What is A Pop Filter and What does it do?

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What is a Pop Filter and What is it used for? Well, if you are new in the field of music, you may have these questions in your mind. Let’s start by telling you that pop filters aren’t just the family members to singers or studio owners, They are used in a variety of professions.

Professions like – Singers, Audio Producers, Studio Recordists, Voice Over Artists, Rappers, Dubbing artists require the Pop Filter in order to enhance the quality of their recordings. So basically, People who are related somehow to recording the voice should be familiar with the Pop Filter.

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Introduction

There are many young artists and engineers who think that pop filters are used in order to reduce the background noise. And that totally surprises me as being in the field of the music industry, having the basic knowledge is necessary.

That is why, today in this blog, you are going to learn everything about what is a pop filter and what does it do.

Make sure you stay with me till the end and grab as much knowledge as you can. If you do not know anything about what a pop filter is, you should not let yourself down. Instead, make yourself learn more. Every day we learn new things, and after finishing this blog, you’ll learn about pop filters too.

So, without wasting any time, let’s get to the topic of What is a Pop Filter and What does it do?

What is a Pop Filter For Mic?

If I give a definition of the Microphone pop filter, it would be like – A Microphone Pop Filter is a device that is used in order to protect the mic capsules from any plosive energies. A pop filter helps eliminate the popping sounds that come along with the guts of air from the human voice and other sources.

Okay, That was just a definition. So if you didn’t understand, let me explain to you in a normal people’s language.

Also Read: Gain vs Volume

Ever seen your favorite artists’ pictures while they are recording in a studio? The most common things that you saw must be a microphone, your favorite artist, and a black circle standing in between them. That black circle is called a Pop Filter.

So what is a pop filter actually in normal language? A pop filter is a circular nylon mesh or thin metal that is positioned at a distance of a few inches from the mic. You get a metal gooseneck mount along with the Pop Filter for clipping it to the mic stand.

Whenever a singer, dubbing artist, or anyone comes in front of the microphone to record something, the pop filter is placed between them and the microphone at a distance of a few inches.

BUT, why do they do that, Why is a pop filter placed between the artist and microphone, and above all, why do you need a pop filter in the first place? Let’s get the answer to this too.

What does a Pop Filter Do?

There are two main purposes of a Pop Filter:

1. Eliminating Unwanted Plosives

The first one is, it eliminates the unwanted ‘popping’ sound that comes while singing or speaking into the microphone. When we say any word that has ‘plosives’ the sudden air pressure could cause the microphone to overload. So Pop filters are used in order to prevent the ‘ph’ sound and from overloading the microphone.

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If You Want To Mix Your Music Like Professionals,
You Have To Learn From Professionals And We Have Made It EASY For You.​

When someone laughs into the mic, they release too much air pressure at that time. Those pressure could cause the overload to the microphone again also we’ll get the ‘popping’.

Pop filters are placed in front of a microphone to an adjusted distance that helps to eliminate the fast-moving air that causes the unwanted ‘ph’ sound. Basically, Pop Filters are mounted to the microphone stand itself, so you will be required to buy a mic stand too in order to use it.

2. Prevents Saliva to Enter into the Microphone

The second purpose of the pop filter is, it prevents saliva from the vocalist from entering into the microphone.

Saliva contains salts that have corrosive contents. If entered into the mic, it may not be a lot to corrode the whole microphone, yet, yet it can cause your microphone to smell bad and fall apart. Pop filter does a great job of preventing the same.

Why do you need a Pop Filter?

In simple words, I would say, generally Pop Filters are used in order to prevent the plosives.

You don’t need that unwanted ‘ph’ sound in your recording, right? When you as an artist who is going to record something, come in front of the microphone, and start recording. Whenever you’ll use words like B’s, P’s T’s, and many other such words, the condenser microphone has the tendency to catch the extra sound that your mouth emits.

You don’t need the air pressure sound in your track to destroy it. In order to avoid those unwanted sounds, Pop Filters are used.

What are Popping Sound and why do they occur?

You may be wondering what is the popping sound that is mentioned a million times here in the blog of “What is a Pop Filter“. Let’s learn about it too.

Generally, the sounds you hear on letters such as P and B, are called popping sounds. Those popping sounds occur naturally in speech.

There’s one simple experiment that can explain to you exactly what is popping sound is with an example:

Imagine you have a candle in front of you and it’s lit. Keep it at a short distance from your mouth. Now start saying anything. Make sure the sentences you speak should contain the words like ‘Ps’ and ‘Bs’.

Now while speaking, whenever the popping word will come out of your mouth, the flame of the candle will start to flicker. This is because, at the popping words, the air pressure that flows from the mouth is high.

This is the reason why pop filters are used in order to avoid those unwanted air frequencies along with the normal sound.

What are Plosives?

The plosives are the same as the popping sounds. When you get too close to the microphone while recording, the mc captures the bassy air sounds that create a nuisance in the track.

In order to avoid the plosives, there are two of the main factors that are needed to keep in mind:

1. Microphone placements

In order to avoid the plosives, the most important thing you can do is to place the microphone at a proper distance from our mouth. This will prevent the microphone to capture any extra air pressure coming out from your mouth.

2. Pop Filters

Use the pop filter in order to reduce the popping sounds or the plosives. Pop filter helps in capturing the bassy air and plosives that can ruin the track. So using a pop filter could definitely help you reduce the plosives.

Is a Pop Filter Necessary?

The work of the pop filter is exactly how it sounds. It manages to filter the unwanted pop sounds that come out of the mouth while recording.

If we talk specifically, the op filter disperses the air that comes from your mouth in various directions.

Pop filter in front of the microphone doesn’t let the air hit the mic directly in a big blast. This process keeps the plosives from sounding too harsh.

Well, the plosives don’t sound too much in the real world when compared to a recording. So, you don’t need to carry it whenever you sing live. Just know that a Pop Filter for recording vocals is necessary.

The condenser microphones tend to record the higher plosives in large quality. That is because of the Proximity Effect and frequency range of the mic.

Now you must be wondering what is proximity effect is. Well, Proximity Effect is where the voice gets louder at the lower end as the singer gets closer to the microphone.

Due to the plosives being mostly low-end energy, in condenser microphones, this gets amplified even more. That means while using the condenser mic, the use of the pop filter is a must.

Advantages of Pop Filters

  • A pop filter helps in i,proving the clarity of your voice and saves the trouble of editing and recording for you.
  • It prevents entering any type of moistures like sweat or saliva inside the microphone.
  • Pop filters help in removing the crackling sounds that get induced by the mechanical intreference of quick running air trough mouth in to the microphone.
  • They are great for indoor use.
  • Pop filter cuts out the issue of both high as well as low ends. That makes it easier to edit out the unwanted sounds and frequencies.
  • The popping sounds gets eliminated with the help of pop filters.
  • Posives like Ps and Bs, can be cut down due to pop filter

Types of Pop Filter for Microphone

If we talk about the types of pop filters, there are basically two types that are pretty famous. If you follow too many singers and their recording gadgets, you must be familiar with both types of pop filters. So let’s learn what are those two types of pop filters that we can use for recording our voice.

1. The Nylon Mesh Pop Filter

What is A Pop Filter and What does it do?

These nylon mesh pop filters are considered to be the original version in the field of pop filters. In the music department, they have been used for like decades.

If you’ll go looking to buy these nylon mesh pop filters in the market, you’ll get them at around $20, depending on the brand of the pop filter.

Mesh pop filters do their job in the best way of stopping the unwanted plosives and are the fine options for musicians to buy. But, some engineers claim that these pop filters can actually cut some of the top ends off a vocal, and that’s where another type of pop filter was introduced in the market.

2. The Thin Metal Pop Filter

What is A Pop Filter and What does it do?

When we talk about metal pop filters, they are recently discovered filters and have been in the market for around a few decades only. Build quality-wise, they are tougher than the mesh filters.

Due to being tough, they can last longer than the mesh filters. Also, they can be washed easily so that you can get rid of the spit on the filter.

And the most important part of the pop filter – the quality of giving clarity in recording. Well, they’re said to be the best.

Although no major issues have been found on mesh pop filters yet, the sound quality of thin metal pop filters tends to be more accurate.

Things to consider before buying a pop filter

You have something in mind that you want to buy and you go to the market for buying that. Now before buying it, there are things about the product that you know. Based on that, you compare the product with others.

The same rule applies here too. You are required to have knowledge about something about pop filters before buying them. This will give you the proper idea of which pop filter you should choose and can get the best one for yourself.

Size

There isn’t the right size that can be justified with a particular microphone. Choosing a perfect microphone pop filter is really simple. The size depends on how large you have the microphone.

You need to choose the pop filter that suits both, the size of your mic as well as the style of your recording. Suppose you move a lot while recording, choose a pop filter that has a larger diameter. This will help to prevent the plosives from coming out of your mouth from the larger areas.

Shape

In the market, you’ll get a variety of shaped pop filters. If you are looking for the cost-effective one, go for the Flat filets. But using them will require you to speak directly into the center.

The other option in the shape of pop filters is curved pop filters. Because they work from every angle, they allow you to record in more range and movement.

Mounts

Before buying the pop filters for a microphone, make sure you pay proper attention to the mount of the microphone as well. Most of the pop filters that are available in the market come with the gooseneck mount. That mount can be screwed into the filter frame and the clamp.

While purchasing the pop filter, just keep extra attention to the gooseneck if it’s long enough. Being a long neck of the mount helps you to adjust the filter to the microphone properly without putting in any extra effort.

Filter Material

Many manufacturers in the pop filter business choose to build their pop filters with nylon or other same sort of fabric materials. The reason behind this is that they are cheaper and most importantly, they do their job properly.

Some use woven or perforated metal in pop filters that claim to provide improved clarity as well as transparency, majorly in the higher frequency ranges.

Well, there aren’t any definite answers like which one will be the best to use, although, most of the professionals use the Nylon mesh material in pop filters whereas, the premium builders like to go with the metal ones.

Gooseneck Mount Quality

While purchasing the pop filter, the most important thing to keep in mind is the quality of the gooseneck mount. After all, this is what’s going to hold the pop filter with the microphone stand so the quality must be of the upper class in order to provide the perfect stability.

Make sure the gooseneck you buy is perfectly flexible, good in length, and stability is top-notch

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.

Filter Diameter

In the market, the standard diameter of a pop filter is followed to be 6″, but there are also the smaller ones with a diameter of 4″ and they are too among the most used pop filters.

We choose the bigger diameter pop filter as the bigger the diameter will be, the larger room a singer will get to sing. If the pop filter is not that large, then the singer won’t get a large room to sing. He will be needed to remain steady throughout the session. That’s why considering a filter diameter before buying a pop filter is important.

Some useful advices regarding Pop Filters

  • In order to use a pop filter, make sure to keep a sweet gap of around 2-6 inches from the microphone. Also, place the singer a few inches away from the microphone too.
  • If you are a singer yourself and prefer to sing directly into the filters, well you can do it. It won’t afffect the intensity of the plosives.
  • If you have a singer, or a sinhger yourself who has an extra loud plosives, I would suggest you to keep an angle of your pop filter at around 30-45 degree up or down.
  • Think of your pop filter like a mirror. To whichever side it is, that’s the dorection the wind will go.

Best Pop Filter Amazon

Well if you are looking for the top best pop filters on Amazon, there are many. But here, I will be mentioning the top 3 Top best microphone pop filters that you can get on amazon. So let’s get started.

1. Dragonpad USA 6

This Dragonpad USA 6 is a no-nonsense, but simple pop filter with a 13″ and 360-degree gooseneck mount that can adapt to any possible position.

In order to prevent the harder plosives, a dual-layered filter shield is provided. This shield prevents any pops from overloading the diaphragm of the sensitive condenser microphones.

Features

  • 6″ Diametre
  • 13″ Gooseneck mount
  • The screen is double layered
What is A Pop Filter and What does it do?

2. Shure PS-6 Popper Stopper

The material used in Shure PS-6 Popper Stopper can reduce the plosives to around 3db at 8kHz to 9kHz. Also, it offers 20db to 30db of plosive reduction.

This mic pop filter is best for singers who are extremely louder or with microphones that are frequency sensitive.

Features

  • 6″ Diameter
  • 14″ Gooseneck mount
  • The screen is four-layered

3. Stedman Proscreen PS 101

During the time it was introduced in the market, Stedman Proscreen PS 101 was a huge hit. It was one of the highest-rated mic pop filters at that time.

PS 101 is the standard-sized metal pop filter that gives you the quality cleared sound. The microphone features a 4.6″ metal screen that throws the air downwards as well as away from the microphone’s pickup point.

You get a 13″ gooseneck mount along with the filter that makes the positioning easy. The clamp size also easily adjusts different microphone stand shaft diameters.

Features

  • 4.6″ Diameter
  • 13″ Gooseneck Mount
  • Metal Screen
What is A Pop Filter and What does it do?
Mixology - A Complete Guide for Professional Mixing

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If You Want To Mix Your Music Like Professionals,
You Have To Learn From Professionals And We Have Made It EASY For You.​

There are options to buy the op filters directly from amazon. But also if you don’t want to invest in a pop filter or you are under a certain budget, there is an option for you to make your own DIY microphone pop filter.

How to Make A Pop Filter

Well if you want to make your own DIY Mic Pop Filter, there isn’t just a single way to make one, but many.

I will provide you with the information on two different methods from many in a short way as you could understand it easily and make your own DIY mic pop filter step by step.

A coat Hanger Pop Filter

  1. Find a wire coat hanger and bend it in a full circle.
  2. Try to pull the circle apart until it forms like more of a square shape.
  3. Now pull those flat sides and try to bend them into a circular shape.
  4. Take a pair of used pantyhose and stretch them over the circular hanger that you made.
  5. Pull the pantyhose as much as you can in order to make the diy pop filter more accurate.
  6. Now you are ready with your own diy microphone pop filter.
  7. Make sure you position the diy pop filter directly in front of the mic and it’s not touching it.

An Embroidery Hoop Filter

  1. Take an embroidery hoop filter made up of plastic or metal.
  2. Make sure the size of the embroidery hoop is about six inches in diameter. (You can also choose the larger diametre embroidery hoop for bigger pop filter).
  3. Now you need to stretch the embroidery nylon across the circular hoop.
  4. That hoop will have some sort of latch sysyem. Because of that, you can stretch the nylon and secure it in a place.
  5. Once you have managed to open the latch, try to stretch the nylon over the inner hoop.
  6. Then you are required to put the inner hop back inside the outer hoop and resecure the latch.
  7. You are ready with the your own diy pop filter made with an embroidery hoop.

Pop Filter Alternative – Windscreen

There is an alternative for the pop filters called windscreen that can be used instead of pop filters but under some circumstances.

Let me explain to you about the windscreens a little:

During the outdoor recordings, you are required to record under heavy winds. Microphones are capable to catch the sound of the wind that can ruin your recordings. In order to prevent that, microphone windscreens are used.

Windscreens block the air and allow your microphone to capture only the sound frequency and not the flow of the wind.

Types of wIndsreens

Usually, you’ll see the windscreens that cover the whole microphone and provide the shield from the wind, but there are other types of windscreens too. Let’s see what are they:

Windjammers

They are synthetic Fur covers that are also known as “Dead Cat”, “Windjammers”, “Wind Muff”, or “Windsocks”. Windjammers are slipped on to cover shotgun and condenser mics when recording outside.

Foam

You will also see the windscreens that come in the form of foam covers too. They are generally made up of polyurethane. The efficiency in blocking the wind is determined by the density of the foam.

Baskets/Blimps

There are also the terms like baskets or blims that you’ll come across in the windscreens. They are usually made up of mesh material with a thin inner foam layer. It covers the entire mic but leaves the open-air space between it and the mic.

What is a Pop Filter and What does it do, Final Words

In the final, I would like to suggest that if you are looking for a pop filter, make sure if your singer takes a lot of space while singing, the diameter of the pop filter should be large.

Choosing between the nylon mesh pop filters vs the Metal pop filters, you don’t need to put much effort here. Just go with any that comes under your budget. Both do nearly the same work and have no drawbacks.

The important lesson I would like to add here is that PREPARATION IS IMPORTANT.

If you want to record professional vocals, you are required to invest your time and efforts a lot. This will help you understand more about the gadgets that you use in the recording studios.

FAQ

How do I know if I need a pop filter?

A pop filter is how it exactly sounds. It prevents the microphone to capture unwanted plosives.
If you hear any popping sounds in your recordings, you’ll know that it’s the time you need a pop filter.

Do condenser microphone need pop filters?

Condenser microphones have a larger diaphragm, Larger diaphragm means they record higher sound frequencies. Condenser microphones are extremely sensitive.
While recording the vocals, there are many popping sounds like Ps, Bs that come out of the mouth along with the other words. This can ruin your recording. In order to prevent that, Pop filters are used.
So Yes, Condenser Microphone needs pop filters.

How to attach pop filter?

Along with the pop filter, you get the gooseneck mount. With the help of the mount, you can attach it to the mic stand. After connecting the mount to the mic stand, position the pop filter in front of the mic.
This is how you attach a pop filter.

Mixology - A Complete Guide for Professional Mixing

CREATE MIX YOU CAN FEEL PROUD OF

If You Want To Mix Your Music Like Professionals,
You Have To Learn From Professionals And We Have Made It EASY For You.​

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