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Talk Boxes - EQ and Filters

Posted on January 23, 2015

This week in the stomp box spotlight is a category of much misunderstood and under-utilised pedals. Rather than going into great lengths over how they work (that's what Wikipedia is for), lets take a look at a few ways you can use them to breath life into you're rig.

EQ pedals give you total tonal control by boosting or cutting certain frequencies. However, they can also be used as an effect. During his time with Guns and Roses, Slash used a Boss GE-7 during his solos. Boosting the high mids is an excellent way to cut through in a live mix for lead work without altering your amps tone. Another cool way to use EQ pedals is to cut all the bass and high frequencies to achieve and AM Radio tone that can be heard in the intro to 'American Idiot' by Green Day, or 'If Only' by Queens Of The Stone Age.

Everyone knows the classic sound of a Wah pedal but one of the more interesting ways to use a Wah is as a Filter. Instead of rocking back and forth, set it in a fixed position and leave it be! Mick Ronson was a a genius when it came to utilising the Wah's unique properties and this technique can be heard all over his work with David Bowie. Another classic example of this is the throaty guitar tone in Dire Straits 'Money for Nothing'.

Envelope filters are one of the more distinctive sounding effects. They're most commonly used in funk, particularly for rhythm work. However these can be a great tool for some sonic mayhem! Jack White uses an Electro Harmonix Bass Balls, an envelope filter designed for bass (clues in the name!) to add frenetic energy into riffs and solo's. When paired up with fuzz and octave effects, You can create some nasty squelching tones that will set you apart from the average player. 

When it comes to effects, the only rule is there are none. There's plenty of options out there and plenty to experiment with. You're best bet is to come see us in store and discover for yourself. However, be warned. Pedals are like Pringles, you can't just have one!

Matt Wilkinson

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