Pop Shields and Podcasting

If you’re recording voice for podcasts, you need to be aware of the dreaded “Pops”.

What is a “pop”?

This is very easy to demonstrate. Hold the palm of your hand an inch away from your mouth and say “Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pickled Peppers”. You should be able to “feel” each of the “p” sounds hitting your hand. These are known as “plosives”, and when you say words starting with a “p” or a “b” into a microphone, the diaphragm in the microphone reacts much is your hand does, causing an unwanted popping sound in your recording.

Pop Shields

The quick and cheap way to stop getting the pop effect, is to equip your microphone with a pop shield. These reduce breath noises pops, and in some cases sibilance (a hissing noise on the letter “s”).

Pop ShieldA few decades ago, pop shields were made by its stretching nylon stockings across a coat hanger and positioning that in front of a microphone. For under £10, you can get a large pop shield, which is a piece of acoustically transparent material attached to a flexible gooseneck. This is clamped onto your microphone stand, and can be angled to achieve the perfect position, which is normally an inch or so away from the microphone.

Pop shields are great at removing unwanted “P” and “B” sounds, as well as in some cases, sibilance, without losing sound quality.

Maplin offer two pop shields – the large one has a diameter of 169 mm, and the small has a diameter of 118 mm. Pop Shields @ Maplin

Wind Shields

These pop Shields are fine for studio and home recording, but if you are out on location, you may need a shield of a different kind of protection – a Windshield.

Wind ShieldsThe microphone windshield is a foam covering for the main part of your microphone. These are ideal for suppressing wind noise, as well as dealing with closely the breath sounds and pops. That can supply a small and large microphone windshields for just a few pounds.

For Pop Shields and Windshields, visit  the  Maplin website at www.maplin.co.uk

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