Pro Audio Files

Increase Your Income Improve Your Mixes

Add Dirt to Your Synths and Drums with Trash 2 & Mobius Filter

In this video, I’ll show you how I’m using Trash 2 and Mobius Filter to bring elements of this mix to life using distortion and clever filter sweeps.

You can use Trash 2 to mangle any element of your mix. Right now, I’ve got it on my synth, my bass, and my kick drum. Here’s how those sounded before I used Trash 2.


And here’s after.

[mix, with Trash 2]

Let’s do a deep dive just into the synth. I’ll show you how I mangled it with Trash 2. Here it is before I used Trash 2.


And here’s after.

[synth, after processing]

Now, I’ll show you what’s happening under the hood, and the first stop is the Trash module.

I’m using multiband distortion, which allows me to apply different types of distortion to each band separately. For example, on the lowest band, I’m using a tape saturation sound, and on the next band up, I’m applying a different type of distortion sound from the distort folder, and this one is called Tarnish. It’s one of my favorites.

Now, to hear how the distortion applies sound band by band, I can press the solo button up here, which lets me hear each band and its distortions independently.

[distortion bands soloed]

We can shape the waveform using the wave shaper here. The wave shaper maps an input signal to a new output signal based on the current shape that is shown in the curve, and we can easily make adjustments by clicking and dragging around until we find a really great sound.

[synth, adjusting wave shaper]

Next up is the Convolve module. This module provides convolution modeling of cabinets, speakers, vowels, and other devices and timbres. Currently, I’m using an impulse response from the effects folder called “Electric Scratch,” but we can also use our own custom impulse responses by hitting the load button up here and navigating to the file you wish to load.

We can select the type of microphone used to capture the impulse response too. In most cases, a dynamic microphone will be suitable, but you can switch to the condenser mic for a broader high frequency response, or the ribbon microphone for a warmer response.

We can also affect the imaging of the convolution effect by toggling the separate and width controls.

[synth, adjusting parameters]

Next up is dynamics, which can shape the dynamics of the mix with up to four bands of analog modeled compression and gating. We can use the controls in the dynamics module to tighten and frame our sound, or go the opposite direction and crush it even further with the peace of mind that no matter how hard we tweak and distort our sound, the Trash 2 limiter will ensure that we won’t be blowing up our speakers any time soon.

Finally, delay. From here, we can choose a number of modes of delay to affect our track. Anything from tape, to digital, lo-fi digital delays, and you’ll notice that if we bypass this delay effect, things sound quite dry.

[synth, no delay]


Now I’ll bring it back in.

[synth with delay]

Now moving along to the percussion track, which is getting movement and energy from the Mobius Filter. Have a listen to it soloed.


Turn the effect off…

[percussion, no filter]

Here it is on.

[percussion with filter]

And now I’ll throw it into the mix.


Now I’m using the phaker filter type, and I’ve chosen an upward direction for the filter sweeps. If I choose downward, it sounds like this.

[percussion loop, downward sweeps]

If I grab and hold the CLO ring, I can make expressive sweeps on the XY pad, which control the center frequency and the resonance. Have a listen.

[percussion loop, adjusting Mobius Filter]

Finally, I have my mix knob set to 100, so that this effect is blended in completely with the dry signal, and my final touch is to adjust the stereo slider, which controls the amount of stereo widening applied to the filters. Watch what happens when I bring it back to zero.


It sounds sort of thin. Let’s widen it as I increase the stereo slider to 100. Have a listen.

[percussion, adjusting width]

And now I’ll put it back into the mix.


So using Trash 2, we managed to mangle the kick, bass, and synth, and by using Mobius Filter, we’ve given the top end percussion a much needed boost of energy and movement to stand out.





Our friends at iZotope develop award-winning audio software and plugins for mixing, mastering, restoration and more. These are some of their great videos that we're currently featuring on The Pro Audio Files.

Free Video on Mixing Low End

Download a FREE 40-minute tutorial from Matthew Weiss on mixing low end.

Powered by ConvertKit
/> /> /> /> /> /> /> /> /> />