When you are recording content, you might need to control the vocalist a little – get them away from the microphone or control what are called vocal plosives. A pop filter is one way to do it. Creating one is pretty easy and can be complete once you come back from the craft store. I show you how you can make your own pop filter for podcasting.
What is a Vocal Plosive?
Say “Bubba”. Now Say “Pappa”. Two more words – “Sassafras” and “Changling”.
These are plosive words. when you say them, the B, P, S or Ch sounds will peak into a microphone. When something peaks, it can cause the capsule (or ribbon) to push to its extreme. When that happens, you get clipping.
The best way to remove a plosive is to disperse the sound. Think of it like hitting a wall. On the other side, you have a muffled sound. Put holes in the wall and you can hear the sound better. Make a lot of holes in the wall and sound will pass through, but in a whole bunch of directions.
The wall takes the brunt of the plosives and sends the sound to the microphone.
Difference between Windscreen and Pop Filter
A windscreen is a piece of foam that will try to slow down all sound. It is porous, so sound will pass to the microphone. It works best for keeping wind noise off the mic (just like the DeadCat I talked about.)
Like I said before, a pop filter only wants to disperse sound so it doesn’t hit the microphone as hard. It also keeps you at a distance from the microphone.
The Old Pop Filter
You might have seen instructional videos taking a pair of nylons and wrapping around a bent coat hanger. This type of pop filter is nice, but not porous enough. By just putting the sock on, you are technically making 2 pop filters and can lose some high frequencies by doing it.
How to Make a Pop Filter
If someone in the family does needlepoint, you might already have what you need for a pop filter.
- 6 inch needlepoint hoop
- 8 inch square of nylon needlepoint material OR
- 8 inch square of metal screen door material
- Clamp for pop filter to a stand
Keep in mind, metal actually works better than nylon. The stiffer the material, the better. The nylon needlepoint material is a great mid-road item. Best part with this is you could change out the material for different types of results.
Simply put the nylon material into the hoop and close it up. Make sure the nylon is taut – pull on the side if it bubbles. Then tighten the screw.
For a clamp, I used a T-brace from a hardware store and a clamp I bought last year. The end result is this:
The pop filter cost me around $10. The clamp was more expensive, but I already had it. Questions? Let me know!