You must have seen this circular net-like thing popping up (pun intended) in your artist friend's Instagram photographs or in the videos of your fellow voice artists, favorite Youtuber or even randomly appear in a music video of a Taylor Swift song, and apart from looking pretty bad-ass, you probably might have wondered what that strange looking contraption does exactly?
Well...that's a 'Pop filter' and it is typically attached to a microphone stand. Why you may ask? Well, it's pretty simple, it has one job alone and that is to eliminate or reduce the 'popping' or 'plosive sounds' that you make when speaking letters like P, B, T and so on.
These sounds typically end up being recorded due to the outward movement of air when you speak words with these alphabets. A 'Plosive' often sounds like a ‘pop’ or ‘thud’ at a lower frequency, also causing the microphone to overload. Because you're speaking these 'Plosives' into a microphone, they're obviously louder to hear once recorded and they can be quite uncomfortable to hear. For example, imagine saying a phrase like ‘I will play basketball with Brian in the park’, you’ll feel a strong puff of air on the letter ‘p’ and ‘f’ that will create a popping noise which can actually cause a clipping and unpleasant distortion.
It is these sudden loud bursts of air that we are trying to prevent from reaching the microphone while recording and this is where the Pop Filter comes in handy. Pop filters basically disperse the air coming from your mouth into different directions while voice recording. This keeps your microphone to eliminate any unwanted sounds and frequencies. Another purpose of the Pop filter is that it acts as a shield for the microphone to keep your saliva (Ewwwwww....IKR!) from going into the microphone and ultimately, prolongs the longevity of the microphone.
Best Practice: Place the pop filter a few inches from the microphone for a better result while voice recording.
So the question remains:
Personally, yes! Get yourself a pop filter as a voice artist. While, you can definitely learn techniques to reduce the 'Plosives', you might as well get an added layer of poppin' goodness and focus on pouring your heart and soul into nailing that script you've been handed.
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Written by: Priyanka Laishram, Edited and compiled by: Dylin Gomes (https://www.voicesbazaar.com)
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