Intended for electric guitar and electric keyboard, the Soundblox Pro Poly-Mod Envelope Filter from Source Audio provides 23 different envelope filter effects. It gives you a variety of 2-pole and 4-pole low-pass options, as well as single peak filters, triple peak, peak/notch, and anything else that could fulfill your filtering needs—be they envelope, wah, or more dubstep in nature. Also included is a no-frills 7-band EQ, for tonal shaping without moving, modulating frequencies.
A slew of controls is offered to encourage much in the way of experimentation. For instance, in addition to knobs affecting the sweep range, attack/decay speed, and center frequency, you’ll discover loads of secondary controls over LFO shapes, Q levels, customized expression pedal routing, and more. Combine the level of control with a 7-band equalizer and 6 user-assignable presets, and you’ll find yourself with a very flexible effects processor indeed.
Note that there are multiple methods for controlling effects, including an envelope follower, a low-frequency oscillator (complete with tap tempo option), or various types of external control. For example, you can plug an expression pedal into its TRS input to manipulate filters as you would a wah pedal. You can also manipulate various secondary functions externally. MIDI control is also possible via a standard 5-pin DIN connection.
Then you have a quirky method of manipulation sure to pique your fancy: Hot Hand control. The Hot Hand technology provided by Source Audio lets you smoothly control parameters of the pedal through its onboard sensor and a corresponding two-axis accelerometer that you can wear like a ring. In essence, by changing the position of your hand, you can modulate parameters of the pedal in a fluid fashion. Also, a sensor output is built into the pedal to facilitate the daisy-chaining of other Hot Hand enabled pedals, giving you one ring to rule them all (your pedals, that is).
All the effects are achieved digitally, via the pedal’s 56-bit DSP architecture, and utilizing 24-bit conversion stages at the AD and DA stages to preserve signal integrity as your audio travels through the pedal. A 9 VDC power supply is provided with the unit.
Key Features at a Glance
Provides a flexible envelope follower with multiple sweep and speed control options.
Proprietary 56-bit Digital Signal Processor and industry-standard 24-bit converters.
LO-RETAIN mixing algorithm carefully preserves the lowest frequencies.
6 Easy-to-configure user presets in two banks selectable via 3 footswitches for quick access to favorite sounds.
7-Band equalizer for in-depth tone control, storable per preset.
Filter effects can be modulated with an envelope follower, an LFO (low-frequency oscillator), an expression pedal, or Source Audio’s patented Hot Hand Motion Control sensor ring.
A second level of control functions called “Backpage Parameters” proves access to different LFO shapes, Q levels, and customized expression pedal routing.
Bypass is fully routed around the DSP.
Active input ensures zero signal degradation.
Controls at a Glance
FREQUENCY Knob: The Frequency knob sets the center frequency of the filter sweep in all modulation modes. Turning the knob counterclockwise will result in the filter moving over lower frequencies for an overall darker sound. Turning the knob clockwise will result in the filter sweep moving over higher frequencies for a brighter sound.
SPEED Knob: The Speed knob controls the attack and decay time of the envelope follower, or the rate of the LFO, depending on the mode. In Envelope mode, the range of the speed control is divided into two parts. Turn the knob to the left of 12 o’clock to adjust both the attack and decay times—as the knob is turned counterclockwise both will slow down equally. Turn the knob to the right of 12 o'clock and the attack will stay fixed at its fastest setting while the decay time gets slower. In Hot Hand mode, this knob controls the sensitivity of the motion sensor and selects which axis of the sensor will be used.
MIX Knob: The Mix knob adjusts the ratio of dry to wet signal. This knob is also divided into two halves. Setting the Mix knob to 12 o’clock results in a 100% dry signal. Turning the knob to the right of 12 o’clock increases the amount of wet signal while decreasing the dry. The right most position results in a 100% wet signal. Turning the Mix knob left of 12 o’clock increases the amount of wet signal using LO-RETAIN (a kind of high-cut filter on the dry sound) to preserve more of the low-end frequencies.
EFFECT Knob: The Effect knob selects which filter type will be used. There are 23 effect positions (0 through 22) around the knob as well as a setting for EQ ONLY. In EQ ONLY mode, the envelope-filter effect is bypassed but the equalizer still applies.
EQ SECTION Knob: The Equalizer knob changes the value of the selected band up or down in 1 dB steps.
EQ BAND SELECT Buttons: The two buttons on either side of the EQ knob select the frequency band to edit.
PRESET BANK Button: These two buttons select between your bank of presets. Choose between Preset bank A (Presets 1, 2, and 3) or B (Presets 4, 5, and 6).
MOD SOURCE Button: Pressing this button selects between the three choices of modulation source: Envelope, LFO, and Hot Hand. When Hot Hand is selected as the modulation source, press and hold the MOD SOURCE button to start the Hot Hand Calibration procedure.
TAP TEMPO ENABLE Button: When LFO is selected as the modulation source, press this button to enable Tap Tempo Mode. The rightmost footswitch will be converted to a tap tempo control. Press the TAP TEMPO MODE button again to disable tap tempo. Tap tempo only applies in LFO mode.
PRESET SELECT / ENGAGE Footswitch: There are three footswitches on the Poly-Mod Pro. From left to right, the footswitches correspond to Presets 1, 2, and 3 for Preset Bank A, and 4, 5, and 6 for Bank B. Pressing any of the buttons will engage a given preset. Pressing the footswitch for the currently engaged effect will put the unit into bypass mode. Pressing another switch will engage the corresponding preset without going into bypass.