The thing goes beyond the simple noise of breathing; especially in the warmer months, many of us choose to have fans so that the temperature of the room is somewhat more bearable, and unfortunately the air noise generated by these fans is also something that can sneak into the transmission or recording, completely spoiling it. But do not despair, because if this is your case, then we are going to tell you what you can do about it.
Don’t confuse anti-pop filters with anti-wind filters
Before starting with the real solutions, we must make a special mention of the anti-pop filter that many microphones incorporate internally, and many others as an external accessory like the one you can see in the image that we have placed above these lines. Many people think that the function of these filters is precisely to avoid the sound of breathing or air, but that is not entirely true and we are going to explain why.
An anti-pop filter, also known as a «popfilter” Or simply “antipop»Is a small screen (generally made of a very dense fabric) that we place in front of the microphone and whose function is alleviate and cushion the air that we expel through our mouth with more power when we say certain words, or also to eliminate that “pop” sound that most humans make when we open our mouth, having it previously closed when we are about to speak.
Do the following test: put your hand an inch from your mouth and say words like “hello”, and you will see that you hardly notice air hitting the palm of your hand. Now do the same saying “good” or “but” and you will see how there is a small blow of air in your hand. This happens especially in words that contain the phonemes “Ps” and “Bs”, and is what is known as “pop”, and if this small explosion of air occurs in front of a microphone, it is generated in a noise peak.
The fact that the pop filter serves to stop these explosions of air makes one sometimes confuse and think that it serves to not hear the sound of breathing (which is air) or the fan, but a popfilter is not the same as an anti-wind or a “deadcat”, which is something that is designed for these purposes and that, for almost everyone, will solve a large part of the problem.
The anti wind filters, called deadcat Because of the horrifying look they have, they are a cover made of hair (usually synthetic) that surely sounds like you have seen them on television, especially in sports broadcasts or outdoor events. Its function is precisely to avoid those air explosions of which we have spoken before, and with one of these devices you will be able, effectively, to eliminate the sound of your breathing and especially the air noise that a fan can put in. have close to you.
A slightly less effective but certainly less “ugly” variant are the foam windscreens like the one you can see in the image below. They are caps that are installed, like deadcat, on top of the microphone as if we were putting a sock on it, and generally they must be made to measure for the microphone model you have.
A home remedy “to do the trick” but that still works if you don’t want to spend a penny, it is precisely cover the microphone with a sock or thick cloth cloth; However, be careful with this because if the fabric is too thick you could muffle the sound and the microphone may not adequately capture your voice.
Position the microphone well to prevent it from picking up the sound of your breath
Properly positioning the microphone is essential to have a good quality in recordings or transmissions, and especially in microphones with high sensitivity. Doing it correctly will not only avoid the noises of vibrations or shocks, but it also serves to avoid the noise of your breathing or the sound of the air moving the fan.
For starters, don’t hold the mic too close to your mouth – a suitable distance is about minimum 10 centimeters for tabletop microphones and at least 3-4 centimeters for integrated ones on headphones. If you place them too close to your mouth, the sound of your breathing will be captured, and in fact the “pop” effect that we have talked about before will be much more noticeable.
In the same way, and unless the microphone is unidirectional, make sure that it is not exactly in front of your mouth at a 90 degree angle. Do you know why many singers tend to hold the mic to the side of their mouth? Because this helps the sound of breathing or “pop” not to be picked up. Do the same: test placing the microphone slightly at an angle, and as we said, do not worry because unless it has a unidirectional pattern and / or that you turn it around, it will not harm the captured sound.
Finally, we can comment that unless you are using a deadcat, the sound of the air moving the fan is the most difficult to alleviate … relatively, because again the place items strategically. Try moving the fan around so that its airflow doesn’t hit the microphone directly (for example, putting you in the middle to cover it), or if you can’t move it, then reposition the microphone. The trick here is just that: prevent the airflow from the fan from hitting the microphone directly.