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Q. Is a pop shield better than a wind shield?

Q. Is a pop shield better than a wind shield?

I recently bought a large-diaphragm condenser mic which came with a foam wind shield (the kind that fits over the top of the mic). Will this do a good enough job of stopping plosive blasts or do I need a proper pop shield?

SOS Forum Post

Technical Editor Hugh Robjohns replies: The cellular foam design of the simple wind shield you mentioned inherently affects the mic's high-frequency response, usually quite noticeably. It will do the job of preventing plosive blasts from reaching the diaphragm, but there are better and less intrusive ways of doing so.

Pop shield.In the studio, a pop screen is far more appropriate to the task of stopping plosives, and the design ensures minimal impact on the mic's frequency response. In my opinion it is worth buying the largest diameter pop shield you can, and avoiding the ones with very long gooseneck supports as these can rarely handle the weight and tend to sag annoyingly.

It is essential to ensure a gap of between one and two inches between the pop shield and the front of the mic capsule. The singer can work as close to the pop shield as he or she wants, but it is critical that there is an area of 'dead air' between shield and diaphragm — and the bigger the better as far as minimising turbulent air is concerned.

If you can't afford a decent commercial pop screen, then you can make your own using an embroidery hoop covered with two layers of stocking material, or even a frying pan splatter guard!

Published December 2004