Home Articles Comparisons Forum SHOP Contact Links

Envelope filter pedals compared



This page contains audio samples and brief description of diverse envelope follower pedals. This page is not intended to be a thorough and deep analysis of each of these pedals, but might help you get a overall view of what different pedals sound like in the same environment with the same input sample. The samples are recorded straight through a Line6 Pod XT, so no amplifiers, microphones or studios were used. Therefore, the samples will not give the best achievable sounds that can be achieved from each of these pedals, but since all are in the exactly same environment a comparison can be made.
Hopefully you find these useful and interresting, any comments & suggestions are warmly welcomed!

BOSS - AW-2 Auto Wah
Boss AW-2
The Boss AW-2 was the follower of the TW-1 and was produced from 1991-1999 in Taiwan. It features both an envelope following filtering as well as an LFO (low frequnecy oscillation) controlled modulation, which gives a very large spectra of achievable sounds.
It features controls for the RATE and DEPTH of the LFO modulation (the LFO can be turned of by setting these controls to min), MANUAL to control the frequency where the modulation starts to affect and SENS to control the sensitivity of the modulation to the playing intensity.
IMAGES
Boss AW-2 Pedal   Boss AW-2   Boss AW-2   Boss AW-2 Circuit Board   Boss AW-2 Circuit Board
BOSS - FT-2 Dynamic Filter
Boss - FT-2
Versatile envelope filter from the early eighties, made in Japan. It has controls for the sensitivity, the cut-off frequency and the Q-factor of the resonance peak. It also has an additional mode used together with an expression pedal to control the filter manually similar to a wah wah pedal.
IMAGES
Boss - FT-2 Pedal   Boss - FT-2   Boss - FT-2   Boss - FT-2
BOSS - TW-1 T Wah
BOSS - TW-1
The T Wah ("Touch Wah" on the earliest units) is the first envelope filter pedal released by Boss in the late seventies and was manufactured from 1978 until 1987 in Japan. It is an easily controlled unit which features controls for the sensitivity and the resonance peak. It also has selectable drive direction (up/down). Warm, organic and juicy sound.
IMAGES
BOSS - TW-1 Pedal   BOSS - TW-1   BOSS - TW-1   BOSS - TW-1 Circuit Board
CORON - FUNK BOX 95
Coron - Funk Box 95
Funky and snappy sounding japanese envelope filter from the late seventies to early eighties. Coron effects pedals (most like made by Maxon) were initially close copies of MXR pedals before switching to more generic looking japanese effects in the mid eighties.
IMAGES
Coron - Funk Box 95 Pedal   Coron - Funk Box 95   Coron - Funk Box 95   Coron - Funk Box 95 Circuit Board
ELECTRO-HARMONIX - BASSBALLS
Electro-Harmonix - Bassballs
The Electro-Harmonix Bassballs is a very unique sounding twin dynamic filter with two sweeping filters, with resonant frequencies engineered into the full range of the bass guitar's strongest harmonics. It also features a Fuzz option for harmonic enrichment. As the name already implies, the Bassball's prime application is the bass guitar, although it works nicely with guitar as well.
IMAGES
Electro-Harmonix - Bassballs Pedal   Electro-Harmonix - Bassballs   Electro-Harmonix - Bassballs Circuit Board
ELECTRO-HARMONIX - DOCTOR Q
Electro-Harmonix - Vintage Doctor Q
The Doctor Q pedal was first manufactured 1976-1983, later reissued in 2001. Funky envelope filter with control for sweep range and a switch to select between bass/guitar voicing.
IMAGES
Electro-Harmonix - Vintage Doctor Q Pedal   Electro-Harmonix - Vintage Doctor Q   Electro-Harmonix - Vintage Doctor Q   Electro-Harmonix - Vintage Doctor Q Circuit Board
Electro-Harmonix - Q-Tron
Electro-Harmonix - Q-Tron
The Q-Tron was introduced 1997 and manufactured until recently in the USA. It is a very versatile envelope filter featuring low-pass, high-pass and band-pass filters as well as a mix mode. It has controls for the Peak and the Gain of the filter and has a separate normal/boost mode for added dynamics. In addition it has a switch for the direction of the sweep (up/down) which offers a whole new dimension of sounds achievable from this unit. The different filter settings offer a wide variety of warm sounds with smooth signal tracking.
IMAGES
Electro-Harmonix - Q-Tron Pedal   Electro-Harmonix - Q-Tron   Electro-Harmonix - Q-Tron   Electro-Harmonix - Q-Tron Circuit Board
ELECTRO-HARMONIX - mini Q-TRON
Electro-Harmonix - mini Q-Tron
The mini Q-Tron is a battery operated smaller version of the Q-Tron and has been manufactured from 2002-present, now to be replaced by the new nano series equivalent. It features low-pass, high-pass and band-pass filters and controls for the sensitivity and the Q-value of the resonance. Although not as versatile, soundwise this unit is quite close to it's big brother giving the same fullness and warmth.
IMAGES
Electro-Harmonix - mini Q-Tron Pedal   Electro-Harmonix - mini Q-Tron   Electro-Harmonix - mini Q-Tron Circuit Board  
LOVETONE - MEATBALL
Lovetone Meatball
This things must be one of the most versatile envelope filters available. It features controls for sensitivity, attack, decay, range (can be used to fine-tune the frequency response and create subtle effects), resonance and dry/wet signal blend. It has numerous filter options (high, low, and band-pass filters and four selectable filter frequency ranges) and selection of Up and Down response curves, different triggering options etc...
In addition to the huge amount of controls, the Meatball offers an effects loop (works excellent with e.g. octaves and distortion, or it can be used for external trigger facility) as well as expression pedal connections (e.g. to create wah-type effects).
It definitely requires some time to master the Meatball with it's plethora of knobs that all in a way interact with each other, but its possibilities are endless. Two short samples will not even scratch the soundscape of this box, but anyway, here you go.
IMAGES
Lovetone Meatball Pedal   Lovetone Meatball   Lovetone Meatball Circuit Board   Lovetone Meatball Circuit Board
MXR Envelope Filter
MXR Envelope Filter
Very smooth and organic sounding vintage, made between 1976-1983 in the USA
IMAGES
MXR Envelope Filter Pedal   MXR Envelope Filter   MXR Envelope Filter Circuit Board
PIGTRONIX - EP1 Envelope Phaser
PIGTRONIX - EP1 Envelope Phaser
Although this pedal is not only an envelope follower, we'll include it in this comparison, since it actually has a quite nice envelope tracking capability.
IMAGES
PIGTRONIX - EP1 Envelope Phaser Pedal   PIGTRONIX - EP1 Envelope Phaser   PIGTRONIX - EP1 Envelope Phaser
SYSTECH - ENVELOPE FOLLOWER
Systech Envelope follower
Smooth and warm sounding envelope follower made by Systech (Systems and Technologies in Music Inc.) between 1975-79 in Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA.
IMAGES
Systech Envelope follower Pedal   Systech Envelope follower   Systech Envelope follower   Systech Envelope follower Circuit Board
2009 Pedalarea. All rights reserved