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What exactly is filter cutoff and why do you need to know how to select the right the cut off point? Here’s the answer…

The filter cutoff function is an essential part of a (subtractive) synthesizer that you can usually find in the filter area.

What are filters?

Now, what exactly are filters? Filters are functions on a synthesizer that can enhance and/or reduce certain frequency ranges in your sound. You see, any sound consists of frequencies that your ears can pick up. So, with a filter you can adjust them, which change the so-called “harmonic” balance of the sound.

As you can imagine, this can come in handy to produce a wide variety of different sounds. Thus, it’s very important to understand all the settings that come with it, such as the filter cutoff.

How to use filter cutoff

A filter uses a cutoff point and/or a resonance peak to define exactly which frequency ranges are affected or amplified. We will talk about the resonance option in the next post, but first, let’s look at the filter cutoff.

The cutoff, or “cut” for short, sets the frequency at which the filter starts working. This way, you can use the cutoff to decide at how many Hertz the volume of your sound should start to diminish. By the way, if you’re not aware, frequencies are measured in Hertz.

For example, if you set the filter to a low pass type and a cutoff point of 2000 Hz, the filter starts to reduce all the frequencies above 2000 Hz and thereby passes the frequencies below 2000 Hz. Of course, the extremeness of reduction depends on the filter slope.

Choosing a filter cutoff point

Now, it’s your job to find a filter cutoff point that produces the effect you wish to create. Once you’re happy with it, you can tweak the other settings, which we will explore next in the complete “Synthesizer for beginners” series.

Synthesizer for beginners

The “Synthesizer for Beginners” series is a huge collection of quick lessons about sound design and synthesis. Each lesson explains one part of how a subtractive synthesizer works, which is vital to know if you’re an electronic music producer.

Most people have the attention span of a butterfly and therefore miss all the important tips later in my videos and posts. Still, I don’t want you to miss a thing and that’s why you will see these short clips on Screech House. Each short clip explains a bite-sized topic from one of my longer videos. This gives everyone the chance to focus solely on what they need and thereby also saving a lot of time.

Today’s short clip is from the 4-part “Synthesizer Explained” video course. Watch the full episodes here:

Synthesizer explained!

Synthesizer Explained Cover

The “Synthesizer Explained” video course is now finally available as an exclusive guide. This easy-to-read book is jam-packed with valuable info about the essential basics of sounds design, including practical tips and bonus cheat sheets.

Since the day of release, many people have already read it. But if you haven’t, click this link to get your copy: Synthesizer Explained.

Make sure to get it now, else you risk being too late and miss out.

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