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How to mix flute - Sound guide

how to mix flute

The sound of a flute is one of the wealthiest, most exciting, and most special sounds, recently this musical instrument has also entered a lot in innovative musical productions, even as a solo, we saw fit to write you a guide that will guide you on the way to a perfect flute mix.

Let's get to know the sound of the flute

When I say get to know, I don’t mean to recognize, but to diagnose, in-depth, the frequencies that make up this sound, compared to those that are not in it at all; this is what I like to do every mix for a new instrument before, it gives me a sense of security later on regarding the sound.

Let’s say that there are too many types of flutes and each with a different scope, but let’s try to focus on the most common flute, the so-called “concert flute.”
The range of this flute is between 250Hz – 5000kHz. We have three critical areas in the sound of the flute:

  1. The 500 range is the trust on the heat
  2. The 3000 range is responsible for the clarity of the flute and the emotion
  3. The range of 4000 and above takes care of everything related to breathing and air (note that this area may also raise unwanted background noise.

3 Steps to get a perfect flute sound

In these three stages, we will wisely go through the three important effects in editing any musical instrument, EQ, COMPRESSOR, and REVERB. As a start, you can limit yourself to these. After that, you are welcome to upgrade your techniques.

Flute - EQ

Whether we recorded a live flute or used a sample or a plug-in, in the first step, we would like to clean the sound of all the unnecessary frequencies and all the masking, increase the frequencies that compliment the sound, and highlight unique features. To do this, we will use EQ. 

Even befor getting to know how to mix flute, It is important to get to know the EQ in depth before making drastic changes that may destroy more than improve. You can check our complete EQ guide

The first step that is carried out in any frequency treatment is, first of all, to cut what we don’t need so that we can remain focused and make a cleaner sound. In the flute, the low frequencies up to the 200-250Hz area are not active but host the noises of the microphone or an unnecessary subs; usually, we can Cut them with a high-cut filter to completely remove them from the frequency range. This is the only extreme cut recommended if you want to remain in the natural sound of a flute.

The next step is to look for frequency ranges in the middle area that do not complement the sound and lower them slightly. Sometimes they are in the 300Hz area but Don’t trust me, Just check for yourself with the Peaking filter. Just boost the band to an extreme, and go through the range to identify the frequencies you don’t like in the sound, remember to handle them gently so as to produce a missing sound. You will do the same in the higher areas, but they’re so that you look for the frequencies you like to emphasize them.

Frequency ranges that are worth checking in the flute


Range 1: The 7000-8000kHz area can add brightness to your sound. Try to increase it with a relatively wide q so you will get a brighter and sparkling flute.

Range 2: wind instruments require reference to the exhalations and breaths that the microphone may record. Different producers decide to remove or increase these breaths to make the player be in the ears of the listeners. If you decide to leave it, 17000kHz is where the air and breaths gather. Suppose you recorded in a high-quality and quiet way. In that case, you could use parallel processing to boost this area with a compressor after the EQ to lower what is not interesting. 

However, if the recordings are of low quality, but if you are still looking for the breaths, you can use one of the following options A. To produce breaths artificially – requires work and precision B. Try to lower areas that interfere with breathing to stand out.

As a reminder, if you have a wide area that you like and don’t want to damage the source or change it, consider using parallel processing.

Flute compression

Dynamics is our next step. In most cases, we will use different compressors to balance the dynamic range or add color.
Since the flute is a wind instrument, it has several elements in its sound and movements that are reminiscent of vocals. Try to treat it a little similar to how you dynamically treat vocals, Because of the delicacy of the sound of the flute, we cannot apply powerful FET compressors or, even , not use with VCA. Optical or tube compressors will do the job perfectly. The settings themselves are, of course, according to your taste and according to what this project needs, but in general, a strong compression with a low Threshold and a fast Attack will be less flattering to the flute than

Flute reverb

At this stage, we would like to put the flute in  room or another space that will suit it and make it more emotional. The choice of the type of reverb is essential here because we want to put a lot of it into the sound, so we would like it to be the most suitable for the tone of the sound.

 Reverb in modeling technology (Convolution) can give this extra emotion , in general,you can explore this technology that gives a great advantage in sound quality and a more real reverb. The first parameter we want to fine-tune here is the Predelay which determines how long it will take for the sound to reach our ears from the walls. This is very important, especially in the flute sound. We want to feel it right here. The Decay can usually be long in the 3s length, and the other parameters, such as the filters and more. Try to adjust them yourself according to what is exciting.

Let's conclude

Today in the guide, you learned how to mix flute, technically and artistically to get a flute that sounds good, and according to your taste, we mentioned a lot of concepts that may have sounded less familiar to you here, such as parallel.  

you can feel comfortable jumping into our mixing music guide To get all the information, remember, the sound is an art, it’s okay if it takes you time to hear things that others hear, the main thing is persistence, good luck to everyone.

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