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A pop filter is a simple screen that you place in front of a microphone that prevents “plosives” from being picked up by the mic and ruining your sound.
Plosives are sounds that we all make naturally when speaking English but they can sound super unpleasant on tape.
Tthe good news is that making a pop filter is super easy and you can have it done in an hour at most.
The most important part of making a DIY pop filter is to get the right materials and the good news is that our design requires, mainly, things that should be laying around at home or which can be purchased for almost nothing.
OK, now you’re ready to make your own pop filter and we’re going to start by tracing a 6-inch diameter circle on the MDF with an inner hoop of 5.5 inches (also traced).
This is going to make the frame for the nylon screen of your DIY mic pop filter, so you’re going to want two of them. It’s a bit like an embroidery hoop filter, if you’ve not seen an embroidery hoop before – ask someone you know who sews.
If you want this to look professional when it’s on your microphone stand, you’ll probably want to paint it black, rather like most embroidery hoops are for that matter. Your circular frame should look pretty good after that.
They don’t sell the kind of gooseneck you find in shop-bought pop filters, so when you make a pop filter, you have to make your own.
For our pop filter, you get that cable covering and simply bend it into the shape of a gooseneck (a not quite circular shape).
The neck of the filter is going to have to take quite a bit of pressure when using a pop filter, so you want to make certain that whatever join you use is super strong.
We find that gluing the MDF that you use for the join and even using a rubber band or rubber bands to strengthen it can really help with this.
OK, now it’s time to grab that outer hoop that you made earlier and add the new nylon stockings to your pop filter.
If you’re easily embarrassed, we can recommend going shopping for these with a lady companion, otherwise, you get some pretty funny looks (if you’re a lady yourself, you can ignore this advice).
It’s the best embroidery material for ensuring that explosive sounds and popping sounds don’t carry through to the mic itself.
Now, it’s time to clip your pop filter onto the mic and test it in your home recording studio.
If it works there should be no popping sound present while the pop filter is in place on the mic stand.
It won’t prevent any background noise from getting through though, so you’ll either need to eliminate those in post-production or eliminate them prior to recording.
If your DIY pop filter isn’t functioning as you’d planned it to – then run through each step again.
Make sure that you’ve followed each instruction thoroughly and that all the materials are correct.
Then test it again, and again, until it works.
We’ve heard a few rumors that you can use tissue paper as a pop filter, we also tested this repeatedly with our own mics and determine that you absolutely can’t.
This came as no surprise as tissue doesn’t have the right acoustic properties, in our view, but we wanted to be sure.
If you need a pop filter make one from the recipe above or buy one.
Making your own pop filters is really easy and very cost-effective, but if you have no time at all, buying one isn’t a terrible idea, they’re not very expensive but they make a huge difference to the quality of vocals in any recording.