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Stomping Grounds: 25 Pedals Reviewed


ModTone Funk Filter Enveloper

Download Example 1
Low Pass
Download Example 2
Mid Pass
Download Example 3
High Pass

Another offering from ModTone is the Funk Filter Enveloper, which features a 3-way switch with High Pass, Mid Pass, Low Pass, F-Factor and Drive to control the filters. First, I plugged in my Fender/Warmoth Barit-Tele, but I was a bit lost because I couldn’t replicate the same sounds twice. The pedal’s F-Factor and Drive controls are very interactive, and each control will react differently depending on the position of the other. The combination of the pickups on my guitar made a huge difference as well. I mainly used my bridge pickup, a Rio Grande Dirty Harry at about 7, and the stock Fender Jumbo Humbucker (Neck) at about 3 while testing this pedal. Starting backwards, I first tried the Low Pass setting with the F-Factor control at 3 o’clock and the Drive at 11 o’clock. This created a punchy auto-wah great for playing various funk leads and rhythms. In Mid Pass with the F-Factor control at 11 o’clock and the drive turned to 2 o’clock, I achieved excellent vocal-sounding leads. Setting the switch to High Pass, Drive at 9 o’clock and the F-Factor at 2 o’clock, I achieved a funky pop sound after each note, with an almost sitar like auto-wah slapback after each note.

The Funk Filter is a very interactive pedal that will make you work at first to find the right sounds, but you’ll probably love every minute of it. The Funk Filter is not too noisy when activated, and does not color your tone when in true bypass mode. As a side note, it also works well with synth and drum machines. – BB

Buy if...
you want a good sounding envelope filter or auto wah at a wallet-friendly price.
Skip if...
funky fresh filtering is not your thing.

Street $129 - ModTone Effects -

Electro-Harmonix Riddle: QBalls

Download Audio Sample
The Riddle: Q Balls is an envelope-controlled filter that works almost like a wah, but rather than using a foot pedal you control the intensity of the filter sweep with your playing dynamics. The Riddle is ultra versatile as far as envelope filter pedals are concerned, and offers a wide range of controls for shaping the tone: Blend, Mode, Attack, Decay, Start, Stop, Q, and Sensitivity. Blend lets you choose how much of the effect is mixed into the final signal. Mode sets up the filter as a low-pass, band-pass or high-pass filter. Attack and Decay control the speed in which the effect begins and ends. The Start and Stop controls set the frequency points from wide to tight sweeps.

The Riddle also includes a distortion circuit, mainly to make the effect more pronounced. EH included a trim pot inside the pedal to control the distortion level, in case you’d like a boost or drop in volume when engaging the distortion. The Riddle also has a separate jack for an expression pedal to sweep the filter manually much like a wah.

Due to the unique sonic nature of the Riddle, a little goes a long way. I liked the Riddle very much and found it to be exceptional in its ability to achieve just about any filter effect I threw at it. From wah-like sweeps to ultra-wide funky vocal sounds that far exceeded a typical wah voicing, it’s an addictive effect. Tracking is excellent and it only takes minutes to get used to controlling the sweep with your playing dynamics. Because there is no way to save settings, and the controls are very sensitive, you have to be careful because bumping one knob can quickly change the sound, which is both a blessing and a curse. And you gotta love those EH naming schemes! – SO

Buy if...
you want the funk.
Skip if...
esoteric ain’t your bag.

Street $189 - Electro-Harmonix -

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