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Questions about mic covers

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Questions about mic covers

Postby audio_jungle » Sat Aug 25, 2018 3:42 pm

Some newbie questions on mics...

1.) What do you call the foam piece that goes over a mic?

2.) What is the purpose of the foam thing that goes over a mic?

3.) What do you call the mesh disk that sits in front of a mic?

4.) What is the purpose of of the mesh disk that sits in front of a mic?

Thanks,,


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Re: Questions about mic covers

Postby Ariosto » Sat Aug 25, 2018 3:51 pm

It's just a foam cover to stop plosives like "p" and "t" causing a plop .

Likewise the mesh is called a pop shield and does the same thing - one or other is used, but no reason to not use both in some instances ...
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Re: Questions about mic covers

Postby audio_jungle » Sat Aug 25, 2018 4:14 pm

Ariosto wrote:It's just a foam cover to stop plosives like "p" and "t" causing a plop .

Likewise the mesh is called a pop shield and does the same thing - one or other is used, but no reason to not use both in some instances ...

I have a Rode NT2-A that I want to use for podcasts and voiceovers.

I would prefer leaving the "dust cover" on to, well, protect this expensive mic from dust!

Would it make sense to use the "pop filter" as well, or is that on a per case basis?
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Re: Questions about mic covers

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Aug 25, 2018 4:26 pm

audio_jungle wrote: What do you call the foam piece that goes over a mic?

Different manufacturers use different terms, but it's generally known as a 'foam windshield'

What is the purpose of the foam thing that goes over a mic?

To reduce unwanted noise from ambient air currents (ie. wind) or plosives blasts (Ps and Bs etc), as well as helping to keep moisture from warm breath and other particulates from a vocalist's mouth from reaching the mic capsule's diaphragm. It's made of open-cell foam.

What do you call the mesh disk that sits in front of a mic?

Again, different manufacturers use different names, but it's generally known as a pop-screen.

What is the purpose of of the mesh disk that sits in front of a mic?

To prevent plosives blasts from a vocalist reaching the mic capsule, as well as catching spittle etc! It is most effective when rigged with at least an inch between the screen and the capsule. Not much good at reducing ambient air currents (ie wind) because it only protects one side.

The cheapest types are constructed from one or two layers of a nylon mesh fabric suspended across a plastic or metal ring. Alternatively, some are made from a fine weave metal mesh, or a large pore open cell foam disc -- this last type being the most effective and least audible to my ears.

A pop-screen is usually better at minimising plosives than a foam windshield, probably because of that body or still air between the mesh and capsule.
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Re: Questions about mic covers

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Aug 25, 2018 4:30 pm

audio_jungle wrote:I have a Rode NT2-A that I want to use for podcasts and voiceovers.
I would prefer leaving the "dust cover" on to, well, protect this expensive mic from dust!
Would it make sense to use the "pop filter" as well, or is that on a per case basis?

Per case basis. If you still suffer plosives popping with the foam windshield you can usually cure it with better mic placement (greater distance and/or moving the mic to the side or above the mouth to avoid the direct puffs). If you need to keep the mic close and directly on axis because of poor room acoustics, then adding a pop-shield is the next most viable option.

H
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Re: Questions about mic covers

Postby Wonks » Sat Aug 25, 2018 4:35 pm

The foam screen tends to take a bit of treble off the voice, a pop screen less so. If you keep the foam screen on the mic all the time, then see if you get any issues with P and B sounds creating small pops/thuds in the sound. If so, then use the pop screen as well. If not, there's no need to use it. When podcasting, you'll probably be sitting a bit further away from the mic that you would be when recording a singing vocal, so plosives will have less effect on the mic anyway than if you're only a couple of inches from the mic.
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Re: Questions about mic covers

Postby audio_jungle » Sat Aug 25, 2018 5:07 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
audio_jungle wrote: What do you call the foam piece that goes over a mic?

Different manufacturers use different terms, but it's generally known as a 'foam windshield'

What is the purpose of the foam thing that goes over a mic?

To reduce unwanted noise from ambient air currents (ie. wind) or plosives blasts (Ps and Bs etc), as well as helping to keep moisture from warm breath and other particulates from a vocalist's mouth from reaching the mic capsule's diaphragm. It's made of open-cell foam.

To protect your microphone, shouldn't you always leave on the "foam windshield"?

Will it in any way impede the audio you are trying to capture? (e.g. voiceover)


Hugh Robjohns wrote:
What do you call the mesh disk that sits in front of a mic?

Again, different manufacturers use different names, but it's generally known as a pop-screen.

What is the purpose of of the mesh disk that sits in front of a mic?

To prevent plosives blasts from a vocalist reaching the mic capsule, as well as catching spittle etc! It is most effective when rigged with at least an inch between the screen and the capsule. Not much good at reducing ambient air currents (ie wind) because it only protects one side.

So on my Rode NT2-, there is a "pop filter" that attaches to the shock mount.

In its apparent natural setup/angle, the pop-filter would be parallel to the mic and maybe 3-4" away.

It sounds like I should adjust the pop-filter so it is closer, like maybe an inch away from the mic?


Hugh Robjohns wrote:The cheapest types are constructed from one or two layers of a nylon mesh fabric suspended across a plastic or metal ring. Alternatively, some are made from a fine weave metal mesh, or a large pore open cell foam disc -- this last type being the most effective and least audible to my ears.

When I went on my buying spree getting all of this audio gear, I picked up an Auray PFMR metal pop filter.

When I open it up it looked more likes omething you'd use for panning gold than in front of a microphone?!

Are you saying that a metal pop filter like that would actually be better than the nylon mesh pop filter which came with my Rode?

(From an acoustic standoint, I would think the pantyhoses type pop filter would have less effect on sound versus a brass metal plate with holes in it, but what do I know?!)

Thanks,


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Re: Questions about mic covers

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Aug 25, 2018 5:31 pm

audio_jungle wrote:To protect your microphone, shouldn't you always leave on the "foam windshield"?

If you don't store your mics in their protective cases then putting something over the mic when not in use is a good idea. I'd recommend a clean plastic bag (eg freezer bag). A foam windscreen will protect the mic to some extent but over time will itself tend to clog with dust, reducing its effectiveness, so I'd cover the mic and windscreen with a plastic bag.

Will it in any way impede the audio you are trying to capture? (e.g. voiceover)

Not really. The foam might knock back some of the extreme HF slightly, but it will be an extremely subtle effect on spoken voice.

So on my Rode NT2-, there is a "pop filter" that attaches to the shock mount. In its apparent natural setup/angle, the pop-filter would be parallel to the mic and maybe 3-4" away.

Sounds ideal to me. The inch I mentioned is a minimum, and a greater spacing is usually better.

Are you saying that a metal pop filter like that would actually be better than the nylon mesh pop filter which came with my Rode?

Try it and see for yourself. Very subtle differences in design can make a big difference to efficacy. A good metal mesh is undoubtedly more effective and less audible than a poor fabric pop-screen... but the opposite is also true -- a poor metal pop-screen can be a waste of space! I recently tested a new etched-metal pop-screen which was hopeless!

I would think the pantyhoses type pop filter would have less effect on sound versus a brass metal plate with holes in it, but what do I know?!

Indeed. The physics are not entirely obvious, and the design and construction detail are critically important.
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Re: Questions about mic covers

Postby Ariosto » Sat Aug 25, 2018 9:07 pm

Just adding a point that may help you. I do audiobooks using a single mic and I sit about 12-15 inches from the mic, and with no pop filter or foam cover, and I have no problems with popping, whatever mic I use. It may be worth trying and then you may not need anything else. Also angling the mic slightly can make a difference and reduce sibilance.

I also cover the mic on the stand when not in use, as Hugh suggests, with a freezer bag.
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Re: Questions about mic covers

Postby audio_jungle » Sat Aug 25, 2018 9:39 pm

@Hugh Robjohns,

Thanks for the information!!
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Re: Questions about mic covers

Postby audio_jungle » Sat Aug 25, 2018 9:42 pm

Ariosto wrote:Just adding a point that may help you. I do audiobooks using a single mic and I sit about 12-15 inches from the mic, and with no pop filter or foam cover, and I have no problems with popping, whatever mic I use. It may be worth trying and then you may not need anything else. Also angling the mic slightly can make a difference and reduce sibilance.

That is quite a large distance for mouth-to-mic...

I recall learning that the distance from your mouth to the microphone should be the distance from your thumb to your index finger stretched out, which is maybe 9".

What environment do you record in?

Sounds like you have great sound-proofing!
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Re: Questions about mic covers

Postby Wonks » Sat Aug 25, 2018 11:55 pm

You also need to understand that all people's voices are different. Everyone has a different emphasis on certain sounds. With careful vocal training, even the worst 'P's and 'B's can be tamed to a barely noticeable level. Also, just because a certain set-up works for one person, doesn't mean that it will work for everyone.

So you now need to find the set-up that works best for you. You've got the kit and some good suggestions. Now just go and try it out with different foam and pop shield combinations and mic distances, then stick with what works best for you. Don't put that experimentation off by keep asking questions, that will only get you so far in your understanding and knowledge. There is nothing like practical experience. With digital recording, it's really costing you nothing but time to actually try out different combinations. Write them down as you go along (or state the set-up used at the start of each recording) so you can refer back to just what you did. If you are then still having issues, come back and ask about those.
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Re: Questions about mic covers

Postby Ariosto » Sun Aug 26, 2018 8:10 am

I have a pretty quiet environment and the room acoustic is good so I can work a little further from the mic, but 9 inches is usually fine and sometimes I might work that close. Different effects need you to move into and away from the mic depending on what result you are aiming to achieve - i.e if you need to whisper or speak sotto voce then you need to get close to the mic or for a shout or loud exclamation, then much further away.

So you need to learn mic technique and also how to narrate well if it's for audiobooks, where the highest standards are needed. That's why actors do the work a lot, they have the training. (And of course you need a good voice and be able to speak from the diaphragm - so not everyone can just stick up a mic and do it).

I belong to an organisation that produces the books - and I was invited to join. You can't just ask to join I'm afraid.
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Re: Questions about mic covers

Postby John Willett » Sun Aug 26, 2018 9:56 am

audio_jungle wrote:Some newbie questions on mics...

1.) What do you call the foam piece that goes over a mic?
A = a foam windshield

audio_jungle wrote:2.) What is the purpose of the foam thing that goes over a mic?
A = to minimise wind noise and plosives

audio_jungle wrote:3.) What do you call the mesh disk that sits in front of a mic?
A = A pop filter - these can also be nylon fabric or an open-cell foam disk.

audio_jungle wrote:4.) What is the purpose of of the mesh disk that sits in front of a mic?
A = To minimise plosive noises. The petal ones can resonate if you are not careful, the nylon ones canm affect high frequencies, the open-cell foam ones seem to be the most transparent.
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