This article will show you how to make your own microphone pop-filter. A pop-filter is a small screen that goes between a microphone and your mouth to prevent sharp popping sounds (known as plosives) like “P” and “B” words from overloading the mic level and distorting. Commercially available pop-filters are expensive and can often cost 20 dollars or more. The pop-filter you can build here will cost less than $6 dollars.
1 Wooden Embroidery Ring (6 inches) – .50 cents
1 Pair Generic Black Pantyhose – $1
Wooden Dowel (5/16th in Dia.) – .69 cents
Mini Clamp – .37 cents
Regular Clamp – $2. 09
2 Washers, 1 Lock Washer, #4 Bolt (3/4 in) & Nut – .85 cents
I bought most of the materials at a popular home supply store and got the wooden embroidery ring and pantyhose at a local big-box retailer. I used a Leatherman tool so I didn’t need the separate awl, saw, and screwdriver as this pocket tool has all three tools (and more) combined.
Begin by applying some light sandpaper to the wooden embroidery rings. The rings I bought were slightly rough around the edges and sanding will help prevent them from ripping holes in the nylon mesh. Next take the wooden dowel and cut off a 12 inch length piece. The dowels sold at my local supply store are 48 inches long – enough to make 4 pop-filters. Sand any burrs off the cut ends and also the dowel itself to remove any rough spots.
Next take the outer wooden ring and lightly sand an area near the screw mechanism. The rings I used were lightly coated with a sealer and I needed to expose the bare wood so the glue holding the dowel and ring together would bond better. Lying them both flat on some old paper, I lined up the ring and dowel to look like a lollipop and glued them using some carpenter’s wood glue. Set this aside and give it time to dry.
While the glue is setting you can prepare the nylon mesh screen. Take the pantyhose the cut one of the legs off at the top of the thigh. Take the inner ring from the wooden hoop and insert into the nylon leg. Carefully slide the ring down the leg and into the toe area. Make the nylon stretchy and taut but not too tight. Take the loose leg material and tie it in a tight knot close the the wooden ring. Cut the extra material off.
Once the glue has dried, insert the inner wooden ring with the stretched nylon into the outer ring and tighten the screw mechanism to hold it firmly in place. I positioned the inner ring so that the nylon knot was tucked into the screw connector area and out of the way. This finishes the pop-filter itself. We now need to build a clamp that will hold our filter to the microphone stand and allow for some positioning and adjustment of the screen in front of the microphone.
The two metal clamps I bought had plastic shrink wrapped handles but I was able to tell they had small holes under this covering. This was going to allow me to connect them using a small bolt. The large clamp would connect to the mic stand and the little clamp would hold the dowel in place.
Using an awl or similar sharp pointed tool, poke a starter hole through the handles of your clamps. Take a #4 bolt and thread a plain washer on it. Poke this through the small clamp’s handle from the outside. Next push the bolt through the larger clamp’s handle hole. On the inside of the large handle you now need to place a regular washer, then a lock washer, and then the nut. Tighten by holding the nut and turning the bolt with a small screwdriver. Your clamp is now complete.
Insert the dowel into the small clamp’s jaws and then attach the large clamp to your microphone stand and position the mesh screen in front of the microphone. You’re now ready to record or broadcast!
Make Your Own Pop Screen (Another way to make your own…)
The X-Plosive: A DIY Pop Filter (…still another way…)
Build Your Own Microphone Pop Screen (…and yet another way.)
MXL990 Condenser Mic (highly recommended)