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What exactly is filter type and why do you need to know how to use low pass, high pass and band pass filters? Here’s the answer…

The filter type 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 type.

How to use filter type

Before you can use a filter, you must select its type. The type determines how the filter cuts out or boosts the frequency ranges. In other words, it sets the filtering method, such as low pass, high pass or band pass. These are the most common ones, but what exactly do they mean?

  • A low pass filter, LP for short, removes the higher frequencies from your sound. It “passes” the lower frequencies.
  • Similarly, a high pass filter, HP for short, removes the lower frequencies. It “passes” the higher frequencies.
  • Lastly, a band pass filter, BP for short, removes the higher AND lower frequencies. Thereby, it “passes” a band of frequencies.

Choose the filter type upfront

Make sure to select your preferred filter type upfront, depending on if you want to remove the lower frequencies, higher frequencies or both. And why don’t you try this out immediately on your own synthesizer? Just hoover to the filter section and simply select the available types.

Now, a filter type doesn’t do anything on its own. To hear an effect, you have to use the other filter settings as well. Of course, it also depends on how you use them. So, stay tuned as I’ll cover them all next.

But in the end, it’s your job to use filter type based on the type of sound 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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