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Analog envelope filter w/ sensitivity "presets"?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by bongomania, Aug 7, 2013.

  1. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member

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    I'm wondering if there exists an analog envelope filter with a second footswitch to toggle between two different sensitivities? If it is not something known "off the shelf", have you seen a mod, custom job, or adaptation (like an external "favorites" switch) for this type of function?

    In a perfect world, I'd like it to be more Mutron III or DOD FX25 flavored rather than Moog; and I'd also like to have an input for an expression pedal to control the cutoff frequency. So yeah, I'm sure the Moogerfooger is going to be mentioned, but it's not exactly the flavor I'm after.

    Suggestions?
  2. RCCollins

    RCCollins Supporting Member

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    Hmmm have you ruled out rack units with midi control?
  3. gastric

    gastric Professional product tester for hire Supporting Member

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    I would assume nearly any pedal with a dedicated knob for sensitivity should be able to modified to use an expression pedal instead of the knob. That pretty much applies to any button / knob function provided on most analog pedals.

    The trick would be if the chassis allowed easy installation of a 1/4" jack for the expression input or not. Then deciding how you'd wire it up. I'd consider a switched jack - nothing plugged in, the factory knob works, plug in an expression and the factory knob is defeated and only the expression controls it.

    Things to note are if the pedal's sensitivity pot and the expression pot will match well.

    Hire a local tech to do the work if you're not comfortable doing it yourself.
  4. gastric

    gastric Professional product tester for hire Supporting Member

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    Also, you could just find a filter that provides complete presets. Like the filters in most digital multi effects boxes such as the Zoom B3, BOSS GT series, Source Audio BEF Pro, etc. or a digitally controlled analog box like the Chunk Systems Squeezer. Then just switch between presets.
  5. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member

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    No, and indeed a couple of the boxes that got me close to what I'm after were the MAM RS3 and Warp9, though they too fell a bit short.
  6. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member

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    Except that I was not asking about replacing a knob with an expression pedal.
    What I was describing would instead require a second pot and a second footswitch, and the only pedals I know for sure have enough space for both of those are the old huge-box EHX models. If anyone knows of specific other cases, I'll be glad to hear it!
    I have yet to hear a digital filter, at any price, that can really nail the earthy greasy tone and action I'm after.
    Good point, that may be the direction I need to look. I've blown off the Chunk so far because I've seen FAR more complaints than praise about it here... but I should give it more of a fair chance.
  7. gastric

    gastric Professional product tester for hire Supporting Member

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    Note the Chunk doesn't have an expression control. It's envelope only. I'm not sure if the filter voicing is what you desire, but the pedal is fairly difficult to learn to program. That's the primary complaint as opposed to complaints with the sound, generally speaking.

    The MAM Warp9 doesn't have any integrated bypass, if I recall correctly. But if you're going to consider non-pedals and get racks and MIDI controllers then that might open you up to other rack filters (Filter Factory, etc.) and other non-filer specific options, including any synths that happen to accept external audio to run through their internal effects.

    Another option is to have one of the boutique builders take their existing filter circuit and custom build an enclosure with the options and features you want. Might be the easiest way to get the functions you want, though probably not the cheapest.

    That's about all of the help I can offer. Curious what others might suggest.
  8. Roscoe East

    Roscoe East

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    But you did ask for
    and so it seems rather odd that if you really did want an expression pedal to control the cutoff frequency that you would quibble over whether the expression pedal was controlling cutoff frequency via a CV input, or via a mechanical connection to the cutoff frequency knob. End result is the same...unless you were being coy and you actually wanted something more than just
    Sincerely,
    Mr. Pedantic


    :)
  9. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member

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    It was a secondary "nice to have". Does not address the main query at all.
  10. Roscoe East

    Roscoe East

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    Contact John Amaral
    http://www.usschoolofmusic.com/catalog/bulletin8.html

    Back in the late 70s/early 80s John had a prototype of an analog rackmount envelope-controlled filter that was like a Mutron III on steroids; I don't recall whether it had a microprocessor for storing presets, but that seems like an easy upgrade for a 1982 product so it should be trivial in 2013.

    Ask John whether he built that thing or if someone else did, and then see if he has any ideas on how to set you up with what you're looking for.
  11. eddododo

    eddododo Supporting Member

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    I think they make switches 1/8'' though... not SUPER ideal ever, but I have used them in a [literal] pinch before
  12. gastric

    gastric Professional product tester for hire Supporting Member

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    Just to clarify, the Chunk Systems Squeezer would only support this by physically change from one patch to another similar patch. For example, Patch 1, then Patch 2 with the range parameter changed (which effectively changes the sensitivity / travel of the filter).

    There is no momentary toggle to temporarily modify a particular parameter, with the exception of applying tap tempo or a mod to the LFO, if any.


    This isn't ideal, but may possibly be usable for your scenario. By definition an envelope triggered filter is following input volume. So you can put a volume pedal in front of an envelope filter and control the cutoff that way. The disadvantage is you're also controlling volume, so you lose some output at the heel-down range. So it's not going to be perfect for deep, synthy manual sweeps. But it does provide treadle-based cutoff control if the effect doesn't support it in other ways. I've used it with the Squeezer, haven't personally tried with other effects.

    Hope this helps.
  13. willbassyeah

    willbassyeah

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    I actually thought of Taylor of iron ether after reading your comment, kinda remind me of the dual xerograph that John Davis uses.
  14. gastric

    gastric Professional product tester for hire Supporting Member

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    Heh, you could just buy two of the same pedal filter you already love, then install them in an A-B switch like a BOSS LS-2. Instant switching between the two, each pedal with their own individual "preset".
  15. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member

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    Actually something like this has been at the forefront of my mind as the option most likely to succeed. For example I could get two Protons and have them rehoused together, with one bypass switch and one A/B switch.

    ...And a fancy etch or paint job. :bassist:
  16. gastric

    gastric Professional product tester for hire Supporting Member

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    Another take on my original idea - modding a filter pedal you already like the sound of.

    Mod a pedal filter you currently enjoy with some sort of external control that applies a different resistor value to the sensitivity knob on the filter via a footswitch. Note this is technically the same thing that I suggested but using an expression pedal. Instead, you wire a footswitch (could be added to the current pedal if the chassis supports it), thus when you press the footswitch it applies a different resistor value to the current sensitivity control. Thus you have a second sensitivity preset exactly like you wanted.

    I actually did something similar with the Moog LPF I have for sale. The Moog already has an external control jack for controlling envelope amount (sensitivity). I opted to wire in a mini-toggle that functions the same as if you had connected an expression and set it fully toe-down. I could've used a footswitch instead of a mini-toggle.

    That sounds like the least costly method, assuming you already own the analog pedal filter.
  17. eddododo

    eddododo Supporting Member

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    Is the point to be able to drop in [input] volume/intensity while keeping the same filter sweep?
  18. Skrogh

    Skrogh

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    If you are into building stuff yourself, putting two FX25 clones in one box with a switch for on/off and one for A/B would not be that difficult... should fit in a hammond 1590BB
  19. eddododo

    eddododo Supporting Member

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    Randomly thought about this last night and remembered this thread:

    you COULD use a splitter, feed one end ('dry') into the RETURN of an FX loop, and have one end ('control') going through a simple stompbox that has a switch and a volume knob.. engage it and the preset amount of volume drop occurs, going to the envelope reader, whereas the 'dry' signal in the loop would stay the same volume .

    note: Dropping the 'control' volume 'raises' the threshold, i.e. use it to play louder, raising the 'control' volume is used to play softer


    this is all assuming that your goal was to get the same 'bubbles' when you play louder or softer

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