Sunday, April 26, 2009

Welcome to the next level

WMD FatMan
envelope filter

Some of my favorite effects pedals have always been envelope filters, the unique shape of sounds they create is almost impossible to shy away from. It is one of the few effects that doesn't discriminate, can be used in just about every type of music, and will instantly make even the most bland guitar lick interesting. In this world we live in, this world of stompboxes, pedals, and effects, we have all seen some great envelope filters. Lots of them have become classics, collectibles, and a favorite weapon for the stage. The design of this wonderful effect has pretty much stayed intact throughout the years without much evolution to it's sound and tone. That is until now, there's a cat out there by the name of William Mathewson who's mind has taken this wonderful effect to whole new level. His design? The FatMan. The result? An extremely versatile envelope filter keeping true to the old school and capable of producing some of the new. It's times like these I'm glad I became a musician.


 *Fat & Warm Pure Analog Circuitry
 *12 Filter Frequency Ranges
 *Tweakable Filter Feedback
 *Lowpass & Bandpass Filter Modes
 *Reverse Sweep
 *Tweakable Attack Speed
 *Internal Gain Adjustment 
 *Key Input
 *Hand Wired True Bypass
 *Violet LED
 *Top Quality Components
 *Super Hard Epoxy Powder Finish
 *Standard 9V Power Jack

My God what an amazing pedal this has turned out to be, another killer find to add to the wonderful collection of discoveries I have made this year. Released a few years back I cannot believe I missed this one, no matter because this is one of those pedals that is way ahead of it's time. If you're a fan of the wah wah pedal and classic style envelope filters this pedal will be a real treat, it takes off where you'd imagine these designs were left off. Being that the FatMan is of pure analog circuitry you might imagine it must sound warm, round, and thick, which it does. But I must tell you I have never heard a more vocal sounding envelope filter in all my days, the shape of the effects it produces are almost human like, giving your sound an entire new platform to play on. William really went to town when he sat down to create this pedal's layout, you will notice how well each control works with one another and how simple it is to adjust it to your playing style. Like most traditional envelope filters the FatMan sports the basic controls needed for knocking it's sound, but where this pedal shines is in it's not so traditional controls. A Range knob lets you click in to 12 different frequencies making this pedal friendly to just about anything you plug into it. Set it 1-4 and you're living in way down low land, perfect for playing with bass and low notes. These settings X out the mids and highs which give you deep and round tones. In the 5-8 realm you dive into the more wah wah sounding effects, great for guitar work, licks, and quick playing. From 9-12 you're in treble city, this is perfect for really standing out in the mix. These settings really give you a plucky sound, a poppy compressed effect. With the Range knob alone you have access to more sounds than you'll know what to do with, but luckily for us the fun does not stop there. The FatMan has one very special feature that will blow your mind, it blew mine. The Key Input... where to start? Before I get into this control option let me just say that the FatMan also has the traditional control knobs like Attack, Threshold, Feedback, Sweep Up/Down, etc... Once you get the hang of things with this pedal and you dial in some favorite settings you'll be able to further manipulate them with the Key Input. This option let's you trigger the envelope filter effect with another device such as a drum machine, mic, keyboard, etc... I used the Key Input with another guitar which was a ton of fun, I set the Attack and Threshold to my liking, played my guitar while my buddy played the other guitar to shape and bring the effect in & out. What other devices must sound like through this is something I am very much looking forward to. The possibilities are endless with an effect like this, become bored and it's the end of your ride. But if you're like me and don't become easily turned off, a pedal like this will bring a lifetime of sound tweaking fun. William Mathewson's talents has brought into this wacky world of sounds some very interesting creations, take a little time to find out just how.... you won't be sorry you did.

For more info on WMD effects click the logo in our links. Also look for more WMD effects to come in later posts. Demos and videos coming soon.

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