Need a specific type of envelope filter...

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by jackn1202, Aug 1, 2019.

  1. jackn1202


    Feb 14, 2018
    Austin, TX
    I’ve been using the MXR M82 Bass Envelope Filter in my latest project, and while I like the sound, I find myself wishing I could change the length of the decay or the intensity in real time. I’ll be doing long, open parts with long tones and want a huge curve for the note, and then I’ll go straight into playing 16ths that need a very short decay in the same song. I don’t have time to reach down and turn the knob six times in a single song, nor do I want to.

    Can any of y’all rec me a pedal that would fit my needs? Alternatively, I’d there something I’m missing with the pedal itself? I’ve messed around with it a decent bit and haven’t discovered a way to get what I want out of it, but at the same time I’m not exactly a pedal master, and 95% of my pedal knowledge and arsenal is made up of fuzz pedals.

    Thanks for the help, folks.
  2. Robertron


    Feb 12, 2010
    NewYork, NY
    Since you don't want to reach down to a pedal what kind of options are you leaning towards to control decay like that?

    Do you want to control parameters with an expression pedal?

    Do you want to toggle between two presets?

    Analog or digital?

    Do you have a budget in mind?

    Do you already like the envelope filter tone you're getting from the MXR filter or are you looking for a different tone?
    Sunset Shalom likes this.
  3. Sunset Shalom

    Sunset Shalom

    May 9, 2016
    Try a volume pedal in front of the filter, that way you can easily reduce the input signal which will alter the sensitivity.

    Also while very expensive the WMD protostar may do what you need:

    You can patch the Exp jack to control any of the parameters in the patch bay I believe. Doesn't look like it has a modular jack for the threshold though, but you can control the Q via exp.
    knumbskull likes this.
  4. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    While that WMD looks really cool, dunno if it does what you’d want. I haven’t done a big deep dive on this, but I’d be looking for something with good MIDI implementation that gives you full parameter control and use a controller with it.
  5. jackn1202


    Feb 14, 2018
    Austin, TX
    I’m not 100% sure how to answer your questions, but I’m gonna do my best.

    I want to be able to control either the timing of the decay or the intensity with my foot.

    I’m gonna assume parameters would mean, maybe, the width of the “weow”. The answer is, I don’t think so (?)

    Two presets might get me in the range as well. That could be another option.

    Don’t know the difference, so I don’t care.

    I’m trying not to spend a ton of money, but I know these aren’t cheap, so I’m gonna explore all the options and see if I can afford one down the road.

    I like the tone from the MXR, yes, but I’m not dead set on it.
  6. Robertron


    Feb 12, 2010
    NewYork, NY
    Many envelope filter pedals allow you to plug in an expression pedal so that you can control parameters like Decay or Intensity/Frequency/Q. Source Audio Manta, Source Audio C4, 3Leaf Audio Wonderlove, 3Leaf Audio Chromatron, Iron Ether Xerograph, and many many more.

    Personally I will recommend the Source Audio C4.

    Consider this circumstance.
    You can create two envelope filter presets. You can save one Preset to Bank A and the second preset to Bank B.
    The preset you save in Bank B can be the same filter tone/voice as your preset in Bank A but with a different envelope shape that would allow you to go from a slow envelope "wwwAhh" sweep in Bank A to a "quacky" fast envelope in Bank B.
    You will toggle between the two by holding the footswitch for 2 seconds. For this solution you wouldnt have to buy any external expression pedal or MIDI controller. The drawback is that you won't have real-time control over the decay and sensitivity parameters so your presets will need to be dialed in to your needs beforehand. You also wouldn't be able to go from tone A to tone B instantly, if that is something you do need.
  7. cardinal


    Jan 13, 2016
    Have you considered just using a Digitech Whammy on the long open part to drop the pitch of the long open note and then come back up to pitch for the 16th notes?

    I know it's not exactly the same, but at least for a live application, it might be close enough and could potentially avoid some monstrously complex MIDI solution.
  8. RattleSnack


    Sep 22, 2011
    Xotic Robotalk 2 is two env. pedals in one:

  9. jackn1202


    Feb 14, 2018
    Austin, TX
    Actually, I could try that. I have an EHX Pitchfork I’d been messing with, but had given up on it for this project.
  10. jackn1202


    Feb 14, 2018
    Austin, TX
    I like that idea a lot. I have a Moog external expression pedal that I bought for my Pitchfork awhile back, and I hear that pedal is fairly universal, so the extra dough for one shouldn’t be a factor.

    I’ll check all those out. Maybe tomorrow.
    Robertron likes this.
  11. Robertron


    Feb 12, 2010
    NewYork, NY
    Goodluck! There are so many freaking envelope filters out there I hope you find the one that works for you.

    If you've already got an expression pedal check out the others that I mentioned.

    Zackary Rizer aka @Proton Lenny has a YouTube channel with very informative, high quality bass demos of a lot of the pedals I just mentioned, and so many more, if you want a point of reference to start.
    jackn1202 likes this.
  12. nbsipics

    nbsipics Ours' is the only Reality of Consequence Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 8, 2016
    +1 Moog
  13. nbsipics

    nbsipics Ours' is the only Reality of Consequence Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 8, 2016
  14. Why not just buy a second pedal?
  15. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    My go-to for this would be a filter that allows for both manual control via a separate foot controller and a dedicated envelope filter setting. My 3Leaf Chromatron does this. You could set it up for your shorter sweep sound as the default setting, and then engage the footswitch control and use something like a Dunlop DVP to control a longer sweep.
    MYLOWFREQ and Robertron like this.
  16. jackn1202


    Feb 14, 2018
    Austin, TX
    I didn’t make this clear, and that’s my fault. I’ve been BORROWING the MXR. I shoulda made that clearer. I don’t own it, and I won’t have it much longer.
    Nephilymbass likes this.
  17. RudyTardy

    RudyTardy Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2002
    Los Angeles
    I second @Robertron on the C4. This thing is BONKERS. The programmable envelopes barely scratch the surface of what this thing can do. Add an expression pedal for everything you want to achieve (and a lot more).
    jackn1202 likes this.
  18. Robertron


    Feb 12, 2010
    NewYork, NY
    Well perfect that's good reason to buy yourself a good one ;)
    jackn1202 likes this.
  19. Erik herman

    Erik herman Gold Supporting Member

    Maybe a bass crybaby? I keep one on my board just because sometimes a set sweep doesn't cut it when jamming, the other envelope filter on my board is the source audio bass envelope filter pro. You can do whatever the heck you want and it has 6 presets, expression control and the awesome hot hand controller, there's really not much you can control or do with it.
    tshapiro likes this.
  20. SteveCS


    Nov 19, 2014
    Hampshire, UK
    Have you considered a compressor in front of the EF? The compressor, by definition, modifies the envelope of the note, and can be set to hold the decay higher and flatter for longer, which in turn would hold the filter open for longer...
    jackn1202 likes this.
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