The story

This ethereal high-pass pad is sampled from my modular system ( This is a monophonic stereo patch, turned into polyphonic wonderfulness in Kontakt! It’s a rich, thin, colorful sound that adds ethereal air.

I was inspired by my time with an ARP 2500 back in the ’70s. I fell in love with the colorful high-pass sound of the 1074 filter and have been looking for that ever since. Last year I got the Euro CMS Module 1074 filter and found that sound again!

For this patch I combined it with a very rare custom-built SSM2040 VCF that gives high and low pass outputs from the SSM2040 analog 4-pole ladder filter chip. This filter was built in MOTM format by O. Z. Hall using a PCB from Mad Science Lab ( that OZ modified to enable the high pass modes (see

Patch details:
– 4 VCOs: 2 MOTM 300s and 2 MOTM 310s mixed to mono
– VCOs go into the CMS Module 1074 at medium resonance, with the variable out set to high pass, and the notch out going to the SSM2040 in high pass mode.
– The 1047 and SSM2040 outputs are going into a mixer with moderate stereo separation.
– Both filter cutoffs controlled by an MOTM 800 envelope generator, negative output.

Sampled dry using Logic Auto Sampler, with one velocity layer and three round-robins, sampled every three semitones. EtherealHighPassOneShot is the basic sound with a 20-second sustain, and etherealHighPassLooping is the same with looping sustain. Different notes have different loop points for a rich sound.

This is my first sample set. I hope you enjoy it!

Reviews for Ethereal High Pass

  • Sound
  • Character
  • Playability
  • Inspiration
  • GUI

Leave a review to let others know what you thought of the instrument!

  • Highpass Saws Sustaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaain!

    This is well recorded and edited. The concept is strong, but the end result isn't as useful as it might otherwise be. The sustain is sett to 25 seconds when you first load the instrument. There are no knobs not eh GUI, so you have to dig into Kontakt to adjust it. Every now and then, you want a super long sustain, but I found the long sustain to limit the usefulness of this sound. It also sounds like there's some resonance on the filter which was used which is causing the harmonics near the cutoff frequency to be emphasized. To my ear, it came across as a bit harsh, but YMMV. This is an interesting experiment, and as an ARP owner, I'm always interested in anything ARP!

    Sam EcoffSamplist 29 October 2021
  • Add some fizz and sparkle to your project

    I’ll most likely use this instrument in a layered fashion, probably to glue together one or more pad sounds, to create something a little unusual – better yet, unidentifiable – because what it’s really good at is adding fizz and sparkle to a mix. I found it especially easy to blend with other sounds and it has plenty of cut-through so it doesn’t just disappear in a ‘busy’ mix, which is often a problem with delicate, shimmering effects. Steve has created something more than a little bit different. It only loses stars for not having a dedicated GUI.

    wordsSHIFTminds05 November 2021
  • An interesting, incredibely long lasting sound

    This patch is... kind of weird to be honest. It is a very artificial synthy sound, with a kind of retro character, that simply lasts for more than 20 seconds, and there is not really any way to control that. Somewhere in the middle, you might also notice a small cut, which I am not sure if it's intentional or not. I am also not sure how you are supposed to control this sound.

    Alex Raptakis30 October 2021
  • Not for me, but interesting

    Im more into organic sounds and this one is a bit too digital and harsh for my taste. This isn't a knock on the instrument, im sure others who are more into modular synthesis will enjoy this its just not for me. I can see this in one of those science educational videos along side drum beats and corny puns lol. This instrument definitely achieves what its made to do. It could be a cool transition sound as well

    septemberwalk09 November 2021