If you’re recording vocals, you’ll want to invest in a pop filter to avoid picking up harsh plosives in your recording.
But do you really need a pop filter? Let’s explore what plosive sounds are to determine if pop filters are really that important. Next, we’ll explore some of the best pop filters for singing!
What are plosive sounds?
You will hear plosive sounds when you speak words containing the letters B and P. Therefore, plosive sounds are popping sounds that occur naturally. For example, say “back in black” or “bop and pop” while holding a lit candle close to your mouth and you will notice the flame flicker.
And you will notice that you will only increase the sound of plosives by having your mouth too close to a microphone during recording. Like all other sounds, plosives interact with the diaphragm of your microphone and send the output to your reception JACKDAW. Since popping noises are the result of rapid air movement, this makes the microphone the diaphragm is working harder than usual.
As extreme as it is, recording plosives without a pop filter will cause peaks in your audio. Also, extreme plosive sounds will also cause clipping… so not good at all.
What does a pop filter do for a microphone?
A pop screen is a physical barrier between your mouth and the microphone head. And by occupying this space, a pop filter filters the air that plosives send to your microphone. As a result, pop filters lessen the impact of the plosive sounds that your microphone – and your recording – picks up.
Additionally, a pop filter eliminates problems on both the top and bottom of the captured sound wave. Therefore, you can blend your vocals into your track more easily. Not to mention applying changes much faster too!
Be sure to study the difference between recording with and without a pop filter below.
How to use a pop filter
To get the best sound with your microphone and pop filter, a distance of at least 10cm/4 inches between your mic and the filter will allow you to walk through. Tilting the pop filter slightly away from the microphone can also help you avoid unwanted sound reflections that can also bounce between the mic head and the pop screen.
Failure to do so can result in comb filtering which will make your recording sound tinny. You will notice it, especially in your sibilant sounds!
Benefits of using a pop filter
- Pop filters minimize problems in both highs and lows (easy edit)
- Can minimize whistles in addition to plosives
- Reduces the velocity of plosive sounds in the air, meaning the microphone diaphragm doesn’t have to work as hard
- Prevents spit from reaching your microphone
Things to Consider When Buying a Microphone Pop Filter
The size of your microphone should determine the size of your pop filter.
Look for a diameter that matches the size of your microphone. Also, if you’re moving around a lot while recording, you might also want to accommodate that via a larger pop filter size.
Larger pop filters generally sound more transparent than smaller ones. This is due to the way the ring that holds the screen can introduce reflections. Therefore, a larger pop filter can also make recording easier, unless you want to put your audio engineering skills to the test! In line with what we were talking about earlier, keeping a smaller pop filter further away from the mic head will prevent these sound reflections!
There are a number of forms of pop filters available. However, flat pop filters are generally less expensive, but you will need to speak directly to the center of the filter. On the other hand, curved pop filtersprovide more reach and allow you to move more – they work at any angle.
Finally, mounting your pop filter is also worth thinking about. The most common bracket is a gooseneck bracket that screws into the filter frame and clamp. Gooseneck mounts are very flexible, but you need to make sure the gooseneck is long enough for the filter to extend over the microphone head.
There are two types of hardware that you will find, and these are nylon net pop filters and wire mesh pop filters.
Nylon mesh pop filters are generally the ideal choice for beginners. This is due to a number of reasons, including their cheap price; they are great for minimizing the plosives that the microphone picks up; the fact that they are the norm in the music and entertainment industries.
However, nylon mesh filters can interfere with your audio and suppress your high frequency clarity in addition to being easily broken.
That said, metal pop filters are generally more compact and much more durable. Metal mesh filters also have larger holes which allow for a bit more high frequency clarity.
Despite their durability, sheet metal can be easily bent due to its thin construction. Additionally, metal filters may develop a slight hiss over time.
Best Pop Filters for Recording Vocals
Now is the time to talk about some of the best pop filters for home recording with a microphone, don’t you think?
Stedman Corporation Proscreen XL
- Screen diameter: 6″ (15 cm)
- Neck length: 26.5″ (67.3cm)
- Weight: 10 ounces.
First up we have the Stedman Corporation Proscreen XL. It features a unique metal material patented by Proscreen XL and angled filter holes that redirect energy downwards. As a result, it directs air away from the microphone instead of blocking plosives.
Due to its unique approach to filtering plosives, the Stedman Corporation Proscreen XL is one of the best-selling pop filters. In fact, few pop filters in the cheap pop filter market sell like this. So we think it’s one of the best pop filters for recording vocals.
On the scene Dual Screen ASFSS6GB
- Screen diameter: 6″ (15 cm)
- Neck length: 11.5″ (29.21cm)
- Weight: 10.4 ounces.
Two nylon mesh screens block out plosive sounds. The first screen blocks the air jets, while the space between the two meshes disperses the remaining air pressure. Then the explosion is easily contained by the time it reaches the second mesh.
However, dual screen pop filters have been known to block out intricate detail in the high frequencies. Despite this fact, the ASFSS6GB does not suffer from this problem – just check out its reviews!
Earamble Studio Microphone Pop Filter
- Screen diameter: 6.1″ (15.5cm)
- Neck length: 14.8″ (37.5cm)
- Weight: 6.4 ounces.
Earamble’s pop filter is one of the best-selling pop filters. Its gooseneck doesn’t budge, and it’s certainly affordable and durable.
It has a double-layered nylon mesh screen and does not tarnish or remove any high frequency content.