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Top 10 Best Envelope Filter Pedals For Guitar & Bass of 2022 Review

The Envelope Filter pedal is a classic effect; 70’s funk just wouldn’t be the same without it, both on guitar and bass. From Jerry Garcia, Joe Walsh, and Bob Marley, to Jonny Greenwood, the Edge, and, not forgetting, the amazing Bootsy Collins, music just wouldn’t be the same without this incredible effect.

That’s why I decided to take a look at some of the best envelope filter pedals for guitar & bass currently on the market. So, let’s go through them and find the perfect one for your pedalboard, but before that…

Is it just a fancy wah pedal?

Well, it sort of is, and many people refer to them as such. They both have that very recognizable movement across the frequency range. But they are not the same. Envelope Filters will give you a wider spectrum of sound. Which leads us nicely on to…

What are Envelope Filter Pedals and How Do They Work?

These pedals will give you a range of envelope-triggered effects in your audio signal. They behave in a relationship with either the decay or the attack of the chords or the notes being played. Play a note, and the filter triggers an amplitude of what is played.

It is sometimes said it sounds like the quack of a duck rather than a wah sound. You can have various types of filters. High, low, or Band-pass that are activated when you play a note on a bass or a guitar.

How is it different?

The effect takes the note played and sweeps the peak response down and up to create the effect. This is the main difference between envelope filter and wah pedals

With the Envelope Filter, the filtering or modulation is triggered by the input signal and its dynamics. With a wah pedal, the effect is generated by an expression pedal. They are best placed like a wah pedal, close to the front of the signal chain for a maximum tonal effect. So, let’s take a look at some of these great sounding envelope filter pedals

Best Envelope Filter Pedals For Guitar & Bass

Top 10 Best Envelope Filter Pedals For Guitar & Bass on the Market in 2022 Reviews

  1. Electro-Harmonix Micro Q-Tron Envelope Follower Pedal – Most Versatile Envelope Filter Pedal for Guitar and Bass
  2. EarthQuaker Devices Spatial Delivery V2 Envelope Filter Guitar Effects Pedal – Most Durable Envelope Filter Pedal for Guitar and Bass
  3. Mojo Hand FX Wonder Filter Envelope Filter – Easiest to Use Envelope Filter Pedal for Guitar and Bass
  4. MXR Bass Envelope Filter Effect Pedal – Best Bass Envelope Filter Pedal
  5. Electro-Harmonix BassBalls Twin Dynamic Envelope Filter Pedal – Best Compact Envelope Filter Pedal for Bass
  6. Xotic Robotalk 2 Envelope Filter Effect Pedal – Best 2-channel Envelope Filter Pedal for Guitar and Bass
  7. Fender Pour Over Envelope Filter Electric Guitar Pedal – Best Value for the Money Envelope Filter Pedal for Guitar and Bass
  8. Keeley Neutrino Optocoupler Based Envelope Filter & Auto Wah V2 – Best Mini Envelope Filter Pedal for Bass and Guitar
  9. Mooer EQ Effects Pedal (Sweeper) – Best Budget Envelope Filter Pedal for Guitar and Bass
  10. Aguilar Filter Twin Bass Filter Effect Pedal – Best Premium Envelope Filter Pedal for Guitar and Bass

1 Electro-Harmonix Micro Q-Tron Envelope Follower Pedal – Most Versatile Envelope Filter Pedal for Guitar and Bass

This is a pedal from Electro-Harmonix. They are a New York company founded by one of the great innovators of pedal-driven sound for guitars, Mike Matthews. He and they created the Big Muff Fuzz sound, so I think that is enough said.

A Follow-up to the original

The Electro-Harmonix Micro Q-Tron has the same basic design as its forerunner, the original Q-Tron. That has now been discontinued to be replaced with this. There are one or two improvements. There is an effects loop and control for the level of attack response added.

Four Modes of Operation

  • Low-Pass.
  • Band Pass.
  • High-Pass
  • Mix.

The latter, the Mix control, combines the direct signal with the Band Pass mode. There is also a switchable Boost Mode.

Parameter Controls for the Modes

Each of the filter modes has four parameter controls. 

  • Response.
  • Range.
  • Peak.
  • Sweep.

The Response control will switch the response from fast to slow. Controlling how quickly the envelope sweeps the filter. The Range will emphasize sounds from low to high. Peak controls the peak of the resonance. Sweep controls the filter through an upward and onward filter sweep.

An effects loop

Those controls offer a wide range of options. But there are more possibilities. You can place either a single effect or a chain of effects between the preamp of the Q-Tron and the filter section. And you can do this without making any changes to the envelope drive.

The possibilities suddenly become endless if you can imagine pitch shifting or fuzz placed into the equation. These are features that set this pedal apart from others and make it one of the best envelope filter pedals for guitar & bass around.

It has a good strong build, though, at 6.25 by 3.2 by 5.65 inches, it could hardly be called compact. If you have a packed pedalboard, it may cause a problem.

Electro-Harmonix Micro Q-Tron Envelope Follower Pedal
Our rating:4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)

Pros

  • Multiple effects and filter settings offer a wide range of sounds.
  • Rugged and well-built.

Cons

  • Quite large compared with some.

2 EarthQuaker Devices Spatial Delivery V2 Envelope Filter Guitar Effects Pedal – Most Durable Envelope Filter Pedal for Guitar and Bass

EarthQuaker Devices, or EQD, is a manufacturer based in Akron, Ohio. You could argue that most of the products in their range have got something out of the ordinary about them. This is a pedal that doesn’t let their “out of the ordinary creativity” down.

Three Operating Modes

This is a voltage-controlled pedal that has an added sample and hold circuit. There are three control knobs, and the centrally placed three-way toggle switch allows you to select which you need. 

  • Up Sweep.
  • Down Sweep.
  • Sample and Hold.

They operate as you would expect from their descriptions. Taking their reference point from the level of the input signal. The Up Sweep filter sweeps the signal up, and the Down filter sweeps it down.

But then something different

But then we get the “typical EQD moment.” The Sample and Hold filter is governed by random voltage. What you have then are two very basic modes for the envelope filter and then one that goes way out there. 

To call it strange with an uncontrollable sound might be unfair. On the other hand, it might be quite accurate. Either way, it is one of the most unique sounding envelope filter pedals you can buy.

Three controls for each mode

  1. Range – which adjusts how sensitive sweeps are in both up and down mode. 
  2. Resonance – adjusting the control for filter feedback. 
  3. Filter – crossfading between the low-pass and high pass filters.

From Funk to Star Wars

This pedal delivers sounds that will take you from a funky, almost “Shaft-like” wah sound out into deep space. So, if you like “something completely different,” this might be it. It comes at a price, though. Well-made with an all-metal build, at 4.75 by 2.50 by 2.25 inches, it won’t take up too much space.

EarthQuaker Devices Spatial Delivery V2 Envelope Filter Guitar Effects Pedal
Our rating:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Pros

  • Well-made, tough little unit.
  • Has some unusual sounds that can be created.

Cons

  • Not cheap.

3 Mojo Hand FX Wonder Filter Envelope Filter – Easiest to Use Envelope Filter Pedal for Guitar and Bass

The Wonder Filter from Mojo Hand has been inspired in its design by classic envelope filter pedals. A true Bypass pedal, it offers just about everything you will need. One of its potential problems is its size. It measures 4.7 by 3.69 by 1.37 inches high. For an already packed pedalboard, it may be difficult to accommodate.

Five modes

  • No Filter.
  • High Pass Filter.
  • Band Pass Filter.
  • Low Pass Filter.
  • Notch Filter.

The No Filter setting can be used either as a stand-alone preamp boost. Additionally, it offers an equal boost to each of the modes for input gain when controlled by the Gain knob.

The Controls

There is a selector knob for choosing your mode and five rotating dial controls. These are for Boost and the Gain, which will push more of your signal into the envelope. This will increase the filter circuit’s sensitivity.

There are controls for the level of Attack and Resonance peak. Also, a nice inclusion is the Mix control. This offers you the chance to blend the direct signal with the wet signal.

There are also toggle switches for Drive, offering a choice of Down and Up. And Range offers a choice of Low or High. A decent enough pedal with some nice features but is rather expensive.

Mojo Hand FX Wonder Filter Envelope Filter
Our rating:4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

Pros

  • Plenty of sound manipulation on offer.
  • Very visual and easy-to-use controls.

Cons

  • Quite large and some will find it expensive.

4 MXR Bass Envelope Filter Effect Pedal – Best Bass Envelope Filter Pedal

One now that is designed for the bass guitar. If you are looking to get those popular auto-wah sounds, then this is going to be of interest. This pedal from MXR delivers rich, organic tones from its all-analog circuit. It is specifically designed to react to the lower signals from the bass.

Passive and Active basses

It will handle the signals from both passive and active basses and give you a great sound from both. It is also designed with true bypass. Always an advantage to have a pedal that won’t color the sound of your bass when it is not in use.

The Controls

MXR might make good-quality pedals with plenty of features, but they are always easy to use. This is a good example. A mono output and input on each side, five controls, and a footswitch. This simple setup allows you to dial in exactly what you need quickly and easily. 

  • Dry.
  • FX.
  • Decay – sets envelope filter’s decay stop frequency.
  • Q – controls the intensity of the effect.
  • Sens – adjusts the sensitivity at which the envelope triggers.

The Dry knob controls the amount of output from your dry signal. The FX controls the amount of output of the signal from the envelope filter.

The Decay is a standard control that sets the decay level and the frequency at which it stops. Q controls the intensity of the effect that is being created. The Sens sets the level of sensitivity that triggers the envelope.

No Sweep control

Some may find it surprising that there is no control for the sweep. This pedal is designed so that the sweep is always going downward. A lot of people think that is the best way to create a good bass sound with an envelope filter pedal.

Mixing wet and dry

One notable feature of this pedal is that with the Dry and the FX dials, you can control the output levels of both. This will allow you to mix the dry and wet signals to get exactly the sound you want.

Well-built as you would expect from MXR, the pedal measures 6 by 4.5 by 2.5 inches and weighs 14 ounces. It will run off a 9v battery or a mains unit.

MXR Bass Envelope Filter Effect Pedal
Our rating:4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

Pros

  • Well made and designed to react to bass signals.
  • Plenty of sound control with a dry and wet mix option.

Cons

  • No sweep feature, which some may prefer.

5 Electro-Harmonix BassBalls Twin Dynamic Envelope Filter Pedal – Best Compact Envelope Filter Pedal for Bass

Back to the people at Electro-Harmonix for an envelope filter pedal especially designed for the bass.

Is there a difference in effects from guitar to bass?

There most certainly is. What works with a guitar may work with the bass, but not so well. Likewise, the reverse is also true. Bass pedals may not be as good when used with guitar. 

But there seems to be a feeling that you set up and use a bass pedal the same as you would a guitar pedal. You don’t. Lower frequencies react differently. Therefore, so will the pedal. And that applies, particularly, to an envelope filter.

Unique to bass

Yes, you can use guitars through bass pedals, but they really are for the lower frequencies. You might call them a filter of their own kind. They are not very flexible in terms of what sounds you can produce. And they may need a little bit of help with a boost when you get down low. 

Envelope filters on the bass can sound a bit weak, and it can get worse the deeper you go. Applying a little distortion will help to boost the signal. 

That may be why Electro-Harmonix has included a distortion toggle switch to give you that option. You may need that with the Electro-Harmonix BassBalls.

Two filter sweeps

This unit is designed to use two filter sweeps that are quite narrow. There are envelope controls for both to give you a different type of effect.

The filter circuit is controlled by the sole dial, the response knob. This acts on both filters at the same time, varying the range of the sweep. The only other control you need to worry about is the toggle switch that applies distortion if you want it.

Easy to use

As far as pedals go, it doesn’t get much easier than this. And a bonus is compact size; it measures just 5.75 by 2.75 by 3.45 inches and only weighs 10 ounces.

Set at a very competitive price point. For a basic pedal, it is good value for a bass guitar as long as you are not expecting too much.

Electro-Harmonix BassBalls Twin Dynamic Envelope Filter Pedal
Our rating:4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Pros

  • Well-made with simple to use controls and two filter sweeps.
  • Competitive price point.

Cons

  • Some may want more sound features. 

6 Xotic Robotalk 2 Envelope Filter Effect Pedal – Best 2-channel Envelope Filter Pedal for Guitar and Bass

Sometimes you come across a pedal and look at it in amazement. This is one of those. I wonder what the people who designed the top of this pedal and the layout must have been thinking. Maybe it was ‘let’s make this as hard to read as possible.’

With the unfortunate typeface they have used, this is hard enough to read in broad daylight in your living room. What on earth will it be like on a dimly lit stage? It’s a shame for me because the pedal is quite good, but oh dear.

The Sound

The Xotic Robotalk 2 gives you two separate envelope filter channels. Both of them have their own voices. Each of the channels will give you a wide range of envelope filter effects. 

If you can read them, there are controls for decay, sensitivity, volume, and resonance. These can all be used individually or for blending the two channels together to create some nice wah sounds. It has true bypass. And the switchable input pad makes it a great envelope filter pedal for active and passive pickups. Sounds can be customized using a variety of options.

The Build 

It is not a standard size or shape for a pedal. Therefore, it may be awkward to accommodate. It measures 6.7 by 4.3 by 3.4 inches and weighs 1.1 pounds.

The sounds and features are quite good, but the way the controls are laid out and displayed puts me straight off. I don’t want to have to sit there squinting at a pedal trying to read labels when I am using it.

Xotic Robotalk 2 Envelope Filter Effect Pedal
Our rating:5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

Pros

  • Some good sound effects and features.
  • Two separate channels with their own voices.

Cons

  • An awkward visual design.

7 Fender Pour Over Envelope Filter Electric Guitar Pedal – Best Value for the Money Envelope Filter Pedal for Guitar and Bass

Fender seems to be desperately trying to rebuild a shattered image at the moment. They won’t do it, of course. Just like who they consider their biggest rival, Gibson, they lost the plot years ago. There are too many now that have caught up and passed the pair of them.

A New Range

Nevertheless, this is a worthy attempt from a new line of stompboxes that Fender has been producing for a couple of years now. And for a change, they have produced a decent product at a reasonable price. 

I would go as far as to say this could be considered one of the best envelope filter pedals for guitar & bass around. And certainly for the price.

The basics plus a bit more

It has the standard controls for an envelope filter pedal you might expect to find. But it is a little more versatile than some with some useful controls. It seems that someone at Fender has sat down and thought about it. They have included a range of sound options that allow you to create a range of sounds. From a bass point of view, it seems to excel.

There are the usual High-Pass and Low-Pass filters. Along with a Band-Pass and control for the direction of the sweep. But as I said, it has a bit more.

A bit of added punch

To provide some boost to the sound, they have included a distortion circuit. Not the same old wishy-washy distortion units that some manufacturers include as a last resort. A real bonafide distortion that packs a bit of punch. 

It adds some great harmonics and allows you to create some very good sounds. As a result, it’s one of the best envelope filter pedals with distortion you can find. 

The Build

Another impressive aspect is the quality of the build. Made in China, it has a rugged aluminum casing that is solid and stompbox-ready. They have included backlit controls so you can see them on a dimly lit stage.

It measures 5.4 by 4.9 by 2.9 inches and weighs just over a pound. It is, therefore, an easy addition to your pedalboard. Set at an attractive price point, Fender finally got something right.

Fender Pour Over Envelope Filter Electric Guitar Pedal
Our rating:4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

Pros

  • Well-built with backlit controls and a sturdy casing at a great price.
  • Some good sound options with a nice distortion unit included.

Cons

  • None.

8 Keeley Neutrino Optocoupler Based Envelope Filter & Auto Wah V2 – Best Mini Envelope Filter Pedal for Bass and Guitar

There is a basic but nice aesthetic design to this pedal. It is a compact size measuring just 5.43 by 4.21 by 2.8 inches and weighing 10 ounces. Therefore, it’s one of the best lightweight envelope filter pedals on the market. Controls are neatly located, and the input and output jack sockets are on either side. 

All quite standard, you might think, and you would be right. But there is something pleasingly simple about what the controls are for and how you use them.

The Controls

The Gain control handles the level of Input, and there is a control for High, Low, and Band-pass. The Peak knob is the control that creates some nice options. It will give you some high and very bright tones down to some that are warm and deep.

You can choose between the three standard modes you usually find on an envelope filter pedal. And add a couple of sweep options and use the Direction switch, which will give you a whole new range of sounds. 

An interesting combination

The design includes a combination of Analog circuitry and Opto-Couplers. It has true bypass. However, if you need a power source, you will have to buy that separately.

Keeley Neutrino Optocoupler Based Envelope Filter & Auto Wah V2
Our rating:5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

Pros

  • Nice design that is well-made and sturdy.
  • Some interesting sound options.

Cons

  • Seems a bit expensive for a basic pedal.

9 Mooer EQ Effects Pedal (Sweeper) – Best Budget Envelope Filter Pedal for Guitar and Bass

It may be that you are looking for a very cost-effective envelope filter pedal to experiment with. Maybe you do not want to spend too much money on your first try. But you also need a pedal that is going to easily fit on your pedalboard. If both of those requirements apply, then you may have come to the right place.

Versatile

The Mooer EQ Effects Pedal isn’t the most sophisticated around, but it does have a certain versatility to it. One area where it does work well is that it will operate great with either guitar or bass. Not all pedals can do that, as they are often designed for one or the other.

The Controls

It has a built-in fuzz effect that you can click on with a switch on the front panel, which will give you a sweeping effect as well. The Clean sound will still give you a wah sound whilst the fuzz adds a bit of bite.

It has three easy-to-use controls. The Range will change the frequency of the effect. Resonance, or Reso, changes the intensity of the resonance. The intensity control will control and respond to the dynamics of how you are playing. Furthermore, it has true bypass.

The Build

As I mentioned earlier, it is a compact little pedal measuring only 1.75 by 4.25 by 2.25 inches, and it weighs just 5.6 ounces. It has a decent quality of build with its metal casing. That adds a certain rugged feel to it. 

On each side, there are ¼-inch jack sockets for input and output. A decent but very basic pedal. Capable of giving you some interesting sounds. But the real asset is its competitive price.

Mooer EQ Effects Pedal (Sweeper)
Our rating:4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Pros

  • Well-made with a metal casing and easy-to-use controls.
  • Some nice sound features at a very attractive price.

Cons

  • Very basic.

10 Aguilar Filter Twin Bass Filter Effect Pedal – Best Premium Envelope Filter Pedal for Guitar and Bass

New York City-based Aguilar is a company that designs and manufactures equipment for bass guitarists. They include in their range amps, cabinets, and accessories but also pedals. This Filter Twin Bass Filter Effect Pedal is a good example.

Two pedals in one

The clue is in the name; this is like having two pedals in the same little box. The variations in sound production are impressive, and the quality produced is very clean and sharp. You can use one filter at a time or use both and blend them together. 

The design and operating functions are also impressive. This pedal could be a candidate as one of the best envelope filter pedals for guitar & bass around.

The Controls

These will take a little understanding at first. There are two velocity controls. One will control the “down” wah sound and the other the “up.” Both are adjustable on the same signal.

The Blend gives you the option of blending the two velocity sounds. That means if you prefer the down effect, you can place this to the front of the mix. But you can also add just a little up underneath. The Threshold is often called Sensitivity on other pedals. It sets the reaction to the dynamic of your playing.

The Build

With a very strong heavy-duty steel casing and rugged controls, it is ready to go to work. It measures 5.37 by 2.8 by 2.3 inches, so it is quite compact and weighs just one pound. It will run off a nine-volt battery or a power supply.

There are ¼-inch sockets for input and output. Not a cheap option but a great unit with plenty of sounds to play around with.

Aguilar Filter Twin Bass Filter Effect Pedal
Our rating:4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Pros

  • Tough build with easy-to-use controls.
  • Can be described as two pedals in one.

Cons

  • Quite expensive.

Looking for Great Effects Pedals?

We have you covered. Check out our in-depth reviews of the Best Wah Pedals, the Best Volume Pedals, the Best Uni-Vibe Pedal, the Best Fuzz Pedals, the Best Flanger Pedal, the Best Delay Effects Pedals, and the Best Guitar Pedals For Blues you can buy in 2022.

Also, have a look at our detailed reviews of the Best Compressor Pedal, the Best Phaser Pedals, the Best Looper Pedals For Electric Guitar, the Best Mini Guitar Pedals, and the Best Multi Effects Pedal currently on the market.

What are the Best Envelope Filter Pedals For Guitar & Bass?

It will depend to a great extent on whether you like the wah effect sound they produce. Some will, and some won’t. But for those that do, there are plenty of options available.

If I had to pick one, then I think I would go for a very basic but value for money model. The Aguilar is a great pedal but high on the budget scale, and the Mooer is a very cost-effective option. But I would choose the…

Fender Pour Over Envelope Filter Electric Guitar Pedal

Good value for money, and for once, Fender seems to have got something right.

Until next time, let your music play.

5/5 - (85 votes)
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About Jennifer Bell

Jennifer is a freelance writer from Montana. She holds a BA in Creative Writing and English, as well as an Associate of Applied Science in Computer Games and Simulation Design.

Her passions include guitar, bass, ukulele, and piano, as well as a range of classical instruments she has been playing since at school. She also enjoys reading fantasy and sci-fi novels, yoga, eating well, and spending time with her two cats, Rocky and Jasper.

Jennifer enjoys writing articles on all types of musical instruments and is always extending her understanding and appreciation of music. She also writes science fiction and fantasy short stories for various websites and hopes to get her first book published in the very near future.

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