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Getting a great keyboard mix from the start: Filters

One of electronics biggest benefits on the marching field is it's ability to amplify instruments, specifically the keyboards, and help make them more audible. This article is about one mixing technique that will help clear your keyboard mix up instantly: the Filters.

Filters are very much like EQs and affect the frequency range of audio. Unlike an EQ, which boosts or cuts distinct frequencies across the spectrum, a filter is used to cut (or boost) either from the bottom up or the top down. In simpler terms, filters cut all the frequencies after their respective cut off points.

Why is that so helpful?

Well...every instrument has a frequency range it occupies, corresponding to the notes in that instrument's range. For example, a 5 octave marimba has a range from 65Hz to 2093kHz. Give or take a couple octaves above for overtones and ambience...the frequencies on either side aren't needed.

Filters allow us to essentially tell the microphone what to listen to, in order to prevent it from picking up sounds it doesn't need. For example, below the range of the marimba lives wind noise and frame noise. Above that range lives cymbals, feedback, and other miscellaneous sounds. By filtering out above and below your instruments frequency range, you get a clearer individual sound, and a clearer overall mix.

Starting with a template for your keyboards with basic settings, and placing your mics correctly, is the best way to get a great keyboard sound from the start! As always, if you have more questions or are interested in professional sound design, contact Performance Audio Solutions.

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