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non-funk envelope filter

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by knumbskull, Sep 23, 2012.

  1. knumbskull


    Jul 28, 2007
    you heard me. i don't like the quack-y, ooh-yeah-look-at-mah-bassface funk sound, but am intruiged with the idea of using some filter sounds in my psych-rock band.

    filterheads, any suggestions? thx.

    i was thinking:

    EHX Enigma
    3leaf GR2/Wonderlove

    this sort of sound maybe (in the intro):

    Gomez - Get Myself Arrested:

    ps i own a DODFX25 and it's not the sound i'm after.
  2. I am on the same quest. so far i have tried the GR1, Mini Mu and Proteus. the Mini Mu does it but it is hard to find and was a little too sensitive to input changes. it was hard to set in a live scenario especially with a dirt/fuzz pedal in front.

    The GR will not get you there in my opinion the Proteus is a better bet or maybe a Proton which is one i want to try.

    I will add that you may want to consider a wah. Something lime a Wilson 6 or 12 position.
  3. topo morto

    topo morto

    Mar 22, 2010
    Try blending some clean or mild grit in with the sound from the filter.... or try a notch filter, rather than a peaking filter?
  4. knumbskull


    Jul 28, 2007
    thanks - i was looking at the Proton but assmed it was more or less voiced for funk type sounds... might investigate.

    i don't really get on with wahs for some reason! maybe lack of practice.

    just looking at some Proteus youtube stuff now, cheers...
  5. knumbskull


    Jul 28, 2007
    what's a notch filter? or some models of one? thanks.
  6. topo morto

    topo morto

    Mar 22, 2010
    Most filters in effects are peaking filters that accentuate a range of frequencies (and possibly have a roll off at high frequency.) A notch filter cuts a frequency range - if you sweep it, you still get a sense of movement, but without the squawkiness. Not sure of a pedal that can do it... the soundblox BEF has some peak + notch patterns though.

    one thing you might not be liking is the envelope action - driving the filter with an expression pedal ( a bit like the wah suggestion ) should cut out some of the cheeze.
  7. knumbskull


    Jul 28, 2007
    interesting, thanks. maybe i won't discount a wah/expression pedal then...
  8. Tractorr


    Aug 23, 2011
    You may want to try a Mutron or one of the reissues. That is the pedal Sleep used on Dragonaut.
  9. JehuJava

    JehuJava Bass Frequency Technician

    Oct 15, 2002
    Oakland, CA
    While I'm no filter expert, I think it's the envelope portion of the filter that you don't like. Mess with settings so it's not so bubbly and quacky.

    I do have to admit that Gomez sample has quite a funky intro though.
  10. DeltaPhoenix

    DeltaPhoenix Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2011
    Iron Ether Xerograph
  11. knumbskull


    Jul 28, 2007
    just listening to Dragonaut - good shout, that's much more the kind of sounds i'm after!
  12. knumbskull


    Jul 28, 2007
    yeah, i think it's that quick sweep that puts me off...
  13. knumbskull


    Jul 28, 2007
    would look nice next to my Frantabit ;)

    i'll check it out.
  14. MXR Bass Envelope Filter. Plenty of whomp! The Xerograph is also huge.
  15. willbassyeah


    Oct 9, 2011
    i was thinking of the xerograph too =)
  16. mmbongo

    mmbongo Chicken Pot Pie. My three favorite things!! Supporting Member

    I didn't like the Proton because it's not funky/quacky. You might like it!
  17. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    I'm hearing a pretty quick sweep on the video you referenced. It sounds to me like he's using a warm, mellow tone to begin with, and the filter is set to sweep less high than is typical in funk.

    I think what you're going to want is a pedal with a lot of dials, so you can experiment with different attacks, decays, start and stop frequencies, and maybe most importantly, a blend with your dry signal.

    The Enigma, which I own, allows for all those controls and more. No time right now, but I may experiment later and see if I can approximate this tone.
  18. Interesting... this is something I LOVE, because I LOVE filters.

    I think what you're looking for is probably only found in a higher end envelope filter. 75% of the envelope filters only cater to that funky sound, since it's what 95% of the users want out of an envelope filter. Most filters don't give you many options to get away from a funky sound. The better ones do.

    Ok... Let's look at what makes those envelope filters sound "funky" or "whacky." The "whacky" sound is made a few things. First, it's made by a pretty high "Q," resonance, intensity, or one of several other descriptions on how tightly the higher frequencies are cut off and receive a slight boost just below the cut-off of frequency. Next is the frequency range of the filter. The "funky" or whacky sound is made with a moderate-sized frequency sweep over the mid-ranges of the bass. The bass on the song in my signature (as of today, I'll change it later) has all these settings on it, and I think it sounds probably exactly what you're NOT looking for.

    Lastly, the cheaper envelope filters often have two hard-wired settings that aren't changeable, but lend themselves to a "funky" sound since that's what sells. One is that the frequency sweeps are only set to "up" sweeps, where the harder or louder you play, the more the highs come through. A "down" sweep is usually an option on better filters, and won't sound quite as 'funky' (although it can). Also, the attack and release of the filter is set usually to moderately fast to give the bass that bubbly sound. Higher end filters can be set to have a very fast or slower attack, both of which will move away from a funky sound. Also, changing a release speed away from moderately fast will make it sound less funky, too.

    With a higher end filter, there are a vast number of sounds you can get that won't sound typically "bubbly" or "funky." It just takes a bit of knowledge to coax them out of the pedal. Additionally, they may have multiple frequency sweeps, which add a totally different dimension to the sound.

    As such, if you start messing with settings that DON'T follow one or more of the sounds typical with funky envelope filters, then it won't sound as bubbly. For example, a moderately slow filter with the frequency sweep set fairly wide from mid to high on a "down" setting, it will NOT sound bubbly or funky.

    The bottom line is that filters are crazy fun with a ton of options, if you get the right pedal. You're probably looking for a higher end one, and you just need to move the settings away from the typical ones set for that "funky" sound as I described. It can be done, but just read up on what envelope filters do, and then forge away from that funky sound.

    Also, I always suggest tossing a bit of overdrive or fuzz before the pedal in the signal chain. That really brings out the filter's effect more dramatically. When trying out pedals at the guitar store, I strongly suggest getting the salesman to put a OD or fuzz pedal on the bass before the filter.

    Good luck, and happy hunting!
  19. A notch setting on an envelope filter isn't typical, and it's one of those things found on higher end filters. Usually, envelope filters are low-pass filters only. Higher end filters can change this to a variety of different filter shapes.

    A notched filter will remove a section of frequencies, but let higher and lower frequencies on either side of that notched set of frequencies go through.

    Think of a graphic EQ where only one slider is pushed all the way down. Now, imagine that as you play harder, that slider goes back to zero cut, but the slider to the right of it goes down. Play even harder, and that 2nd slider goes back to it's original position, but a 3rd, higher slider goes all the way down. If that makes sense, then that is what a notched filter does.

    I'll see if I have time to post a clip later tomorrow or something. That might be fun to mess with.

    EDIT: Here's a quickie video that I made. I don't know how successful I was, but here it is:

    It sounds different then the common envelope filters. I haven't found a good use for it yet in my music, but you might!
  20. bigchiefbc

    bigchiefbc Supporting Member

    Oct 9, 2006
    Rhode Island, USA
    I went on this exact same quest a few years ago, and went through so many envelope filters trying to find that. I wanted something that did more of a "bwow" sound, and less of that quacking duck sound. Basically, you're going to need an envelope filter that has slow/fast controls (set it to slow), and then turn down both the Q and the sensitivity controls a bit. The filter won't open all the way up, will be less peaky, and will sweep slower. Alteratively, some filters also allow you to change the direction of the filter to sweep down instead of up; that may also be what you're looking for.

    I ended never really finding the perfect filter for me, and just buckled down and learned how to use a wah. I've been using the Wilson Freaker wah for the last few years, and I'm still thrilled with it.