A reader asked me how to take pop sounds out of vocal sounds.
I assume they’re referring to the ‘p’ sounds, formally known as plosives, that they’re hearing in their audio after the recording.
Unfortunately, it’s much more difficult to take the plosives out of a recording during the mixing phase than just making sure they don’t appear on the recording in the first place.
Avoiding Plosives During Recording
The simplest way to avoid plosives is to just use a pop filter while you’re recording. Just put it in front of the mic while you’re recording and it should catch all the erroneous wind coming from the pronunciation of your P sounds.
Any pop filter will do so it doesn’t really make sense to recommend only one because they’re such a commodity. A wire hanger and some pantyhose will do in a pinch too so don’t worry too much about needing the most expensive pop filter on the market.
Taking Care of Plosives During Mixing
Dealing with plosives while you’re mixing is a little bit harder.
If you’re lucky and the plosive has more low-frequency energy than anything else you might be able to just cut it out with a high-pass filter.
Add an EQ with a frequency analyzer and see where the build-up is during the P sound. If you see a spike in the lows then see if you can get rid of it by filtering it out. However, you might need to filter up quite a bit, which could thin out the vocal.
Alternatively, noise reduction software such as Izotope RX, with its built-in De-Plosive plug-in, will be able to surgically remove that for you, but at a cost.
Overall, you’re better off making sure you don’t record those plosives in the first place because it’ll end up giving you quite the headache during the mixing phase.
If you’ve recorded your vocals well and just want some additional techniques for creating cool vocal effects, check out the Top 10 Vocal Effects Tricks inside the Mixing With 5 Plug-ins course.
Have a great weekend,