Rode VideoMic design flaw

I picked up a Rode VideoMic a few months ago, and I tried using it on some shoots. However, I noticed a horrible amount of handling noise whenever I used it, which I attributed (mistakenly, it turns out) to the mic being very sensitive to my fingers on the camera controls. I even bought the expensive Rode VideoMic handle, to try it handheld, and that didn’t help. So I stopped using it, because I couldn’t get any clean audio whenever I used it. But today, I discovered that it’s NOT my ham-handed fingers: there’s a problem with the shock mount.

Here’s how I figured it out. Today I was testing my iPhone with a mic adapter, the KM-IPHONE-MIC from, which makes it possible to use external, self-powered mics with the iPhone. Just for grins I thought I’d test it out with my idle Rode VideoMic. Guess what I discovered? I got the same horrible handling noise as before, only this time, I had the mic in a controlled environment.

So where is all the handling noise coming from? From the shock mount. All those tiny rubber bands emit audible creaks. And it’s bad. Worse than useless, in my opinion: the Rode VideoMic introduces unwanted noise that otherwise wouldn’t be there.

Listen for yourself:

Am I the only person in the DSLR universe who has this problem? Is it possible that my unit is defective? Does the rubber on the feet age quickly and need to be replaced? How’s your Rode VideoMic working out?

**Update: I ordered a set of new silicon bands for the shock mount, and after replacing them, the mic is blessedly quiet. But I’m still not crazy about the fact that they had to be replaced inside of a year of very light use. That feels like a design flaw to me. The VideoMic should come with the following disclaimer: note that you will need to replace the bands frequently.

18 thoughts on “Rode VideoMic design flaw

      1. Dan

        Ah ha. The culprit is indeed aging rubber feet. Doubling them up didn’t solve it, but replacing the “old” ones with “new” ones ALMOST did. The problem is, the mic is less than a year old, so I have a hard time calling them “old.” If I have to replace the rubber on them this quickly, I call this a design problem. Also, there’s still a tiny bit of remaining noise being generated, probably because I had only 7 of the 8 replacement bands, so one of the old ones is still making its voice heard.

  1. Chris

    I have been having this problem as well and even with a fresh pair of the RODE bands, I still notice “squeaky” handling noise, especially with the added weight of RODE’s dead cat.

    A bit of poking around and I’ve discovered adding a bit of silicone lube or cooking oil to the bands remedies most noise. And if you need new bands in a pinch, you can use half-inch (12mm) O rings.

    I bought some o-rings this weekend and put some silicone grease on them. I did notice a bit of of noise when the Northeastern Montana wind really took hold of my mic, but it was much better than the set of RODE bands I had on there.


    Nice site by the way, stumbled upon you when looking into the H1 as an alternative to buying an H4. Used the H1 with my Videomic this weekend and it is a perfect pairing until I decide I want a more elaborate setup.

    1. Dan McComb

      Hey Chris, thanks for the great tip. Northest Montana, hey? I graduated from U of Montana in ’93 and spent my share of time in places like Jordan, Montana, when I was a journalist covering the Freemen standoff.

  2. sam

    i had the same problem! and is really annoying!
    i took the bands off the mic and dip them in WD-40 for like a minute, then placed them back on and never heard the squick again!

    cheapest solution yet!

  3. Lauren

    I’m looking at using my iPhone 4 w/ the Rode VideoMic to do interviews, and I was just wondering how was it handling the phone and the mic at the same time? I’m trying to figure out the best way to get both the phone and mic set up, whether that be using a tripod or some sort of handle.


    1. Dan McComb

      Hi Lauren,
      I purchased this $30 Rode handle; it works great with the VideoMic:

      In this scenario, you would hold the mic up to the person who is talking, and hold the iPhone in your other hand or in a pocket. If you were doing a sit-down interview, a mic stand with 1/4 20 adapter will allow you to mount the mic conveniently close to the person’s mouth. A tripod would be less than ideal because it doesn’t allow you to position as close to mouth as is ideal (the legs get in the way) but it’s certainly possible to mount the mic on a tripod.

  4. Terry Wilson

    Vaseline worked for me. Applied with a fine tipped wooden BBQ skewer. Oh, no – it was my wife’s posh Oil Salve – but worked all the fine. I have a hunch WD40 type lube might degrade the rubber but don’t take my word for it.

  5. Joe Runge

    Guy has no problem solving skills at all. I got my mic off of craigslist and had a similar problem. Tested it out, hear the squeak and a rumble with fast movement. Both easy fixes: what do you do to stop a squeaky door? But some grease on it! Did that to all the rubber bands and instantly stopped the squeaking. and for the rumble I simply took a few rubber bands and wrapped then around the top of the battery compartment and the shock mount base and that stopped the rumble/uncontrolled shake.

    Sorry if this was already said, I didn’t read any other comments.

    1. Dan McComb

      HI Joe,
      Yeah I was able to correct this with some fresh bands. Lube would have been a more affordable way to go, it seems. But the design of the Video Mic Pro seems to have solved the issue altogether. So I’m happy.

  6. Joe Runge

    Oops! Sorry if my comment sounded rude! Just read all the other comments and realized that the lubrication has been stated in every comment almost! But the rubber bands/hair ties did the most for me but as a warning it does stretch out the original bands!

  7. Ken

    Wow, I was surprised to stumble across your blog in the process of trying to find new bands. I’ve only had my videomic 6 months and just sent a message to Rode asking where to get new bands and telling them I was surprised & disappointed that all 8 bands were cracking after only 6 months… and I only used the mic once! Where can you find new bands?

  8. tomcat

    Another victim of this stupid flaw here. It ruined some of my best shots, etc. etc. I gave a try to the WD40 bath, but it didn’t help much, and in a few days it was back to “normal”, that is squeaky again. Don’t bother, guys.


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