By JAMIE COLEIRO
The Humble Low-Pass Filter
The production is ready.
You've got your mixing template fired up.
You've cherry-picked the plugins you'll be using.
You've blocked out any external distractions that interfere with your creative thoughts.
Those Vintage Vibes, Baby.
DAW, I Hate You. #loveyoureally
Mixing with Your Eyes [Gasps!].
Throw an old record you love onto your DAW's playlist.
Throw a clean contemporary record onto your DAW's playlist.
Throw a visual analyser onto your mix bus—like Vengeance Sound's Scope plugin.
What do you notice when comparing these 2 songs? Pro tip. Focus on the highs, and focus on the lows.
You should notice the ‘clean' track has a helluva lot more high-frequency content than the older record.
The Missing Ingredient.
Having compared the two records, is it now obvious which tool was missing from my toolkit?
Well. I needed a filter! Yep. A boring, standard-ass filter.
Great. Now What?
Cut the high end!
Fire up your favorite EQ plugin, activate a low-pass filter (LPF), and experiment shelving off some of the high-end.
Combining this technique with your tape machines, consoles, and other analog goodies—should get you closer to those sweet vintage vibes.
A Thought to End On.
Personally, I love the Air-EQ plugin by Eiosis to do this.
There's a character knob with 3 distinct settings. Fire. Neutral. Water. And it's from here you can decide how harsh or soft the filter curve is.
There's a separate control (‘Strength') which masquerades as a way to mix between the dry and wet signals.
I'll probably create a YouTube video on my channel, exploring this beaut in more detail.
Until then, good luck with your journey in creating vintage sounding music.
Until next time…