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Pitch-tracking Envelope Filter

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by superheavyfunk, Sep 19, 2017.


  1. superheavyfunk

    superheavyfunk Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2013
    Toronto
    ...Im talking about a filter that opens up more and more, the higher up in pitch you play, kinda like a synth. I know the Wahoo has this capability but is Sonuus the only company who makes such a device?
     
  2. SteveCS

    SteveCS

    Nov 19, 2014
    UK
    I've not heard of any pedals that work that way. From an analogue perspective you could try a multi-band compressor in front of a filter pedal. Set higher ratio lower threshold for lower frequencies and lower ratio higher threshold for higher frequencies. This will flatten the dynamics of your lower notes giving the filter less of a push. As your pitch goes up your signal will get louder and more dynamic, thus encouraging the filter to open more.
    Of course you will have to mindful of the bass tone - too bright and the filter might get opened by the upper harmonics even on lower notes.
    YMMV.
     
    FugaziBomb, wyrtti and superheavyfunk like this.
  3. superheavyfunk

    superheavyfunk Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2013
    Toronto
    That's a genius-level workaround, @SteveCS :D

    I know it'll have to be digital. I can't think of a way a pedal could do this and be analog. Im just a little surprised that the Wahoo seems to be the only device on the market that can do something like this... I owned one for a while but I've come to realize that my brain can't handle programming and customizing pedals on a computer. I need to use my fingers if it's in the physical realm, or a mouse in the digital realm... The wierd mélange of the two (like the Source Audio stuff) just screws with me.
     
    Matt Dean likes this.
  4. SteveCS

    SteveCS

    Nov 19, 2014
    UK
    Thanks! I prefer analogue thinking for these types of problems as the results are less deterministic than digital, even if the devices themselves are digital. I think it translates to a more organic and musically responsive results. Do you want a filter that opens by exactly the same amount every time you play A2, or do you also want it sensitive to your tone and dynamics? 99/100 times I would take the second option. But it sounds like you have a specific thing in mind. In which case, pitch to voltage then feed that into the expression pedal input of a filter pedal. Check out
    Frequency To Voltage Converter And Envelope Follower
     
    HolmeBass and superheavyfunk like this.
  5. wyrtti

    wyrtti Supporting Member

    Oct 24, 2000
    Helsinki, Finland
    This sounds perfect! Thanks for the idea!

    I've only done this by running my bass through a sonuus pitch-to-midi converter, then both bass and midi into a synth with filter tracking keys. All oscillators off, just bass going to filter. It works ok, the bonus is that you can also use the synth's envelopes.
     
    Bob_Ross and SteveCS like this.
  6. jimfist

    jimfist "Cling tenaciously to my buttocks!"

    Mar 28, 2011
    Boston, MA (USA)
    Outside-the-box ideas like this are the bread and butter of more advanced processors like the TC Electronic G-Force (and others in this series), Fractal Audio (AxeFxII/AX8/FX8) and any other digital fx box that allows you to attach external "control modifiers" to specific effect parameters. Attach an external PITCH modifier to control the action of the filter's cutoff frequency and you'll be golden. I used to do stuff like this all the time with the AxeFx (which is really an engineering lab in a box).
     
    RiffwRiter and wyrtti like this.
  7. wyrtti

    wyrtti Supporting Member

    Oct 24, 2000
    Helsinki, Finland
    Ahh, Fractal. I have been debating that with myself. In some ways, it would fit in with what i do just perfectly, yet, in other...

    Oh well, these are great ideas, all of you. Thanks to the original poster for posting this question and for making the subject line clear enough that even I noticed it while skimming!
     
    superheavyfunk likes this.
  8. jimfist

    jimfist "Cling tenaciously to my buttocks!"

    Mar 28, 2011
    Boston, MA (USA)
    Every so often you'll see an FX8 pop up on the used market, or on a special deal from Fractal direct. The FX8 is probably the least expensive way to get into the joys of Fractal land without breaking your wallet. Really, it's no more of a cost than 3 nice boo-teek stomps, but it does so much more. Great stuff IMO.
     
  9. FilterFunk

    FilterFunk Everything is on the ONE! Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2010
    Actually, IME the very rare vintage and all-analog Korg Synthepedal does this. Here's the Synthepedal on a bass guitar patch from my Peavey Spectrum Bass II rack unit (btw, the envelope filter on the guitar sound is a Univox Effectmatic, a licensed '70s Mu-Tron III clone); the music starts at the 0:16 mark:

     
    RiffwRiter likes this.
  10. jimfist

    jimfist "Cling tenaciously to my buttocks!"

    Mar 28, 2011
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I'd be really interested to read your elaboration on how you know that this pedal is tracking pitch, specifically.
     
  11. FilterFunk

    FilterFunk Everything is on the ONE! Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2010
    I only going by what I hear. To me, the envelope filter sounds less open on the lower notes, even though the lower notes are no louder than the higher notes. There are no volume dynamics coming from my keyboard or the Peavey module. That's the best explanation I can give. I could be wrong.
     
    RiffwRiter and jimfist like this.
  12. jimfist

    jimfist "Cling tenaciously to my buttocks!"

    Mar 28, 2011
    Boston, MA (USA)
    OK. Fair enough. Thanks.
     
    FilterFunk likes this.
  13. cultrvultr

    cultrvultr Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2008
    Oakland, California
    Any analog filter with an effects loop should be able to do this as well. Stick a distortion or EQ in the loop and you should get the desired result.

    If your filter doesn't have a loop you could use a blend pedal like an LS-2. Set the filter to be more extreme or use a HP setting and then blend that in with a clean signal to taste.

    I've found that lots of filters seem to do sound like this anyways because the filter sweep is more audible on a higher pitch note, especially in a full band mix. I often feel like my Xerograph and Qtron do this without needing any additional adjustments, especially if I have a fuzz in front of the filter. The fuzz adds more harmonic content for the high end.
     
  14. FilterFunk

    FilterFunk Everything is on the ONE! Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2010
    Now that I think about it, the Chunk Systems Agent 00Funk Mark II opened more on higher notes than it did on lower notes.
     
  15. cultrvultr

    cultrvultr Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2008
    Oakland, California
    Yup. Especially with a brown dog attached.
     
    FilterFunk likes this.