Orchestral High-Pass

I high-pass my orchestral instrument samples at 20hz

  • YES

    Votes: 3 16.7%
  • NO

    Votes: 15 83.3%

  • Total voters


Orchestral Composer
People on this forum have been so helpful so far, I greatly appreciate it!

I've heard that setting a high-pass EQ of 20hz on all of your instruments can reduce muddiness and increase overall volume of the final mix - what are people's experiences with this within the orchestral context? Is authenticity lost or is it a worthwhile thing to do?


Senior Member
I would think of 'mud' as being somewhere in the 150 - 400 Hz range...

That said I typically highpass everything, orchestral or otherwise.. at 50 Hz or higher. Exceptions are bass, low percussion, synths or instruments with low fundamentals (eg. piano).


Rob Elliott

Senior Member
While a final 20 hz hi-pass on your final group stems is not a bad idea - I generally look at each instrument/section differently. Flutes would take a much higher hi-pass than say low wds/strings. It really has to be case by case - track/cue by track/cue.


Senior Member
I almost never do that unless there is noise in the samples. Which there can be.

An oft-used related tactic, though, is to filter the send to your reverb. You don't need to reverberate everything in the sonic spectrum.

Some people shrink drastically the frequency range on the reverb send, some just a bit.


Senior Member
+1 to Robs post. A low highpass like 20hz can free up headroom on your masterbus. On most instruments id go much higher


New Member
I also highpass most things, except for low bass and low drums unless they go insanely low. In any case, it's a per track/sound/instrument thing and I sweep (usually starting at 30Hz) until I hear a change in character, then pull back a bit (given I don't want to thin out the sound of course). I always check the result both solo and in context and adjust accordingly if needed. I almost never highpass the master out.

I think highpassing is quite necessary when there is a lot going on in a mix.


Active Member
I still struggle with mixing low end myself, but I do think it's unwise to do anything in a mix (or composition, really) without well-considered reason. There are a lot of variables in music, and I've always been eventually disappointed by rules of thumb.

I recommend figuring out a convenient way to A/B changes in your DAW. The ability to instantly toggle between two states and pick which one you prefer is a marvel of the modern world.