Home Email Phone

pauly

The pop filter that leaves the voice natural

If you want to record the human voice up close, with a rich sound, characterful and spatially dry with a high-resolution microphone, then of course without its air pulses, its disturbing noises such as blowing, whispering and hissing, and without the windy plosives of P and T sounds. In other words, without those air movements that studio microphones and their entire audio chain cannot tolerate and whose resulting audio defects can hardly be eliminated afterwards.
However, for most voice recordings, a very special audio tool is enormously helpful.

A good pop filter

A pop filter should adequately dampen the too impulsive air flows of the human voice, and bring them into balance with the rest of the audio. On the one hand, it should contribute to the balance of the vocal performance, on the other hand it should function as a protective shield to ensure that the studio microphone is not mechanically overloaded.

Briefly described in technical terms, a pop filter, similar to an electronic limiter, is intended to mechanically reduce the air movements generated by the sounds which in phonetics belong to the class of obstruents, i.e. plosives, affricates and fricatives. Especially the voiced sounds such as b, d, g. In addition, the air shocks caused by plosives, the lip closure sounds such as p, b, v, f, should be reduced more than the voiced sounds. Also, air currents through sounds without lip closure, such as t and k, should be brought into balance among themselves, and fit the level of the closure sounds.

And in all this, the pop filter should leave the voice sound detailed and clear, not change the natural frequency response and protect the sensitive microphone capsule. Contrary to popular belief, this is not an easy matter, but a challenge for professionals.

The Problems with ordinary pop filters

Most pop filters (also very aptly called “Pop Killers”) dampen too much and moreover cause unfavorable changes in the natural frequency response. The air pulses of the plosive sounds are removed, alas resulting in the consequence of the voice parts before and after these plosives suffering a loss in liveliness, wealth of detail and clarity. This is also especially true for contraptions made of hollow foam cubes, which are put over the microphone baskets. We know similar acoustic effects from the corona pandemic when you listen to people speaking through their protective masks. Why the most important audio studio device between mouth and microphone for many may be a cheap product is a mystery.

Disturbing noise that many pop filters cause themselves

For instance, when the air stream of the voice passes through the rough fabric or even a perforated metal sheet with these so-called pop killers, in addition to the problems mentioned above usually disturbing breakoff noise is created that naturally is recorded as well. The vocal sound then becomes hissing and unclean, which later becomes particularly audible in the mix. The sins of using inadequate technology really show up when compressors, equalizers, and effects are being used during voice processing in the mix.

Pop filter tests have to be taken with a grain of salt

That’s why all pop killer-tests definitively have to be taken with a grain of salt, even if the Pauly mostly wins. Isn’t it remarkable that all pop filter tests on the net deal exclusively with recording scenarios in front of a microphone? The recorded results are never analyzed during a mixing session, but only there does it become obvious what the pop filter has achieved or has not achieved.


(On this subject we recommend the article by 13-time Grammy winner Rafa Sardina / see menu item „Prominent Voiceson this site).

Helene Fischer

Helene Fischer putting down vocals for her album using a Pauly pop filter.

Sylvie Meis

TV presenter Sylvie Meis („Let’s Dance“ and „Das Super Talent”) using a Pauly pop filter while recording in the studio.

Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney uses a Pauly pop filter in Capitol Studios recording the tracks for “Kisses at the bottom”.

pauly. A class of its own

Inventor and audio engineer Hilmar Pauly († 2019) once summed it all up:

Our pop filter has enjoyed a high international reputation for decades. It is the perfect device to refine vocal recordings right from the start of the recording process in order to be able to handle them more effectively during mixing. In spite of filtering disturbing noise and the plosives, frequency range, wealth of detail and the liveliness of the voice are preserved perfectly. The cleanness of a recording with a Pauly pop filter shows its good side especially when the voice track is processed with compressors, equalizers and effects during the mix. That’s our pop filter’s forte.“

Precisely tuned airflow discharge, no change in the natural frequency response !

Maximum mechanical precision and a construction that is perfected down to the last detail ensure that everything works just the way Hilmar Pauly had in mind and described it. Pauly pop filters are true high-tech devices that gently reduce the above mentioned interference with human voices in a unique way before it impacts the microphone capsule. Gently means that the Pauly pop filter is able to leave the voice the amount of air movement and liveliness that is required for detailed and good recording results.

The Pauly actually lets more sound through
posted by a satisfied Thomann customer, who has already tested many pop filters.


13x Grammy winner and audio engineer Rafa Sardina says:

„Of all the pop filters I have ever used, the Pauly P120 pop filter is undoubtedly the best. I don’t know what magic Pauly used, maybe…“


(Please review the interview with Rafa Sardina under „Prominent Voices“)

paulyTon
High class pop filter technology since 1985

Made in Germany