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I have a Marshall Electronics USB microphone with a tripod stand that's connected to my computer. I pick a "hum" noise coming from the wood table where the microphone stands(if I lift it in the air the "hum" goes away).

What's the cheapest possible way to get ride of the "hum"? I considered buying a shock mount for the microphone but I'm not sure this will do, also if I remove it from the wood table I need to buy a stand.

  • Pretty sure this is a vibration issue, as discussed by AJ Henderson and Andrew Ng's answers. However, it might also be something completely different, some shielding/ground thing. Does the hum already disappear when you only touch the microphone? In that case, you'd be acting as a rudimentary shield against electrostatic interference. That's never an issue with properly designed microphones, but might well turn up in bad high-impedance unbalanced-circuit designs. If that's the case, shock mounting won't help. – leftaroundabout Jul 23 '13 at 21:19
  • Does this happen when it is on other surfaces? I'd put my money on a grounding problem that is being solved when you physically ground it by holding it. – JPollock Jul 24 '13 at 9:41
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It is hard to guess without hearing the sound, but most probably it is a vibration being transmitted up the mic. A very small vibration (from say a computer fan) could be transmitted through the table and multiplied as it moves up the stem of the microphone. By the time it gets to the microphone's diaphragm, it could easily be significant enough to get picked up by the microphone.

Shock mounting or really any kind of dampening should help. I would try just putting a towel between the desk and the microphone before trying more elaborate solutions.

  • @JoshP - yeah, years of working with non-profits teaches you lots of tricks for cheap fixes and working with cheap/crappy/abused gear. – AJ Henderson Jul 23 '13 at 15:57
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    Alternately, try one of those padded mailing envelopes. Or a sheet of anti-static foam. Or, or, or.... – ObscureRobot Jul 23 '13 at 17:18
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The hum noise is coming from vibrations transferred from minute movements (fidgeting, fans, air conditioning) up through the wooden table that are being picked up by your microphone. A shockmount is the simple solution for your problem. If you don't want to spend too much money on one, check out this DIY shockmount. I've found that rubber bands can really do the trick!

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