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(almost) All About the Bass - pt. 2

...The previous post gave a way to study low frequencies. Now here's some handy practical consequences. Two plugins with a total of zero controls between them. The Steep Highpass filters! If you would like to get straight to it, here are links to download these two vst plugins..

For the more masochistic, here's the reasoning: In the previous post there's discussion and Python code for revealing whats happening in the deep bass. Having found out whats down there, next is the question of what to do about it! Hence these two super convenient (and super high quality) tools. They are very steep filters to cut the bass around the frequency written on the box. Plug 'em in to remove hard-to-hear but still significant subsonics. Simple. The interesting bit is why bother when you probably have about a hundred filters already? A few reasons...

Reason one, your existing filters probably do a bunch of Weird Stuff(tm). When trying to cut the deep bass, a great many filters operate somewhere on a line between 'A Bit Ineffective' and 'Doing Odd Things You Didn't Ask For'. Turning up the 'Effective' dial increases the 'Odd Things'. Odd Things include resonant gain somewhere near the corner frequency. Very long resonances. Pre-ringing etc. Things that smudge the clarity of the low end just when you're trying to clean it up. The Steep Highpass filters have been carefully designed to do what they're supposed to, strongly, cleanly and nothing else! They're based on the Pokey Sticks analogue modelling technique and in real life would be a (quite long) series of inductor / capacitor filters. The filter characteristics have been carefully tuned for optimum Good Stuff.

Reason two, Fiddling Forever(tm) is a huge, unproductive pain. Having spent hours analysing slopes and frequencies, listening and measuring etc. these two plugins represent the distilled results of all that gnarly effort. These are little boxes of getting-it-right that I may want to sprinkle about effortlessly whenever I feel like it! The option of Fiddling Forever is always there waiting, after all...

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