Easy Synth Programming – Filters
Filters are for coffee makers. WAKE UP! You’re making synth patches, bro!
Real quick: if you want to learn synths ASAP then click here to get Syntorial for free.
If you’re totally lost, check part 1 here.
The filter section is the part of the synth where the magic happens. If it’s not the magic then it’s the motion in the ocean. Filters, like the ones found in a Moog Voyager, get you laid.
A Small Boat
Ok, so you won’t bang the hottie once you master filters. What will happen, on the other hand, is that you can now mold and craft your sound into something bright and abrasive, distant and hazy, or low and thunderous – all with the twist of a knob.
By now you know that synths have many parts. Even filters themselves have many parts. Parts within parts! You need to discover the various parts filters have in order to wield their power.
Experiment in your synth of choice by examining it’s available filters. You will have: low pass, band pass, high pass, ALL PASS, notch, and others. Let’s focus on low pass filters for now. Even within this category there are subcategories: 2-pole, 4-pole and more-pole. Each are also called 12dB/Oct, 24dB/Oct, and ???dB/Oct respectively. But why so many poles? Surely it’s a party fowl!
Each pole sounds different in your ear hole. The less dB/oct, the less the filter does any work. Think of it as a Michelin star: more stars = more weight. In the case of a low pass filter weight = bass. In this case specifically: more weight = less high frequencies. While this is a terrible metaphor, it stands based on it’s food-relatedness.
From the Bass
Go open a synth. It can be a wow synth like Massive or a basic included one like Analog in Live. Initialize your patch like I showed my Patrons how to do. Select a basic oscillator and apply a low pass filter. Get to know your filters and how they play with your oscillators and overall volume. Try out whatever LPFs (as the pros call them) your synth has. But is there a way to do this with less hassle?
Allow me to suggest picking up a copy of Syntorial which, not only teaches you synthesis in an organized manner, includes a beginner-friendly VSTi called Primer. By doing so, you support me as I earn a commission when you buy. Syntorial has a totally free demo that includes 22 lessons to get you started.
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