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EQ workflow example 2: Filtering loops

From: Mixing and Mastering with Pro Tools

Video: EQ workflow example 2: Filtering loops

While not part of the Take Me Down tune, I thought this was an important EQ example to point out. Many of us are working with pre- recorded loop or sample based material these days, either exclusively or as components of a larger production. The one common problem I find with commercial loops is that they are usually way too big sounding to combine with other loops or elements effectively. Why is this? Well, commercial sound designers want to sell loops and samples. And they would have a hard time selling weak sounding or thin loops.

EQ workflow example 2: Filtering loops

While not part of the Take Me Down tune, I thought this was an important EQ example to point out. Many of us are working with pre- recorded loop or sample based material these days, either exclusively or as components of a larger production. The one common problem I find with commercial loops is that they are usually way too big sounding to combine with other loops or elements effectively. Why is this? Well, commercial sound designers want to sell loops and samples. And they would have a hard time selling weak sounding or thin loops.

A perfect example is clipart or stock photography. Generally they sell this at a much higher resolution and then you scale that down to fit your project. So with loops many have kick drums especially with a lot of bass. And adding more than one kick drum to your mix especially if it's a different pattern is usually a nightmare waiting to happen. So let's take a look at this little example. I have two loops. Let's listen to each one in isolation. (Music playing) And Loop 2.

(Music playing) So you can hear they both have a kick drum pattern, and both are very deep kicks. The first one is sort of an 808 really heavy low sub-kick. The other one is kind of a 909 kick. Now those two when I play them back together they are really going to fight each other and create a ton of low end, sort of masking anything else that's going on.

(Music playing) Now what if I want to use the Hi-Hat pattern and maybe some of the higher frequency material from Loop 2, but I want to combine that with the broadband material of Loop 1, sort of the Kick Drum and the Clap? What I can do is I can use filters, specifically high pass and low pass filters, to sort of break off pieces of a broadband loop into more manageable sections or more manageable frequency bands.

So in this case I'm using high pass filter and I'm going to set the frequency to cut out all of that low end. So if I just solo this and I sweep through the frequency of the high pass filter. Listen to how the bass just disappears. (Music playing) Now when I combine that with the original Loop 1, we are still going to get all the hi-hats.

The hi-hats actually sound pretty much the same with or without the filter, but I'm not going to have all that low- end mud masking the kick pattern. (Music playing) So whenever I'm working with loops, especially loops with a lot of low end and kick drum and maybe bass patterns in them, I really like to use high pass filters to kind of filter out that low-end mud, and keep a lot of stuff like the high- end rhythmic elements, the claps and the hi-hats and stuff like that.

And I can play with the Filter Frequency to get it just right and find that point that's kind of happy medium between not too much mud, but not losing too much of the character of the loop that I'm filtering. Now I could take and I could switch this filter from this loop to this one, and we can kind of switch out what we are using for the kick. (Music playing) So again, effectively using high pass or low pass filters to rein in on your big sounding loops and samples is a great way to fit many ideas into a mix base without things getting too out of hand.

But remember while it might be tempting to add every percussion and drum loop you have layered into one session, even if things sonically fit, there is no guarantee that they will fit from an arrangement standpoint. So in other words, too much, may be too much and EQ is not going to help a thousand different patterns and poly- rhythms kind of glue together, so that a listener can comprehend them. So think about things from an arrangement standpoint when you combine loops and sample material together as well as a frequency and mix standpoint, using these tools like high-pass filters to combine lots of things into one mix.

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This video is part of

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Mixing and Mastering with Pro Tools

77 video lessons · 9388 viewers

Brian Lee White
Author

 
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  1. 14m 50s
    1. Welcome
      1m 12s
    2. The past, present, and future of mixing
      6m 20s
    3. Strategies for mixing and mastering
      5m 38s
    4. Using the exercise files
      1m 40s
  2. 40m 24s
    1. Mixing "in the box"
      5m 9s
    2. Setting up the studio: Speakers and acoustics
      13m 12s
    3. Staying organized: Effectively prepping the mix
      10m 50s
    4. Managing system resources during mixdown
      11m 13s
  3. 41m 39s
    1. Introducing the Pro Tools Mixer
      2m 24s
    2. Understanding mixer signal flow
      3m 42s
    3. Using inserts and plug-ins
      7m 4s
    4. Working with plug-in settings
      5m 1s
    5. Using sends and creating FX returns
      6m 55s
    6. Submixing with aux tracks
      4m 30s
    7. Using groups while mixing
      3m 46s
    8. Using master faders effectively
      8m 17s
  4. 21m 11s
    1. Conceptualizing the mix and making a plan
      7m 45s
    2. Using volume and pan to balance the mix
      11m 18s
    3. Knowing when to process: Mix problems vs. mix solutions
      2m 8s
  5. 1h 3m
    1. Understanding the mechanics of sound
      3m 53s
    2. Learning the basics of EQ: Frequency-specific level control
      4m 29s
    3. Using DigiRack EQ III
      16m 3s
    4. EQ strategies in mixing: Corrective vs. creative
      7m 18s
    5. EQ workflow example 1: Kick drum
      5m 39s
    6. EQ workflow example 2: Filtering loops
      5m 10s
    7. EQ workflow example 3: The "telephone" effect
      3m 7s
    8. Mixing tips and tricks for EQ
      17m 36s
  6. 1h 15m
    1. Understanding dynamics and dynamic range
      2m 1s
    2. Working with dynamics processors
      2m 57s
    3. Using the DigiRack Dyn III compressor/limiter
      10m 6s
    4. Balancing and shaping track dynamics
      3m 19s
    5. Using gates and expanders
      9m 22s
    6. Using de-essers to eliminate sibilance
      5m 47s
    7. Dynamics workflow example 1: Vocals
      10m 0s
    8. Dynamics workflow example 2: Drums
      9m 29s
    9. Mixing tips and tricks: Dynamics
      11m 37s
    10. Building parallel or "upward" compression
      7m 53s
    11. Reviewing dynamics concerns: How much is too much?
      3m 28s
  7. 47m 48s
    1. Using time-based effects to add depth and width
      3m 22s
    2. Using DigiRack D-Verb
      14m 27s
    3. Using the DigiRack delays
      9m 18s
    4. Mixing with reverb
      7m 59s
    5. Mixing with delays
      6m 19s
    6. Mixing tips and tricks: Creating mix depth
      6m 23s
  8. 18m 8s
    1. Working with the Creative Collection
      9m 8s
    2. Building distortion and saturation
      9m 0s
  9. 37m 33s
    1. Understanding automation
      4m 10s
    2. Recording real-time automation moves
      7m 6s
    3. Viewing and editing automation
      10m 17s
    4. Automating plug-ins
      7m 36s
    5. Automation strategies for mixing
      8m 24s
  10. 29m 31s
    1. Understanding the characteristics of a great mix
      7m 2s
    2. Working to reference tracks
      4m 35s
    3. Avoiding some common pitfalls
      7m 50s
    4. Building healthy mixing habits
      3m 36s
    5. Crafting your mix from start to finish
      6m 28s
  11. 1h 5m
    1. Understanding mastering
      4m 15s
    2. Bouncing the mix
      7m 9s
    3. Working with general mastering strategies
      8m 50s
    4. Using limiting and compression to maximize track level
      10m 57s
    5. Working with multi-band compression
      7m 9s
    6. Understanding sample rate, bit depth, file formats, and dither
      7m 30s
    7. Using Pro Tools for CD track sequencing
      10m 11s
    8. Compressing audio for the web
      9m 41s
  12. 44m 51s
    1. Tips for evaluating plug-in processors
      6m 51s
    2. Using EQ plug-ins
      5m 35s
    3. Using dynamic compression plug-ins
      11m 3s
    4. Using reverb and delay plug-ins
      10m 46s
    5. Reviewing additional plug-ins
      10m 36s
  13. 57m 18s
    1. Effectively using saturation/analog style effects
      13m 40s
    2. Setting up side chains
      7m 5s
    3. Master buss processing
      5m 34s
    4. Creating and using mix templates
      6m 54s
    5. Surround mixing
      6m 22s
    6. Dealing with plug-in delay and latency
      6m 26s
    7. Drum sample replacing
      11m 17s
  14. 32s
    1. Goodbye
      32s

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