posts tagged with the keyword ‘audio’


Boom Pole Mount

Recently I’ve been on a few shoots where I’m doing the audio, and if you’re holding a boom pole and trying to keep the mic out of the shot, it can be a bit difficult to adjust the recorder, which you’ve typically got resting on something nearby, or if you’re moving around, holding in your hand. Obviously I needed a “BPM” and this time it’s not “Beats Per Minute” but “Boom Pole Mount”, which will hold the Zoom on the boom pole freeing up one hand to made adjustments or, you know, help steady the boom pole. (Maybe it needs a better name, like “Zoom2Boom” or something.)

As often is the case… 3D Printing to the rescue!

3D model

I measured the second segment of the boom pole and it came in at 30.2mm in diameter, so I fired up OpenSCAD and started to design a piece that would mount to the pole. (I should also note at this point that I’m not the greatest at math.)

2D test

I thought that instead of printing a test piece I would make a paper prototype to test the fit, so I converted my 3D STL file into a 2D DXF file in OpenSCAD. I figured that wasting a bit of paper was better than wasting a bunch of plastic. It’s also much faster.

Silhouette cutting

I used the Silhouette Cameo to cut my DXF file using a page from an old calendar. (Reuse! Recycle!) Of course once it was cut I realized that I used 30.2mm for the radius instead of 15.125mm. Drat! Lesson learned, you can use d for diameter instead of r for radius in OpenSCAD.

Final 3D model

Back to the old drawing board, by which we mean the “constructive solid geometry” software. This is version 2 of the design. Version 1 was lacking the holes for the hex bolt heads to fit into on the flanges, and was a little thin. Version 2 seems to have resolved all the issues that version 1 fell short on.

Boom Pole Mount

A few bolts, nuts, and knobs (just like the arm uses) and we’ve got a pretty solid piece that I trust to hold the recorder to the boom pole with. The one thing we may need to watch out for is over-tightening the knobs, as that could lead to cracking the plastic. I can probably solve this by adding more infill to the print (it’s at 35% now) or by a slight redesign. We’ll field test this one first though, to see how it holds up.


Since I’ve got the RepRap I can start on some projects I’ve been meaning to tackle, one of which is printing some camera accessories.

Hot Shoe Audio Mount

Thingiverse is full of weird combos of objects smashed together, such as the Lepus Colberus (The Colberabbit), but you can also combine individual objects in other ways.

I grabbed this 1/4-20 Thumb Screw and this Nikon DIY GPS Holder and combined them into a new thing.

Hot Shoe Audio Mount

The nice thing about the “Nikon DIY GPS Holder” I printed was that I can see it being a generic part I can modify in the future. I can easily import the STL file into Google Sketchup and built on top of it. (I did find this camera mount accessory, but the assembly was a little more complex than I wanted to deal with.) It did take a little bit of work with a file to get the part to fit the hot shoe on my Nikon, but that’s probably a good thing. I got it to fit just as snug as I wanted after minimal filing and sanding.

Hot Shoe Audio Mount

I’m still calling this one a prototype. I ended up drilling out the hole for the bolt, and I cut the head off the bolt to be able to make it all fit together. It works, but I can see some improvements for next time. (I’m also expecting better quality from the RepRap as I get better at calibrating and operating it.)

Hot Shoe Audio Mount

Here’s the mount on the hot shoe of my camera. I haven’t done a ton of video shooting with the Nikon D3200 yet, but I know that most DSLR microphones are not very good, and secondary audio is pretty standard, so by mounting the Zoom H2 on the camera I can get better audio, and I can also monitor the audio, which you can’t do with the Nikon D3200. (The Nikon D800 does allow you to monitor audio from the camera, but we still haven’t received ours.)

So besides two nuts and a bold, there’s probably 10 cents worth of plastic. I think this shows the power of 3D printing in making things you need. I wouldn’t have been able to make this out of wood or metal very easily, but a 3D printer and a hardware store made this a pretty trivial project.



In the world of professional media making (and other things) it often pays to learn not just the One Tool™ but some of the alternatives… especially some of the free/open source alternatives.

In the world of video, there’s Final Cut Pro, which will often do 95% of what you need done with video, but when you need that extra 5%, that extra push over the cliff, there’s other applications to make that happen. Things like MPEG StreamClip, FFmpeg, and VLC have become extras in our toolbox that we’ve come to rely on. MPEG StreamClip is killer for getting things into the needed format, and if it can’t do it, I’ll move on to FFmpeg or perhaps VLC. They’ve all got their specialties.

Even things like iMovie (the most recent version, as well as the older version) are worth keeping around… Same goes with iDVD, which is usually a simple and fast option when all you need is a looping DVD. Photoshop? I love it…. but sometimes iPhoto is exactly what you need.

On the audio side of things, we tend to use Logic, but we’ve also got room for things like Audacity. What’s that? Need an 8 bit/8kHz mono WAV file for an antiquated phone system? I can kick that out in Audacity in 1/10th the time I’d figure out the settings in Logic. (And yes, that’s something I had to do last week.)

NeoOffice, OpenOffice, LibreOffice? I’ve used them all, and believe it or not, they all have subtle differences which maybe of use depending on the situation. (In fact the one I left out is Microsoft Office, because I don’t use it, but years ago, if you used a Mac and wanted to open the latest Word files from Windows, you could only do so with NeoOffice.)

So here’s my advice…. Learn the pro apps, and learn them well, but spend some time digging through the open source/free tools as well. Figure them out, what they are good at (and bad at) and keep them around for that special task that they excel at.

Have you got any favorite “lesser” apps that complement your “pro” apps?


BarCampMadison This is a session by Dustin Cote from MadCamp (aka BarCampMadison the 4th) titled “Semantic Web / Web 3.0″

Dustin mentioned that you can see the Semantic Web Meetup site for the slides.

You can also download an MP3 file if you’d like. (And for our freedom loving friends, enjoy an Ogg file.)

Also, if you want to get all of the audio automagically downloaded podcasting style, subscribe to the feed.


BarCampMadison This is a session by Dan from MadCamp (aka BarCampMadison the 4th) titled “Functional Programming: Why Should You Care?”

You can also download an MP3 file if you’d like. (And for our freedom loving friends, enjoy an Ogg file.)

Also, if you want to get all of the audio automagically downloaded podcasting style, subscribe to the feed.

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