Sound Design Tutorial: Understanding Filters Pt. 1/3 – Low-pass w/ Evan Sutton

In this Sound Design video tutorial, Dubspot instructor Evan Sutton explains and demonstrates how to get the most out of low-pass filtering.

Understanding Filters Part 1 – Low Pass 

For anyone who has programmed a synthesizer or sampler, the word “filter” should be all too familiar. In this tutorial series, we’ll get acquainted with the characteristics of the three basic filter types, and use them to make some production-ready sounds.

First off, we’ll get some bass time in with the big kahuna: the Low Pass filter. To start, it’s important to understand what “Low Pass” actually means. Most filters are set using a parameter called “Cutoff”. In a Low Pass filter, frequencies below the cutoff frequency are passed, while those above are attenuated. This makes modulating (or moving) the cutoff useful for changing the brightness of the sound over time. This is the essence of subtractive synthesis: systematically removing frequencies from a big, bright waveform to create something unique and musical.

A simple sound made using a low pass filter and basic oscillator is a thunky bass. This basic sound is adaptable to many musical styles, from the club to the car and beyond. – Evan Sutton

Evan Sutton a.k.a. Astrolith is an electronic music producer, sound designer, and audio engineer, as well as teaching sound design and electronic music production at Dubspot. He is the designer/developer of Dubspot’s Sound Design program. You can hear Evan’s music and find out more about him at and

Sound Design

Become fluent in the language of sound design with this comprehensive program. This six-level Sound Design program uses Native Instruments’ Komplete as a platform for learning synthesis and sampling techniques. Starting with an introduction to the properties of sound, this comprehensive series of courses covers most common synthesis methods available for music production in the DAW of your choice.

Discovering the right sound is like finding a needle in the digital haystack. Learn the fundamentals to make this easier, and gain the depth of knowledge to make a good sound better. Factory content is great, but everyone has it – your mix needs something special.

What’s Included:

  • Sound Design Level 1: Introduction to Komplete 8
  • Sound Design Level 2: Synthesis with Massive, FM8 and Absynth
  • Sound Design Level 3: Sampling with Kontakt and Battery
  • Sound Design Level 4: Advanced Sound Design
  • Sound Design Level 5: Reaktor Ensembles and Instruments
  • Sound Design Level 6: Reaktor Programming

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Ask questions. Watch demos. Test drive workstations.

Anyone who comes by will have the opportunity to ask our instructors in-depth questions about our programs, curriculum and philosophy, and watch live music production and DJ demos. You can even sit down at one of our workstations and take it for a test drive. If you are still trying to decide what you are looking for, we suggest you stop by one of our Open Houses to learn more about the school, understand what the learning process at Dubspot entails and help you decide what is best for you. We can also help with scheduling details and payment options.