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Tips for setting up an envelope filter

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Growler, Jun 14, 2007.


  1. Growler

    Growler

    Sep 26, 2004
    I just got a tonefactor 442, which has two knobs on it range and level. I'm having a very tough time getting a good funky sound out of it. Could someone provide some tips on adjusting an envelope filter.

    Something along the lines of "start with X knob at 7:00 and Y knob at 7:00 and then turn the X knob until you hear....

    Thanks
     
  2. TheMutt

    TheMutt Guest

    Apr 28, 2007
    Before Spanky says it; if you do a search, I am sure that you will find a wealth of people who have already asked this kind of question. Also, you may want to note that the ToneFactor 442 is based off the DOD 440 which is a much subtler envelope filter. If you are looking for something more funky, do a search for Qtron, Mutron, Agent 00Funk, Lovetone Meatball, or DOD FX25 for starters. (yes I know I left some off the list, I'll let the other envelope gurus out there fill in the gaps :D)
     
  3. Growler

    Growler

    Sep 26, 2004
    Thanks, but I've gone through a few filters already (Bassballs, EBS bassIQ), and I'm wondering if the reason the others "didn't sound right" was b/c I didn't have a good plan for configuring them. I know your settings may not work with my bass or attack strength, but for those of us just getting into FX, the 'theory of setting one up' would be helpful. Just like there's a method to trying out a new bass (playing up and down the neck, scales, playing sitting down, standing up to see neck dive etc...).

    Thanks
     
  4. The Lurker

    The Lurker

    Aug 16, 2002
    Ankh-Morpork
    that's kinda hard to say because filters are so diverse.... a 442 has two knobs, a Moog has all sorts of stuff...

    But yeah, the 442 is a fairly subtle one, IMO it sounded better on a geetar than on bass... try having the range wide open and the level up about halfway, and feed a hot signal into it.
     
  5. SpankyPants

    SpankyPants That's Mr. SpankyPants to you.

    Aug 24, 2006
    Brooklyn, NY
    I keep both controls on minimum. This is the least subtle this pedal can get.
     
  6. nad

    nad 60 Cycle Humdinger

    Sep 22, 2005
    I think the trick with envelope filters is getting the sensitivity to match your playing, and I'm assuming with the 442 that'd be the Level control.

    Generally I set range, attack, sweep, fudge, pink, whatever to halfway, then find the proper sensivity. Then I adjust everything else according to taste.

    Envelope filters helped me clean up my dynamics, and I love them for it. :)
     
  7. SpankyPants

    SpankyPants That's Mr. SpankyPants to you.

    Aug 24, 2006
    Brooklyn, NY
    But the 442 is REALLY subtle, especially with my extra hot bass. If I turn anything above minimum, I generally can't hear much effect... unless I turn down my bass.
     
  8. TheMutt

    TheMutt Guest

    Apr 28, 2007
    I am not too sure about the Tone Factor 442 as I do not own one, but with all of my other filters I have them set to varying degrees of sensitivity. Probably the lowest that I have set is my Dr. Q. I have it set so that the envelope only opens on the hardest notes that I play, and then only for a short time before the envelope closes again. My Q-Tron (still the funkiest pedal that I own so far) is set back just a bit from "overloading" (that is what the LED is labeled on this pedal) in the down drive position, so it is pretty sensitive to playing dynamics. The one that I am still playing around with right now is the DOD FX25 that I got from another TBer. Right now, I have the range on full and the sensitivity around 3:30. This gives me an envelope structure that is something similar to:

    Baaa(envelope opens)oooowwwwww(envelope closes)OOOOMM (if I had a halfway decent sound card, I'd record it for you all)

    and kicks in a deep bass sound at the end. What you need to do is play around with the knobs on your pedal and find the sweet spot where you can get the envelope to open and close in such a way that sounds good for you. Unfortunately without owning your pedal and bass, as well as copping your play style, I can't offer you any more advice than that :(.
    Good luck on your quest for funk!
     
  9. The Lurker

    The Lurker

    Aug 16, 2002
    Ankh-Morpork
    I don't quite follow... if you open things up and dump a big signal into it, the pedal becomes less responsive?

    That puzzles me.... what's it do, just redline the thing so it stays at max open?
     
  10. TheMutt

    TheMutt Guest

    Apr 28, 2007
    That would be my best guess at what is going on. Had that problem with my Dr. Q before I opened the thing up and turned down the trimpot inside that modifies the filter sweep response.
     
  11. Growler

    Growler

    Sep 26, 2004
    Alright, I think I'm getting closer to getting this pedal under control, however, at some settings I notice either the beginning or end of the note (say open E) will have a heavy "boominess" or "muddiness" to it. Is that considered having the filter open or closed. Ie. should you hear a clean note/passthru with the filter open or closed?
     
  12. SpankyPants

    SpankyPants That's Mr. SpankyPants to you.

    Aug 24, 2006
    Brooklyn, NY
    Yup. That's it. It goes from closed to WIDE open instantly, with as much as a brush of a string. My bass has a notoriously high output, though. It's been the bane of many a fuzz and preamp.
     
  13. bongomania

    bongomania Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    In most cases, a filter "opens more" the louder the input you feed it, and "starts to close shut" as your input level decreases. In that case, fully open generally means the widest range of frequencies gets through unmolested, and the more it closes the more it rolls off certain frequencies (which frequencies depend on whether it is a high pass, low pass, or band pass filter). Certain filters like the Maxon and Mutron can be set to operate in the reverse manner.

    However some filters are "self resonant", meaning they turn into oscillators (tone generators) themselves. They are especially prone to self-resonating when the input is at a certain frequency that "pushes them over the edge". This is most likely the cause of the booming sound you heard. Those of us that like "Bootsy" type filtering really dig that boom, but slappy jazzers may not.
     
  14. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Feb 24, 2021

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