An envelope filter goes by many names, including an Auto wah or perhaps a Q wah pedal, and is a typical effect for both bassists and guitarists. It is best known as what gave disco and funk guitar players of the’ 70s their choppy, electronic vibe. In the bass world, it remains particularly popular with funk players.
SET IT AND FORGET IT
As discussed, they’re a set-it-and-forget-it option as opposed to a traditional wah pedal.
Another massive benefit is speed. The circuits within envelope pedals react at a faster rate than we can physically move our feet, making a rapid wah sound possible. This effect is pervasive in funk music.
It’s a bit like driving a manual (stick shift car) versus an automatic. Driving a stick shift gives you more ‘control,’ but do you need that control? Perhaps your attention is better placed elsewhere (i.e., on your guitar playing or singing). Don’t think for a minute that they’ll ‘dumb down’ your sound – the range control makes them very responsive, so the harder you pick, the more wah you get.
The range control adjusts the frequencies affected by the ‘sweep’ effect, meaning you have more of the effect when you’re playing high notes than when you’re playing low notes or vice versa. It can be convenient: you might not want wah on every single note you pick hard.
Sometimes just called ‘filter,’ this lets you choose between a low-pass, high-pass or band-pass. Closely related, the resonance control lets you adjust the feedback of the filter. This allows you to set certain frequencies to amplify more than other frequencies.
ATTACK/RESPONSE AND DECAY CONTROLS
Some pedals include an attack control/ response, which controls how quickly the sweep peaks. A fast attack and a slower decay will provide a clear, rhythmic sound. Slower attacks can make your playing sound out of time, and decays which are too fast can also detract from the rhythm of your playing.
SONICAKE Guitar Pedal
Having so much hands-on control over everything, you have the capability to dial in almost any kind of wah effect you need. If you demand a very wide range and don’t mind the complex nature of the pedal, Q-Tron is most likely the best car wah pedal for you.
- Flexible and dynamic tonal controls, which will deliver you that classic humanizing evelope filter wah effect. And you have to play funk with this pedal! It’s like the rule for autowah pedals. YOU GOTTA PLAY FUNK! Let’s get funked up to the p-funk mothership.
- Cry-Bot delivers 100% analog signal path, also a very rapid and accurate tracking of your pickin’ dynamics. True bypass.
- Heavy duty metal footswitch and on/off status LED; Aluminum-alloy die cast casing to withstand wear and tear.
For a traditional version of the envelope filter sound, check out the M82 pedal from MXR. It uses all analog circuitry inside a compact, durable, and lightweight aluminum casing.
The M82 gives you 5 different control knobs, along with a footswitch to a true signal bypass. The flip side of this, of course, is actually total control over the tone, with options designed particularly for the bass. It’s its own dry knob to let the mix of dried out and effected signals are tweaked while the effect control determines the effect level. Decay and Q knobs give you a lot more ways to hone the sound of yours. The full impact of all these choices would be to make this one of the best and versatile most bass envelope filter pedals.
- Includes a 9V Power Supply and (2) 6″ Patch Cables!
- Bypass footswitch with LED
- Dry control
- FX control
- Decay control
Mooer Audio Micro
The circuitry in the Mooer Envelope is totally analog, which translates to an effect that is full and warm. The variety of effects is remarkable, as well, giving you everything from a subtle swell to a funky slap. Because you are able to set the sensitivity, it is going to work equally well for all playing styles, and can be utilized by both bassists and guitarists. Whether you love a vintage’ 70s wah or perhaps a far more modern effect, it is not hard to obtain it with the Mooer Envelope.
- [Auto wah effect pedal], ideal for using with guitar or bass.Micro size and full metal shell, portable and durable. With true bypass footswitch and LED indicator light.
- Fruency band with a higher peak; Counterclockwise will lower the Q value, providing a wider frequency band with a lower peak
- [DECAY]– adjusts the release and closing of the filter
- [TONE]– adjusts the overall tone and frequency range of the pedal
Deciding on the best bass envelope filters
Determining which tone shaping capabilities you are searching for could bring a little more thought.
In most cases, the more tone shaping options the pedal offers you, the more flexible it is going to be in terms of adapting to different genres and styles.
If you’ve limited space on your pedal rack it might be safer to find a simpler envelope pedal for the benefit of convenience.