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Online Guide Wah Pedals
Digital Products

 

Put simply,
DigitalAll digital equipment, formats and systems represent audio in numerical code or form. Digital information is a precise way of expressing any of information that can be quantified in some way.
digital
designs allow for much greater versatility, as we shall now discover.
DigitalAll digital equipment, formats and systems represent audio in numerical code or form. Digital information is a precise way of expressing any of information that can be quantified in some way.
Digital
pedals do not employ discrete analogue components at their hearts, but instead use
DSPDigital Signal Processing: A specialised communication system that alters, enhances or filters electronic signals by means of digital processing. A wide variety of applications and products use DSP including faxes, mobile phones digital audio products.
DSP
(Digital Signal Processing) technology to ‘physically model’ the most popular units of yesteryear. But how does physical
ModellingSynthesis technique whereby a sound or set of characteristics is created from a mathematical model. This can be applied to create instrument sounds as well as to simulate the response of a device such as an amplifier, effects processor or speaker to any given input.
modelling
work?

In order to ‘model’ the sound of a classic pedal, the first thing the design engineer needs is a complete understanding of the inner workings of the original unit. He’ll take it to bits and examine every component within the circuit. He’ll then spend hours taking detailed electronic and acoustic measurements and performing listening tests, until he has eventually built up a complete profile of the device and understands how it works, both electrically and mechanically.

Now it is his job to try to represent these characteristics using a mathematical model that can be stored in
DigitalAll digital equipment, formats and systems represent audio in numerical code or form. Digital information is a precise way of expressing any of information that can be quantified in some way.
digital
circuitry and used in real-time to ‘flavour’ your guitar signal, in exactly the same way as the original ‘classic’
WahA general term for a device which modulates the sound of an instrument or voice to produce an effect that sounds like 'wah, wah' (sometimes described as a crying effect). The commonest devices are the wah mute, which is placed on the bell of a trumpet or other brass instrument and moved to produce the wah effect, and the wah-wah pedal, which applies the effect (via a rocking foot motion) to an instrument sound (typically electric guitar).
wah
would have done. This of course is easier said than done! With the sheer number of variables involved, and the huge amount of interaction that inevitably goes on between the various components, trying to come up with a workable
GlobalIn electronic equipment and computer programming, 'global' (as opposed to 'local') parameters or variables are those with a system-wide effect.
global
mathematical model like this is very difficult to say the least. So the model is usually built up from smaller pieces - each piece is a mathematical equation or ‘algorithm’ which describes the working of just one part of the original circuit’s function – perhaps a representation of how a
TransistorAn electronic component which is the foundation of modern electronics, used to amplify and switch signals. As a discrete device, the transistor largely superseded the thermionic valve (tube) from the 1950s onwards; integrated circuits (commonly known as silicon chips) are essentially miniaturised arrays of thousands or even millions of transistors.
transistor
works, or maybe the resistors and
CapacitorAn electrical component that stores charge, also known as a condenser. A capacitor/condenser microphone uses two conducting plates, one fixed and one in the form of a moving diaphragm. When a polarising voltage is applied the electrical signal produced by the vibrating diaphragm (in response to sound) is very faithful to its movement, resulting in accurate reproduction.
capacitors
comprising the
FilterA circuit used to remove or accentuate frequencies in a sound source. Common types are found on mixing consoles equalisation, synthesizers and dedicated processors such as graphic equalisers.
filter
section.

Provided that each component has been modelled properly, and under all extremes of operation, the ‘virtual’ components can be assembled – just like building the real thing – into a ‘composite object’ which will then run like a computer program inside the
HostThe computer system on which a hard disk recording or other audio system runs.
host
, mirroring the characteristics of the original wah-wah with all of its nuances and interactivity. As the pedal is effectively a small computer processor running a program, it is possible to imagine selecting from a list of alternative built-in programs using a simple control knob, calling up different models of well known wah-wah pedals, and this is in fact exactly what
DigitalAll digital equipment, formats and systems represent audio in numerical code or form. Digital information is a precise way of expressing any of information that can be quantified in some way.
digital
pedals offer. Note that
DigitalAll digital equipment, formats and systems represent audio in numerical code or form. Digital information is a precise way of expressing any of information that can be quantified in some way.
digital
units use ADC (Analogue to
DigitalAll digital equipment, formats and systems represent audio in numerical code or form. Digital information is a precise way of expressing any of information that can be quantified in some way.
Digital
Conversion) at the input and DAC (Digital to Analogue Conversion) at the output. When the unit is bypassed, even though the effect is disabled, the signal still goes through ADC and DAC, and some claim that they can hear this. With modern conversion techniques this is unlikely – a quick test with your own gear should put your mind at rest.

The Boss PW-10 – a digital pedal


The Boss PW-10 – a

DigitalAll digital equipment, formats and systems represent audio in numerical code or form. Digital information is a precise way of expressing any of information that can be quantified in some way.
digital pedal

A good example of a
DigitalAll digital equipment, formats and systems represent audio in numerical code or form. Digital information is a precise way of expressing any of information that can be quantified in some way.
digital
pedal is the Boss PW-10 (V-wah), which offers faithful emulation of Crybaby, Vox, Morley, and many more. In addition, the pedal operation is ideally suited for controlling other
EffectsGeneral term applied to audio processors for dynamics, time, ambience and equalisation whether in the form of 19" rack units, guitar floor pedals, or software plug-ins.
effects
, and so rotary speaker, Roto-Vibe and talkbox emulation (as made famous by Peter Frampton) are also provided. Some
DigitalAll digital equipment, formats and systems represent audio in numerical code or form. Digital information is a precise way of expressing any of information that can be quantified in some way.
digital
pedals also have the provision to store a selection of favourite sounds and settings in internal memory – three in the case of the PW-10, whose stored sounds can be recalled by using an innovative heel operated switch under the back of the pedal.

 

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Contents:

[Contents] [What is a Wah-Wah?] [The Classics] [Filter Design] [Pedal Action] [Pedal Feel] [Switching] [Special types] [Where in the Signal Chain?] [Digital Products] [Multi-Fx] [Playing Techniques] [Auto-Wah] [Conclusion] [Feedback]
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