Pop Filter: All Facts About It

November 18, 2022 by No Comments

What is a pop filter? Why do singers use a pop filter to make music? This article will introduce all facts about a pop filter like what is it? what used for? Advantages? Differences vs. microphone? Do you really need it? How to buy it? Continue reading, you will find your answer.

What is a Pop Filter?

Why would you use a pop filter? They appear in most of the YouTube videos you watch, especially those that belong to singers and musicians who make their own recordings at home.

Having worked in the recording studio industry for some time, I was surprised to have a client who requested a pop filter because he believed it would reduce background noise. It makes sense why everyone who was new to recording wanted pop filters. Because we frequently see it in videos, you would assume that it is a significant event.

A pop filter does not work as advertised to reduce background noise. Don’t feel disappointed, though. We all acquire new knowledge every day, after all.

What Does a Pop Filter Do for a Microphone?

Pop filters are useful.

A pop filter removes problems on both the high and low ends of the audio spectrum, facilitating editing of the recording and, ultimately, improving the quality of finished products such as demos and auditions.

You must choose what will work best for you. Some voice actors fervently believe in pop filters and would never record without one.

Here are the advantages of using a pop filter, along with alternative solutions to still attain high-quality sound if having a pop filter does not work for you:

What Are The Advantages of Pop Filters?

  • Pop filters are great for indoor use
  • Using a pop filter cuts out issues on both the high and low ends, which makes it easier to edit out unwanted sounds and frequencies
  • They eliminate the popping sounds caused by the mechanical impact of fast-moving air on the microphone
  • They help to minimize plosives like Ps and Bs and can cut down on sibilance (the hissing noise that can come from overly apparent S sounds)
  • They help keep moisture off the mic, which preserves your equipment

How Far Should the Pop Filter Be from the Microphone?

The amount of vigor you or your client will put into the recording will determine how far you place your pop filter. The pops will be less noticeable the farther the pop filter is from the microphone.

You will need to boost your microphone gain because of the distance, though. More gain equals more ambient noise.

In other words, if you’re singing louder and harder, the pop filter should be placed about a palm’s width away from the microphone. You can place the pop filter 2 to 3 fingers away from the pop filter if you’re recording soft, intimate singing.

Just a general guideline I follow when I record for both myself and other people.

Your task will be to experiment and determine the ideal separations for the room’s ambiance and when the vocals are included in your mix. Learn the genre and style of the music you or your singer will be recording.

Nuclear science is not required. Simply try something new, and I’m confident you’ll find success.

What is the Difference Between a Windscreen and a Pop Filter?

Windscreens

The majority of the time, windscreens are constructed of foam and are sized to perfectly fit over the microphone element casing. Many microphones, like the ATM510, include an internal windscreen in the grill to safeguard the microphone element. However, even these kinds of microphones can benefit from additional sound pressure protection in specific circumstances, so don’t be afraid to equip them with an additional windscreen. For instance, the ATM510 is compatible with the AT8114 windscreen. One thing to keep in mind is that a mic windscreen frequently dampens higher frequencies more than a pop filter.

Pop Filters

Pop filters function by being placed in front of the microphone element and are typically made of acoustically transparent foam and/or mesh. They are frequently employed when vocals are being recorded in a studio. Stretched leg stockings were initially placed between the audio source (a vocalist) and the microphone element in order to act as a pop filter. This allowed for maximum sonic transparency while effectively reducing excessive plosives such as “p’s” and “b’s.” Pop filters are often used with Audio-Technica’s 40 Series microphones, as we demonstrate in our “Basic Recording Techniques: Solo Vocals” video.

pop filter

Do You Really Need a Pop Filter?

In order to make quality recordings, it, therefore, appears that you must go out and purchase a pop filter. NO.

A pop filter isn’t absolutely necessary. A basic microphone technique is to place the device slightly off-axis from the vocalist’s mouth. So, instead of singing directly into the microphone, the vocalist is sort of singing sideways to the device.

It’s important to be aware that pop filters can sometimes make your vocals sound dull. It’s usually the singer’s voice and the type of microphone you’re using that give you that dull sound, but it’s still worthwhile to try recording without the pop filter.

A pop filter made of wire mesh is an additional option to the typical woven nylon. When compared to pop filters made of woven nylon, the downside of metal types would be the price increase. However, in my opinion, woven nylon is better at handling plosives.

Don’t Have a Pop Filter Or Won’t Use One?

Here are a few tips you can use to get a similar result:

  1. Speak off-axis (not directly into the microphone, but from a different angle)
  2. Smile when you speak to prevent the popping of Ps and Bs
  3. Put a pencil in front of your lips to create a barrier that helps break the air

What are be Consider When Buying a Mic Pop Filter?

There are three elements you should consider when you buy a pop filter.

Size

The size is determined by how big your microphone is. You should choose a diameter that works with your microphone and your preferred recording method. For instance, a larger diameter pop filter might be best for you if you move around a lot while recording.

Shape

On the market, there are numerous shapes. Flat filets are less expensive but call for more direct center-to-side communication. Curved filters, on the other hand, function from any angle, giving you more freedom and flexibility while recording.

Mounts

Another important factor to think about is the amount that the filter comes with. A gooseneck mount that screws into the filter frame and clamp is included with the majority of pop filters. To properly attach the filter in front of the microphone, you need to make sure the gooseneck neck is long enough.

Can I Make My Own Pop Filter?

You can, without a doubt. Making your own pop filter is really not that difficult.

All you need is a sewing circle and a pair of your sister’s old pantyhose. Okay, so you might be able to purchase some inexpensive pantyhose from the shop. All you have to do is cover the sewing circle with the pantyhose.

The hardest part of using this DIY technique is figuring out how to attach your homemade pop filter to the stand. I used a shirt hanger to construct my own pop filter.

Don’t want to appear foolish? Don’t use a pop filter with this type of microphone

But remember to pay attention to the various microphone varieties. Pop filters are typically used with condenser microphones, but they are actually built into the cone of most vocal dynamic microphones. Therefore, if you’re using a vocal dynamic microphone to record, you don’t actually need a pop filter.

Even though using a pop filter and dynamic microphone setup might make you look cool, it’s not cool if your recordings sound uninteresting at the end of the day.

What Are the Best Pop Filters and Pop Screens on the Market?

The market is flooded with pop screens and filters. Depending on your needs and budget, you can choose the best option.

Here are two different types of pop filters to consider, as well as their pros and cons:

Nylon Mesh Pop Filters

Pros of Nylon Mesh Pop Filters:

  • Great for beginners
  • Inexpensive
  • Standard in the music and performance industries
  • Great for removing plosives

Cons of Nylon Mesh Pop Filters:

  • Audio can be hindered, meaning high frequencies are often removed
  • Nylon is delicate and can be easily damaged

Metallic Mesh/Metal Pop Filters

Pros of Metal Pop Filters:

  • Designed with wider holes, which has less effect on high frequencies
  • Durable
  • Tend to be smaller, meaning it will be less obstructive

Cons of Metal Pop Filters:

  • The metal sheet is thin and can be easily bent if you are not careful
  • Over time, metallic filters can develop a slight whistling sound

Do you know more about pop filters? Pop filters make sense why everyone who was new to recording wanted pop filters. And they remove problems on both the high and low ends of the audio spectrum. If you want your own pop filter, you can buy it depending on size, shape, and mount.

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