Two filters- How much better than one?

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sacredcow
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Two filters- How much better than one?

Post by sacredcow » Sat Jun 28, 2008 9:53 pm

The title pretty much explains it all
I've always been envious of synths with two independent filters. None of mine offer this possibility, aside from the Nova in which the dual filter models aren't independent at all and not very flexible (can't be modulated independently, share resonance settings, etc). Anyways, for those of you lucky enough to have synths offering this feature (CS-15, fizmo, walfdorf Q line, radias, r3, viruses, MS-20s, dual filter modulars, and countless others), how much of a timbral advantage would you say the extra filter provides as opposed to traditional one filter architectures? Do you often if not always find yourself implementing the second filter in synths that offer one? Am I really missing all that I'd suppose I am?

I know I could just do a lot of audio in hacks throughout my various synths, but really, that's hard, mmkay.

And mods, I'm sorry if such a topic already exists, but it's incredibly hard to search for keywords like "two" and "filter" not to mention the fact that VSE's search function doesn't have the ability to search only titles.
Last edited by sacredcow on Sat Jun 28, 2008 10:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by clusterchord » Sat Jun 28, 2008 9:57 pm

Two filters- How much better than one?
twice. 8)





seriously, its even more than that, as combinations open the world of posibilities. first example of this, that i use daily, is andromeda. its really flexible in filter department. and with posibilities in filter routing and multiple outputs of SEM 12dB with HPBPLP and BR modes is outstanding. on the digitla side, theres XT .. also indispenasble when shaping a more complex sound..

if for nothing else, its always nice to have a HPF spare to shave of lows, after you created somthing interesting wiht the first filter.
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Post by Bitexion » Sat Jun 28, 2008 10:19 pm

When the only possibility is parallell filters, it can be used to add texture, like mix in a highpass filtered sound with the LP filtered sound.

In serial however, it is more interesting. Then you can remove low frequencies from a lowpass sound, or, like the Andromeda, send a full resonance 12dB non oscillating filter through a 24dB filter for fun textures.

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Post by nathanscribe » Sat Jun 28, 2008 10:23 pm

Yep, agreed. Two filters are definitely more interesting than one, but it depends what you want. There's nothing wrong with the standard Moog Low-pass ladder, if it's the sound you're after - but in a mix it's nice to use a bit of HP or BP to prevent cluttering. A resonant HP lead can really cut through.

Chaining two filters of different types is fun. You can get some good 'talking' sounds that way. The thing about the CS15 is that its filters are parallel, not series: that is, if you use a LP and HP in series, you're effectively creating a BP or notch, but in parallel you're layering them, which means you could have an all-pass effect overall but with two resonant peaks. Or a notch. Or a BP with two peaks...

Yeah, get something with two filters. You know you want to.

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Post by sacredcow » Sat Jun 28, 2008 10:23 pm

Man, I already get the feeling that this thread is going to give me GAS like crazy.
Thanks for the input so far!
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Post by nathanscribe » Sat Jun 28, 2008 10:26 pm

Oh, and also, you can sweep the cutoff separately for each filter. You could have a slowly moving LP with a faster-swept BP just above it, or two independently moving BPs that cross over. mmmm.

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Post by c1t1zen » Sat Jun 28, 2008 10:44 pm

The MS-20 comes to mind for it's two filters. The MS-10 is great for basslines because its LP filter. the MS-20 on the other hand goes into other worlds of textures and beyond because of that second filter.
I use those and the FR-777 filters a lot for processing sounds like drums because of it's serial LP/HP configuration.

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Post by Automatic Gainsay » Sat Jun 28, 2008 10:50 pm

I'm still experimenting with my recent acquisition of a CS-15, but I am finding that the two parallel filters give you the ability to generate a HUGE variety of sound... far more diverse than a single filter or two filters in sequence.
(of course, I had this capability with my modular, but the functional confines of the interface of a prewired synth inspire you to operate differently!)
It also helps when the two filters are capable of high/band/low pass options.
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Post by clubbedtodeath » Sun Jun 29, 2008 12:17 am

Having a high-pass and low-pass filter on the Korg MS-20 is a God send. More importantly, the resonance settings are seperate. Why is this important?

Well, cranking up the high-pass with some resonance can add a bit of snarl to a bass line; with the low-pass, you can still muffle it if need be, and open it right out when necessary.

So yes, two filters are better than one. Bit of a silly question...

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Post by REwire » Sun Jun 29, 2008 5:05 am

The Dual Filters in the MS-20 are amazing for processing external sounds. Run a drum loop through it and with the HP Resonance up and the HP Cutoff low. The kick will go into massive sub territory and the LP Filter's Resonance boosts the hihats for a massive sound.
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Post by Stab Frenzy » Sun Jun 29, 2008 7:15 am

sacredcow wrote:I know I could just do a lot of audio in hacks throughout my various synths, but really, that's hard, mmkay.
If you're actually trying to come up with interesting new sounds it's not that hard at all, don't be lazy. :)

With midi you can run stuff into one another and have them working like one big ubersynth. I got some awesome sounds running a K5000 into a desktop Evolver, as well as running a Poly-800 into an EA-1. In fact now I only own one synth that I can't use for running other synth's audio through and that's the XL-7. I run it through the other ones though.

There's something really awesome about running a polysynth into a mono and playing chords, you get a basic mono sound but with a lot more interesting timbral variations. Add that to the extra options you have with different filter types, twice as many modulation sources, the ability to use different envelope shapes to get sounds that morph from one to another over time.

Anyway, sorry this has turned into another one of my sound production rants. :D Yeah, having two filters on a synth is great but you should also play around running the synths you've got into one another, it's hours of fun for the whole family.

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Post by Hossinfeffa » Sun Jun 29, 2008 7:30 am

Stab Frenzy wrote:Anyway, sorry this has turned into another one of my sound production rants. :D Yeah, having two filters on a synth is great but you should also play around running the synths you've got into one another, it's hours of fun for the whole family.
That's something I've been wanting to try lately. Running my D-50 through the Andromeda filters is thought provoking of what I would get. I never tried it before, since the A6 is the only synth I have which has an input.
Well fffff.

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Post by Stab Frenzy » Sun Jun 29, 2008 7:40 am

Hossinfeffa wrote:
Stab Frenzy wrote:Anyway, sorry this has turned into another one of my sound production rants. :D Yeah, having two filters on a synth is great but you should also play around running the synths you've got into one another, it's hours of fun for the whole family.
That's something I've been wanting to try lately. Running my D-50 through the Andromeda filters is thought provoking of what I would get. I never tried it before, since the A6 is the only synth I have which has an input.
You should totally do it, running digital into analogue is awesome.

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Post by neandrewthal » Sun Jun 29, 2008 7:49 am

I would say two filters equal more than the sum of their parts.
Automatic Gainsay wrote:I'm still experimenting with my recent acquisition of a CS-15, but I am finding that the two parallel filters give you the ability to generate a HUGE variety of sound... far more diverse than a single filter or two filters in sequence.
I agree. However, it's a damn shame that 2 filter synths like the MS-20 and CS-15 don't have an option to switch between parallel and series. I mean mad the commitment of actually putting the 2 filters in there, but then they can't add a simple DPDT switch.

Ok enough ranting and onto some of the benefits or parallel filters. As mentioned before all pass is nice with 2 resonant peaks. Sweeping the filters tuned apart like that can create some nice phasing type sounds. Routing different mod sources to each filter creates very animated sounds. Mixing different responses is great too. I love making a fat lowpass "wow" sound on one channel with the inverse of the same envelope modulating the highpass of the other channel.
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Post by Analogue Crazy » Sun Jun 29, 2008 11:40 am

My Andromeda is the first synth iv owned to offer 2 independent filters per voice. It really opens up the tonal pallete. Mixing the massivly warm 24bd sound with the more cutting BP or HP sound creates some extreamly powerful patches. I love leaving 1 filter stationary and modulationg the other, its a killer sound.
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