A collection of tutorials made in LmK Music Production, taking advantage of our field experience in music and audio production.

How to actually fix “voice popping”​ in podcasts – since “anti pop screens”​ don’t actually work

Podcasts are now a big thing: another opportunity to broadcast someone’s ideas and messages to thousands of people across the world – and how many can resist the idea of selling their ideas to millions of people?

Anyway,

very few who venture in this interesting realm know how to operate technologic devices. And end up having all sorts of quirks in their recordings – one of the most usual being “popping sounds” for certain consonants. Like “P” and “T”.

How to fix it

Do a very strong “P” sound with your mouth, and put your open hand front of it: you’re gonna feel the air moving. Move your palm until it’s just outside the air movement – that’s where you have to put your microphone.

Problem solved. Without pop screen nor any other sort of contraption.

As reference: here’s a picture of where good voice miking positions usually end up being.

Or, if you need a more visual reference, here’s our dear Joe showing you how it’s done:

And, in case you’d like to have a full tutorial on audio recording (e.g. Audio cards and stuff), here’s one from our website:

https://lmkprod.com/guide-how-make-studio-quality-voice-recordings-home/

Why people want to stick microphones in their mouths

Humans think visually. So, more or less: they’re naturally inclined to interpret phenomena in an immediately tangible visual way (nominally: “things go in line from A to B”) – within this case: “My voice comes out of my mouth. Hence, I must catch it from there: I’m gonna put the microphone exactly in front of it”. Which is wrong. I’m gonna show you a very rough sketch of this concept:

Voices are made by sounds – who, not quite intuitively, respond to radically different dynamics: acoustics. In which you have phenomena like radial propagation and resonance. Who are gonna syndicate how, for instance, you can absolutely put the microphone completely offset to your mouth – and still pick up 100% of the necessary signal. Because voice, thank God, propagates in a radial fashion (see picture above) – which is why you can speak to people even if they’re not standing directly in front of your mouth, with their head twisted on the side (surprise surprise: you might have not noticed, but “your microphones”, as in your ears, are not facing forwards: they’re on the side of your head – because, again, sounds propagate in a radial fashion. Hence, no need to stick your ears on your face. That’s a better suited position for light receptors – eyes).

Another case, of course, of how psychology is fundamental to understand human behaviours – even when in “scientific environment”.

Why the “Pop” happens

Inside microphones, there’s a tiny tiny sensor that captures all sounds. So to transform them into electric signal, and sent to your recording device.

Being this sensor very tiny (the mike might look big – but the real sensor itself, the infamous “capsule”, is super tiny: most of the microphone is just for handling and protection), a smack of air like the one coming from a loud P from your mouth is gonna hurt it too much – and give those stupid booming noises we’re all annoyingly acquainted too.

Another problem due to this, is vibrations – hence, the reason because we use decoupling systems, like “spiders”, to fix them (a spider cradle, with all its soft tangly wires, kills vibrations).

A microphone spider – for real LinkedIn doesn’t have “text align” function, and I have to write obligatorily on the left side???

Why “Pop screens” don’t actually work

The fabric with which they’re made is too thin to block the air pressure excess.

It’s so thin you can see through it – because, once again: our brain is biased to think “If I can’t see through it, it might block the sound“.

You could probably improve it using thicker fabric, like a (you might laugh, but it works) microfiber cloth – yeah: those cheap ones to dust off furniture. But, since you don’t even need it, why bother?

Writing a good job seeking eMail

Looking for a new job, aren’t you?

Nothing wrong with it: looking for a job is nothing more than a willingness to be part of human society. We can easily say it is one of the noblest activities we can engage with: every accomplishment humanity has achieved was because, well …someone wanted to do that job.

But,
there must be some method to do it!

Here’s a quick checklist about how to write a simple job seeking eMail

…yes: I specified “simple” because there are also complex ones. Click here to know more about it.

1- Anagraphic

Name, Surname, current location. Very basic stuff: don’t pull out your biography. They need your skills, not your entire life.

2- Profession (skillset)

What you’re good at?

I strongly suggest to avoid attaching stuff to your message: way better to have a website. Available to anyone in possess of your link, and always at hand through a simple internet connection – not to talk about the interactivity (messages from the website, google analytics, etc. etc.)

3- Unique selling proposition

Why is your skillset interesting to your reader?
(This is a pretty interesting marketing concept: here’s a link to a deeper reading about it https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unique_selling_proposition )

4- Call to action

What would you like your reader to do, after this eMail?
Together with the logic reasons because of the need of this step, there’s also the need to distinguish yourself from the masses of undecided amateurs who don’t have a very clear idea about what actually do after having generated the interest of a potential new customer – after a successful lead generation, to be technical.
Don’t be too pushy, of course: your customer is not stupid …isn’t he? ;)

And after this?

Outcome A: you’re the one they were looking for – you’re on board!

Yay! Success! Time to call that Jaguar dealer.

Outcome B: “Thanks but no thanks”

They don’t think you are the one they’re looking for.
If you’re really sure you are, get further into details about why you are – otherwise: politely salute them.
Never get angry with them: you’re offering your help. If they don’t need it, you should be equally happy: it means that the goal you’re aiming for has been already accomplished.

Outcome C: nothing.

Wait at least 1 week, and ask if they found your eMail: God knows what could have happened to your eMail. Nothing wrong in asking if they actually got it.

Crazy marketing stuff

Marketing is like war: a strategic effort.
You have a current situation, a desired outcome – and countless ways to achieve it.
This post is just scratching the surface of the countless ways in which you can get a new job. Or, in other words: convince a stranger that what you do (or have) is valuable.

Never ever think that there’s only “one” way to do it: the only limit is your imagination and marketing talent.
And also, very important: never think that “the tools” will solve the problem for you.
A great marketing tool is like a concert piano or a Formula 1 car: playing a Steinway or driving a Ferrari won’t let you become Mozart nor pull out a record in Montecarlo. Tools are just that: tools. They need a skilled marketer to become efficient.