Effects and Signal Processors - Wah-Wah

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This effect is mainly used on electric or acoustic guitars and basically consists in a pass-band filter presenting a peak at its cut-off frequency. Shifting this cut-off frequency generates the typical sound of the Wah-Wah.

Effects and signal processors - Form of the filter used by the wha-wha effect

Form of the filter used by the wha-wha effect

The rate of the cut-off frequency can be controlled in many ways. The first is manually, or to be more precise, footually... because it is a pedal. Acting on it activates a potentiometer controlling the cut-off frequency. The second way is to use an LFO which gives an automated rate. Finally it can be controlled by the input signal amplitude. This means that when a string is plucked, the signal is in its attack phase and therefore has a greater amplitude, which in turn means a high cut-off frequency. As the sound's envelope decays, the cut-off frequency also decreases.

The following is a sound to which the Wah-Wah effect has been applied:

Sound with Wah-Wah effect  [Track 36]

Effects and signal processors - Sound with Wah-Wah effect [Track 36]


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