Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Auto Wah vs Envelope Filter

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by DavePlaysBass, Nov 18, 2005.


  1. DavePlaysBass

    DavePlaysBass

    Mar 31, 2004
    CO
    Are they the same. I am looking at the Dunlop MXR-188 which is made for bass and labeled an "auto wah". It does not appear to have a sensitivity knob so I am thinking the auto wah is different than an evenolpe filter?

    I just bought a dod fx-25b that is probably going back. I would like a better envelope filter.

    Thanks,

    Dave
     
  2. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
  3. basste

    basste

    Oct 8, 2003
    France
    in general, for auto-wha, you set the "wha wha wha" modulation. For envelope filter, you control it directly with your playing; the harder you play, higher climb the "wha".
    so basically, it's two different things.
    now, i don't know about the 188.
    :D
     
  4. Higgie

    Higgie

    May 31, 2005
    London, England
    The Bass Auto Q does both...You can ever set it to do the "play harder" thing then decay into the "wah wah wah" at a speed that you can set. It's the best filter for the under $150 IMO.
     
  5. thejohnkim

    thejohnkim

    Sep 30, 2003
    NYC
    hey now, that pedal sounds nice! crybaby in a box, very very sweet
     
  6. Higgie

    Higgie

    May 31, 2005
    London, England
    Yep, it's circuit is actually from the 105Q Bass wah, so the soudns your getting are almost as authentic as a manual crybaby bass wah...but more grease and funk!
     
  7. DavePlaysBass

    DavePlaysBass

    Mar 31, 2004
    CO
    According to the Dunlop site it has six knobs.

    range => controls frequency floor for effect
    Q => adjust intensity
    volume => effects overall volume
    decay => controls drop off of wah effect
    blend => controls blend between wah and shimmer
    rate => controls speed of shimmer

    I do not get how you control the sensitivity of the envelope with these knobs. Is it a one size fits all. I get the impression that the rate of the sweep (is sweep and shimmer the same thing?).

    Dave
     
  8. Higgie

    Higgie

    May 31, 2005
    London, England
    Ok, the Range, Q, and Volume are pretty self explainatory, but this is how it works. The Wah effect is basically the envelope filter, and the shimmer is the auto wah.
    Now the rate is used exclusively for the Shimmer mode, to control how fast it sweeps. And the Blend control works like so: If you have it cranked all the way left, you just get the envelope filter. Cranked all the way right, you get the Auto Wah. If you put it somewhere in the middle you play a note, and it will do the envelope filter and just "wah" once, from closed to open...but then once the filter closes, it goes into shimmer mode and just shimmers until the note dies away, at the rate you have set. Pretty nifty.

    The decay knob is exclusively for the Env. Filter mode. This is basically a sensitivity control I think, as it controls how fast the filter closes...(Haven't used it much, mines always set to auto-wah, as I got 2 other Env. Filters for them kinda sounds.)
     
  9. lamarjones

    lamarjones Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    I am reviving this thread because I got a question on it.

    I tried the auto q last night, and looking between that and the mxr bass envelope, which I have not tried......

    But the one thing I noticed about the auto q is that is seems to have this rate going on the whole time, and when you attack you are somewhat subject to where you are when the 'wahs' are sweeping, does this make anysense? I am thinking of something more like a q-tron where every note you hit can be an automatic 'wah, but wondering if I am just not seting the auto q right or if I need a straight up envelope filter?
     
  10. DavePlaysBass

    DavePlaysBass

    Mar 31, 2004
    CO
    They used to make a MXR 188 Bass Auto Q that looks nearly identical to this:

    http://www.jimdunlop.com/product/m120-auto-q-envelope-filter

    I have it and it is an Auto wah not a touch senstive envelope. I love the sound but it is not touch sensitive.

    I am curious if the MXR bass envelope is close to the sound of the MX-188 Bass Auto Q. However there is no "range" knob which was the really cool feature of the Bass Auto Q. It could completely change the vibe. And the newer MXR bass envelope does not look to have the range control.

    http://www.jimdunlop.com/product/m82-bass-envelope-filter

    And the Bass Cry Baby unfortunatly only has the Q adjust (again no range adjust). MXR was close with the Bass Auto Q IMO. The Q and Range control where powerful along with the output level control. But nothing in else in their offering gets you the same circuits with touch or foot sensitivity.
     
  11. lamarjones

    lamarjones Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    Yeah, that is what I tried last night. ALMOST what I wanted except that the rate thing dictated where the 'wah' was happening instead of my attack. But it didn't seem like a phaser either where you are completely subject to where the sweep was happening. But maybe there is a joint thing where it's your attack AND where the sweep is?
     
  12. FilterFunk

    FilterFunk Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2010
    Try a Jacques Trinity Wah. You can set it to where it's all envelope filter, all modulated auto wah, or envelope filter where the autowah swells in as you hold the note. Plus it can be set for a fixed filter, or used as a wah with the dome pedal plugged in. Both the envelope and modulation can be controlled by the dome. I've read that you can use other expression pedals with it, too. I much prefer the Trinity to the Auto Q I used to own.
     
  13. lamarjones

    lamarjones Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    I just picked up the mxr bass envelope filer. It is out of control awesome. Seriously, it's been recommended by several people to me locally, and I had one overnighted for a gig this weekend, got it yesterday and holy crap! And when I put a fulltone bass drive before it and the line 6 delay modeler after it, holy crap!

    Just saying.
     
  14. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Look back at post #8, it explains the problem you were having. The knob labeled "blend" is not what you'd expect (a blend between wet and dry), it's a fader between the envelope-sensitive function and the constantly-cycling function. Turn that knob all the way to the left.
     
  15. DavePlaysBass

    DavePlaysBass

    Mar 31, 2004
    CO
    The MXR-188 is not touch sensitive. It is oscillator controlled on the sweep. I was the original poster on this thread 6 years ago. The information I received is not accurate per my experience.

    The blend knob simply is a blend between the Auto Wah and the Shimmer. Again neither being touch sensitive.
     
  16. lamarjones

    lamarjones Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    I agree with Dave, close but very different pedals.
     
  17. Hyper-sloth

    Hyper-sloth Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2008
    Tampa, FL
    Yep, true. I had one and really dug it but since it wasn't the bass version the bottom disappeared.
     
  18. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Then please explain what you think they mean by "auto wah" versus what they mean by "shimmer". To be clear--not what you might use those words to mean, but what MXR means in this specific case.
     
  19. Simonthompson

    Simonthompson

    Feb 4, 2011
    I never tried one. New with the bass/band thing but want to try effects. This sounds hot.
     
  20. DavePlaysBass

    DavePlaysBass

    Mar 31, 2004
    CO
    Auto wah is just that. Its like a foot actuated wah effect. However the foot is tapping to an internal click track (oscillator) that is asynchronous to the player meaning it is not in any way synchronous to the input level.

    The shimmer is this spacy sound that kinda sounds like a phaser maybe. I don't particularly care for it (and I do like phasors). Its some annoying filter that is also sweeping asychronous to everything else.

    The blend gives you the ability to mix these two effects.

    Additionally there is not a circuit in the M188 that sweeps a filter based on the strength of the input signal. Both the Auto Wah and Shimmer are being controlled asynchronous to input signal / signal strength.

    I really like the sound of the Auto Wah. I wish MXR would figure out a way to keep the Auto Wah (with Range, Q, and Volume adjustments) and make the sweep of the filter synchronous to a threshold of the input signal. Or just make a wah pedal with the Range knob (they already have the Q) and then I can use my foot to sync it together.