You may recall my positive review of the Proscreen 101 in Tape Op #23. Since then, I've used my four Proscreens (I keep buying more!) on many sessions, packed them in my luggage when recording elsewhere, and recommended them to many folks. The Proscreen XL is a larger version of the 101, with a 6'' diameter screen of the same pressed, metal-louvered material that redirects the airflow away from the mic element. This system works very well, retaining the high end of vocalists yet stopping plosives (those popping P's) and keeping the "mouth spray" at bay. The metal screen is also much easier to clean than traditional fabric mesh filters. On the XL, the jagged edge of the screen is now surrounded by a rubber ring, making it less likely to catch or tear something (never a problem in the past for me) and giving it a more "pro" look if you like. The 13'' flexible gooseneck is long enough to mount to the mic stand and reach up over mics as large as the Blue Bottle. Part of this reach is achieved by the 4'' long mounting bracket. My only complaint with this pop filter is the quality of metal used for the bracket; within weeks of receiving the unit, we'd bent the metal just by tightening the clamp using normal forces. A quick fix with a pair of pliers repaired the mount but also left the finish scarred; and we'll probably have to repair it again in the future. Thinking back on every pop-screen mounting system I've ever worked with, there's always been some issue. Oftentimes the screws are too short (like on the original 101, later rectified with longer screws); and many, many times I've seen metal bend out of place like with the XL. I'm not holding Stedman accountable for every other manufacturer-overall, I've been more than happy with their products-but I'm issuing a plea for companies to give their products better real-world trials and higher metal strength! Anyway, back on track. The XL is an effective plosive stopper, without the gauziness of most fabric-based pop filters. The Proscreen XL's larger size will help when tracking a singer who moves around a bit (those damn singers) or for more than one vocalist on a mic. The rubber edge will keep any possible scratches from happening on the mic. And the mounting, if it doesn't bend out of shape, will allow you to position the XL quicker and more effectively than most. ($79 MSRP;

Tape Op is a bi-monthly magazine devoted to the art of record making.

Or Learn More