Ask Joe #56 – Using a VU Meter


Questions covered this week:

  • How do I deal with “combo jacks” on my USB audio interface?
  • What’s the best way to import samples into my high-sample-rate session?
  • Can I use a high-pass filter on a bus to process all my tracks except kick and bass
  • How do I use the VU meter on my preamp?
  • How do I get a full “in your face” distorted guitar tone?

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EQ: Using a Filter vs a Shelf

If you’ve been mixing for any length of time, you know how valuable the high-pass filter can be. It removes excess low end from your non-bass-heavy tracks, allowing you to clean up the low frequencies, making room for the kick and bass.

But then there’s this thing called a low frequency shelf. What’s that all about? In the picture above you can see both a high-pass filter and a low frequency shelf.

A high-pass filter actually filters out the low frequencies entirely. The curve slopes downward at a specific “steepness.” As you move further to the left in the frequency spectrum, the signal gets progressively lower and lower. (more…)

Day 24 – Wield the HPF [31DBR]

Welcome to Day 24 of 31 Days to Better Recordings.

This just might be the most important mixing tip I can give you.

It’s something I talk about in-depth in Understanding EQ, but I couldn’t possibly go through 31 Days to Better Recordings without dedicating one day to the High-Pass Filter.

A high-pass filter (HPF) is also known as a low-cut filter. It’s a very simple tool that simply removes all frequency below a certain frequency. For example, setting a high-pass filter to 100 Hz essentially removes all frequencies below 100 Hz.

<Nerd-Moment>A HPF is actually a sloping curve. When you set the HPF to 100 Hz, then the volume of the signal at 100 Hz is at roughly -3dB. The volume at 50 Hz is roughly – 9dB, etc. etc. It usually doesn’t technically remove EVERYTHING below 100 Hz. </Nerd-Moment>