Pop Filter

Pop Filters? What are they and do I need one?

If you are pursuing a career in music, voice over acting or any other profession that requires vocal recording, chances are, you’re thinking about building your own home studio. You are not the first person to show interest in building a home studio and definitely not the last! Building your studio requires buying and assembling several pieces of specialized equipment. This ranges from audio editing software, to the XLR cable that connects to your studio microphone, to your mixer or preamp. One of the most commonly forgotten pieces of equipment in this set is the pop filter. There are many reasons why you need to have one.

Let’s begin by identifying what a pop filter is. If you have ever seen a voice artist at work, then most likely you’ve seen a pop filter. This vital device is simply that black filter between the talent’s mouth and the studio’s microphone. The pop filter is named after its function. It’s sole purpose is to “filter” the “pop” from your recordings. The “pop” is a disturbance in the recording that is caused by certain words and letters such as that pesky “P”. The reason that the microphone picks up the letter P is because of the way you smack your lips and exhale all in the same motion. Thus, a sudden burst of air goes powerfully into the mic. This will occur in any situation without a pop filter and is nearly impossible to prevent or edit out.

Here’s how a pop filter works: The technology is very straightforward and simple. Like any other filter, it is designed to remove unwanted material. The material in this case is excessive exhaling. The filter is produced from a mesh-like material. This material is commonly black, double lined with a gap between both layers and framed in a circle for durability. The small pores in the material allow your voice to travel through, unaltered. At the same time, these pores break up unwanted air. This allows the microphone to capture your vocals and avoid recording turbulent air. The common pop filter costs between $15 and $30 and easily mounts to an existing microphone stand. If this cost is too much to bear, you can always buy a stocking for a dollar and wrap it over a hanger shaped like a lollipop!

And there you have it. If you want to record your voice, a pop filter is a small cheap device that is necessary in all studios. Keep your recordings clean and get that pop filter today!


Jonathan Steiner