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where does the 'p' reside in frequency range?

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Most plosives live in the low frequency range, but there can also be some higher frequency components too, depending on what is being said and how it was said / sung. A lot of the time, I don't use a parametric EQ to deal with plosives - I use volume automation. But as you said, the best way to address the issue is at the source so that you don't have to worry about them as much (if at all) later, and that usually means using a good pop screen when tracking vocals. I really like the Stedman metal screens. They're easier to clean, and seem to be more effective at killing pops.


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Unless the track is stellar with the exception of a few pops, or the vocalist is unavailable,  I'd just retrack the part. EQ is the wrong tool for fixing dynamic issues, its a frequency tool. Any kind of EQing to minimize the popping will cause masking and make the part get buried by other frequencies. Its the missing frequencies that will be heard by the listener.

You can do a little to make it sound like the person backed off the mic and lost some proximity effect, but that's going to be head as being an unprofessional micing technique.

 A downward compressor on the other hand might be a better tool. It works opposite to an expander that increases loud transients. Just highlight the one word and render the downward comp to that one word. The frequency response will remain the same. It will still be heard as a mic diaphragm pop but without the air impact and can be easily overlooked by the listener. If there's any high frequency annoyance then go ahead and use an EQ to gently tweak those.

In most cases, a listener wont notice a mild pop or two when the vocals are mixed with all the other parts any more than they would a vocalist performing live when they eat a mic. You hear them mixing because you can isolate the vocals and any flaws stand out like a sore thumb.

Lately I track my vocals with a hand held EV condenser. It has excellent ess and pop filter while still providing excellent frequency response over a normal dynamic mic. I capture a wide response and roll off what I don't need for the vocals mixing. 

My vocal technique relies on close micing because I developed it singing live for so many years. I have done allot of work tracking with large diaphragms at longer distances, but I was never formally trained to sing in a chorus of singers and therefore have that long distance focus on my singing where a distant mic of 6" or more feels comfortable.

Instead, I use the close proximity of a mic and milder changes in dynamics to get my vocal tones.

One trick I learned to use singing up close to avoid plosives is to use the mic off axis. I avoid singing straight into the mic and impacting the diaphragm 100%. I turn the mic anywheres from 45~90 degrees away from the direction of air coming from my voice  when I know I'm coming up to a word that contains a hard pop and want to make that word prominent, then I may roll the mic back flat for other softer words.

other singers do the same by lengthening the distance from the mic like a trombone player does. I use some of that but I tend to overcompensate. I also loose the mics proximity bass boost which isn't good either. My voice has allot of upper mids and loosing the bottom end working the mic like a pro would just doesn't work for me. (many guitarists have this problem because moving around backing away from a mic stand wearing a guitar can be dangerous on a small stage tripping over guitar boxes and cables)

So for me, turning my angle to the mic and letting the air pass safely past the diaphragm maintains the bass response while maintaining frequency response. Properly done with the right mic (another critical factor) you don't hear any changes except for the absence of the plosives. Some mics have a big shift in frequency responce when you change the angle of the diaphram. the hand hand held EV condenser I'm maintains a relatively flat response when I turn them and what is changed, I can make up for with minimal effort adapting my voice to make up the difference,

You just have to know when plosives are coming up before you sing them. It takes knowing your words and ability to dictate them well before you get to those words. Then you can use some micing technique to minimize the really hard ones. 

I also use the angle technique for singing loud guttural parts in combination with softer clean vocals to maintain dynamics. I can then use less compression and limiting mixing the vocals to get them to compete with the other instruments like driven guitars that are highly compressed.  

The oldest technique for avoiding plosives is still the best. They used to train singers by placing a candle in front of their mouth and make them sing all the words without making the candle move. If you've ever tried it you quickly realize what words, vowels and consinents will move the flame.  Pure vocal tone, even loud doesnt move enough air to blow the candle out. An untrained voice can highly benifit from the technique. 

The pencil trick is another. I'm not sure if it really does anything to the air movement. Some say it has scientific fact to back it up, but I dont know. I think it would be better to have the pencil pointing straight at the singers face so they will maintain a minimal distance from the mic. If they dont they'll wind up loosing an eye or die from lead poising from fatil pencil wounds to the face. 

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