Pay less for a Popless

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Music stores can charge a fortune for a simple popless screen that can be built for next to nothing.

Have you ever seen one of those screens that pro studios use in front of the vocal microphones? Ya know those things that most people think are spit guards? Well. they're not...

Actually those unit are usually referred to as a "Popless". What they do is help remove, or at least minimize the "pop" that some people's voices introduce to a microphone when singing words that start with a "P" or a similarly powerful sound like that.

What it does, in effect, is filter some of the air from the voice so it doesn't all hit the microphone as hard as when it left the mouth. It sort of "softens" the air flow, but doesn't distort or change the personality of the voice itself.

Have you ever seen the price for these units?!?!?! Music stores and pro audio stores sometimes charge a lot of money for these silly little things, and they can be built for nearly nothing if you know where to go and what to buy.

Just find your local craft store and ask someone where they keep their needlepoint supplies. In that section you will find small, wooden frames that come in pairs, one fits inside of the other and the outside frame can be tightened against the inside frame. This piece is the basic component of your Popless.

After getting that, all you need is some thin nylon material like the stuff women's leg nylons are made from, heck you can even cut up a pair of your mom's, girlfriend's or wives old nylons and use that (please ask them first though, and make sure they take them off before cutting :-).

Take the two wooden rings apart and stretch the nylon over the smaller ring (one or two layers should be plenty) and then tighten the larger ring around the smaller ring with the nylon between them making sure the nylon is stretched tight (that can be a trick).

There ya go, your popless is done...the only thing left is mounting it in from of the mic. This is where the store bought units are cool cuz they have a gooseneck or something similar to attach to the mic stand. However, I have sometimes just taped the home-made popless to a second mic stand and placed it in front of the mic and it works great, obviously it doesn't look the prettiest, but it works, and that is the key in the world of Do-It-Yourself, right?

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User-submitted comments

Dec 26, 2003 12:10 pm
Works great, but...
I tried this method and it works great. The only problem I had was mounting the popfilter. My solution was to use a coathanger, gripped with the mic stand's clamp along with the mic, and dangle the filter in front of it.
Tonyd1970 suggested on a post in the message forums to try making your own popfilter with a cube of foam. Just cut your cube out and hollow out a space for your mic. Then just slip it on the mic. I thought I would mention that because it sounds like a really good idea, and it would solve the mounting problem - although I haven't tried it yet myself.
Good article!

Nov 30, 2004 04:26 pm
Problem of mounting solved.....
I'd used the same needlepoint hoops, with elastic strung into them, to make a shockmount. I screwed the hoops onto a piece of dowelling (about 1" or smaller) about three inches apart. The dowelling fits right into a standard mic clip (for example an SM57 type). If you took the pop-filter hoops and used a slighly longer piece of dowelling, it would give a shockmout and pop-filter in one! Wish I'd have thought of that sooner! The shockmount works great for SM57, SM58, Pencil Condenser (MXL991), and larger (MXL990). Obviously the MXL 990 wouldn't benefit from the pop-filter, since the diaphragm wouldn't be aligned.

I got the idea for the shockmount from the web. Two small holes are drilled in the needlepoint hoops (get the plastic type and separate the hoops) - about 1/4" apart - at the "cardinal points" - N,S,E,W. Then elastic (from the same craft store/fabric store as the needlepoint hoops) is threaded through to form a cross (there will be two "lines" of elastic for each leg of the cross - forming a square in the center). The two hoops are screwed to the dowelling, and the microphone is threaded through the center intersection of the elastic on both hoops. Works a charm. About four to six bucks per shockmount.

Dec 07, 2004 01:26 pm
Easy Popless Filter
A easy and quick way I construct a filter is to obtain a piece of sponge material and bend it across the top of my Shure SM57 microphone. I use a rubber band to secure it.

Works excellent.

Sponge material is used as protective packaging inside boxes to protect fragile items.

Submitted by Jimmie R. Vestal
Pinellas Park, Florida

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