Isn’t it important to know that you’re using the best equipment possible so that your voice sounds clear and smooth?
It turns out that there’s a lot more to recording your voice than just plugging in your microphone and then you’re done.
It’s important to buy a high-quality microphone as a voice artist, but there are other things that can make or break the quality of your recordings, as well.
Pop filters are one of the most important things you can have with your microphone.
What is a “pop filter,” and what is it used for?
Using pop filters to record vocals is a must if you want to get a good sound. Putting a “pop filter” between your mouth and the microphone will cut out certain sounds and frequencies that you don’t want to record.
As the name implies, pop filters are used to cut out sounds that sound like “popping” when you record your voice.
When you say or sing words with ‘P’s’ and ‘B’s’ in them, you make this popping sound. These are called plosives.
People with a lot of power in their voices can also make the microphone pop when they speak in front of it or sing into it.
The reason you should use a pop filter:
If you’re not sure if pop filters are worth the extra money and set-up time, I’ve put together a list of reasons why they’re worth it.
Pop filters stop plosive sounds from getting into the recording, which can distort the recording and make it sound bad or make it sound like a “pop.”
Pop filters also help to cut down on sibilance, which is the sound you make when you say words that start or end with “s.”
Pop filters cut out high- and low-end issues, making it easier to edit out unwanted sounds when cutting them out of the mix.
They keep the microphone dry when you speak or sing, so your microphone will last a lot longer.
How does a pop filter work, and where does it come from?
The pop filter is put in front of the microphone in different amounts depending on how loud and strong the vocalist is.
It connects to the microphone stand and is big enough to protect the whole surface area of the microphone from being scratched by it.
The small holes in the material let sound through, but they also keep things like plosive sounds, sibilance, volume pops, and moisture from the vocalist’s mouth from damaging the microphone.
It’s important to put the pop filter in the right place.
You can make a big difference in the sound of your recording by where you put the pop shield.
How powerful the person who will be using it is going to make a big difference in where the pop filter goes. In a nutshell, the farther away the pop filter is from the microphone, the more effective it will be and less noise will get through, so it’s best to put it there.
If the pop filter is far away from the microphone, your recording artist will be far away from the microphone, and this could make the sound less clear.
You might have to raise the gain, which is fine in moderation, but above a certain point, too much gain can make the sound bad.
The more you raise the gain, the more background noise there will be, which will even lessen the quality and clarity of your recording. So, you need to find the right mix of things.
As a general rule, if your vocalist is going to be quiet and soft, the pop filter should be at least two finger spaces away from the microphone (if the microphone is sitting in any form of casing the spacing should be counted from the outer casing not the microphone itself).
If the vocalist is very loud and powerful, the pop shield should be at least twice as far from the microphone as the microphone itself. This way, any plosives and/or sibilance will be able to get through.
You should play around and try different things until you find the best place for the pop filter.
Pop filters come in many different types.
You should look for mesh or metal pop filters when you decide which one is best for your needs.
Check out the pros and cons for each.
The mesh pop filter.
mesh is the type of filter that most people use to make their music sound better.
prices are usually not too high
good for new people
small holes are very good at getting rid of plosives.
small holes can cause high frequencies to be blocked out, which could make the overall sound worse.
very easy to break
Metal pop filter for a loud sound
more durable than the mesh material used to make the pop filter filter mesh
Most of the time, they will have bigger holes
They also tend to be small, so they won’t feel so heavy and bulky.
They can be fragile things that can easily be bent out of shape if they aren’t kept in the right way.
As it is made of metal, it could make a whistling sound over time.
can be pricey
When you want to make your own pop filter, this is how.
If you can’t afford to buy a pop shield, there are ways to make your own that will work, especially if you’re making demos. Whether a DIY method would be good enough for professional-quality recordings is up for debate.
All you need is a thin, hollow object that is round. You can use an empty roll of duct tape or a sewing circle. Anything that looks like this should work.
A pair of pantyhose is next. It doesn’t matter what kind as long as they have small holes. Patterned ones won’t work as well. You just need a simple pantyhose.
Cut a large piece out of the pantyhose and stretch it to cover one side of the sewing circle (or duct tape roll, for example). Then, tie it down and you’re done!
That’s all! The pantyhose should be fully stretched out so you can see all the small holes.