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King Tubby Hi-pass filter effect...

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King Tubby Hi-pass filter effect...

Postby Elephone » Sun May 06, 2018 9:20 pm

Hello, I'm just wondering if there is any way to emulate King Tubby's hi-pass filter effect with plugins, or is it only possible to do it with electronics...?

An example I found:

(The effect I'm after starts at about 18 seconds in.)

I'm guessing the effect is due to a combinations of things, including tape noise. But aren't those filters inductor based, those built into the desk in the 60's)?

Apparently " was an MCI mixing desk that King Tubby modified, so it had things that the modern boards nowadays don't really have, like a high pass filter that made some squishy sounds when you change the frequency."

Whenever I try plugins, they sound TOO squawky or whistly and synthetic. Perhaps no one has bothered to emulate it, or have emulated a more modern equivalent of the effect.

Thanks in advance.
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Re: King Tubby Hi-pass filter effect...

Postby James Perrett » Mon May 07, 2018 12:09 am

It is almost certainly possible to do it with plug-ins provided you choose the right settings. As well as the typically high passed horns, I heard a couple of parametric eq sweeps - I would say that the eq was boosted with a fairly broad bandwidth. He's also only using these effects on certain instruments - the drums and bass are left fairly straight (or at least they were in the section I listened to).

Don't forget to eq the delay returns and have the delay feedback going through this eq too. When using a mixing desk the delay itself would be set to a single repeat and the multiple repeats would be obtained by sending the delay return channel on the desk back out through the delay aux bus.
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Re: King Tubby Hi-pass filter effect...

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon May 07, 2018 9:50 am

To me it sounds like it being processed through a strong phaser (or maybe a wha-wha) pedal with the sweep either turned off or set very slow.

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Re: King Tubby Hi-pass filter effect...

Postby Chump » Thu May 17, 2018 1:39 pm

I'm pretty sure that effect was obtained by Tubby having a bus send whose phase he would invert, and fade it back into the mix whilst tweaking the parametric eq sweep frequency. A kind of manual phaser if you will.

Edit: Someone has written an academic paper on Tubby's studio approach, which suggests it was a high pass filter (rather than phase inversion) on a bus that was then mixed with the original signal:

Page 10/11 says:

The strongest characteristics of the filter's sound are the discreet steps, the clicks and crunches when the frequency is switched, and the phasing effect heard when filtered signals are mixed with the unfiltered originals. The most reasonable assumption is that signals were routed to the filter via one of the four output groups which is corroborated by this account from Bunny Lee:

an’ Tubby’s studio did ‘ave a ting weh you could a thin it, an’ do all different kinda ting with it, right, - it’s not even really equalization, the ting ‘ave four push-up ting, when you push the one in the middle and ‘ave it up and down, with the ting, it create some mad sound, like you hear all some knife a cut thru’.

The 'ting […] in the middle' refers to one of the four bus faders and supports the
idea that it was used as the filter send. Sending the whole mix through the high-pass
filter would not result in audible phasing of the signal, but by sending the signal via a bus it would be possible to mix the filtered sound with the dry sound and this would
make the phase differences around the cut-off frequency audible. This effect explains
the occasional references to Tubby using a phaser.
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