What microphone pop filter is best for various needs?

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/09/26/what-microphone-pop-filter-is-best-for-various-needs.html


They’re all too expensive for what they are; even at $20 a pop (er, sorry?), a lot of us struggling musos would rather eat for a week-and-a-half. A pair of pantyhose over a wire hanger still works well.


It was that damned We Are The World video that turned a simple homemade device into a million dollar industry.
We always used the pantyhose and hangers and if need be, still do.


A sexy hack.

I would like to see a video with hacks to avoid the sound of the wind that greatly disturb YouTube videos made outdoors.


It must be nice to have a deep, soothing voice. I am more toward the Alvin and the Chipmunks end of the vocal range.

O well, I am only 40, maybe once I hit puberty my voice will get deeper…


People literally use condoms on mics! I know not how effective it is against wind (suspect not), but it’s apparently good for protecting against sweat and (if changed, obv) disease.

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Literally the precise opposite of sexy: the Dead Cat


Try a crew sock pulled over the mic. Works for me.


I don’t think I’ve seen wire hangers in 20 years or so. Might be more expensive than the dedicated pop filter just because you have to buy them at a vintage store first.

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As recommended by some good folks at Transom:

Pandemic ER: Notes From A Nurse In Queens – The Radio Hour

(…) The Technical Stuff

I recorded my voice at home on my Zoom H5N recorder with an ATR 2100 mic. I made a makeshift “studio” cave out of pillows and blankets. The only really active tape I could capture was on my phone, either headed into work or when my shift was over and I was exiting the building via long corridors and automatic doors. I’d get outside, into the blessed fresh air, finally able to remove my masks and record some of my thoughts and the sounds around me. Obviously we didn’t end up with a lot of active tape. Much of it was unusable because of sound quality and wind. Sam suggested I put the iPhone in a sock and that did help cut down on the wind noise. Capturing active tape “adjacent” to the story was a good exercise in learning how to describe what was going on around me, to remark on sounds that I heard, and remember how strongly even small sounds and on-the-fly visual descriptions on active tape can set a bigger scene for the listener.

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I just came across booth junkies a few days ago, and I have to agree. It’s worth listening to just to hear him talk. His mic tests are great, but also sort of useless on him because they all sound great when he’s talking, generally no pop filter needed. He’s got great mic technique.

His videos on how to edit VO’s show how much more work he has to do than I would have thought. He’s a pro, but reading cold copy is hard and even occasional flubs add up and he has to edit quickly and efficiently.

You can’t fool me. That’s a tribble.


In which case, you’ll soon have enough to cover microphones everywhere…


I think they’re sold in bulk to dry cleaners–case of 100 for 30 bucks-- that sort of thing. Perhaps they’ve been pushed out of a niche by the “velvet covered” plastic ones.


I still have an infestation of wire hangers in one of our closets. If you leave them alone, they tangle and reproduce. (It is said.)


So you could sustainably harvest them for audio applications?


We already do. Not for pop filters, because we have the one from the husbands studio (closed in 1996, much of the stuff is still in use. I believe it is a pantyhose leg over an embroidery hoop, with some kind of connector thingy to attach it to the mic stand.) He uses the hangers to create a harness-type holder for a voice-changer or speaker to be worn under large masks.

Also for a source of stiff but bendable wire for home improvement and craft projects.
We reuse and repurpose all kinds of things here.


For those who prefer reading about such matters:

Bonus: a video that explains how to build a pop filter form paper, so there’s no excuse that you don’t habe the materials at hand.

Now I almost regret that I already own a pretty good pop filter.

You get 6 for $6 at walmart, cheaper if you buy more

FWIW The cheapest one on Amazon is $8. Still more than a hanger and a pantyhose, though.

The fourth link in the list above claims that might lead to the loss of high frequencies. This page about building pop filters says the same thing.

Might depend on the actual sock used, though.


Came here for this - still works in a pinch.
Diffuse your plosives people!

Tip for soundies: Message content creators whose work you enjoy that have poor audio and share a tip or two.

I’ve found a lot of amateurs are eager to improve and very receptive to tips on pop screens, compression, normalisation, mic control, and mastering basics.

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Some microphones, like the Shure SM58, have foam pop filters lining inside of the ball end. They are not great, but they work adequately until the foam degrades and needs to be replaced. (Which of course you don’t discover until after you’ve made a recording, something I just learned after making a video for my students. Fortunately, it isn’t too hard to remove the pops in Audacity.)