Sound Design Tutorial: Understanding Filters Pt. 2/3 – High-Pass w/ Evan Sutton

In this second installment of our three-part Sound Design series on filters, Dubspot instructor Evan Sutton demonstrates some creative uses for the high pass filter. If you haven’t seen part one of this series, click here to check out an explanation and demonstration of the low-pass filter. 

Understanding Filters Part 2 – High Pass Filter

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.

“But what about the bass?”

This is a question I get a lot when working with the widely misunderstood (and underused) high pass filter. One thing I’ve learned from producing and mixing dozens of tracks is that the key to clean low end in a track can be summed up in one word: space. In this tutorial, we’ll explore the low pass filter’s tough older sister, the high pass filter.

High pass filters are handy for a wide variety of situations, from gutting the bottom end of a percussion loop in a parametric EQ, to creating highly resonant and expressive textures using modulation and automation. DJs often use them for sweeps to create cadence and drama before something important is about to happen in a track.

Here, we’ll use the high pass filter to make a clean, evolving pad that can add a lot of texture and movement to a track without taking up too much space and gumming up the mix. - 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 astrolith.net and soundcloud.com/astrolith.


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

Open House: Sundays 11:00am and 12:00pm

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.

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