I have been testing out my new Shure SM58 microphone over the last few weeks and have been recording sample audio with and without various recording accessories to see how my vocals sound. One accessory that recording specialist will almost always recommend is a pop filter.
Pop filters usually consist of acoustically transparent mesh or metal that is placed in front of a microphone to help reduce excessive plosives such as “Ps” and “Bs.”
Try putting a hand a few inches in front of your mouth and say “Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pickled Peppers” out loud and feel all the air that is bursting out of your mouth. These plosives will come through your recordings without proper mic positioning and/or a pop filter.
The following are recordings I made with and without a pop filter on my mic. Listen closely and notice the differences 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.
Do you have a lot of plosives in your speech?
How do you reduce them in your recordings?