LOOKING FOR A PORTABLE SHOCKMOUNT
Since I’m a fan of Zoom’s handheld recorders and an owner of both the H2 and the H6 models, I had to find some kind of suspension to get rid of handling noise that Zoom recorders easily pick up when held from the chassis. A friend of mine told me about a solution for small recorder mounting: The Rycote Portable Recorder Suspension.
70-80€ (+ 30-40€ Soft Grip Handle)
130-170€ (Recorder-specific Kits)
Rycote’s own product site can be found HERE
FIRST IMPRESSIONS & SPECIFICATIONS
I’ve been a frequent Rycote user when using a full-size microphone boom. Rycote’s microphone holders called Lyres are a good way to minimize structure-borne noise. The Portable Recorder Suspension uses a very similar structure to isolate the recorder from the holding point (like a human hand, a Gorillapod or a small tripod). The Lyre structure is made out of high‑tech thermoplastic that makes the system highly resilient against extreme temperatures, breaking by impact or bending.
By a combination of rubber layer around the ¼ mounting thread and Lyre-based structure the suspension carries any small recorder softly. At the other end of the Suspension is an adapter for a ⅜ thread so it can be attached to a boom pole or a large tripod if needed. Quite a nice possibility to attach an H2 onto a heavy mic stand disc and place the recorder in the middle of a train track! I haven’t yet attempted to record a train roaring over in Surround Mode but I will!
There are also several different recorder-specific Kits on the market that include the Suspension, Soft Grip Handle and windjammers, depending on the mic structure of the recorder.
The Suspension is quite lightweight by itself so if you want to do, say, a moving take – like recording your own footsteps in an echoing corridor or record car interior sounds while you’re friend is driving – your arm won’t be tired after holding the recorder. A comfortable Soft Grip Handle is also available and gets rid of slight hand movement noises. The Suspension has standard thread options to mount it to anything that has a ⅜” or ¼”-20 stud.
When it comes to the ability to carry weight, the Suspension works well with anything lighter than the Zoom H6, which makes the structure feel a bit wobbly. For that I would recommend the heavier version called The Portable Suspension HD. However, I decided to include a piece of rough test footage in this review, so I shot myself holding my H6 (XY 90 degrees setup) while running and recording my own footsteps. In the video you can hear a little booming structure-born noise but I think that’s just because the H6 is a bit heavy for the standard shockmount.
All in all, I’m quite happy with Rycote’s shockmount solution. It does what it promises without being overpriced. The suspension is light, versatile and compact. A great buy for any mobile recording enthusiast. Well worth the price!
- lightweight yet firm structure
- mounting thread adapter included
- isolates handling and vibration noises nicely
- the Lyres can cause a little low rumble when quickly pivoted
- a bit wobbly with heavier recorders