Brian S. Gunn started Popless Voice Screens in 1988. With formal training at the Institute of Audio Research in NYC and the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Brian began working as a recording studio engineer in 1984 before switching over to the technical side of professional audio in 1986.
Working as a recording studio technician in post-production studios in Manhattan, Brian saw the need for a better version of the wire hanger and panty hose type pop filter. After testing several hundred acoustic materials for the best combination of sonic transparency and pop filtering capability he found the material for the job. The acoustic material was evenly stretched over an embroidery hoop and coupled to a gooseneck and mic stand clamp. The gooseneck and clamp enabled the system to be attached to the same microphone stand as the microphone and positioned precisely in front of the microphone.
Using the same microphone setup Brian compared the Popless Voice Screen design to a foam pop filter and found a noticeable audible difference. Both filters stopped the popping and sibilance. The difference was the $1900 microphone with the foam pop filter had a muffling effect on the sound quality of the microphone. It now sounded like a $200 microphone. The $1900 studio condenser microphone with the Popless Voice Screen in front of it sounded like a $1900 microphone. The sound was still clear and transparent without pops and sibilance. This was the first version of the Popless Voice Screen.
Spending much time at the recording studio utilizing state of the art recording and test equipment offered Brian the opportunity to work on a new pop filter. The goal was a design having adjustable pop and sibilance filtering while maintaining sonic transparency. The idea of two individual acoustic screens and a system to position them enabled the choice of using just one screen or adding the second screen and varying the distance between the two. Variable Acoustic Compression was born. Listening and testing results confirmed it. The new design enabled adjustable control over pops and sibilance before the sound reached the microphone. The result was better sounding vocals that required less electronic compression and helped prevent overload distortions in the microphone and associated electronics.
This prototype design was then brought to master product developer Bill Militello at William Militello Associates in Woodstock, NY. Bill took the prototype design along with his great expertise and made it into a reproducible product using injection molding. Popless Voice Screens continues to design new models using the Variable Acoustic Compression design philosophy.
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