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Stuart Charles here, HomeStudioBasics.com helping YOU make sound decisions, so…
In the realm of music production, there’s a tool that’s both practical and downright enjoyable – the low-pass filter.
It’s the special sauce that lets you fine-tune your sound, offering a level of control that’s both exciting and artistically liberating.
Today, we’re diving into the world of low-pass filters, exploring how they can transform your music with precision and flair.
Some use the low-pass filter during the chorus of a song, crafting moments of sonic intimacy, and then gracefully automating it back to normal in the hook for an explosive contrast.
Nicolay’s “Fantastic” is a… fantastic example of this; a subtle low pass filter that explodes into the hook.
Others harness its power to create mesmerizing fade-outs, gradually bidding farewell to a melody like a whisper in the wind.
And don’t forget those who wield it as an enigmatic intro, teasing listeners with tantalizing glimpses of the sonic journey ahead.
How you use a Low Pass Filter really just depends on the mood of the beat.
So, get ready to uncover the practical joy of mastering this essential production technique.
We’ll cover how to use it generally as well as automating it for your own beats.
Let’s dive in!
Step 1 – Load The Fruity Parametric EQ 2
Open your FL Studio project.
Press F9 to bring up the mixer, and click on the track where you want to apply the low-pass filter.
You can use it on individual tracks, but if you want the full effect, applying it to the master track is ideal.
In the Mixer window, click on an empty insert slot (where effects can be added).
Select “Fruity Parametric EQ 2” from the list of available plugins.
Configure the Low-Pass Filter
Once you’ve added Fruity Parametric EQ 2, you’ll see its interface.
Locate the EQ graph display. You’ll see a series of 7 dots or points representing the frequency response.
Select an Existing Point
Click on one of the seven points that are already displayed on the EQ graph. This will select that point for editing. For low-pass, I typically use the 7th point.
Adjust the Frequency
After selecting the point, you can move it horizontally on the frequency axis.
Move it to the left to lower the cutoff frequency, and experiment until you reach the desired effect.
Configure the Filter and Change the Band Type
Now that you’ve dragged the point to where you want it, change the filter type to a low-pass filter by right-clicking the point > Type > “Low Pass.”
Adjust the Bandwidth and Slope
You can further fine-tune the low-pass filter by adjusting the bandwidth and slope settings in the “Parameters” section.
If you want to automate the low-pass filter’s movement over time, create an automation clip for the selected point to control the cutoff frequency.
More on that in a bit.
Fine-Tune the Filter
You can further adjust the filter by dragging the point on the EQ graph or by modifying the parameters in the Fruity Parametric EQ 2 interface.
Listen and Adjust
Play your audio in FL Studio to hear the effect of the low-pass filter.
Adjust the cutoff frequency and other parameters until you achieve the desired filtering effect.
Remember to experiment with the filter settings to get the exact sound you want.
You can also automate the filter cutoff frequency over time to create dynamic filtering effects in your music.
Automating The Low Pass Filter
To automate a low-pass filter for a specific segment of a song in FL Studio without affecting other parts of the song, you can use automation clips or automation events.
Let’s try it out.
Create an Automation Clip
Select the mixer track where you’ve added the low-pass filter.
Now where it says “Fruity parametric EQ 2” there’s a small knob to the right.
Right-click it and select “Create automation clip”.
Edit the Automation Clip
An automation clip will be created in the Playlist view.
Drag and resize the automation clip to cover the specific segment of the song where you want the low-pass filter automation to occur.
Double-click the automation clip to open its editor, and right-click to create a point.
Draw the Automation Curve
In the automation clip editor, you can draw a curve to represent how you want it to change over time.
For the low-pass filter, you typically start with a high cutoff frequency (allowing all frequencies) and then gradually lower it to create the filter effect. This is great for outros combined with fadeouts.
You can also do the opposite for an introduction.
For instance, the low pass filter is 100% applied and then gradually allows all the frequencies in as the beat comes into view.
Click and drag points on the automation curve to shape it according to your desired filter movement.
Fine-Tune the Automation
Listen to your song and adjust the automation curve as needed to achieve the desired filtering effect for that specific segment.
Disable or Reset Automation
If you want to disable the automation or reset it to its default state for other parts of the song, you can simply create a new automation clip that keeps the filter cutoff frequency constant at the desired level.
As mentioned earlier, this is great for verses if your goal is to highlight more of the rapper’s lyrics while having the beat a bit more subdued.
Then you can have the full effect come in for the hook. The possibilities are endless.
Cloning an instance of the filter
For this, just left-click in the Playlist window to create another instance of the same filter.
If you want to create a new one, simply go back to the mixer and repeat the process from earlier. This will create a separate filter for you to tweak and play with.
Deleting Automation Clips
If you make one you don’t like, you can delete it by simply right-clicking it in the Playlist window and pressing “Delete”.
By using automation clips in this manner, you can precisely control when and how the low-pass filter is applied to specific segments of your song, leaving other parts unaffected.
Well, that’s about it for today my friend! I hope you’ve enjoyed this discussion on How To Use A Low Pass Filter In FL Studio and came away with some valuable insight.
Questions? Comments? Requests? Did I miss the mark on something? Please let me know down below or Contact me!!
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How are you going to implement this technique in your own beats? I would love to hear from you. Until next time…
All the best and God bless,