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Quick Tip: Enhance Your Pads with FabFilter Volcano 2

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FabFilter Volcano 2 is one of my favorite multi-modulation filters. It's easy to configure, and has a great impact on my synth tracks. It has four filters, and places many filter modulation possibilities at my disposal. I find it extremely useful for adding phaser and flanger effects.

“A low-pass filter passes low-frequency signals, and attenuates (reduces the amplitude of) signals with frequencies higher than the cutoff frequency. The actual amount of attenuation for each frequency varies depending on specific filter design. They're sometimes called a high-cut filters, or treble cut filters, in audio applications.

A low-pass filter is the opposite of a high-pass filter. A band-pass filter is a combination of a low-pass and a high-pass”.

Step 1. Create a Sequence

Create a two-chord pad sequence. Use the Dune instrument with the Morning After RL patch. Tweak it by applying a Filter EQ and reverb, and a bit of sidechain compression. Refer to the image below.

It should sound something like this:

Step 2. Add a Volcano to the Track

Drag and drop a FabFilter Volcano 2 to onto the track. Choose a Band Pass filter with a big resonance (labeled Peak in the plugin). Choose Gentle for the cut quality—we don'’t want the modulation to be rude.

Set the filter cutting curve to 48 dB to eliminate most of the pad'’s frequencies. Then apply two XLFOs. These will modulate the filter frequencies and filter pan. They will move the filter frequencies in opposite directions, and will create a tremolo effect, but on the filters rather than the volume.

As you see in the image, apply a 1/8 linear curve with a very little movement. This gives the pads some excitement.

As you can hear it is completely different than the original signal. It is more atmospheric.

Step 3. Add a Second Volcano

We'll set up our second Volcano a little differently to the first. This one will modulate not only the frequency, but the peak level as well. By tweaking just a few parameters, a whole new sound can be rise from the ashes.

You'll find the settings in this image:

Step 4. Mix Your Volcanos

Finally, mix the two pads together to create some atmosphere for your track. Here's how it sounds in my production:

I hope you get as much use from the Volcano as I do. Happy music making!

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