I’m going to use the ‘F’ word in this article, it may offend some of you, but there’s a plug-in that is overlooked by many people and it’s about time I was straight about it.
There it is I said it, filter. It sits in most plug-in folders often neglected, forlorn, feeling abandoned like some kid being last in the picking list for the soccer team. Filter waits, hearing the favourites getting picked again and again; ‘vintage something’ always gets picked early on, oh filter wishes he could be a vintage anything, it seems with that moniker you get picked for the team every time.
Then the picking continues ‘compressor’, ‘channel strip’, ‘reverb’, ‘delay’, but nothing. Filter stands there knowing that they could be so helpful if you would just pick them… just once.
You might think he’s too simple, not sophisticated enough to do the job, but while the other guys are posing with their skeuomorphic GUIs, old 1 Band EQ has untapped potential.
Joking apart, a simple filter has the potential to do most of the job in a mix. You won’t find a lot of top engineers who don’t use them all the time, I’d go as far to say that apart from a reverb I could knock out a decent mix just using filters, I certainly wouldn’t want to do a mix without the trusty filter.
I use the 1 Band EQ and the filters on it all the time, it cleans up the top and bottom of my mixes, deals with harsh top end.
There’s a reason a lot of classic consoles had filters on them… they are so damned useful.
If you are overlooking the simple filter when picking your team, then next time you make your choices put filter at the top of the list. You’ll be surprised how useful filter is on the team and you’ll wonder why you didn’t pick filter sooner.