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Recording at home - do you need a pop filter?

Beginner here. I am setting up some basic gear in my basement, just so that I can hear what I actually sound like.
Do you need one of those pop filters that a lot of people use on youtube etc? I don't think I am above average when it comes to plosives.
The microphone is a AKG D5. Maybe not the recommended one for this type of recording, but I constantly drop stuff and they say these can withstand more abuse.
Anyway do you think I will benefit from a pop filter? Is there anything negative that comes with one of those? They cost almost nothing and I am about to order some things from Thomann Germany (I am in Europe) this week.
If people think the benefits are few I will just skip it. I mostly just want to hear what my tone sounds like over a track.

/Nick

Comments

  • Klaus_TKlaus_T Moderator, 2.0 PRO Posts: 1,855
    it's a suitable mic for that type of recording. you won't need the filter for it
  • DogMeatDogMeat 2.0 PRO Posts: 437
    If you hear low pops on your recordings, you might benefit from it
  • sjonrokz4usjonrokz4u 2.0 PRO Posts: 1,276
    If you’re just recording to analyze what you sound like it’s not important. On the other hand it’s a minimal cost
  • INFJINFJ 2.0 PRO Posts: 18
    Thanks everybody! I will proceed without it then. When I have reached a level where I don't stink, then I might consider adding a filter if I hear any low pops on the recordings.
    Good to know that the D5 is suitable!
  • Klaus_TKlaus_T Moderator, 2.0 PRO Posts: 1,855
    normally backing away from the mic a bit for plosives is enough with this type of mic. you could order one of these foam screens that sit like caps on the grill of the mic. @Furious_Phil recommended them a while back and they are super great for me because i always knock my teeth on the mic and then it is nicer when it is foam rather than metal ;) also they are a pop filter at the same time, which I just see as an added bonus since i got it for the softness. but you could think about one of these. they are called windschutz/popschutz in german so you will find them easily
  • INFJINFJ 2.0 PRO Posts: 18
    Thanks! Yes, I have seen those Windschutz things. That is a good idea actually. Might be nice to have if I ever use it in an outdoor setting.

    Any ideas or recommendations how to setup and approach the AKG D5? I have never had a proper microphone in front of me before, not as a vocalist. I have used the built-in crappy computer mic, just to see what notes I am actually doing.
    The D5 will connect to a Behringer U-Phoria UMC22 interface, so pretty basic stuff. It does have a mic pre-amp. I will then be able to adjust my gain without having to rely on the computer, if I understand it correctly. The laptop amp is probably very bad.
    I have already installed the Behringer and activated it in Audacity, which is pretty much the only program I understand how to use.

    How close to the microphone is a good starting point? Is this a sensitive or forgiving microphone? Although I think I am naturally closest to a lyric tenor (the gentle approach), I know I can be awfully loud at times due to insufficient technique. The ee-sound is my nemesis. When I bring the sound forward that is when things really start to go wrong both in terms of volume and tone.
    Anyway this is the gear forum, so I am mainly interested in knowing how to use my new stuff and get started in a proper way. I don't think the room I plan to record in has a great amout of reverb. It has concrete walls and no windows, but I have car interior parts and other things there which have a dampening effect. There is a hallway leading to the room. Completely empty and it has a crazy reverb. Even I sound good in there haha.
  • Klaus_TKlaus_T Moderator, 2.0 PRO Posts: 1,855
    the D5 is not very sensitive with room noise etc, it is mostly picking up the sound in its direct vicinity. they are designed for live use, where you don't want to have lots of other stuff on it other than the singer. so they are uncritical even in bad room conditions. you can see any live videos of bands you like and see how close they go, that is basically your baseline. anywhere from your lips touching the mic to as long as your arm is, that's about the range of that mic, and between the two extremes, you can find your spot.

    for help with that EE thing or other vocal things, feel free to start a new thread, we are here to help you with this stuff
  • INFJINFJ 2.0 PRO Posts: 18
    Thank you so much Klaus! This forum is a wealth of information. I will go on a quest to see how McCartney, Perry and others approach the mic live.
    The gear was just delivered, so I am going to unbox and set this up soon and try to learn how it works.

    Thanks! I will probably have several vocal questions. Perhaps I can record snippets of the parts I am having the most problems with. Once I am ready. I need to fiddle a little with it myself first, to see if there is something I can correct immediately. Will be easier now when I will be able to hear myself over a track. I hope I don't stink that much so that it will deter me from going on.
  • INFJINFJ 2.0 PRO Posts: 18
    Ok, small update for those still reading the thread. I encountered a few technical issues.

    The hardware is plugged in and all seems well with that stuff. I got the microphone working, headphones connected and I can do vocals over a track and hear myself. A little bizarre to recognize your own voice to music, but I think I can get over this. It sounded better than with the laptop mic, except the ee-sounds and other passages where I am bringing it into the face. That still stinks.

    Even though most things seem to work, there are a few issues which inhibits me from recording anything.

    1. A constant low popping sound when you turn the equipment on! It stays there all the time. The sound quality in general is also very lousy I think. According to Audacity it is set too 44.1k "CD Quality". Well, I would never buy such a CD. Sounds like an old battered LP. It seems it is also getting worse if you try to record a mono vocal track with the original instrumental track. Something is way off.

    2. Audacity did not recognize the ASIO4All software which came with the interface. Instead it is using some deafult feature called "USB Audio Codec". It has no features. Just the usual volume button. Apparently ASIO and Audacity do not go well together. Then I might just get another DAW? Which one supports an older Windows version? It is only 32-bit.

    Do you think that problem 2 is the root cause of all sound problems? I have no idea since I have never used these things before.
  • OliviaWenyaOliviaWenya 2.0 PRO, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 60
    INFJ said:

    Ok, small update for those still reading the thread. I encountered a few technical issues.

    The hardware is plugged in and all seems well with that stuff. I got the microphone working, headphones connected and I can do vocals over a track and hear myself. A little bizarre to recognize your own voice to music, but I think I can get over this. It sounded better than with the laptop mic, except the ee-sounds and other passages where I am bringing it into the face. That still stinks.

    Even though most things seem to work, there are a few issues which inhibits me from recording anything.

    1. A constant low popping sound when you turn the equipment on! It stays there all the time. The sound quality in general is also very lousy I think. According to Audacity it is set too 44.1k "CD Quality". Well, I would never buy such a CD. Sounds like an old battered LP. It seems it is also getting worse if you try to record a mono vocal track with the original instrumental track. Something is way off.

    2. Audacity did not recognize the ASIO4All software which came with the interface. Instead it is using some deafult feature called "USB Audio Codec". It has no features. Just the usual volume button. Apparently ASIO and Audacity do not go well together. Then I might just get another DAW? Which one supports an older Windows version? It is only 32-bit.

    Do you think that problem 2 is the root cause of all sound problems? I have no idea since I have never used these things before.

    Try getting an older version of audacity, if your pc is also also older :) And to your main question I don't really use a pop-filter when recording, but it also depends on how you sing into the mic and the mic itself.
  • Klaus_TKlaus_T Moderator, 2.0 PRO Posts: 1,855
    edited August 20
    i don't know audacity so i can't say anything re. the asio problem. if you know it does not mix and it sounds bad, it might be the reason, even though i would expect no sound rather than bad sound, if it was a driver problem. is the input gain set too high maybe? you can put a headphone into the behringer and check with the direct monitoring how the mic sounds before it goes into the DAW
  • sjonrokz4usjonrokz4u 2.0 PRO Posts: 1,276
    This is a long shot but back in 99 or 2000 I think it was I had my firstdaw It was cakewalk and I had that kind of popping. It was due to a cheap sound card
  • JwalJwal Member Posts: 115
    @INFJ What kind of Interface are you using? And sorry if this is a stupid question, but are you sure you have ASIO4All installed? And as far as the pop-filter question, I prefer to use one regardless, just to be safe, it's not technically necessary ALL the time, but I personally don't want to risk recording a good performance, listen back and hear a bunch of plosives, but that's really just a subjective choice.
  • INFJINFJ 2.0 PRO Posts: 18
    Thank you everybody for your help! Much appreciated.

    I tried to plug the headphones in without starting any audio software and with direct monitoring I am able to hear myself and no popping sounds!
    If I start an audio program, even a simple one like Winamp, then the popping starts. More programs = more popping sounds. 3 programs + recording = catastrophy.

    It might actually be the soundcard like sjonrokz4u said. Even if the popping sounds should disappear I don't think the sound quality is anywhere near what it should or what I would like it to be. The amplification must be really terrible. And everything is pointed towards the high-end it seems.
    The USB Audio Codec doesn't allow for any mixing or sound adjustments whatsoever except volume. It is really crappy. I have the volume set to 100% there and about 85% on the Behringer output. I suppose that is a lot. No problems hearing the instrumental track, but seems something is taking up resources and is effecting the quality of the sound. When I hit record in Audacity there was also a message once about "processing power", so maybe the entire computer is too weak to handle this.
    The mic pre-amp I had to set fairly low, since I figured I did best if I stayed really close to the mic. If I turn it up by a lot it distorts. Or I will have to stay half an arms length away.
    The sound coming from the microphone is equally as bad as the instrumental track. Maybe no surprise since they use the same terrible Codec. I would have thought that with a pre-amp it would be better (?), but it is not. It is very dry. Not sure what the correct term is but it is certainly not rich. It lacks normal fullness/roundness. Seems like it is missing some low-end of the voice. I use closed-back Beyerdynamic headphones and finally I had to open one side and put my hand there to verify if I actually sound that boring and weak. What I heard made me think that the equipment is not performing well at all. Something is inhibiting it. The difference was quite clear. Although I certainly don't have a heavy voice, I am not THAT screechy.

    @Jwal - it is the Behringer U-Phoria UMC22. I installed Asio4all for a 32-bit system. The install shield says everything is ok, but Asio itself never starts though and is not recognized by Audacity either. Can you normally run the Asio software separately outside of a DAW? Or must you always have a DAW already installed?

    I am going to try installing Reaper tomorrow (it is bedtime here in Central Europe now). That should work with ASIO. Just to be sure it is not the generic Audio Codec that is causing the sound problems. I'll just buy some 4-5 year old used laptop with higher specs off ebay if this one is too weak to do the job.
    Too bad, I wanted to try to record something over the weekend, lol.
  • INFJINFJ 2.0 PRO Posts: 18
    Nah, did not work. It is the computer that is unable to handle this task. Probably a lack of RAM and the processor is too slow.

    ASIO4all v2 worked with Reaper though. I was able to activate it under preferences. I did some studying and it turns out the USB Audio Codec actually is the Behringer unit in this case.
    I could also adjust the buffer size in the ASIO control window. Set it to 128 and the track almost froze! At 1024 it plays, but the sound quality is horrible and the popping is still present also when using Reaper. So now I am going to hunt for a used laptop somewhere, just for the purpose of music editing. I cannot be bothered to buy a new one at this point.

    Any ideas what specs would be sufficient? I suppose music recording requires a lot of RAM. I might make a new thread on that topic.
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