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Low cut and/or hi-pass filter on vocals?
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kcmoonshine
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#1
31st October 2007
Old 31st October 2007
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Low cut and/or hi-pass filter on vocals?

How often do you guys use the low cut on your mic when tracking vocals, and do you often use a high pass filter on vocal tracks when mixing?

I realize that every situation, singer, and mic is different, but I just want to get an idea of when you do and how often you need to?

For myself, I recently started fiddling with putting a high pass on the vocals tracks and it really seems to focus them more and help them sit in the track better(in addition to a lot of compression). This is probably recording 101 for a lot of you, but it has been a great new tool for me.

Any input is much appreciated.
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31st October 2007
Old 31st October 2007
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"Telephone" vocals have been used for decades. That's basically savage hi-pass and lo-pass, and sometimes the best way to squeeze vocals into a dense mix.

It's an artistic choice - and sometimes useful as an effect. Opinions will vary greaty, just as music styles vary greatly. With some mics and mic techniques, hi-pass is almost mandatory due to proximity effect.
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31st October 2007
Old 31st October 2007
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In the book "Sessions with Sinatra" -Capitol engineer John Palladino said "on Frank's vocals, I would cut him off at 8 or 10 Khz."
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31st October 2007
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He's talking about high pass filters and low cut filters, which are the same thing. Unless you guys just picked up that he meant Low cut and low pass filters and didn't bother to correct the original poster?

Neil
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31st October 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amishsixstringe View Post
He's talking about high pass filters and low cut filters, which are the same thing. Unless you guys just picked up that he meant Low cut and low pass filters and didn't bother to correct the original poster?

Neil
Yes, I was asking about the low cut on a mic while tracking and a high pass filter on an eq after tracking. Both essentially cutting lows. I've used the "telephone sound" many times, that's not what I was asking about.

I have recently got back into cutting frequencies rather than boosting, something I have been told to do for years, but for some reason stopped.
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1st November 2007
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The only time I don't lo-cut a vocal is if there's no bass guitar. In a full range mix, I high-pass almost everything, to one degree or another. You can always warm up a few key elements when you get near the end of the mixing process.
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1st November 2007
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I too usually have a hi-pass engaged on the mic as well as on the preamp channel. Generally, I reach for filters before i reach for an EQ.

And the OT response regarding the lo-pass filter... I end up setting it in the 5-10k range depending on the material for vocalist. Especially if there's lots of grungy tube amps in the mix.
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3rd November 2007
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Thanks guys.
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4th November 2007
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In summary, don't lop off freqencies on lead vocal ..its distructive. On stage, sure, but not in studio.
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4th November 2007
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The lowest fundamental of the male voice is 75Hz.

It's not worth it mate, get it all, trim later.
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4th November 2007
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4th November 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRealRoach View Post
. Generally, I reach for filters before i reach for an EQ.
So what's a hi/lo-pass filter if not an EQ?
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4th November 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studjo View Post
my low cut on the vocals is called Distressor
Yep, same here! Especially since I often use mics and pres that do not have a hpf.

Althoug I sometimes wish I had a "narrower" signal to hit the pre with, instead of wasting all that beautiful gain on frequencies that I'll be filtering out later anyway.
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4th November 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eldhrimnir View Post
So what's a hi/lo-pass filter if not an EQ?
Ya ya you got me on a technicality. I was referring to "EQ" in the context of boost/cut.
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22nd August 2011
Old 22nd August 2011
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Beautiful photos of the Studio...If you need a secondary engineer when things get to busy let me know. Also, I listened to most of your mixes through the Myspace link...from my perspective, you have a good way of panning and depth. but I think that most of those mixes are very harsh in the midrange/ 2-6Khz specifically the guitars...but who knows maybe the band was going for that smash you in the face explosive sound. but to me you'll always want the mix to leave a psychological imprint in the mind of the listener, so that even when they're not listening to the song...their subconscious begins to hum the song and that person finds themself spontaneously singing that song.

But on the contrary, a song will not leave an imprint in the listeners mind...if when they hear the song...and the "Fletcher Munson" curves in that song are too dominating; it will send an impulse to the "Pre frontal Cortex" of the brain, and that will send a signal to the "limbic System" in our brain, that the sound it received is harmful to the "Auditory System". Thus consequently that song will be rejected to be stored in our psyche, so the listener most likely will not find themselves singing that song once they've heard it. "The human auditory system is sensitive to frequencies from about 20 Hz to a maximum of around 20,000 Hz, although the upper hearing limit decreases with age. Within this range, the human ear is most sensitive between 2 and 5 kHz, largely due to the resonance of the ear canal and the transfer function of the ossicles of the middle ear." (Equal Loudness Contour). I pray you dont become offended by this information, I think your mixing skills surpass the average Mixing Engineer. If anything, you can add this information as another notch to your Mixing belt.

We as Engineers should always be honest with one another, and not stroke each other's Ego; Ive listened to mixes posted in many forums where I detected lots of problems with the mix, but most of the Engineers there would just say.. "Wow Great mix man!" just bypassing the quality and sound altogether, to avoid damaging that persons confidence; On the contrary, I tell my peers and fellow Engineer friends to DESTROY my Mixes with brutal honesty... that way, you know every little thing thats wrong about the mix, and in time this seasons you to become better and better with each mix.

All the best bro.
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22nd August 2011
Old 22nd August 2011
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Guns.N.Roses-Sweet Child O'Mine - YouTube check this song out by Guns N Roses" Even though they're are electric guitars...the Engineer softened them to give the song a lush quality.. they arent harsh at all to the ears...and this is a song that when it comes on...you'll most likely wanna turn it up.
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22nd August 2011
Old 22nd August 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amishsixstringe View Post
He's talking about high pass filters and low cut filters, which are the same thing. Unless you guys just picked up that he meant Low cut and low pass filters and didn't bother to correct the original poster?

Neil
After a second or two to ponder, I assumed he was talking about the low-cut filter on his mic versus low-cut/highpass filtering via DAW or hardware filters after the preamp stage -- which would, indeed, be two different variations on the whole low-cut thing, since having the lows removed before preamplification could affect that stage -- not to mention any inline compression one might use in his vocal chain.
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#18
22nd August 2011
Old 22nd August 2011
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I have allways done a HiPass, frequency depends, but I allways tried to preserve most of the vocal and stayed down around 85hz... recently i have been experimenting with going WAY higher.. around 200-300... it does thin the vocal a little, but it really seems to tighten up the mix... anyone else make a habbit of going up to 300?
#19
4th September 2011
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Yeah sure I'll get in the 200-300 range easily, especially with a large quantity of layered backing vocals. If it sounds cool, do it!
#20
4th September 2011
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Quote:
It's not worth it mate, get it all, trim later.
+1 unless you're hitting some heavy compression OTB on the way in (pops & bumps make kick the comp in unnecessarily)
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