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Quickest way to become educated about filters?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by MetroBass, Jan 10, 2012.


  1. MetroBass

    MetroBass

    Mar 26, 2008
    South of LA
    Hatred obscures all distinctions.
    I've decided my NYR for 2012 will be to become better educated on filters and how to use them. To start with i went to the Wiki and there's not much there. Does anyone know a good source for info regarding "filters" ? I'm talking resonance vs envelop, LPF vs HPF, VCO vs LFO vs HCO, Trigger vs tap tempo, analog vs. digital signals, etc., etc.

    I'm also in to the big boxes as well: Subdecay, Pigtronix, Lovetone.

    I'm sure I'll end up spending lots of money trying to get educated as well:crying:
     
  2. M Sterling

    M Sterling Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2010
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Best bet is to do exhaustive research through google and Talkbass and then try as many as you possibly can. Not just the known good ones either. I had to go through a few stinkers before I started to feel "educated" enough to make the right decision.
     
  3. Funkinthetrunk

    Funkinthetrunk Registered User Supporting Member

    Best bet is not to get involved with them at all. They are like drugs.
     
  4. M Sterling

    M Sterling Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2010
    Pittsburgh, PA
    +1 hehe
     
  5. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
  6. Filter pedals are as varied as distortion, overdrive and fuzz, simple to insanely complex, from cheap to rob the bank boutique-one trick ponies to every option possible - you'll just have to see what works for you.
    You tube demos are worth checking out as well as reviews and opinion requests but there is nothing like plugging in and trying the funk with your bass, fingers & amp.
     
  7. alec

    alec

    Feb 13, 2000
    Perth, Australia
    Could you also add some stuff about poles? 2 pole, 4 pole, etc.
    Cheers
     
  8. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    A couple of small details to answer here rather than in my article...
    Those aren't a "versus" thing, an envelope filter may be more resonant, less resonant; and a resonant filter may be envelope following, or not.
    VCO stands for Voltage Controlled Oscillator, and LFO stands for Low Frequency Oscillator. An LFO is a VCO, just one that is designed to run very slowly. Oscillation is a way of describing the repeating waves that make up sound, both in the air and inside electronics. It implies a repeating wave pattern, so in the low frequency case it's a wave that we hear as a throbbing cycling pattern, and in the specific case of a filter effect it causes the filter to open and close cyclically.

    HCO stands for Hydrogen Carbonate, which might be related to a water filter, but not an audio filter. ;)
    Most filters do have envelope triggering; very few have tap tempo. In the few with tap tempo, what that would control is the cycling rate of an LFO.
     
  9. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Made some updates to my article, hope it helps. PLEASE DO let me know if any part of it is confusing, so I can clarify the writing.
     
  10. I was going to suggest getting something like the EHX Enigma and spending a lot of time with it, because it has a ton of controls that deal directly with how a filter works. The Enigma won't help much with LFO, and neither will help much with analog vs. digital.

    The controls on an Enigma are all very clearly marked and while you will find a whole lot of sounds you wont be able to use, it will help you learn, then dial in what makes the thing work or not work. The controls on the Enigma are designed for bass, so the frequency ranges may not be absolutely ideal for all instruments, but you can still get the idea of how it works and apply it to other frequency ranges.

    Once you really understand what parameters make the filter work, then I would switch up to a unit with an effects loop. A filter with an effects loop controls the filter with the voltage present at the input. It also sends the input to the effects loop and then filters the signal coming back on the return. It controls the filter with the input, but only applies the filtering to the return. With this and some creative signal routing, you can come up with some neato creative stuff. You can create your own LFOs with a tremolo and a splitter using an envelope filter with an effects loop. If the Enigma had an effects loop, it would be the greatest (IMO).

    I personally don't have a ton of experience with step, or sample and hold filters. I think that digital vs. analog filtering is an overrated debate when execution is ultimately what matters. Source Audio executes their filters better than Line6, but is it better than a Groove Regulator? Or just different? Digital is far more flexible, you will have to decide for yourself if it sounds as good.

    Have fun, good luck, and goodbye money :D
     
  11. newbold

    newbold

    Sep 21, 2008
    Toronto
    You're gonna have to play them to really get it, but certainly read as much as you can and anything that doesn't stick will jump out of the dark once you get into the gear a bit more.
     
  12. It doesn't have to cost any money to learn about filters and how to use them. If you use a DAW (FL studio, Cubase, Reaper, ect), there're hundreds of filter plugi-ins (VST, RTAS, AU) for FREE here: GERSIC.COM free audio plugin database

    Some very simple and some complicated, it's a great boot camp. Enjoy!

    BTW, I use FL studios, Reaper, and Acid Pro, the plug-ins work for all of them.
    I haven't tried it in Ableton Live becuz it's got alot stuff already.
     
  13. MetroBass

    MetroBass

    Mar 26, 2008
    South of LA
    Hatred obscures all distinctions.
    You're always a great resource bongo. In the future I should just search on "you" becasue you've left a plethora of wisdom on the TB - thanks - found great stuff also at Subdecay's web site - those guys are pretty cool too!

    Thanks for the responses.
     

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