Envelope filter with fuzz: fx loop? Options?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by focusbob, Aug 11, 2019.

  1. focusbob


    Jan 28, 2019
    In looking for an envelope filter to use with my synth (pigtronix mothership) and fuzz (whooly mammoth) pedals, it seemed like finding one with an effects loop would be the best way to go (that is, so the envelope detector would still respond to my playing dynamics). But, then, in looking for an envelope filter with an effects loop, I found that my options were very limited. The only "reasonably priced" (to me) one is the ehx q tron +, but I don't like the tone of the q tron (I find it to not be warm, it has this thin whipping sound to my ears). The only other attainable option for me is a used 3 leaf wonderlove version 1 (which I can find used for about 225$). The groove regulator v1 and v2, wonderlove v2, and the newer chromatron, are all north of 300$... The pigtronix ep2 has a side chain trigger input - I guess I could split my signal and send a clean signal to trigger (doesn't seem ideal, but can be had for 150$). Am I missing any?

    A few questions:
    1) For those chasing similar analog synth bass tones, do you find an effects loop to be an important feature on your filter? If not, how do you optimally run your fuzz/synth and filter pedals?
    2) What is my best effects loop equipped option for under 250$ (and ideally closer to 200$ or lower)?
    3) How does the wonderlove v1 compare to the other 3 leaf options?

  2. cardinal


    Jan 13, 2016
    I can't help much, but I run an FX25 just in front of various dirt pedals and think it sounds fine.
    focusbob likes this.
  3. focusbob


    Jan 28, 2019
    That doesn't NOT help me ;)
  4. Robertron


    Feb 12, 2010
    NewYork, NY
    I don't have answers to 2 and 3, but about 1?

    My Groove Regulator 1 completely changed how I felt about fuzz > filter tones.
    I put a Mastotron in its loop and there isn't any other way I've been able to get that same tone and feel. imo Running fuzz in the fx loop of the filter is the only way to get that buzzing synth tone with natural attack and decay.
    gsquare, Bassgeer and focusbob like this.
  5. jondom22


    Aug 14, 2014
    I love running my fuzz + octave/ring mod/pitch shift/bit crusher in the fx loop of my chromatron. Gated fuzzes work especially well (shout-out to Fairfield circuitry unpleasant surprise). Also the SA C4 and I believe their upcoming spectrum pedal can both just be used as an envelope filter with an fx loop (input 1 detects signal, send from out 1 back into input 2 and finally out output 2). Input 1 is where your envelope will be detected, fuzz+ whatever in the loop, filter applied post-loop.
  6. If you decide to go with the Wonderlove I have a Deluxe up in the classifieds section ;-D

    But beyond pushing my own ad, I did really like using the loop on that pedal. It felt super responsive and sounded significantly better than just running everything in a straight line down my board.
    gsquare and Bassgeer like this.
  7. You might take a look at either the Source Audio C4 or the soon to be released Spectrum. The C4 is a full option Quad envelope filter and more and does have an insert loop option. Not sure what options the Spectrum will have but is is scheduled for release this week at a $199 USA price. Source Audio is playing the Spectrum rather close to the vest but it is a pared down intelligent filter and octaver from the C4.
    Robertron likes this.
  8. spufman


    Feb 7, 2005
    Central CT
    The Chunk Systems 00Funk has a loop. They're of course discontinued but pop up sometimes as another option. Cool pedal (I have one).

    I usually just run my fuzz into my IE filter, so I don't tie up pedals in a loop. Sounds good to me.
    Bo0tsy likes this.
  9. TIMD


    Dec 8, 2009
    I am currently using a wonderlove and was using the fx loop at first. I was running my octave pedal and a fuzz in the loop and it worked great. It makes the triggering of the effect more constant but I felt it took some of the beef out of the octave pedal. I switched back to running my pedals in line and prefer the sound I’m getting now. The wonderlove really is a great pedal!

    I had the old enormous q-tron plus and loved it. I used it constantly for about 15-20 years. The trick for me was turning on the switch that turns the volume control into an actual active volume control. Without this on I felt it was to thin and had volume spikes.
  10. aprod


    Mar 11, 2008
    The Lovetone Meatball has an effects loop. But discontinued long ago and about $600 on the used market.
  11. Bassheart365


    Oct 19, 2014
    Northern California
    "A good bassist determines the direction of any band." - Ron Carter
    Get a Wonderlove. Any version. Been using them for 3 years now with a Broughton Audio Bass Box (fuzz) in the effects loop. Very organic Moogish vibe.
    gsquare likes this.
  12. avvie


    Oct 12, 2010
    Maui, HI
    The Digitech FX25 is a fun filter pedal, but it suffers much by not having a volume control. I could never use it because it was too quiet.

    I am quite fond of my 3Leaf Proton, which doesn't affect volumes and is waem without being overly quacky.
    I do NOT recommend the MXR BEF. It has nice sounds and controls but when it closes it sweeps a low freq that damn near breaks the speaker. If it weren't for that, I'd love it.

    Sorry, but I realize neither of these have a loop.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019
  13. Raoul_Duke

    Raoul_Duke Supporting Member

    Jun 13, 2010
    I have the Chromatron and the effects loop is one of the most useful features I’ve ever had in any pedal, plus it’s switchable so you can use whatever you put in your loop even with the filter disengaged (or not if you prefer).

    I realize it’s out of your price range but hot damn that thing works great for synth stuff and yes the effects loop is a big part of that.
    gsquare likes this.
  14. gsquare

    gsquare Pedal Breeders' BIGBoardClub#104;CabronitaClub#8 Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2012
    Save up a few extra bucks until you can afford a wonderlove, or even a groove regulator. I personally like the later version of the wonderlove with the expression pedal input, you may not think you need it now, but after you play around with it I think you’ll Find it to be everything you want in a filter with a loop. My advice, don’t settle, get what know know will work amazingly!!!!
  15. Amptweaker tight fuzz bass has an fx loop. You could put the envelope filter and set the fx loop so the fuzz is after the envelope.
  16. superheavyfunk


    Mar 11, 2013
    Simplest solution would be to get a blender pedal and stick your synth pedal on the "outside" side of it, and the envelope on the "inside" part. You should be able to find one for less than $100 used
  17. Robertron


    Feb 12, 2010
    NewYork, NY
    That's a totally different beast tone wise, not that this isn't a very effective approach to a deep filter tone. :thumbsup:
  18. superheavyfunk


    Mar 11, 2013
    I haven't tried either approach - it was just the first thing that came to mind. I'm curious... How is it different?
  19. jondom22


    Aug 14, 2014
    People with the Chromatron/Wonderlove...Have you tried using the expression input connected to something like the SA Reflex or Mission Engineering Expressionator? When I connect my DVP4 (10k pot) to the Chromatron directly it goes the full range of the cutoff frequency where I set the tone knob in the toe down position. But when I connect it to a multi-expression device (like the Reflex/Expressionator) it only goes partway up the dial. Tried troubleshooting with different TRS cables, calibrating both reflex/expressionator, using linear and log sweeps, adjust range, etc.

    Any ideas for something to add in-line between the Reflex/Expressionator and Chromatron so it's seeing the full-voltage in toe-down?
  20. Robertron


    Feb 12, 2010
    NewYork, NY
    It's different in practice and in tone.

    If we run a blended setup we'll get two parallel tones hitting the filter.

    When running a fuzz or octave into a filter pedal it always changes the responsiveness of the envelope, especially with Fuzz where you will usually get a filter tone that opens up to the peak frequency of the filter and then doesn't really decay naturally or at all depending on the settings of the filter and of the fuzz.

    If we run the fuzz inside the fx loop of an envelope filter pedal we get a filter tone which is saturated by the fuzz pedal but who's envelope still opens and closes according to the dynamics of input signal.

    This is really a subjective preference though as both tones are usable in their own circumstances.

    This is not to say you can't use a fuzz into a filter pedal, but with a filter pedal with an FX loop you get to use the filter pedal with or without the fuzz without having to adjust the attack and decay of the filter if you want to go from a fuzz filter tone to clean filter tone.
    superheavyfunk likes this.
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