This blog was written for primeloops.com – check them out for some ace samples and to see my blogs 2 months earlier!

Are you struggling to find something to give your synths more character, to make your song more exciting and interesting, or to just go absolutely crazy with?

Well here are 5 ways you can do that with the help of some sweet filtering techniques!   Just follow the following very simple equations…


1. Low Pass Filter + Automation = Sweet underwater-y filter sweep!

Take the resonance up to half way and automate a filter over the entire track – you’ll get fantastic sweeping sound as if you’re just outside of a club or listening to someone DJing underwater!

Turn the resonance up even higher and use it on synths to make some crazy sounds that you can use as effects to make the song more interesting!

2. Band Pass filtering + Cool song = Awesome telephone-line-y effect!

Nothing beats kicking into a danceable beat after a band-pass filtered effect.   Try cutting off anything above about 1khz and below 500hz for some interesting low-end band pass filtered sounds!

Now just move the frequencies right up the register and then drop them back to 20hz and 20khz respectively to let the track kick in hard!

3. Sine Wave LFO + Low Pass Filter = Dubstep Wobble Bass!

Dubstep is still growing in popularity, so now’s the time to link your LFO to your Low pass filters (or high pass if you want something a bit more lead-like!) and get shaking some speakers!

Don’t forget to add a sub bass with a low-octave sine wave underneath!

4. White Noise + filter automation = Wooshy sounds!

Filter some noise to add some interest to otherwise samey, repetitive looped parts of songs – the lack of melody means it’s not going to make it any more difficult to mix, but it’ll maintain the listener’s interest for that bit longer!

Try gating it as well to make it even more fun and rhythmic!


5. Stepped LFO + Filter = Seriously cool synth effects!

Try linking a stepped LFO that’s synced to the tempo of the track to a low pass filter on a synth – this can make for some amazingly interesting and textured sounds!

This can work particularly well on a nice detuned saw-tooth pad, acting as a lead synth.   Fills out the song nicely and is more noticeable than a plain ol’ saw pad!

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3 Responses to “5 fun things to do with filters”

  1. Hi Dave… nice post. I like the random music appreciation posts, but really like the production oriented ones, as I always find your tips useful. On tip #5, what do you mean by a “stepped LFO” are you talking about changing the LFO rate for certain beat lengths?

  2. [...] 5 fun things t&#959 &#1281&#959 w&#1110t&#1211 filters | Boy &#1110&#1495 a Band [...]

  3. A Stepped LFO is an LFO wave that looks like stairs! It goes up in short, sharp jumps :)

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Hi! I'm Dave from boyinaband.com and welcome to the site!

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