Amped Review: Sonuus Wahoo Filter Pedal

Possibly the king of all filter pedals      31/10/12

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The Sonuus Wahoo is a dual analogue filter/wah pedal that is digitally controlled but maintains an entirely analogue signal. Both filters are entirely configurable from the pedal itself or via a software editor over USB  and can operate in various modes.  The modes are pedal, envelope, LFO and pitch tracking.  More on these later. The pedal is mono in and out only.



Although designed for guitar and bass, you could plug anything into the Wahoo as it has a wide frequency range (10hz to 4khz).  It ships with 100 presets and has 100 user slots too.  The presets are arranged in banks of 10 which are in specific modes i.e. 0 - 9 pedal wah 10 - 19 vowel wah etc.  the free editor (Mac and PC) allows for saving of patches to the computer.


Design

A sturdy and robust metal chassis with an aluminium pedal, this pedal is designed to take some serious stage abuse.  Sonuus have even made two metal foot guards to prevent the foot from stepping on the controls.  There is also a foot switch which performs different functions depending on the configuration.


The pedal is powered by a variety of options.  4 AA batteries give around 8 hours of use, a 9 volt adapter or USB power.  Be aware though that over USB the pedal can introduce noise depending on what else is being powered.

There a three multi-mode knobs which are endless encoders and feature a push action plus two incremental up down switches for preset selection or to change the parameters that the knobs adjust.  There is a filter1/2 selector switch and a save button which also doubles up as a cancel switch to return the pedal from editing mode to preset mode.  There are also plenty of LEDs that give the user a clear idea of what is going on.  The input stage includes a dry/wet mix, a filter 1/2 balance, an analogue drive control to really dirty up the filter and the all important output level.  All of these get stored within the patch.


There is a lock switch on the rear of the pedal that when engaged prevents any adjustment to the controls - ideal for live use to prevent accidental changes.  This locked state puts the pedal into preset mode meaning that the foot switch acts as a preset selector.  Cleverly in this mode, the patch changing direction alters depending on the location of the pedal i.e. toe down patches increment upward, heel down patches decrement.  Bypass requires a long press on the foot switch.  This long press duration is adjustable as are many other functions within the custom settings area of the pedal.  An upcoming firmware update will introduce a new operation mode which allows the pedal to be engaged by simply rocking pedal forward and disengaged by returning it to heel down. In this mode the switch acts as just a preset selector.


Modes

1.Pedal.  Can be used as a traditional wah or for filter sweeps.


2.Envelope.  A dynamic filter that responds to the players picking intensity. The harder you play the more the filter opens or closes depending on the settings.  Many auto-wah effects can be achieved this way.


3.LFO.  The LFO generates a clock signal which automates the opening and closing of the filter with various waves shapes available including a very interesting trapezoid mode.  This waveform has a configurable attack and release.  The LFO rate can be set by numerous methods including tap tempo, a set BPM and external sync via the USB.  This is handy if you want to lock the LFO to your computer software's tempo.


4.Pitch Tracking.  This is a Sonuus original as it features their own pitch tracking algorithms as used in some of their early pitch to midi products.  This allows a function similar to key tracking on a synth where the filter opens the higher the notes you play (or vice versa).  It can also be set to pitch bend mode where the filter opens only when a note is bent, this can be set to follow the pitch over up to 3 octaves.  Great if you have a whammy bar!


Summary

An excellent sounding and incredibly well designed pedal that offers a unparalleled amount of adjust-ability that is more in line with analogue synthesisers than traditional guitarists stomp boxes.   Don't let that put you off though as it is very easy to use and the clear layout means that even when the pedal is on the floor, you can see exactly what is going on.  The software editor is the icing on the cake in this department as it is extremely well thought out and allows for an excellent editing experience.  A highly recommended unit that should give the user many years of wah and filter action of the highest calibre!  

Availalable now

£271 / $459

www.sonuus.com

Gaz Williams

@gazgoldstar

 

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6 Comments...  Post a comment    original story
asiohead    Said...

That was a super duper review Gaz ! I'm really considering getting one.

31-Oct-12 06:45 PM


Rapscallion    Said...

I agree, top notch review Gaz ! I currently have a Dunlop 535Q and it does "that thing" but I've personally found it kinda lacking in pizzazz and end up using something else when I want to get more adventurous with the sound (which is almost always) . I'm really into the fun studio possibilities using this with Ableton and the Rhodes ..and every thing else .

31-Oct-12 07:12 PM


jabels    Said...

Great review gaz! Love your energy about all of it!

31-Oct-12 11:05 PM


SteveFromBerlin    Said...

I've been searching for a Wah / Touch Wah and there are very good pedals out there. But this one seems to combine them and you can also save presets which is SO GOOD when you play more than one bass!

Will buy one as soon as I've found out if you can blend between dry and wet so you can maintain the low end on certain sounds.

01-Nov-12 07:06 AM


   Said...

Hi Steve, yes there is a control on the front panel which allows you to bend dry to wet from to 0% to 100%. I should have made that clearer in the review as it is especially pertinent to bass players to retain low end. And yes Rapscallion, using it with Ableton is loads of fun when you mess with the LFO sync!

01-Nov-12 07:20 AM


SteveFromBerlin    Said...

Thanks Gaz,

just preordered it!

This is gonna be damn funky! Glad I'm playing in two Funk Bands here in Berlin...

Does anyone know when it will be rolling out? You seem to be the only one to own it right now.

01-Nov-12 08:04 AM


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