DIY Pop Shield

Commercial pop shields… are crap. There is only one that I have seen so far that is not integrated to the mic (Blue) that is any good, and that is by Studiospares: http://www.studiospares.com, who are a damn good company to deal with (no I don’t get commission for saying that, just a customer) Stonewall Blast filter, that looks like it has a conventional mic thread on the bottom.

The problem I have with all of these pop shields is that they are mounted on a gooseneck, not a standard mic gooseneck but some flimsy crapulent rubbish cousin of it. What this means is, if you haven’t experienced it, is that the bloody thing points whichever way it wants to, getting progressively worse over time, it moves during and between takes, and even if it isn’t the idiot backwards mic clip variety, it will have a stupid clamp system designed primarily to scratch the hell out of your mic stand. Most of them appear to be exactly the same.

So what to do?

The old approach would be a coathanger, gaffa tape and ladies tights (pantyhose to the US)

It looks shit but gets the job done. I have seen several attempts on the interweb, and it’s not pretty, so I thought, what if you used an embroidery ring? I was not the first to think along these lines, just google “embroidery ring pop shield”,  but each of them still didn’t do what I wanted, I didn’t want to reproduce the commercial offerings, so I found another way.

I have a crap chap Chinese made mic stand with an interesting quirk, the boom sits on the stand, but can be removed, as the main pole goes straight through, effectively giving you two in one, I doubt that anyone could use two mics on it, I’m sure it’s to cut production costs, but it does open up some possibilities. I bought mine from Maplins for about £15 and you get what you pay for.

Here’s a boring account of mic stand threads. You would think that in these days of standardisation, they would all be the same.

WRONG!

This is Wikipaedia

Microphone stands:

5/8″ 27 threads per inch (tpi) Unified Special thread (UNS, USA and the rest of the world)

1/4″ BSW (not common in the USA, used in the rest of the world)
3/8″BSW (not common in the USA, used in the rest of the world)

—————————Wikipaedia out —————————–

British Standard Whitworth sizes were phased out in the 1960’s, and are largely unused, except for vintage car enthusiasts in the UK.

The UNS stuff is an attempt at imperial standardisation due to WW2.

The upshot of this is: if you live in Europe, the Chinese copy of the American Mic stand is going to be 5/8″ 27 threads per inch. As the standard was never introduced into Europe, there is no possibility of ever finding a cutting die to make your own mic stand bits and pieces in Europe.

Added to this, pipe OD (outside diameters) in the UK are now metric, since the mid 70’s, and cannot be matched to US/Chinese pipe stock.

The nearest available specialist die, is 5/8″ 26 threads per inch, for some old UK pushbikes – no good.

Wow! the global village.

I have to say this, it would be really great if the US actually joined the rest of the planet in ISO standards and good practice and just gave up with NTSC, 110 Volt electrics, weird non-standard Imperial measurements and bizarre alterations to standards in general (decimal inches anyone?), I mean they didn’t even match when the UK used Imperial stuff, and er… we invented it. It would be nice if we now decided internationally to adopt METRIC sizes as it is now almost universal, and actually makes sense.

Anyhoo, here’s what I made out of bits of stuff, and it really does work. The pictures should explain it, apart from the rivet effect on the embroidery ring, created by using a needle tip 15w soldering iron, but beware, it cuts through plastic like butter, I also used it to heat seal any bits of the tights visible on the outside of the ring.

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