Do-it-Yourself Hoop Windscreen

It’s time to record the narration for your next video production. You want to produce the best audio quality possible, keeping your narration free of plosives, but can’t bring yourself to part with $30 to purchase a hoop-style windscreen like the pros use. If you could build one for $2, would you? Good! Let’s get started.

The first step is a trip to your local discount-mart store. After you’ve picked up some blank tape and shampoo, go to the craft section and get a 6-inch embroidery hoop (plastic works best) – cost: $1.46.

Next, stop in the ladies hosiery section and find a generic brand of knee-high hose. They are usually located on an end-cap display. Packaged in an egg-shaped container, the stockings come in several colors cost: 33 cents.

The final item you need for this project is a cheap microphone holder. Don’t use a good one, it won’t work for this application. The ideal mic holder for the project will be lightweight and flimsy, with two-piece construction. The key design factor is a single mounting piece on the base of the clip, not a dual yoke-style like most mike clips.

Check with a church’s sound technician or a friend who is in a band. They will likely have several broken clips to choose from.

Construction

Back at home, you need a drill, a 3/16-inch drill bit, a screwdriver and a pair of scissors.

Drill holes in two sides of the outer ring of the hoop
Holes Drilled in outer Embroidery Hoop
Loosen the thumbscrew on the hoop and remove the inner ring. With the screw facing down, find the horizontal center of the hoop and drill a 3/16-inch hole through each side.

Slide one stocking over the inner ring of the hoop
Stocking Slides over Inner Hoop
Next, slide the inner ring of the hoop into one of the stockings – about midway.
Trimming Edges of Stocking
Stretch the stocking and use the scissors to cut off the toe and upper band.

Thread the stocking ends through the drilled holes in the hoop
Ends of Stockings are Threaded through the Hoop Holes
From the inside of the outer hoop, carefully thread the cut ends through the drilled holes.

Stretch the stocking again; give it a good pull, but not too much. Finally, tie a knot in each end of the sock right at the edge of the hoop and trim the excess. This will keep the hose from slipping back through. If you are concerned about the knots coming undone later, just heat them with a lighter or soldering iron to melt (not burn) the material.

Disassemble the microphone clip and throw away the top part (where the microphone would slide).

Remove the thumbscrew from the embroidery hoop and slide the bottom part of the mike clip into place between the plastic ends of the hoop.

Optional Step: Adding Mic clip attachment to thumbscrew on bottom of hoop
Adding Mic Clip for an Optional Holder
Tighten the thumbscrew and you’re finished. If the mike clip moves too easily, shim it with a couple of small washers.

In Use

Professional narrators like to get as close to the microphone as possible without sacrificing quality. But, as you get closer, you increase the likelihood that breath pops will ruin the recording. Place your new windscreen an inch or two in front of the microphone to reduce or eliminate the problem altogether. The double layer of nylon stocking makes an excellent barrier for wind noise.

Record your narration with headphones so you can hear the effect of different positions. The old "Peter Piper" tongue twister is an excellent test.

There you have it. A $2 solution for million-dollar audio.

Needed: TOOLS: a drill with 3/16-inch bit, screwdriver, scissors. PARTS: 6-inch Embroidery hoop, knee-hi hose, mic holder
Parts and Tools needed for the WIndscreen Pop Filter
TOOLS & PARTS

  • Screwdriver
  • Scissors
  • Knee-high hose
  • 6-inch embroidery hoop (plastic works best)
  • Drill and 3/16-inch bit
  • Cheap microphone holder
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