Sunday, November 7, 2010

DIY Envelope Filter Pedal

More kit love. This one is a General Guitar Gadgets DOD 440 Envelope Filter replica kit. I can't say enough about these kits. Super easy to put together. This pedal is subtle, and I still haven't worked out the best sounds for it. It is an autowah and you have to fine tune the knobs to come up with something useful. There isn't much on the web about the DOD original, although I found a pdf of an original manual here. The manual really doesn't give much information. The left knob is level, the right range. If the range knob is turned up too high there is a fair bit of distortion. A lower setting, up to maybe 2:00 or so seems to work better. I actually prefer using the pedal with a bass rather than with a guitar. Think Bootsy Collins. I had the notion of replacing one of the resistors with a pot to get more variation, something along the lines of the Q control on an Electro-Harmonix Q-Tron, following some vague instructions I found on the web. I desoldered the resistor, resoldered it to the bottom of the board and soldered the pot in parallel on the topside. This didn't seem to do much so I removed it. You can see the space where the 430K resistor would be in the close up (it still soldered to the bottom of the board). If anyone has any ideas about modding this circuit send me an email and I'll try it. I also had half a notion to try to install the guts of one of these kits directly in my Jaguar. Jaguars have plenty of extra space in the various control cavities to do this, including space for a 9v battery in the trem cavity. This would involve rewiring the entire guitar and using the rhythm circuit controls on the upper bout to control the effect. In theory you could do this with any effect that had only two controls and a small enough board. I went so far as to order some pots and switches to try this, but once I started tweaking the kit itself, I never got around to it. I really didn't want to get to the point where I started chiseling out wood to get everything to fit. I may try this in the future.

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