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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.

Preamps? Check

Tape machines? Check

Mixing consoles? Check

Analog summing? Check

Saturation? Check

An analog noise sample? Check

Yet, here I am scratching my head.

I've added these plugins. Twisted some knobs. Pulled down some faders… And yet, where's my vintage vibes at, brah?

DAW, I Hate You. #loveyoureally

Why Studio One, WHYYY?

Why don’t you sound gorgeous—like this sparsely populated A Tribe Called Quest record?

Why must you make life so difficult?! 😵

Music Prod. Tip #10 - Those Vintage Vibes, Baby

"The more you experiment, the more unique, efficient and decisive you'll become"

Mixing with Your Eyes [Gasps!].

VPS Scope plugin

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… 🚀


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