Pop Filters: What Are They & Why Do You Need One?

9 Mins read

You may have come across many sorts of microphones and filters, whether you are a YouTuber, a podcaster, or a musician. You may invest time and money a bit overwhelmingly in learning how to use it. So, how do you resolve the issue of the pop filter?

For a condenser microphone, you need a pop filter as it decreases popping noises known as plosives. They are formed by sharp letters like ‘P,’ ‘T’ or ‘S.’ The audio quality of your recordings is reduced by plosives. The sound in a condensed mic, which removes plosives, is spread by a pop filter.

In this article, we will give you a brief introduction to pop filters, and we will tell you how to tackle pop sound effects!

Pop Sound Effect: The Real Concern

Whether you record on a DIY vocal stand or in a specialist studio, plosives are noises that you need to be aware of when you record voice. Pop and microphone filters are by far two of the most used instruments for preventing plosives in the recording phase. Plosives begin when a singer or speaker utters heavy consonants with particular breaths.

pop filter

The vocalist’s air in turn hits the capsule of a microphone and causes huge air pressure. This leads to a breezy sound or a popping sound, if strong enough. Consonants that cause plosives to be registered usually include Pa, Ba, and Fa, however, the air required to produce plosives can be released by other “stop consonants” like Ta or Ka.

If you are an English speaker, try creating the aforementioned consonant sounds and see how a portion is closing and opening your lips and voice as you create noises. When the mouth/voice is closed and opened during the speech, little “blasting” or air occurs all of a sudden. The “blasting” is known as plosives.

Although plosives are generally faint, microphone diaphragms frequently strike the microplate/element overload with such strength. As result, the micro signal generates mostly undesired “pops.”

Why Does Pop Sound Effect Occur?

In general, plosive sounds occur naturally in speech and are heard by letters such as P and B. If, when you are speaking, you imagine you have a lighted candle in front of your lips, the flame would flicker. If you put your mouth too close to the microphone while you record, popping sounds might be increased.

The plosive noises interact with the diaphragm of the microphone and create an output signal. A pop shield or filter works as a barrier to the microphone to eliminate the noises in the result.

To tackle the pop sound effect, we have a microphone pop filter. Read through the following section to know what is a pop filter, and what does a pop filter do.

What Does A Pop Filter Do?

The principal aim of a pop filter is to diminish the acoustic energy in the human voice of plosive sounds; these are mostly words starting with “b” or “p”. We all heard announcements aired, with a tonne of loud noises clicking and slamming. We don’t hear these things, but a microphone amplifies noise considerably.

When the vocalist or speaker is near to the microphone, the issue becomes more apparent. This is because the actual explosion of plosive air is closest to the mouth. The air may get so harsh on a microwave capsule, or can even clip the preamp. The air gets so strong. We want to prevent it in the studio, obviously, so we don’t damage our voice.

A high-pass filter may be switched on or off on some microphones. A pop filter can be beneficial because it is a low-end product. However, we still have the problem that physical air hits the capsule. All directive microphones may have a proximity effect, to make problems worse.

This is a bass build-up occurring when the sound source is very close to the microphone. You can see how plosives in the human voice would be amplified more. Condenser mics tend to pop due to their light, sensitive diaphragms. Dynamic mics have a little bit more resistance because they handle high SPLs so well, but plosives don’t.

How Does A Mic Pop Filter Works?

Honestly, nothing in front of a microphone is fantastic about a display! So what’s the working of pop filters? The way it works is pretty simple: most of the sound is resistant to pass through the mesh. Some high-end losses can occur, although this is not very important. However, plosives strike and tear up the screen.

pop filter

The filter disperses the concentrated air explosion, thereby decreasing its microphone impact. Many pop filter microphone designs feature two mesh layers spaced around one inch apart. Anything passing through the first layer is picked up by the second one, making it highly effective even for the harshest plosives.

Just don’t forget to put the microphone with a pop filter a few inches away from the microphone itself. This guarantees protective layers — singer > pop filter > 2-3′′ microphone air gap.

Read Here: Best Gaming Microphone To Let Your Gaming Speak Volumes

Why Do You Need A Mic Pop Filter?

To stop plosives, simple–pop filters are employed. Plosives are air bursts coming from your lips whenever you speak words like B, P, T, and so on with hard letters. Imagine singing in the microphone a sentence such as “destroy my heart.” It causes a loud explosion of air right to the capsule of the microphone which causes an uncomfortable overload.

At the moment of the word, this causes the microphone to “pop.” It filters those pops out of your voice sound, precisely what it sounds like. In particular, it distributes the air in diverse directions from your mouth. Then in one huge burst, it doesn’t touch the microphone. This prevents your sound in the recording from being overly harsh.

In microphones, plosives sound louder than in the actual world. So while you don’t have to carry a pop filter every time you sing in your back pocket, a pop filter is required for vocal recording. Plosives in condenser microphones are very hard. This is due to the influence on closeness.

The impact of proximity is that the bottom of a voice is louder and louder the nearer the microphone reaches the vocalist. As a plosive is often low-end energy, the condenser mics amplify this more. This implies that it is essentially necessary to use a pop filter with a condenser.

By comparison, it’s highly useful to use a pop filter with a ribbon or dynamic mic, but not a difficult one. Place it 2-6 inches apart from the microphone to effectively employ a pop filter. The vocalist then puts the filter a few centimeters away. They also may sing straight in the filter if the performer chooses.

The strength of the plosives does not change. Certain vocalists like to maintain a constant distance from the microphone. We would suggest you put your pop filter 30–45 degrees above or if you have a singer with extremely high plosives. This increases the wind dispersion power of the filter yet further. Therefore the microphone is much less reached.

Like a mirror, the thing about your filter. No matter how you point at it, the wind will travel in that direction. Finally, pop filters might restrict your microphone’s saliva. Gross! However, saliva may damage the inside of your microphone over years and years of use. We don’t want that!

When Do You Need Microphones With Pop Filter?

There are several situations where you’d need a pop filter microphone. They are:

pop filter

1. Mic Pop Filter Is Needed For Stage Performance

Perhaps you don’t need a pop filter if you sing or chat with a live audience. Please note that most stage performances employ dynamic microphones, however popping sounds may be addressed simply separating from the microphone, and you will need to have the best pop filter.

2. Best Pop Filter Is Needed In Microphones

The majority of condenser microphones feature an indoor pop filter but are not often robust enough to deal with high plosives. You function quite well, but you have advanced graphics and pro-level recording abilities. They’re all in great shape.

3. Homemade Pop Filters Is Needed For Private Journals

If you record a personal journal, you may not have to have a pop filter. On the other hand, the use of a pop filter for your condenser mic will help those recording podcasts, music, audiobooks, and anything else for other people.

4. Use Microphone Pop Filter For Ticks In Recording Sessions

Check the interface of your grabbing studio and check it out. Are your swift upticks sudden? Do you see letters such as P, T, and S which cause widespread distortion and audio graphs? If so, the only answer to these difficulties is probably a pop filter.

Types Of DIY Pop Filter

On the market there are two types of pop filters:

  • Nylon Mesh Homemade Pop Filter
  • Thin-Metal Pop Filters

The original version of the tool is the nylon mesh pop filters. For decades, they have been utilized. They cost about 20 dollars, depending on the brand you choose. Mesh pop filters are an excellent choice. They will fulfill their main task – to halt the plosives. They will do well.
Some engineers say, however, that mesh pop filters cut a voice off at the high end.

Metal pop filters have entered the market to fight against this. Metal filters are just a few decades ago a more recent innovation. Typically, they are a harder structure, thus they survive longer than their competitors. You may also be washed easily. All of the spit that is undoubtedly accumulated on your filter for dozens of applications may be removed.

Above all, the upper end of the vowel is maintained entirely intact. The mesh version has not formally shown to be a serious problem. Single sounds although with a metal filter tend to be a bit precise. A metal filter, depending on the brand which you purchase, will cost around $50. So what are you supposed to purchase?

You will bear the metal filter longer and risk not damaging it as you wash it. However, the mesh filter is inexpensive, safe, and easy to change. For better construction, switch to a metal filter if you feel the need to invest. If not, it works great with a mesh filter.

Advantages & Disadvantages Of Nylon Mesh Pop Filters

pop filter

Advantages Of Nylon Mesh

This is my home studio sort of pop filter. A black nylon screen stretched across this sort of pop filter. The material is soft like pantyhose and creates hardly any sound reflection.

Disadvantages Of Nylon Mesh

Since this kind of pop filter is constructed from nylon, over time the screen wears, tears, or gets free. You will either learn how to replace or purchase a new screen. It might not be a problem if you take good care of the pop filter and/or do not use it too often. Further, some of the higher frequencies have been filtered using nylon mesh filters.

You could be better off with a metal grill pop filter if you go for a crystalline, brilliant sound in a voice recording. Finally, you may want to consider what the pop filter looks like if you load people for recording. My home studio filters seem affordable.

Advantages & Disadvantages Of Nylon Metal Grill Pop Filters

pop filter

Advantages Of Nylon Metal Grill Pop Filters

A black metal grill between the vocalist and the tiny phone is this kind of pop filter. It is highly sturdy and without maintenance or repairs should last for long life. Furthermore, the same way a nylon mesh pop filter does not attenuate any frequency spectrum. Metal grill pop filters also appear far more professional than the equivalent of nylon mesh.

Disadvantages Of Nylon Metal Grill Pop Filters

The pop-filters of the metal grill also influence recordings. Due to their rough surface, they can generate extra sound reflections which are taken up in different degrees according to microphone sensitivity.

Read Here: Best Microphone For Computer To Buy

Pop Filter Or Windscreen?

The windshield — the anti-wind foam in the microphone’s globe – cannot replace the pop filter unlike many people think. The windshield is for microphones, such as outside situations (films, television) or stages, utilized in large areas (concerts). The foam helps to eliminate the impacts of excessive wind exposure.

pop sound effect

Some of the higher frequencies are lost and the plosives are not removed altogether. Only a Pop Filter can do all of this. The studio does not need to utilize the windshield. There are even more aggressive windscreens to block winds at a greater speed if they are not of regular usage, as they are used outside on fields and mountains or in any other spot with too much wind.

A windshield is a big foam cylindrical that is placed outdoors on the microphones. They are especially helpful when utilized outside in concerts, interviews, or movie shooting to deflect wind. The focused wind of a plosive is not supported by them. The windshield doesn’t do anything to stop the plosive since the vocalist is so near the mic.

But they take off a lot of the microphone’s sound from the high end. So with plosives, they don’t assist, and they make your voice sound worse. Avoid utilizing a windshield unless you need them to do what they are meant for.

Using The Pop Filter For High Sound Clarity

In hundreds of YouTube videos, you saw pop filters, large black groups in studios in front of microphones. If you require one and kind you should purchase, and you are not sure what they do exactly, then we have compiled this entire article for you on the working, and the types of pop filters.

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About author
With a rich experience of more than four years in advanced marketing and promotional strategies, she has mastered the techniques of Digital Marketing. From working with some of the top-ranking agencies to sharing her knowledge to help others, she makes sure to incorporate her learning in everything she does.
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