Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Inexpensive Repairable Microphone Pop Filter Project

Yesterday I spent the entire day putting together my new Rode microphone arm assembly for the video tutorials that I do.  Not that it took me all day to assemble the arm. That was the easiest thing in the world to put together. Minutes at most.  What took me the rest of the day was designing, 3D printing, and assembling the microphone pop filter for my microphone that is mounted in the new arm.

For those of you who do not work with making recordings I will try to explain what a pop filter is and what it is good for.  A pop filter is a little mesh screen that is mounted between the person speaking into the mic and the mic itself.  This little filter reduces and or eliminates the popping sound that is heard on a recording when you say things like "Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers".   These filters are not terribly expensive but if the filter gets damaged you cannot just replace the filter.  You have to replace the entire assembly that the filter is mounted in.  There goes x-amount of dollars down the drain.

So I decided to make or should I say remake a pop filter that I had constructed and used some time back. My pop filter set-up shown above is the finished project and I am pleased to say that it went together perfectly.  It will make things a lot easier for me when I continue making video tutorials or sound tracks for video that I have shot in the workshop. 

To get the project started I bought a simple 5 1/2" diameter plastic embroidery hoop.  This cost around $3.00 at a craft store. The mesh that is used in the hoop to make the pop filter is nothing more than black nylon stockings material.  Another couple of dollars.  I have used this set up as a pop filter on a previous project and it works perfectly. 

The isolation mount for my  microphone shown above has a steel ring that holds a collar that securely wraps around my microphone to hold it in place. This collar is held in place with elastic bands to isolate it from the outer ring and arm assembly to eliminate vibration that can also cause problems when making a recording.

This is a good shot of my complete microphone/pop filter/arm assembly.

As usual I worked out this project in my computer using Fusion 360 design software.  I modeled my microphone and only the ring of the isolation mount as I only needed this ring to figure out the rest of the assembly.  I did a little research and found out that a pop filter needs to be 2 - 3 inches from the microphone.  So  I came up with a simple upper and lower mount arrangement that would meet that requirement.  The two parts of the pop filter mount would clamp on to the isolation ring with a couple of 10-24 nuts and bolts.  Then the pop filter could be slid on to this mount and secured with the original thumb screw assembly as shown in the image above.

Here's a closer look at the pop filter mounting brackets for the assembly.  The upper and lower brackets have a recessed area on both parts that lock their arms around the microphone ring securely when the mounting bolts are installed and tightened.  On the end of the upper mount there are two indentations to accept the pop filter frame and a hole that is aligned with the thumb screw in the pop filter assembly.

Here's a good close-up view of the pop filter and mount with my microphone installed in it's isolation ring assembly. It's very solid and the fact that the pop filter is so light means there is no strain on the little mount to speak of if at all.  

The total expense to make the repairable pop filter and it's mount only cost a few dollars and works just as good as comparable filters.  The plus of course is the fact that it can easily be repaired if the need ever should arise.  With the 3D printed parts it is just a matter of reprinting them and the mesh can just as easily be replaced.  So it's a win-win kind of a deal for something that works great and is easy on the pocket book. Also the look of the assembly is pretty outstanding as well.

I thought it would have been nice to have the pop filter ring be black but I kind of like the orange ring too.  It gives the assembly a little color to brighten things up a bit.  I hope you've enjoyed this post and have a good day on your current project. 

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