While attending the R.A.M.P.S./JWSOUND party at NAB this year, I found myself holding the winning raffle ticket for this beautiful Cinela Shockmount for a Sennheiser MKH-50 microphone. Now full disclosure, I did have two raffle tickets. Gerry Formicola from the amazing Second City Sound in Chicago gave me his (thanks Gerry!), but that one didn’t have the winning number on it. Scout’s honor.
I want to give a shout out to the people at Cinela for donating this to the raffle. It was extremely generous of them and of all of the other vendors who donated their fine products. I figured that the least that I could do was to try and spread the word to those who don’t already know how great these little guys are.
The first and most obvious difference between this shock mount and the ones that we more commonly see is that the microphone is suspended from the top, rather than from the bottom. The mounting section is suspended about the boom pole connection point by two plastic rings which have been specifically sized, shaped, and molded to hold up an MKH-50. The fact that this model is designed solely for this microphone makes everything to do with it buttery smooth.
The low profile XLR attached to the mount has a non locking connector. So the operator simply and snugly slides the microphone into it, and then secures the front end to the mount with an elastic strap as seen below.
When everything is set up, you can see that clear as day, these two were meant for each other. I can’t think of anything that I would improve. There is zero handling and shaking noise with this pair. The Cinela absorbs even the most violent shakes. Now obviously nothing is 100% and if you are actually trying to shake the thing so hard that you can hear noise, then you will succeed. But for real world operating situations, this is the best there is. Lightweight and perfectly balanced.
As you can see above, the low profile xlr is just that: low profile. This makes the entire mount better able to adapt to tight spaces.
The user is able to adjust the mounting point for the microphone holder as seen in the second photo above, however I found that the stock position is perfectly balanced for the MKH-50.
The low profile end of the xlr leads to a standard sized Neutrik connector which is mounted away from the side where the boom pole connects. I have found that this aids in reducing the risk of handling noise. The opposite side is a swivel joint which obviously allows the mount to be tilted, but specifically in a way which keeps the mount’s profile low in general. There is a “U” shaped track on where it slides, making adjustments smooth and compact.
In summary, in case it wasn’t already obvious. I like this thing a lot, and you should all get one.
Now, check the video below for some video examples, as well as an audio sample of the mount being shaken with no audible handling noise!
Jared Elkin is a professional sound mixer located in Minneapolis, Minnesota.