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[Tutorial] Filter usage - Cutoff, Bandpass etc. (Advanced)

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Skale Jedi

Joined: 12 Nov 2002
Posts: 508
Location: Norway

Posted: Thu Dec 05, 2002 2:44 pm    Post subject: [Tutorial] Filter usage - Cutoff, Bandpass etc. (Advanced)

(Complies to v.0.75B and older)

In this tutorial we will cover the filters in the current version of Skale.
This tutorial requires you know the basic of editing patterns, inserting notes and parameters (i.e volume, panning, etc)
Basic knowledge about steps and envelopes are useful, but not required to follow this tutorial.
If you are new to filters you might want to read this little introduction to filters and download the examples:

Filters Introduction

As you probebly guessed the filters modify the source-sound (sample)
But the interesting part is the different types of filters Skale has, and what they can do.
But all the filters in general add or subtract frequensies from the sample.
Since they modify the source-sound, the sample, VST plugins will process their effects from the filtered sound.
But note, in the current version of Skale you can not use more than one filter at the same time on one instrument.

As a little extra introduction I've provided some samples of filtering:

* Drums notch filtering (Zipped Mp3)
* Drums notch filtering (Skale Module)

* Trance cutoff filtering (Zipped Mp3)
* Trance cutoff filtering (Skale Module)

NOTE: If you download the SkM's I recommend you to put it into the same folder where you have the VST's from Awezoom's The Dream Engine demo,
else without the VST's they won't sound as good as the Mp3's does


Before you choose a filter you probebly want to check them out and see how they sound on different samples and sounds,
like drums, synths, pianos and so on. So, first let's check them out and play with the filters

Testing out the Filters

First you need to start Skale.
Load up a sample/instrument or a song you would like to add test-filtering to.
Then from the instrument list in the top-right in Skale you can select the instrument you want to add filtering to.
If you choose a new instument just to follow up this tutorial, you can make a little test melody to check out the different filters in real-time,
and those who have loaded a song can make the instrument solo so you can hear the filtering easier.

Now, click the Instr. Filter button in the General Options and something simular to the Instr. Edit should appear like this:

To enable filtering for this instrument you will have to click the little dot beside the FILTER (type) at the bottom
so it turns on and glow like a little green light.
If you play your song now you should hear the instrument changes, but it doesn't variate.
To make things easier we will only use the mouse to control the filter in real-time during this filter-test.
Later on I will cover how to program automatic controlling of the filters.

To enable filter-control you have to enable the steps for either Cutoff, Q or both.
Enable the steps for both Cutoff and Q.
To do this you will have to click the little dot-light above the letter A (for both Cutoff and Q)
But in the little window under both Cutoff and Q you can see a white graph which is horizontal. Select and delete all the dots except the one to
the left like I have done in this picture:

If you hit Play Pattern (in the General Options menu) and drag-and-drop those dots up and down and you will hear the filter working.
Warning, be careful about using maximum/minimum (top/bottom) Q amount, sometimes it might be painful for you ears and in some rare cases might
damage your speakers if you play loud.
Beside the filter on/off button at the bottom you can see two arrows, pointing up and down.
Here you can select the type of filter. But remember to set Q amount to the middle before changing type, just to be causious.

The most used filters cut off the top frequensies like treble, or the lower frequensies like bass.
- For the top freq. I would recommend the LPF 2 and the Q can be at max without any painful sound on the LPF 2 filter.
- For bass removal I would recommend the Notch filter with Cutoff at minimum/bottom and Q a little lower than max/top.

Now play a little with the filters and differents sounds and samples.


Controlling the Filter

There are several ways to control the filters you use.
In the current version of Skale there are 3 ways of controlling a filter:

1. By the steps using envelopes (easy)
2. By the LFO (difficult)
3. By using parameters in the patterns (most common, recommended)

Let's take a closer look at these techniques:

1. Steps and Envelopes

The first option (steps) we did in the test-part of this tutorial, but we didn't use an envelope to do the filter-controlling.
If you have used the Instr. Edit in Fast Tracker 2/Skale before you probebly have an idea how the enevlopes for filtering work.
It's basicly a graph we can draw by adding points/dots and Skale will draw a line between the points.
The vertical axis in this graph is the amount of filtering, and the horizontal axis is the time.

Here's an example of a envelope for Cutoff I made. Note the Q doesn't have any envelope, just a static amount cause the one point:

But you can off course use an envelope on both Cutoff and Q.
You can also use multiple envelopes by enabling the other enevlope-banks, with the letters B, C, D, E and so on by clicking the green light dot.
If you click the letter itself you can edit the envelope for that bank.
But, for each time you play a note with a instrument with multiple banks, it will cycle through all of the enabled banks one by one and then start over again.

2. LFO

The second option is using the LFO to do control the filter.
To do this you have to enable filtering, but without using the steps (disable any steps if they are enabled)
Instead we will look at the LFO in the top-right in the Instr. Filter:

As you can see in the picture, the LFO only has 4 parameters:

1. Value, the highest Cutoff frequensie.
2. Range, the amount the filter will variate from the Value, but it will only variate to frequensies lower than the Value.
3. LFO Freq, how often the Range variates, a high amount will variate the Range more often.
4. LFO Type, how the Range will variate.

If you test out the LFO you will notice the Range can not be higher than the Value.
This is because it can not variate down to negative frequensies, i.e from 2000 to -1000 Hz.
When the Range = Value it will variate from 2000 to 0 Hz, which means at the lowest you will not be able to hear the sound,
because all of the frequensies are removed. Therefor I recommend to set the Range a little lower than the Value.

3. Pattern Parameters

This is my favourite way of controlling the filter, and it is the most common one.
Why? Because compared with the other controllers you have direct control over the filter.
It works pretty much in the same way as you control i.e volume or panning from the pattern.
But to do that we will have to re-map the filter;

First select the instrument you want to filter.
In the General Options menu click the Inst. Ed.Ext, and a this should appear:

Select an effect you won't be using with this instrument, i.e Portamenta Up (effect #1) and click the up-arrow beside it so the effect will be NoteCutoff
You can also re-map effect #2 to be Note Q, if you planning to variate the Q ammount.
NOTE: Do NOT selcet effect #0 for filters, as there's a bug with it in the current version of Skale.

After you've re-mapped the effects they should be like this, but you can off course re-map NoteCutoff and NoteQ to any other effects just as you want it:

Before we start adding filter-parameters to notes in the pattern-view we should make sure there's no filter-envelopes overriding the parameters.
If you do add filter-parameters for i.e the NoteCutoff, and there's already an envelope set to control NoteCutoff, the envelope will override the parameters you
set in the pattern-view.
In the General Options menu click on the Instr.Filter and disable any envelope-banks that are enabled. You can tell if they are enabled or not by the litte
green light-dot over the bank-letter, as described under the 1. Steps and Envelopes part of this tutorial.
If you want to use a static Cutoff or Q amount you can enable a envelope-bank with only Úne graph-dot, and rais and lower this dot to find a preferable amount. (Combining envelope and parameters)

Now we are set to start adding the parameters to the notes.
But, we have two options for how we want to do the adding; manually or by the Track Editor (in the General Options menu)
I prefer doing it manually by writing each parameter into the note-effect. This way I have absolute control over the filter, and I can use very simple
math to calculate the difference in the parameters if it's increasing or decreasing over the pattern (as most people do with i.e volume change)
The Track Editor offers a graphic method which is much, much quicker, but not as mathematicly precise as manual way.
Also the Track Editor is most functional when you compose in only Úne channel.
But I higly recommend you to try out the Track Editor.

Here's a picture of the Track Editor:

You can switch the effect you want to add to the note-effect by sliding the bar in the top-right. Note there's also a neat Map Info under the bar which tell you what effect has been
re-mapped to that effect number. And you set the amount of the effect (and volume too) by clicking and draging your mouse cursor over the color-bars to the left.

Since this tutorial is rated Advanced, I will assume you know the basics of inserting the notes and the parameters, so I won't go into any more details for adding the parameters the
manual way. Just remeber what effect you re-mapped the filters to.
As a last info, both NoteCutoff and NoteQ ranges from 0 -> FF (hex)

Now all you got to do is have fun with filters.
Hope this filter tutorial was helpful for you.
If you have any questions, comments or anything else you can send me a PM.

'Til next time,
- Skagen

Last edited by skagen on Wed Jan 05, 2005 4:17 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Posted: Wed Jul 28, 2004 1:48 pm    Post subject:

this is a beautiful tutorial for filtering.

thank you skagen

i learned an army of information in like 2 minutes, and i totally dug the demo songs

-= kermed =-
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Skale Newbie

Joined: 21 Oct 2007
Posts: 35

Posted: Thu Apr 17, 2008 4:12 pm    Post subject:

uh 2008
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Skale Newbie

Joined: 21 Oct 2007
Posts: 35

Posted: Thu Apr 17, 2008 10:28 pm    Post subject:

filter LPF 3..yeah!!

Didnt know this all those years.

also the copy paste channel thing, works all fine

Im out
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