Single Knob Filter (or: my first VST worth releasing)

Single Knob Filter - screenshot UPDATE: The SKF project is now hosted at Google Code!

Are you laptop a DJ? Do you love the filters on the Pioneer DJM-800 mixer? Then this plugin is for you! Single Knob Filter, as the name implies, is a low/high-pass filter controlled by a single knob. Besides the obvious economy in knob assignment real-estate (come on, not everyone has a Drehbank!), it’s perfect for filtersweeps that make everybody on the floor put their hands in the air… you know, like they just don’t care.

Turn the Filter knob to the left for low-pass and to the right for high-pass. The Reso knob adds more resonance to the filters (and boy, it adds a lot – going almost into self-oscillation! SQUEAL, PIGGY!). Before anyone asks: yes, that makes it a filter with two knobs, but “low/high pass filter controlled by one knob plus resonance” is too big for a name. Besides the important part is controlled by a single knob. That’s the whole point, in case you missed it. ;-)

Read on to know how the SKF came into being.

I’ve been playing with Synthedit for a while, but most of my plugins until now were quite specific and mostly useless for everyone else. But things change! Last month I was reading the Ableton forum and someone asked if it was possible to create a single-knob low/high-pass filter (like the one on Pioneer DJM800 mixer) using only Live’s racks.

The solution presented worked, but it was rather clunky (a rack with 127 different filter instances!) and didn’t sound very good on extreme low-pass sweeps (there are loud pops when Live changes from one filter instance to another). Some people offered other solutions (me included), but none of them sounded quite right. At this point I decided to drop the Ableton-specific solution and go VST. I fired up Synthedit and some hours later I had a working solution.

The zip file includes the Synthedit source file. Yep, this plugin it’s open-source – released under the GPL 2, to be more precise. You can alter it at will and even include it in your own plugins if you like. The only condition is that you release your own sources under the same license.

The only downside of using Synthedit is that the plugin is Windows-only… but if I find a way to translate the schematics to something that works on Macs, I’ll do it.

Thu 11 | Jan/2007 | Tags: English,Production,VST

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11 Responses to “Single Knob Filter (or: my first VST worth releasing)”

  1. Ross Haswell Says:
    15/Mar/2007 at 1:59 pm

    Hey man,

    This is just what i’ve been looking for. Thanks!

  2. Antonio Says:
    21/Oct/2007 at 5:51 pm

    algum release pra mac??

    FZero: Infelizmente não… quando eu tiver condições de ter um mac E um PC, provavelmente vou conseguir um jeito de fazer releases multiplataforma, mas por enquanto não dá. De qualquer forma é bom saber que existe interesse.
  3. mark esq Says:
    27/Jul/2008 at 5:14 pm

    the nice guys over at aurora mixer tipped me off about your vst but agggggg its only for windows ar the moment, i just love the sound. keep up the good work. Mark x

    FZero: Yep, and that’s rather unfortunate because I switched to mac as well. I’m trying to get my head around Max or something like that to see if I can release this plugin in some form for mac.

  4. protman Says:
    28/Aug/2008 at 2:29 pm

    I’m going to use it tonight!

  5. protman Says:
    28/Aug/2008 at 4:56 pm

    So.. coincidentally, as I was working on my bluetooth configuration to more easily support a ps3 controller for my joystick>puredata>midi machine, my OS exploded; just in time for ^tonight. A major reason I moved to the ps3 controller, besides the motion axis(s), was because the wirelexx xbox controller’s L2 and R2 are seen as only one axis, which made it half-useless. However.. this plugin makes that problem useFUL.


  6. Frey Says:
    04/Sep/2008 at 4:44 pm

    nice plugin, love to use it, really great job, only the reso is dangerous (produces a lot of loudness), but I can handle this as long a don´t get drunk while the gig :D

  7. vince Says:
    02/Apr/2009 at 2:32 pm

    I love it.. I just wish I didnt notice the volume dip when it is engaged.. sounds like 3db.. maybe I should d/l synthedit

  8. Brian Says:
    19/May/2009 at 10:54 pm

    Good work!

    Anyone else using this on Vista? No problems on XP, but after a new machine with Vista, it works for some hosts (FL Studio) but not others (Sony Acid). Wondering if anyone else experiences(d) this?

    FZero: I don’t have any computer with Vista or Acid installed to test this. Anyway, it seems this could be fixed with a fresh export on a newer Synthedit version. I’ll try this as soon as I can.

  9. Brian Says:
    20/May/2009 at 11:48 pm

    Thanks FZero! I’ll check back, but I hope you can ping me when you’ve got something. I’ll test for ya! Meanwhile, I’m learning some Vista hacks that might get it working for Acid. I’ll post anything worthwhile here.

  10. Brian Says:
    21/May/2009 at 12:55 am

    Okay, the workaround (for Acid and probably other hosts) is to run as an administrator. From the Vista start menu, right-click on the application icon, and select “run as administrator”. I had to “rescan” the VST plugins folder before it was picked up.

    No need to do anything on your end FZero. It was just an I/O (idiot operator) error. My bad. Vista is frustrating.

  11. tom Says:
    11/Oct/2010 at 2:42 pm

    Ableton 8 Suite seems to load all my VST plugins as well as my AU plugins. have no problem to get this to load on my macbook!

    FZero: I seriously doubt that, unless you’re running windows on your Macbook.