Low pass and high pass filtering for recording bass: hardware vs software

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Junta, Oct 1, 2017.

  1. Junta


    Aug 11, 2016
    I have been recording guitar and bass for fun for a while now, and I think I am finally ready to be better informed... :)

    I have access to the following Focusrite plug-in suite, including the EQ. I will start with reading the manual for these, because I think the EQ can be (kind of )used for low pass and high pass filtering.

    Copyright: Focusrite

    There must be more specialized HPF and LPF plug-ins out there, I will look into those too.

    I got compression well covered on the hardware side of things (I have an Empress Effects Compressor and a Seymour Duncan Studio Bass Compressor), but for HPF and LPF, I think I want to remain on the software side, unless there are better hardware solutions out there which a re not too expensive.

    I would appreciate any links to online 'how to' type articles, instructional videos, etc.

    For what it is worth, here are two pieces I recorded to give you an idea about where I am with recording (and playing... :confused: - it is all me guitars and bass...):

    Thank you,

    Last edited: Oct 8, 2017
    bholder likes this.
  2. ddnidd1

    ddnidd1 Supporting Member

    The Focusrite EQ will do exactly what you are looking for.
  3. Junta


    Aug 11, 2016
    Thanks ddnidd1. It looks like, the Focusrite EQ gives two options:

    1. Shelving (18bd of cut available) with a preset amount of shelving
    2. High-Pass Filtering, with the option to adjust the slope from gentle to steep
    Which one of these is more appropriate for recording 4 and 5 string bass? What I am trying to accomplish is to get rid of the unnecessary, boomy, muddying low-low end (where does that start? At 60hz? 50? 40?)

  4. ddnidd1

    ddnidd1 Supporting Member

    There's no absolute formula.

    The best thing to do is experiment and use your ears. It doesn't cost anything to turn the knobs.

    Reading and watching videos about using EQ is great, but actually doing the hands on is where you really learn how to manipulate sound.
    And I and Badwater like this.
  5. Junta


    Aug 11, 2016
    :eyebrow: I hear you! Get to work! :headphone:
  6. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    No clue but your tunes rawk. \m/ :D
    Loring likes this.
  7. Junta


    Aug 11, 2016
    Thanks bholder! I try! Just updated the first one - better mixing I hope.
    Loring likes this.
  8. ofajen


    Apr 12, 2007
    92.4W 38.9N
    How do you monitor low end? High quality headphones? Are you sure the unnecessary, boomy, muddy low end isn't coming from room modes?

  9. Badwater


    Jan 12, 2017
    The most cost effective way to monitor and mix bass is with a decent set of studio monitoring headphones (about $99). You can also use a decent set of near field studio monitors, they run about $300+ for a pair. With monitors you'll benefit from setting up your mixing area for acoustics to be optimal. This will consists of bass traps, and other acoustic material to get your sound as true as possible. This requires learning about acoustics and how your room can be set up for mixing.

    But more important, it will take a lot of trial and error mixing, and exporting the tracks to your digital listening devices to train your ears on what your adjustments in the mix do to a final product. This is where you'll need to spend a lot of time to see what your mixing adjustments do to a final product. Once you find the sound you like, you can create presets with FX and EQ to get that similar sound. But, it takes effort, and studying how to mix, EQ, learning frequencies, and instrument frequencies, etc...
    Sounds like a lot of work. But the more you do, the better you get, and the better your ears get.
    Protect your hearing...
  10. Junta


    Aug 11, 2016
    Thanks guys; I do use higher end Audio-Technica monitoring headphones and Yorkville (local Canadian brand, known for very flat response) monitors. I also go to my home hifi and the car stereo for quick checks. Finally I give a pair of useless earbuds a try to get an idea what most people would hear...

    I took the first song to the car this evening.... and it was a total failure - total bass-fatigue after 2 minutes... Just tooo much, and too deep bass. To be fair, I had intended that song to be a caricature of that genre...

    I should really develop mixing and mastering routines I guess; shelving EQ, multi-band comression and limiting, etc...
  11. And I

    And I

    Feb 19, 2009
    Witchtown, MA
    sounds to me like you're doing the right things to get better at it and enjoying it at the same time. win!
  12. And I

    And I

    Feb 19, 2009
    Witchtown, MA
    Be sure to let the routines be about finding what's best for the song and making that happen.
  13. Junta


    Aug 11, 2016
    I think I understand what you mean And I.

    And you are right; it is fun... I am kind of re-living my teenage years when I could not afford even a simple acoustic... No Guitar. Nothing. But, hey... I still played awesome air guitar, and covered entire Iron Maiden sets...

    For the record, I recently donated a decently set up acoustic to a young person, and I intend to do this periodically (to local Canadians, I meet in person or through local charity - My apologies to non-local folk, I cannot ship you a guitar).

    That was my dream after all; someone donating me a guitar - any guitar!

    Do it if you can! Feels so good.
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2017
    bholder and craigie like this.
  14. TheEmptyCell

    TheEmptyCell Bearded Dingwall Enthusiast

    Jul 16, 2005
    Los Angeles, CA
    Personally, I’d do both.

    Hardware to keep garbage frequencies from even getting into the digital realm, Digital for further cleanup.
  15. Junta


    Aug 11, 2016
    Thanks TheEmptyCell. What brand/model hardware would you recommend? Cheers!
  16. TheEmptyCell

    TheEmptyCell Bearded Dingwall Enthusiast

    Jul 16, 2005
    Los Angeles, CA
    Broughton Audio makes a pedal format HPF, as well as an always-on version, and a combined adjustable HPF and LPF.
  17. monsterthompson

    monsterthompson The Eighth Note Wonder Of The World Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    I tried using HPF & LPF settings in my DAW (Ableton Live & Logic) to create a cab-sim. I had moderate success, but ultimately landed on a DSM OmniCab for that. Otherwise, the Live native 8-band is a pretty easy to use, if you're using that software. 1-pole and 4-pole and shelving EQ options.
  18. Junta


    Aug 11, 2016
    Thanks monsterthompson! I have already checked out a few reviews - that pedal looks promising indeed. Cheers.
    monsterthompson likes this.
  19. craigie


    Nov 11, 2015
    That's great! You can check out the Barry Penny foundation if you're in Alberta.
  20. MDBass

    MDBass Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Dingwall-Fender-Bergantino-Dunlop-Tech 21-Darkglass-Nordstrand
    I personally prefer the hardware, since it enables me to get the same results live as well, but if you aren't interested in checking out a @tech21nyc Q/Strip or @Dsmnoisemaker OmniCabSim that software will certainly do the trick :thumbsup:


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