Monday, April 3, 2017

A Pop Filter For Free

This is ostensibly a quick post, made on my way out the door to hop on my bike and ride to the Goodwill. I'm not looking for anything in particular there, but have about 70 dollars "burning a hole in my pocket."

The bike is locked to the front gate of the place, in broad daylight, and it is the 2nd of the month, so skeezers are making headlong rushes towards ATM machines city-wide, and less desperate to steal a bike right now.

The other morning, I came out of the back door in time to see a skinny young guy with a skinny and heavily tattooed and pierced girl trailing behind him a few paces. 

He was walking right towards my bike, which I had hastily locked by the dog poop area, knowing that I'd be right back out, by putting the lock only through the back tire but not secured to anything bolted to the ground. Someone could steal it, but they would have to pick it up and wheel it away keeping the back tire off the ground, and wouldn't be able to make a very fast getaway.

The skinny kid stopped about 10 feet short of the bike, leaned forward a bit as if inspecting it, and then muttered something to the skinny girl, whereupon they both changed course, almost reversing their direction and went out through the front door.

They had "junkies" written all over them, maybe even literally so, in the case of the young lady.
I have a Monster Energy drink, my food card money comes in about 31 hours, I have plenty of beans, kidney, great northern and pinto, and it shouldn't be hard to find something, without denting the 70 dollars to my name right now, too much, to make a meal out of the beans. A cheap bag of rice is the no-brainer, but I'm thinking of maybe a few slabs of loose bacon from the Banks Meat Store, along with some of the panela that I broke down and bought the other day when I wanted something sweet.

If my sweet tooth is going to drive me to spend $1.14 on a couple Reese's Dark peanut butter cups, then I just need to admit that I have a problem and that I am powerless over it, and that I should cut my losses and buy a slab of panela from the Ideal Market ("where 'fresh' is spoken") for $1.19 which is, in essence, pure sugar right from the cane. I think that panela is to sugar what crack is to cocaine, pretty "boiled down" stuff. And, probably the amount of sugar in 8 Reese's Dark peanut butter cups.

And, panela, perhaps not surprisingly since it's found on the shelves of the Latino market, is an outstanding addition to beans.

I might get some tomato paste, maybe a fresh onion...I've got some garlic...some horseradish mustard (another of the secret ingredients in my bean recipe) some olive oil, and then let the beans cook for 8 hours on the stove setting of halfway between "L" for low, and the "off" position.
For The Man Who Has Everything...

Pop Goes The Miser

Bolstered by my 126 dollar Friday night and trying not to cower too much in the shame of not having gone out and played Saturday night, I went to Starbucks yesterday (Sunday) afternoon.

I had made a list of things that I would like to buy in the near future, and had found that they easily fell into categories, such as "business," "household," and "health."

Under the business category fell recording equipment, because the CD that I ultimately record is going to benefit from my having bought such stuff.

The top item was a "pop filter," to take the plosives out of vocals.

I saw them mentioned as "must have" items for vocalists.

And, my most recent video was marred by one vocal pop.

So, I sat there in Starbucks and Googled "pop filters." I had $65.16 on the green AMEX card.
I found some very deluxe models for close to 100 dollars. I found one made by Blue, that I might assume is tailored to my microphone that they also made.

And then, of course, was the 17 dollar one. The one that they would guarantee would function, and might be suited to "beginner" vocalists, or other "non professionals," but that would deliver the same performance as pop filters costing much more...

I was ready to click away 17 dollars off my green AMEX "serve" card.

Then, my most recent education kicked in, and I went to Google and typed in "DIY pop filters," and was treated to an array of videos showing how pop filters could be made for under 5 dollars.

The "element" of the filter used was, in the case of the few that I watched, nylon stockings.

These were tested using Audacity type sound editing programs with the results showing graphically the effectiveness of the DIY nylon stocking, coat hanger framed, pop filters, as compared to expensive commercially produced ones that, if they don't use actual nylon stockings in their own manufacturing of them, use something that works just like nylon, or they use nylon that is made to their own specifications in a form that is not mean to be worn by people as hose, and so thus can be branded something like "high phase cancelling non resonant acoustic fiber" and stamped with a copy write logo.

So, I left Starbucks on this Sunday night, feeling like I had saved myself the 17 dollars for a pop filter, and headed towards CVS, to buy a pair of panty hose for a couple bucks. That would be the total cost of my filter, I thought, as I would use coat hangers, twisty ties, rubber bands, Gorilla Glue, whatever, and would make the thing.

Then I thought, after stopping in the median on Canal Street opposite CVS, "that long-John underwear that I got from the VA Center, I think those are made from nylon, in fact I'm sure they are..."

And, I pedaled on, having save a couple more bucks on panty hose and having figured out a way to make a pop filter for free.

I got home to discover that the thermals were made out of 100% polyester. I will soon find out how good that fabric is for suppressing harsh syllables in a vocal performance....


alex carter said...

That you can store your bike outdoors at all is astonishing. I'd sure not try that around here.

About pop filters, I encourage you to check out the videos of "Nomadic Fanatic" on YouTube ... he uses a mic that's clipped to his shirt or jacket, it's the fluffy thing that looks like a rabbit's foot. Apparently all it takes is a bit of "fuzz" to stop the pops.

alex carter said...

If you get one of those cheap "embroidery hoops" they're a perfect ring shape, then you can experiment with different types of cloth, pantyhose, 2 layers of pantyhose etc to make your own pop filter. If the fluffy rabbit's foot thing doesn't work for you.