Reflection filters, also known as pop shield or pop screen filters, are devices that offer effective absorption of sounds. Reflection filters catch and absorb sounds that they receive directly from the vocalist. These filters help reduce the amount of energy that enters a room, as well as that which bounces around the room and gets inside the microphone. Without these filters, the sounds would reach the rear-facing sides of the microphone.
The Composition of Reflection Filters
Reflection filters have several layers of acoustically semi-transparent materials. The most common material one, for pop filters, is nylon. Nevertheless, other types of pop filters can involve different materials, such as fine mesh metal screens. The components can also be from tights or stockings stretched over a kitchen sieve, an embroidery hoop, or a loop of wire such as a bent clothes hanger. For example, when you use nylon, you must stretch the woven material over a circular frame and attach it to an adjustable mounting bracket with a clamp. However, you should never attach the pop shield directly to the microphone. The reason is it would transmit unwanted vibrations from the shield to the mic.
Reflection Filters: Pop Filters
It’s common for popping sounds to occur, especially in the pronunciation of aspirated plosives. Pop filters are great for attenuating the energy of the plosive while reducing or completely eliminating clipping sounds. The threads of the filter material stop and brake the discrete plosive envelope of sound energy before the popping affects it. But here’s a warning: they can distort the microphone’s diaphragm. Most devices use a simple acoustic foam panel to block unwanted sounds, but pop filters usually don’t affect hissing sounds or sibilance.
Pop filters and widescreens are fairly different and used in different scenarios. On the one hand,pop filters are typical in closed spaces, such as recording studios. On the other, widescreens are often popular in outdoor settings, such as in live concerts. In this cases, vocalists usually employ them to reduce saliva and plosives.
Keep In Mind
Filter designs come in different shapes and sizes. In addition, they also vary in cost and efficiency. If you’re interested in other forms of soundproofing, please consult our other entries, such as acoustic boards.