How do I reduce p pops

I’m using Audacity 2.0.5 on Mac OS 10.6.8

In editing my vocal tracks I need to reduce p-pops. In other audio software I’ve had to make cuts in the waveline peaks in order to reduce these plosives. Is there a filter or a more efficient way to reduce these? Thanks.

Try using a “pop shield” in front of the mic when you record - see:


These tracks are already recorded. And a pop screen was used, however these screens only have limited effect. What I’m looking for is a filter or technique to use in recorded tracks.

Could you post a short example of the problem. WAV format preferred, just a few seconds needed. See here for how to post an audio sample:

Here is the requested sample. I have already reduced this p-pop somewhat by cutting small sections from the waveform, but if I cut much more I’ll lose the ‘p’ sound or at least turn in into something that sounds more like a ‘b’ than a ‘p’.

Try using the High Pass Filter effect.
As a ballpark figure, try “Roll off” = 12 dB per octave and “Frequency” = 100 Hz. Experiment to find results that you are happy with.

You could also try moving the microphone and/or pop-shield positions a little - the popping does not seem too bad, but it may still be catching some wind blast from your P’s.
I generally place the pop-shield about mid-way between microphone and mouth and the microphone so that the diaphragm is a little higher than the mouth.

Steve, I’ll give that a try, but I think perhaps I’ve not explained what I’m looking for clearly enough. I’m under the impression that the Audacity crew developed a hiss/pop filter. If this is true, that’s what I’m interested in trying first. Thanks.

There is a “Pop Mute” effect available as a plug-in. I’m the developer of that :wink: It’s not really designed for this type of issue, it’s more of a “disaster recovery tool”. For example, if you hadn’t used a pop shield at all then there could have been a massive “pop” completely ruining your show - “Pop Mute” is designed to handle that type of thing by rapidly reducing the volume of loud pops and then quickly restoring the volume again.

That is not the problem with your audio sample. There’s just a bit of “sub-sonic wobble” of the waveform - if you have sub-woofers in your speaker system the “P” may flap your trouser legs due to the excess bass, but other than that it is not too bad. Mixing desks and microphone pre-amps usually have a built-in “hpf” (high pass filter) or “lcf” (low cut filter) that are essentially the same as the filter that I am suggesting. It is normal when recording vocals to reduce very low frequencies, both for the problem that you describe and for reducing any rumbling noise that may be present. Some microphones have such a filter built in.

Steve, Thanks a ton for all the valuable info. I’m making a note of all you shared and I’ll have a word with the sound guy next time we record a VO there.

It’s very common to use 100Hz cut filters in live recording. There is very little good sound down that low and rumble just creates problems (See: trousers moving in front of the speaker). I have one mixer with selectable 80, 100, 120 filters.

You can even buy a stand-alone 100Hz filter.


Click on the picture to expand.

Koz, I’m going to ask the sound guy at the radio station to set a low pass filter in his mixing deck. If that isn’t an option I’ll look into the filter you provided the link to. Thanks.

HIgh Pass Filter, also known as a rumble filter. I’m kind of surprised they didn’t offer to do that at the top.

I have already reduced this p-pop somewhat by cutting small sections from the waveform,

We usually jump up and down about posting raw samples. If you need to show us how you’ve been filtering, post two: before and after.

I would have shipped your sample out the door. It sounds fine and it doesn’t tell us anything.