Tensimounts came into being at least indirectly because of a man named Billy Mitchell. Billy was an old nightclub performer who retired to Hull, Massachusetts and opened his own club. He was wildly popular and had a huge following that packed the place - “Billy Mitchell’s Post Time” - really nothing more than a big old barn-like building near the ocean. I never met Billy. By the time I was at the Post Time, Billy had died, and the new owners were desperately trying to find an audience through Rock music. I was working sound with a group that played there, and we had the hardest time making the music intelligible, let alone making it sound good. As long as we kept it really soft, it sounded fine, but as soon as we turned it up a bit, the sound turned into complete garbage.

It turned out that Billy had built the cheapest possible stage for his club. It was thin, barely supported plywood that reverberated wildly with every sound, and it was then and there that I realized the importance of microphone isolation. I went home and designed the first Tensimount, and when we went back, we couldn’t believe the difference. From then on I 'Tensimounted' every microphone in sight.

Were the early Tensimounts like the ones today?

Not at all! The first ones were very picturesque. They were large, and made out of clear Lucite plastic. For elastics, they used colorful hairbands strung with large beads. They were something out of Buck Rogers.

So they were completely different?

Well, two important features have always been the same. The microphone has always been held by the mutual tension of the elastics. That makes it adaptable to any shape of mic. And also, the base tube that permits mounting it in a standard clip has always been an important feature.

Why not simply have the Tensimount screw directly onto the stand?

One problem with shockmounts has always been - how do you get the microphone off of the stand? If the shockmount is screwed directly to the stand, you either have to remove the microphone from the shockmount and leave the mount on the stand where it may be subjected to damage, or you can tediously unscrew the mount from the stand. With the Tensimount, you simply unclip the microphone Tensimount and all. This is particularly convenient when you have several microphones in Tensimounts. No matter what shape, they will all fit into the same standard clips, and they are instantly interchangeable from stand to stand.

Who should use Tensimounts?

One big totally untapped market is bands. Every town has at least several garage bands, wedding bands, bar mitzvah bands, you name it. Each band might have a dozen or more microphones that should all be shock-mounted. We are offering a convenient, easy, and inexpensive way to do this. Then there are other markets - general PA microphones in churches, bingo halls and supermarkets for example. The point is to develop the public awareness that every mic should be isolated. This is good marketing strategy, but also it's something I really believe. And of course, Tensimount is the easiest and best way to do it.

Jeff Brewer.