Singers performing live never use a pop filter and it is never noticeably plosive – recording with a very good microphone still seems to require a pop filter. Why??

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I don’t think I’ve ever seen a stage performance where there’s a pop filter, but they’re extremely common in recording. I record myself with a pretty good microphone and the plosives can become fairly obvious without the filter. I also believe it’s not a thing that can easily be countered live by any soundboard wizardry. So how do they get around this live? Or maybe they don’t and we just don’t really notice?

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I don’t know about technology, but in terms of minimizing or eliminating plosives, some singers train to not vocalize them. I was in a jazz choir where this was discussed and also in a Spanish linguistics class where we had a whole unit dedicated to eliminating the “pop” that native English speakers put on p and b which are absent in Spanish. It’s a pain, but you can consciously avoid it if you practice enough.

I’d guess there is some tech wizardry involved though too.

Live performances use dynamic mics which are much less sensitive, as opposed to the very sensitive condenser mics used in the studio.

I don’t use a pop filter with carotid or condenser mics when recording, and I’ve rarely had a pop, but I always stay about 6 inches away from the mic.

Most of the vocal microphones performers use have built-in pop and wind filters. From the Shure SM58 page:

‘A highly effective, built-in spherical filter minimizes wind and breath “pop” noise.’

Live music is loud and noisy environment with other instruments, audiences, etc and as a result mics are going to be less sensitive to avoid picking up everything else or feeding back. Also many performance mics have a foam wind screen in them which helps with noises.