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Preferred Filter Pedal Selection - at the key practical enclosure sizes

AWOL PedalsDr ScientistDwarfcraftEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFlower PedalsFunction F(X)ModulationMu-TronPickdropperSpaceman EffectsSubdecay Effects+-
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So I’ve recently acquired the Flower Pedals Hosta Wah Filter and Spaceman Artemis Modulated Filter, and before the AWOL Pedals Flow materialised, I was about ready to call it for my preferred filter selection. Those 4 pedals - Dusk, Hosta, Micro-Tron III, and Artemis really have me covered for all bases. While I quite like the look of the AWOL Flow too as a more incidental backup - for when my pedal-chain is deployed somewhat differently and needs to be able to accommodate an additional Filter flavour.

 

Most of the times that would not be an issue - as I would be deploying one of the larger pedals here pretty much permanently. You of course need backups and additional alternatives and fail-saves for particular scenarios and contexts - which is why the AWOL Micro Pedals are so handy - as you can very easily accommodate those in pretty much any rig.

 

I also have the CryBaby Custom Shop Q-Zone Fixed Wah which can sort of be deployed as a filter too - although that’s more of an auto-wah really. In truth Auto-Wah is probably the flavour of filter that I deploy most often, as I’m typically a little lazy with my manual Wah-pedals and really don’t deploy those so often. The current most recent incumbent has been the Hosta - which probably most closely matches my specific requirements - while each of these is a long-term favourite.

 

In reviewing this selection - I decided that I should also include the Function F(x) Mini Accufunkture and Dwarfcraft Devices Happiness Filter which have also been long-term targets for me for a while. I don’t really need those others to complete the set as such - but each provides something different for the pedal-chain. Dwarfcraft always do things a little differently - so those are almost always valid choices too - while the Mini and Micro editions here are essential utilities for heavily congested scenarios!

 

Pedals are listed by a mix of size and brand name :


AWOL Pedals Flow Envelope Filter - $120

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Single Control - Filter Sensitivity and Range.

 

I've only just featured this one with combines LPF, Vocoder and Auto-Wah voicings as you turn the one control from fully CCW to fully CW. Obviously limited functionality here, but a really clever execution nonetheless - and perfect for when you're looking to squeeze in a Filter flavour in a heavily congested rig with little or no real-estate remaining.


Function F(x) Accufunkture Envelope Filter - $169

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Controls - Decay, Attack, Hi/Lo Filter Switch, Sensitivity.

 

The neatest of Mini Filter pedals in my opinion with a little more granularity onboard than the AWOL Pedals Slow and a slightly slimmer profile - albeit slightly larger footprint overall. This is a complete replica of Function F(x)'s larger compact size Accufunkture - with the exact same controls and circuit components - just in a slightly different order. All the same goodness at less than half the original's size - price is the same though!


Dr Scientist Dusk Dynamic Filter - $199/£189

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Controls - Filter, Resonance, Volume, Mode, Function, Dual-Footswitches

 

Modes - Cutoff/Envelope/Low Frequency Oscillation

 

Functions - between 2 and 6 sub-modes per Mode

 

This was my most used Filter Pedal of last year - in the chain pretty much since it was first announced - a really smart execution of a modern hybrid Filter pedal which does that CBA style thing of combining Analog Signal with some Digital Surface Controls - meaning you can clever switch modes and save presets via footswitch. Just a really smart Filter pedal in every direction, while in some ways the Hosta (below) is more closely aligned to my specific needs. That said - this will still probably remain as the most used of my Filter pedals overall as it's just to effortless to deploy!


Flower Pedals Hosta Wah Filter - $279

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Controls - Mode, Frequency, Q, Level, Gain, A Parameters, B Parameters, Dual-Footswitches

 

Modes - Auto, Fixed, Envelope

 

This is currently my new staple on slot #4 - it does that auto-wah thing brilliantly which is what I use the most - it also has excellent Fixed / Cocked Wah and Envelope Filter Modes to add into the mix. Even though I feel the Dr Scientist Dusk is a little clever in several areas - the Hosta is the pedal here which is most aligned to my specific needs. Easy to deploy and sounds fantastic!


Mu-Tron Micro-Tron III Envelope Filter - $279

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Controls - Mode, Range, Level, Peak, Gain, Dual-Footswitches

 

This is my earliest incumbent and the first of my stand-alone filter pedals. This severed me very well for a number of years on and off - before the Dr Scientist Dusk took its slot early last year. I still bring it in every now and again as it's a truly great sounding all-analog filter. It's just that the Dusk and Hosta have sort of taken over more recently. Still a very worthy candidate.


Subdecay Prometheus DLX Resonant Filter - $325

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Controls - Warp, Frequency, Depth, Resonance, Wave Shapes x 11, LP/BP/HP, Mode x 11

 

9 Functions - Analog Envelope (Forward and Reverse), Pixelated Envelope, Envelope Triggered LFO, Manual Envelope Speed Control (Fixed Envelope Gain), Envelope Speed Control (Fixed Minimum Speed with Variable Envelope Sensitivity), Step Filter (Based on the 7 LFO Shapes, Tap-Triggered LFO, Manual LFO, Tap Tempo LFO with Warp.

 

Shape Elements - Analog Envelope, Random, Sine, Ramp, Triangle, Saw, Triangle/Random, Triangle/Square, Special Envelope

 

Another classic Filter pedal which is hovering a little under the radar these days - this one could really do with some presets as there is so much versatility and variety onboard. I guess this needs to go on the list too! I initially had the Dwarfcraft Devices Happiness Filter in this slot - but decided I actually prefer the Prometheus DLX to that - so there positions are inverted in effect - and this moves up from Bonus Rounds!


Spaceman Effects Artemis Modulated Filter Uranium Green Sparkle - $369

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Controls - Modes, Resonance, High Pass Filter, Band Pass Filter, Low Pass Filter, Frequency, Amount, Sensitivity

 

Modes - Envelope UP, Envelope DOWN, LFO - Triangle Wave, LFO - Ramp UP Wave, LFO - Ramp DOWN Wave, LFO - Random Wave, Static

 

A really smart take on the Filter Format with 7 Modes onboard - and as beautifully demonstrated by SprialCaster Cohen Hartman. Huge degree of variety and versatility here, while not quite as clever an execution as say the Dusk and Hosta. This will be more of a bit-player resource for me, as it's deployment is somewhat more involved than using the Dusk and Hosta.


Bonus Round! Dwarfcraft Devices Happiness Filter Multi-Mode Filter and LFO - discontinued - $275

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Controls - Frequency, Rez (Resonance), Depth, Master (Volume), Rate, Shape (Downward/Upward Saw Ramp), Speed, Scamble, State - HPF/BPF/LPF.

 

As mentioned in the intro, Dwarfcraft Devices always do things somewhat differently and this is quite a smart and distinct take on a Filter Pedal. I don't necessarily need this one so much since I acquired the Spaceman Artemis - but it's still very much on my radar - and if I find one at an opportunistic price I will most likely snap one up if it makes sense at the time.


Final Thoughts

This is one of the first sort of 'Capsule Collection Selections' article - where I list out my own favourite pedals / personal choices per particular effects genre. The idea here is to achieve maximum coverage - in range, versatility and deployment practicalities from as few pedals as possible. So covering as much functionality as possible at different enclosure sizes - such that you have a solution for any rig and pretty much every scenario.

 

Of the 7 here - I already have 4 as mentioned - Dusk, Hosta, Micro-Tron, and Artemis. I would think that my next likely acquisitions here would be the Flow and Accufunkture, and I would then look to pick up the Prometheus DLX very opportunistically as and when I can secure one for a very reasonable price. I have no qualms about buying second-hand editions as long as they're in reasonably pristine condition - and of course available at the right sort of price.

 

For your own choices it kind of depends what you most want out of your Filter Pedal - where for me my most used function here is actually auto-wah. If I want to get really creative - then that's more for the Prometheus DLX, Happiness Filter and Artemis, while the Dusk is a particular joy to deploy with its many modes and footswitchable presets.

 

Do you have any favourites here - or killer alternatives of your own? This selection for me really covers the most practical deployments here - which is why maximum enclosure size is limited to BB-Vertical.

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Stefan Karlsson
Stefan Karlsson
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