suspend and isolate the microphone.

Sorbothane® designers were tasked with building a “universal decoupler mechanical isolator microphone mount” that would be attached directly between the microphone and the microphone stand using standard threads.

The mount would have a separate soft center section between the male mount and the female connector to physically separate metal-to-metal and decouple a microphone from the microphone stand. Initially, hard rubber, drum cymbal felt, and sand-filled units were tested.

A simple 3-piece design was developed. Consisting of a male threaded aluminum round outer plate, rubber or drum cymbal felt compression center and a female threaded aluminum round outer plate, all connected with a single centered nylon screw.

The Solution: Use an Isolation Mount with an Existing Microphone Decoupler

Isolation Mount

During the development and testing process, research revealed shock-absorbing insoles made of viscoelastic Sorbothane would help solve this unique problem. This discovery led to the use of Sorbothane washers for the “compression center member” and spawned the initial idea to sew three pieces of Sorbothane together with Kevlar thread.  Kevlar thread sewn around the perimeter demonstrated better stabilization and overall strength for heavier microphones.  Working with the Sorbothane engineering department, custom components were designed to handle different microphones

Independent audio engineers have thoroughly field-tested the Hook Microphone Decoupler over two years. These tests revealed a marked reduction in “metallic” strike type impact sounds, as well as a reduction in vibration and unwanted floor noise. Besides, the Decoupler may be used with an existing suspension mount to reduce vibration even further.

Critical studio listening tests using the MMD reveal increased clarity of the recorded source, especially with loud guitar cabinets. Much vibration of stands and hardware typically occurs in such situations, interfering with accurate harmonic overtone reproduction of the intended source. The MMD provides this decoupled suspension and vibration absorption regardless of the microphone’s direction or angle.

Seeing and Hearing the Results

microphone mount

The patent-pending microphone mounts mechanically decouple microphones successfully from the direct contact between the microphone holder assembly and the microphone stand. Thus, it reduces unwanted vibration, resulting in clarity of sound. The Hook Studios Mechanical Microphone Decoupler is easy to use and universally compatible with most OEM microphone clip holders and mounts that use standard 5/8″- 27 threads.

Learn more about Hook Studios:

The Hook Studios
Phone: (818) 579-4665