Utilizing a pop filter is a must when recording vocals, because it will help to reduce plosives, but how beneficial is a foam windscreen, especially when recording indoors? Many microphones incorporate an internal windscreen in the grill to protect the microphone element, but even these types of microphones can benefit from additional sound pressure protection.
The following are recordings I made with my Shure SM58 dynamic microphone with three different setups.
- Just the microphone. No pop filter or windscreen.
- With only a pop filter.
- With both a pop filter and windscreen.
If you listen closely to the 1st and 2nd recordings, you will notice the difference in the sounds of the Ps and Bs, in particular the word “Prism” at the 13 second mark and “Path” at the 22 second mark. To the untrained ear, the differences may be very subtle but over the course of a long recording they will tire out a listener’s ears. Most of these plosives can be reduced with the proper positioning of a microphone relative to the subject’s mouth, but it doesn’t hurt to have a pop filter. I utilize the very inexpensive Auphonix 6-Inch Diameter Microphone Pop Filter ($10) in my set up and so far it has helped reduce the plosives in my speech.
In the 3rd recording, I add a foam windscreen to the mic. If you listen closely, you will notice that the mic picks up a lot less of my breathing in the background. This can also be reduced with adjustments in the positioning of the mic, but a foam windscreen helps reduce it in my recordings, which is why I use both a pop filter and foam windscreen in my setup.
In addition, although I primarily record indoors, sometimes I will open up a window in my apartment which can create drafts that can hit my mic. A friend also pointed out that having different colored foam windscreens can help to easily identify different mics if you do are a multi-mic recording session.
What do you think of this setup? Overkill?