If you're looking to record yourself singing, rapping, or speaking, you should invest in a pop filter. Pop filters are the circular screens you often see in front of mics when someone is recording in the studio booth. They are extremely important if you're looking to get professional quality content that will be published for an audience to hear.
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Pop filters help filter out the pops and clicks that naturally come out when we speak or sing. In phonetics, these sounds are called plosives and include tongue clicks and mouth smacks that occur in any language. Condenser mics easily pick up on these sounds and can hinder the clarity of your words. Pop filters hugely help to reduce these sounds from messing up your recordings.
There are two main different styles of Pop Filters. The first and most widely used style is the nylon mesh pop filter, which is also more affordable and preferred in the music industry. There are also metal pop filters that are sometimes preferred for more durability and visual transparency.
Here's one I got from Amazon that's double layered for extra protection against plosives. It works pretty well for me, but I make sure to take extra steps including staying hydrated and even eating an apple (with acidic properties that combat those noises) to avoid plosives that happen when my mouth is too dry.
It’s important to try to get rid of these mouth noises as best as possible when singing or speaking into your mic (Unless you're into ASMR mouth sounds). If you don’t have access to a pop filter and are in a rush to record before you can get access to one, there are a few tricks you can use to lessen the clicks and pops being transferred to the recording.
Improvise a Homemade Pop Filter - In a bind, you can create a homemade filter using clothing like stockings over a kitchen sieve.
Improvise Without a Pop Filter - If you are unable to make a homemade pop filter, try speaking a little bit further from the mic to lessen the presence of plosives. Another tip is to smile while singing or speaking to avoid pops in your "b" and "p" consonants.
A pop filter is not designed to reduce background noise and it only works for reducing the plosives that come from your mouth. If you need to reduce background noise, consider soundproofing tools like window seal strips, noise-reducing curtains, and door stoppers that can help with noise coming from outside and other places in the house. Also be sure that your mic isn't picking up your AC/Heat and fans, which can be a huge source of background noise that your mic can pick up.
As a session singer, writer, and producer that has worked with over 200 clients to provide high-quality jingles, singles, features, nursery rhymes, and DJ drops, she currently spends her time engulfed in creating and marketing new music and helpful resources for creators. Her most recent creative collaborations include work with PBS Sound Field, Tribe of Noise, and the National Black Chamber of Commerce. Check out Yona’s latest music releases on her Spotify, her Youtube and share the music if you like it!
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