I attend the massive Winter NAMM Show every January and, for the last several years, it seems like every showstopper has been either a cutting edge piece of software or a high-tech piece of audio processing hardware. I never would have guessed that this year, the amazing Royer RSM-SS1 Sling-Shock shock mount would make my list of the show’s top gems.
The inventive design of the $295 RSM-SS1 Sling-Shock eliminates the need for elastic bands, rubber bungee cords or synthetic bushings. An ingenious nylon cable and damped steel spring mount suspends the mic while the mount’s grip is felt-lined to protect the microphone’s finish, securely hold it in place and provide flexible positioning. A small clip allows the mic cable to be connected to the mount, providing isolation from any vibrations from the mic stand to the mic cable. The Sling-Shock fits Royer's 1-inch diameter microphones (R-121, R-122, R-122V, SF-1, and SF-12 models) and 1-inch diameter (+/- 1/8 inch) cylindrical microphones made by other manufacturers. The Sling-Shock is now included with the flagship Royer R-122V and Royer promises that future versions of the mount will accommodate a wide variety of microphone body sizes.
The Sling-Shock’s unique design is simple enough to leave me asking, “Why didn’t I think of that?” yet it’s sophisticated enough to feel at home in someone like Batman’s collection of gadgets. I’ve been using the shock mount with my Royer mics as well as my AKG C-28 for several months now and I love this little device. While sonic improvement ranges from extremely slight to drastic (depending on several factors, including the construction of the studio, frequency response of the microphone itself, and volume of the sound source), I have yet to find an instance when it didn’t improve the performance of my recording.
Shortly after receiving the Sling-Shock, I was working in a home studio close to a street that was plagued with substantial traffic from heavy construction vehicles. I was recording a large-body acoustic guitar with an AKG C-28 and, even though it was mounted with a shock mount, it was still picking up the rumble of the traffic. Unfortunately, the guitar’s huge low-end was a big part of the acoustic sound and when I raised the HP filter to cut the rumble from the traffic, the beautiful low-end of the guitar also disappeared. I switched out my standard mic clip for the Sling-Shock and the traffic/LF rumble disappeared, leaving the guitar sounding better than ever.
I’ve had equally good results using the shock mount along with my Royer SF-12 on drum overheads. When recording in a home studio, floor vibrations are common in drum rooms (when not on a concrete slab) and the Sling-Shock does a fantastic job of eliminating them without cutting into the body of kit’s sound.
My favorite application is using the Sling-Shock with a Royer R-122 on electric guitar. The R-122 already has a tight bottom end but the low-frequency clarity and fullness is even better with the Sling-Shock.
I initially felt like the $295 price tag was a bit steep, but once I discovered how much it could actually improve my recordings (especially when I am working in a studio without a floating floor), I think it’s a bargain. Simply stated, the Sling-Shock is a great, straightforward way to improve any microphone-sourced signal chain.
Russ Long is a Nashville-based producer, engineer and mixer as well as a senior contributor to PAR. http://www.russlong.ws
Contact: Royer Labs | http://www.royerlabs.com