So I use a envelope filter made by electro harmonix for the classical jerry garcia sound. But people keep telling me i need a wah pedal but it seems a little repetitive to have both. Is there a need to have a wah pedal, as it is one of the most widely used pedals?
The only difference I know of is that the wah has an expression pedal that gives you control of the tone swells, where the envelope filter has a preset rate that can't practically be adjusted while playing. I prefer to have a wah because 99% of the time, I am playing in a live setting with other musicians, so the tempo may vary. However, if you are playing by yourself much of the time, there's nothing wrong with using an envelope filter. If you can get practical use of both, there is nothing wrong with having both. Some wah parts don't necessarily rely on tempo, or at least it's not terrible if the tempo is a little bit off. You could use the filter for those, while still having the option of a wah for other parts. Who knows maybe you may find some crazy sound effect by using both simultaneously, haha. If you are able to play your parts just fine with the envelope filter, there is no need to buy a wah just to satisfy the 'rules." You're going to come across a lot of players who tell you to do something because it's what everyone does. Do what works for you.
Last edited by Nolasludge at Jul 24, 2016,
Nope, some auto-wahs can do that but anything called an envelope filter is controlled by the volume of the input signal (the envelope).where the envelope filter has a preset rate that can't practically be adjusted while playing.
There is justification for having both a wah and an envelope filter, but they do overlap and it depends on you. If you prefer a smaller pedalboard it may not be worth the effort (especially since wahs are big space-hoggers). A wah gives you more control - you have complete control of the rate and, with cleans, can hold back to take ice-pick treble out of louder notes, where the envelope filter would accentuate it. In general it's more convincing as an expressive tool. An envelope filter, however, can follow patterns which would be very tricky to do reliably with a wah and has the consistent relationship with volume that will let you control it with picking dynamics, even before a distortion which will even out the output signal.
The short version is that one doesn't make the other wholly redundant but there's enough overlap that they can both fill a lot of the same roles convincingly.
Last edited by K33nbl4d3 at Jul 24, 2016,
I was always under the assumption that auto wahs and envelope filters were basically the same thing. That was why I got rid of mine because I already had a wah, and I wasn't getting much utility out of it. Envelope filters are very useful for doing Jerry Garcia and Edie Brickell type stuff. I think those types of riffs would eventually get tiring on the foot with a wah, haha. Since I don't really play in that style, I ended up selling mine. I will say this, and please correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think that envelope filters are capable of doing a slow swell from bass to treble while you are playing. I think they will do their full range (depending on settings) each time you play a note. Unless you're planning on playing stuff like that, its not really necessary to have both. However, they are not mutually exclusive.Nope, some auto-wahs can do that but anything called an envelope filter is controlled by the volume of the input signal (the envelope).
I was always under the assumption that auto wahs and envelope filters were basically the same thing.
They overlap most of the time. An auto-wah is any band-pass filter that sweeps without the direct control of the player (i.e. no footpedal). It may be controlled by an LFO like a chorus or phaser, or by the envelope of the input signal. An envelope filter is a filter (which may be band-pass, low-pass or high-pass, but is most often a band-pass, like a wah) the sweep of which is controlled by an envelope follower, which creates an output voltage based on the peak amplitudes (the envelope) of the input signal, so the volume of the guitar signal controls the wah effect. Most of the time an auto-wah is an envelope filter, and most of the time an envelope filter is an auto-wah.
The range of the sweep can be controlled by picking dynamics (or the guitar's volume knob), but you're correct in saying that the speed of the response is fixed and you can't do slow swells (on some fancier envelope filters you can adjust the speed with a knob, but that's not really useful while you're in the middle of playing).I will say this, and please correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think that envelope filters are capable of doing a slow swell from bass to treble while you are playing. I think they will do their full range (depending on settings) each time you play a note. Unless you're planning on playing stuff like that, its not really necessary to have both. However, they are not mutually exclusive.
Last edited by K33nbl4d3 at Jul 24, 2016,