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Envelope Filters

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Zoso962, Oct 25, 2009.

  1. Zoso962


    Oct 25, 2009
    Hi i've decided to buy a new envelope filter and i have been looking at the Qtron+, the Agent 00 Funk, and the Lovetone Meatball. I was wondering if anyone had any experience with any of these pedals and could offer me any advice/info. on them. Im really having a hard time deciding which one would be best and i dont want to buy the wrong one.
    Thanks for any help
  2. fightthepower


    Jan 7, 2008
    San Diego
    Plenty of advice/info could be given, but we would need you to go first-- what do you want and need out a filter? price range? size or power requirements/limitations? etc etc. They're all great filters, the Meatball is the only one with an expression input for manual sweeping/wah-ing, but is discontinued and roughly $500 (though there are clones of it at cheaper price points). If you do a search for any of those filters, you'll also find a multitude of threads with info about each one.
  3. I've got the Q-tron+. I've only heard samples of the others I downloaded to compare when I bought it, but I basically couldn't be happier with it. I play blues/funk, or at least try to.
  4. The Meatball is no longer in roduction and the last one I saw on ebay went for around $550. Check out the Barge Concepts Grinder, Robot Factory Meatwad and Three Leaf Groove Regulator. All three are Meatball clones, with varying levels of complexity.

    The Groove Regulator gets some great reviews around here. I played a mates one for a while and it was really good. It's smoother than the Q-tron, and kinda goes mwah instead of being really quacky.

    The Q-tron+ is really quacky and is the most funky of the three that you have listed, in my opinion. It's not really thick but gives a pronounced quack. I sold mine recently because it wasn't thick enough for my liking.

    I have the 00Funk circuit in my Octavius Squeezer (synth pedal from the same company in case you didn't know) and it is definitely more of a synthy sounding filter than the other two. Great with fuzz running before it.

    I would also totally recommend the old DOD FX25 (two knob) for thick, rubbery tones. It only sweeps up and is really simple but it sounds great and often goes for really cheap on ebay.

    What type of music do you play? Can you point me/us in the direction of some of your favorite envelope filter tones? There are so many subtleties with filters as they react to your playing dynamics so it'll help to know these things.

    Hope that helps a bit though :)
  5. Zoso962


    Oct 25, 2009
    Well i currently play in a Funk/Rock band. I really like the sound Flea gets on the slap solos in "Coffee Shop" and "Power of Equality" and i also really like alot of the sounds Bootsy gets when he uses one. Definately looking for a more like wet, natural, funky tone opposed to a synthy wah tone.
  6. Zoso962


    Oct 25, 2009
    I actually had a DODfx25b envelope filter and my main problem with it was that it was cutting all of my volume. I could get more volume out of it by playing with the blend and range and sensitivity and everything but i found that the only tones i really liked were the ones that were cutting all of my volume. Its a great studio effects but i find it unusable in a live situation.
  7. newbold


    Sep 21, 2008
    When playing effects in stores, of course try the qtron, but also the micro qtron, ehx stereo polyphase (an envelop following phaser...which you might like a lot) and the Boss Dynamic Filter.

    Sure you like the tones other bass players get, but there's usually more to them than just the envelope filter, and you are probably different than those guys anyway. Find something that works for you.
  8. I would recommend getting an old FX25 and a Boss LMB-3 limiter. It'll probably set you back around $100 if you get them second hand over ebay.
  9. fightthepower


    Jan 7, 2008
    San Diego
    The original FX25's do not have a blend, or a volume drop; in fact they're at least at unity when engaged, and my first gen FX25 with the two big knobs (vs 2 small ones) has a bit of a volume boost when engaged.

    An FX25 and a limiter, as suggested by bassbmx, would likely cure the issues you found with the FX25b while retaining the tone you enjoy.
  10. Makalu


    Jul 24, 2006
    If you have the money I recommend trying to find a Mutron - or an EHX bass balls. Guaranteed fun for all the family...
  11. Getaway Driver

    Getaway Driver

    May 31, 2009
    Omaha, NE
    The new Enigma Q-Balls sounds pretty groovy. Maybe give it a shot too?
  12. Zoso962


    Oct 25, 2009
    I must have not had an orignal Fx25 because mine has 3 knobs; Sensitivity,Blend, and Range, and i find that it cuts probably about 60% of my volume when i kick it on. would getting a Boss LMB-3 limiter like suggested above help cure that problem? I've never heard of the Boss LMB-3 limiter so im not really familiar with what it does.
  13. Zoso962


    Oct 25, 2009
    I tried an EHX Bassballs and i love it for its own unique effects but i dont really see it as an envelope filter, its not like "quacky" enought if you know what i mean. And i've never heard of the Enigma Q-Balls i'll hjave to check that out as well thanks for all the suggestions!
  14. fightthepower


    Jan 7, 2008
    San Diego
    You had an FX-25b, which is the newer version; same basic sound, but the new ones have an extra knob/blend/volume drop. The older original models were just 'FX-25' with no 'b' and only had 2 knobs- these came in a few slightly different looking models ranging from a different shade of green to different knobs, but the same shape, layout, and sound. I have three of the different original flat green models, and none of them share the volume drop heard in the FX-25b.

    The original FX-25's are about 50-75% more expensive than the FX-25b's on the used market, and can still found on average for about $60 or so.

    The Enigma Qballs is a funky envelope filter with versatile controls, and is sold new at most store; probably worth checking out as well.
  15. jufros


    Nov 24, 2008
    You should also think about the Maxon AF-9. It's VERY funky and has a bit of a volume boost too. It's definitely my number one pick for a funky envelope filter.
  16. The Boss LMB-3 is a compressor/limiter which, put very simply, will help tame the volume spike that you will get from some envelope filters. The boss is fairly cheap and works really well.

    Check out this link for an explanation of compression... http://www.ovnilab.com/faq.shtml

    It's by Bongomania, out resident compressor expert/junkie.

    Take a look at the Digitech Bass Synth Wah too. I would tend to steer people in the direction of an analogue filter but the BSW is pretty cool.
  17. Having tried out a bunch I thought the Maxon AF-9 and the 3Leaf Groove Regulator were the best for me by some distance ... turned both off and on.

    The Groove Regulator was a little cheaper so.....got it last week and I'm super happy. Best bass pedal I've ever played :D
  18. perk45


    Feb 2, 2008
    austin, tx
    I've owned an EHX Q-Tron+ (XO), Maxon AF-9, and a Robot Factory Meatwad. My favorite has probably been the Q-Tron, because it gave me the wettest/quackiest/funkiest sound. I think the Meatwad was far more versatile, thick, and tweakable though. I really disliked the Maxon, it was just way too subtle. I sold the Q-Tron and the AF-9 and got the Meatwad about 6 months ago, but I've decided that my 105Q wah pedal is all I need for wet/drippy sounds, so I traded the Meatwad for a RRR reverb.
  19. Bassist30

    Bassist30 Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2004
    The Moogerfooger lowpass and the EBS IQ. The iq is small and isn't bad for its small size if your pedalboard is already stacked. As you mentioned and I have only heard (the short demo on bassfuzz.com) of the 3 leaf. But what I heard it gets a pretty close sound to the meatballs. The moogerfooger I like for its ability for expression pedels. My problem with many or should I say 90% of the pedals is that without the ability of expression pedels you are getting what you set it up to be. If you want any changes you have to do it manually. But in a way thats not a bad thing either except if there are other usable sounds with that pedal.
    I recently bought a stereo polyphase and it has the option to have a envelope mixed with the phase which gives it a nice effect. And you can use an expression pedal with it. The envelope filter part isn't as radical as a pure envelope filter but with a phase it is nice.
    Again I mention the IQ by EBS. I have worked with it for awhile and it is very sensitive when turning the knobs ever so slightly. But the sweet spot is really nice in all 3 positions. High Low and wah. Its a small box but very nice. I heard some bad reviews but some really good ones to( thats with every pedal right?). I would check it out. With there Octave pedal its get an amazing sound and work well together.
  20. fightthepower


    Jan 7, 2008
    San Diego
    Just a clarification regarding the Polyphase: The envelope and LFO modes both sweep the same notch filter rather than there being a phaser and an envelope filter(ie lowpass/bandpass) in the same pedal. In envelope mode, your playing dynamics sweeps the notch filter in a given range set by the knobs, giving you the 'envelope phaser', and in LFO mode the LFO is sweeping the same notch filter. (so the envelope is just a different means of sweeping the same notch/phaser and a parallel would be using the MoogLPF with the Envelope for envelope filter, or with the envelope off, and sweeping the Freq input with an LFO for 'autowah') I think this is also partly why the Envelope side of the phaser is not as thick or obvious as an envelope filter, as it isn't affecting as wide of a frequency range.

    One other little tidbit about the Moog LPF and envelope phasing: With a Moog LPF and a phaser with an exp input, you can do envelope phasing by sending the 'Env out' from the LPF into the sweep input of the phaser. You keep the Moog LPF bypassed (dont have to though) and in line before the phaser so the phaser will receive the full unfiltered signal, and the envelope created by the LPF will sweep the phaser(instead of manually with an exp pedal, or automatically with an LFO). With the Moog Phaser you would patch the LPF's 'Env out' into its 'Sweep' input, with the Phasers LFO controls set to 0, or you could actually mix the Envelope in so that the LFO sweeps the filter at a set rate/range, and the Envelope will add further modulation on each attack that will start and stop based on the position of the sweeping LFO. You could even do this with the LPF+Polyphase if you wanted a different Envelope profile sweeping its phaser, and the Freqbox can be used for its 'Env out' in place of the LPF, though I find the LPF to have a better envelope for these applications. Going further with the Env out from the MoogLPF, you could patch it into any acceptable Input to modulate different parameters: If you sent the Env Out to the Phasers 'Rate' input and had the LFO on, then each time you hit a note, the envelope will speed up and then slow down the rate of the phasers LFO sweep, or into the Resonance input, etc...

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