On your EQ, a low-pass filter (LPF) is a sort of band setting.

On the frequency spectrum of your EQ, it will be all the way to the right. It looks like a cut that slopes down to the right when you apply it.

The frequencies above (to the right) of the low-pass filter are filtered out. It will improve your perception of lower frequencies.

A low-pass filter, in essence, allows low frequencies to pass through.

When you use an LPF, you’ll hear greater low end.

LPFs may appear in a variety of settings. On a microphone, in a preamp, and in an EQ plugin, for example.

Low-Pass Filter Settings

So, how do you put up a low-pass filter? Let’s have a look at the LPF settings on an EQ plugin.

The frequency, or cutoff frequency, is measured in Hz.

This indicates the location of the band. It’s at this point that the filter reaches 0 dB and begins to cut the signal.

Then there’s the profit. With a low-pass filter, this remains constant at 0 dB.

Finally, the bandwidth, or octave, will be shown. Before cutting the frequencies, this decides whether the cutoff is a descending slope or peaks.

What Is the Purpose of a Low-Pass Filter?

A low-pass filter is useful for a variety of reasons. (In the following part, we’ll go through the exact methods.)

To Bring Out the Bass

When high frequencies are reduced, lower frequencies become more apparent. Remember that a low-pass filter allows low frequencies to pass through more easily.

You may use an LPF on an instrument that requires additional low end (for example, a bass guitar).

To Tame High Frequencies

You may also use an LPF to bring in a hi-hat or even a voice that has harsh high frequencies.

In this case, you don’t want to remove too many high frequencies since it would shorten the instrument’s life. Cutting only the extremely high frequencies, on the other hand, may assist.

To Add a Muffled Effect

You may produce a nice muted effect, as if the instrument is underwater, by applying a large LPF.

This isn’t a normal mixing method. instead, it’s something you could do with a bonus track.

Mixing Techniques for Low-Pass Filters

Let’s look at some low-pass filter mixing techniques you may use in your next mix…

Remove Unwanted Sounds

You may notice a sibilance or hiss about 10 kHz from time to time.

A low-pass filter can remove them without affecting the frequency spectrum’s quality. Just don’t go too far or you’ll drain the energy out of the mix.

Create Depth

The audience sees your music as having a front and back when you use depth in your mix. Some instruments will have a more distant sound, while others will have a more forward sound.

The gain knobs and even panning are used to accomplish this. Using an LPF, on the other hand, may make an instrument seem less present.

You may add depth to your mix by moving components to the rear of the mix using an LPF.

Make Space Between Similar Instruments

It’s all about creating room when it comes to filtering.

High frequencies are removed using a low-pass filter. So that high frequencies in other instruments may be accommodated.

If you have a mix with a lot of voice takes, for example, it may sound crowded. You can get a less muddy mix overall by using an LPF on the voice takes that don’t require it.

It might be argued that mixing is as much about subtracting as it is about adding.

Balance Vocals

The lead vocals and background vocals are one of the most frequent conflicts that may occur in a mix.

You may use an LPF on the background vocals to make room for the main vocals.

You want them to be in the background, so to speak. Rather of vying for the limelight, they collaborate.

Add Edginess

Remember when you used to be able to peak your low-pass filter before it started cutting frequencies?

You may eliminate undesired higher frequencies by doing so. All the time, you’re providing the lively areas a boost just as the energy starts to dissipate with your cut.

Simply narrow the bandwidth (octave) and the peak will appear. However, don’t go too far or it will sound boxy.

Final thoughts

To summarize, low-pass filters are ideal for

  • Bringing out the bass
  • Reeling in high frequencies
  • Getting rid of unwanted noises and sibilance
  • Creating depth, space, and balance
  • Adding edginess

Always take caution while using a low-pass filter.

Make tiny movements, as you should with every element of mixing. A better mix is the result of several little changes.