[review] DOD 440 Envelope Filter (by LievenDV)

LievenDV sings and plays guitar in the Belgian band . He is a reverb nut and enjoys discovering innovating technology.

The 2014 version of the DOD 440 is the reissue of a classic envelope filter. This time it comes with true bypass (while its ancestor didn't). The control scheme of this pedal is simple: 2 knobs adjust Level and Range, a switch changes the voicing from "Up" to "Down".

DOD 440 Envelope FilterThe Level control can be interpreted as a sensitivity control. With this knob you set the threshold of attack you need to trigger the filter. It has a wide range, so you can set it quite precise. This precision has a significant impact on your overall sound. You need a minute finding a good setting but chances are likely you'll consider this a set-and-forget setting later on. Trying out different instruments, I needed different settings as well though because of varying output levels. A low setting will need a lot of attack to trigger the effect and a high setting will trigger it on the slightest touch.

The Range control defines how wide the sweep is. The difference between the impact of the Level and Range settings could be somewhat confusing because of their names but you just need to remember this: while the Level defines WHEN your filter is applied, the Range defines HOW WIDE it goes. Just like the Level control, the Range control covers a lot of ground and gives you some space to work in. The sound barely changes on a low setting and has a distinct "wah" sound on a high setting.

Last but not least is the Voice feature of this pedal is the voice switch. By selecting the up or down position, you select the part of the sweep that needs to be emphasized. In the "up" position, you'll find a sound comparable to an auto-wah. The downward position will, instead of opening up the sound, narrow it down. I think the "up" position will appeal most to guitars and the "down" will be more liked by bass players but there are no rules.

DOD 440 Envelope FilterThis pedal is handy to create an instant funk sound but you can apply it in a more subtle fashion to add some texture to rhythm playing. By putting enough dynamics in your playing you can create a sound with a lot of variation, spicing up your song.

A typical experiment is to place the envelope filter before and after a dirty overdrive or distortion. I preferred putting the filter in front of an overdrive with high level and range setting. Together with a lush reverb or with long delays, I've dialed in some crazy sounds that would inspire the more experimental players.

The DOD 440 is a solid build and gives you a simple but strong impression. Due to its simple lay-out, it is very easy to use (as soon as you figure out the difference between the two top controls). You might want to try some trial and error first but the fun sounds make it an interesting journey

This pedal is great for funk and reggae and psychedelic rock licks. It works well for a wide selection of instruments but I've gotten the least interesting result with my acoustic guitar.

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