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The Funky Art Of Sounding Quacky (envelope Filter Thread)

Discussion in 'Bass Pedals, Effects & Preamps' started by Bassist4Eris, Jan 9, 2018.

  1. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris

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    Inspired by DiMarco's dirt thread, I thought I'd start one about my personal favorite effect type, the mighty envelope filter. Because all bassists secretly want to sound like a 70s porno soundtrack. I've owned several filters; here's a rundown.

    My current filter is the EHX Enigma Q-Balls. It's a very versatile filter with a lot of knobs, which is precisely what puts some people off from it. There is definitely a learning curve to getting the most out of it, but its tweakability is what I like. Before this one, I had the EHX Micro Q-Tron, and while I thought it was in the right ballpark, I found it peaky and difficult to control. It also increased the overall volume of my signal when engaged. The Q-Balls was my solution to this, and it's worked perfectly. It also has a built-in distortion, much like EHX's Bassballs, but I really don't care too much for the distortion circuit. I'd rather put a decent dirt pedal in front of it if that's the tone I want.

    One of the first filters I ever owned was the Boss AW-3. I am a guy who will insist that Boss is underrated, but I really didn't bond with this filter at all. It does have a couple of cool features, such as a tap tempo, allowing it to be used sort of like the way Clapton plays pedal wah (stomping to the beat). Ultimately, though, I found it a bit sterile. I thought, at first, I would like the formant filter setting (you pick two vowels, and your bass goes eee-iii or aaa-uuu, or whatever) but it sounds pretty cheesy in a band setting, IMHO.

    One I've owned that I really loved, and sometimes regret selling, is the MXR Bass Envelope Filter. It's a mid-pass filter, so it's not much like the old school low-pass filters you hear on classic funk tracks. But it's the easiest filter I've found to get a decent slap wah tone out of.

    In the digital-but-good category is the Source Audio Bass Envelope Filter. The one I have is the old, large one. There are a million cool sounds in this pedal, which is ultimately why I have a hard time bonding with it. I do better with pedals that do one thing and do it well.

    The Digitech Bass Synth Wah isn't a synth at all, but uses a combination of effects (fuzz, octave, and filter, mainly) to get synth-like tones. It has a surprisingly decent straight filter hiding inside of it, and also has some other cool tones, but I have found I can get better "synth" results by combining other standalone pedals.

    And finally, in the "not quite an envelope filter" category, we have the Pigtronix Envelope Phaser. I had the big one, not the compact "bass" version. I thought it was a great sounding pedal, but a bit too subtle in the mix for my tastes. I sold it to my keyboardist, and it sounds great with keys.
     
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  2. DiMarco

    DiMarco nutcase Good Vibe Sponsor

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    I can happily inform you that the Pigtronix Bass Envelope Phaser (BEP) is not subtle at all and sounds really really phat, it also works great when combined with a fuzz and octaver. Plugin Baby anyone?
    Also I think this format of discussing groups of effects instead of just a single effect works much better for the reader in order to get an idea of what's what so thank you for this thread!
     
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  3. Foal30

    Foal30 Supporting Member

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    Yes I like envelope filters good one B4E

    I have these presently

    - Ashdown Filter
    Very dry IMO. Not spectacular but has its own sound. Like it with a Precision and a plectrum somewhat bizarrely .

    - EBS Filter
    This has three preset switch. It's well made. One of the three sweeps is very wet and good. Worth a look. It has trim pots inside . Makes a righteous cool noise with the Wound Paw Fuzz.

    - 3Leaf Audio Filter
    This is the smaller one "Proton?". It has 2 switch settings. It's capable of being quite out there in quack. No battery.

    I also have a Dunlop Bass Wah , the white one. I don't like where the plugs are for its design but otherwise it's good. Works better on its own than on the pedal board.

    I used to have a Russian Bass Balls. Did not like plugs or its fuzz. It was also quite big footprint. I had a Boss something that was Orange IIRC. It was a bit unpredictable but had one really cool sound. (T-Wah??) . I had Zoom Multi which was pretty terrible but excellent leaning resource.
     
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  4. Nieltse

    Nieltse

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    Envelops rule :cool:

    Owned

    Boss AW3
    ehx Bass balls
    3 leaf wonderlove envelop - soft n subtle, not my thing
    MXR Bass envelop filter (still the easiest and best and still on the board :) )
    Source Audio Bass Envelope Filter (had it with the ring, but too much stuff to do and had trouble dialing in a decent tone )
    EBS Bassiq (very wet and good, but still kept the MXR over this)

    and last but seriioooously not least !! The Iron Ether Xerograph Deluxe, this is a monster by any means...tricky to dial in and sometimes you won't get any sound at all ...but when you hit the sweet spot...:eek:o_O this thing blows up your Rig :D
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2018
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  5. Florin

    Florin Warwick Forum Administrator Supporting Member

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    OOoh, one of my favourite effects, but I had to stop using them as I kinda overdoing it :)
    I owned EH QTron+ was awesome. Also a Bassballs, which a friend of mine modded. It was funny, because I used it with that fuzz sound, and it was killing the bass tone. A friend had his workshop in the same building, and I was like: "If only I had a blend button here..." He grabbed the bassballs from my hands and disapeared. After one hour it had an extra blend button, it was killer! Oh, and also the Digitech bass synth was cool.

    Cool topic :)
     
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  6. Foal30

    Foal30 Supporting Member

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    What are some good songs with filters/Wah?

    Car wash - Rose Royce
     
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