2. What is a Wah-Wah?

Origins

Born in 1903, Clyde McCoy was not a guitarist, but a trumpet player. He stumbled upon the ‘wah-wah’ trumpet sound that would bring him to prominence in the 30s, and in an odd twist of fate, ultimately lead to the creation of the wah pedal. Clyde figured out that by manually manipulating a traditional trumpet mute, he could achieve a more expressive vocal-like sound. Essentially, the mute acted as a kind of acoustic band-pass filter, and as Clyde played his solos, he'd move the mute in and out of the bell of the trumpet, dynamically emphasising different midrange frequencies.

The Mute

What is a Wah-Wah Pedal?

By mechanical means, a wah pedal transfers its position to an electro-mechanical sensor, which in turn controls the centre-frequency of an electronic filter. Thus the filter ‘sweep’ is directly controlled by the guitarist’s foot movements - of course there’s no reason that other instrumentalists can’t use wah, but we’ll stick with guitarists as they are by far the most common users of the effect. You simply push the pedal forwards to sweep upwards, and pull it back to sweep downwards. This variation in the peak frequency response of the filter resembles the change in ‘formant’ in the human vocal tract when saying the word ‘wah’, giving the wah pedal the ability to crudely emulate speech (and hence the name of course). The use of wah does not affect the guitar's volume, although some pedals incorporate a switch which allows them to be used alternately as volume pedals.

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Wah Pedals overview

Neutrik NA2-IO-DLINE LD Systems Mix 6 A G3 Polyend & Dreadbox Medusa the t.bone HD 2000 NC Sennheiser SK100 G4 E-Band tc electronic BQ250 Bass Head Joyo JP-05 Power Bank Supply 5 Steinberger GT-Pro Quilt Top Deluxe TB Denon DN-300DH Allen & Heath SQ-DANTE-A card Thomann Mix Case 1402 FXMP USB Joyo JW-02 Wireless System
Recommended
Neutrik NA2-IO-DLINE

Neutrik NA2-IO-DLINE, Line I/O to Dante interface, designed for harsh stage conditions, breakout box which allows two, channels of audio to be integrated into a Dante network, converts a Dante stream into analog audio, signals, (!) requires Power over Ethernet...

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€266
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LD Systems Mix 6 A G3

Active 2-Way Loudspeaker With integrated 4-channel mixer, Loudspeakers: 6.5" woofer and 1" tweeter, Frequency range: 80 - 20,000 Hz, Internal Class D amplifier, Power: 2x 70 Watts RMS (2x 280 Watts peak), Maximum output level: 122 dB, Dispersion pattern:...

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€225
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Polyend & Dreadbox Medusa

Hybrid Synthesiser Includes Grid and Sequencer 3 Digital wavetable oscillators, 3 Synchronisable analogue oscillators, each with four classic waveforms, Classic 24dB dreadbox analogue filter with 3 different types (2-pole. LP, 4-pole. LP, HP), 5 Independent LFO's, Three different modes:...

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€966
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the t.bone HD 2000 NC

Noise Canceling Headphones Circumaural, Active Noise Canceling, Connection via Bluetooth (V 4.1), Up to 6 hours of operation with NC, Up to 10 m range, Impedance 32 ohms, Frequency range 20 - 20,000 Hz, 40 mm Driver, Max. SPL:...

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€58
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Sennheiser SK100 G4 E-Band

Pocket Transmitter for EW 100 Systems Frequency range: E-band (823 - 865 MHz), With charging contacts, Operation with 2 AA batteries or rechargeable batteries, 10 mW Transmission power

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€295
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tc electronic BQ250 Bass Head

Transistor Amp Head for Electric Bass Compact & lightweight bass top with mosfet preamp and thrust compressor, Channels: 1, Power: 250 watts, Controls: Gain, Thrust Compressor), Bass, Lo-Mid, Hi-Mid, Treble, Master, Switch: Passive / Active, Compressor On / Off,...

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€159
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Joyo JP-05 Power Bank Supply 5

Powerbank for Effect Pedals Built-in 7.4V / 4400mAh lithium battery, Charging time: 2.5 h, Battery level indicator, 4 x DC 9V 100mA outputs, 3 x DC 9V 500mA outputs, 1 x DC 9V / 12V / 18V adjustable output...

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€68
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Steinberger GT-Pro Quilt Top Deluxe TB

Electric Guitar Body: Poplar, Top: AAA quilted maple veneer, 3-Piece neck: Maple, 24 Medium jumbo frets, Neck profile: Slim Taper, Nut width: 41 mm, Scale: 647 mm, Pickups: Steinberger HB-1 (bridge), Steinberger HB-2 (neck) humbuckers and Steinberger SC-1 (center)...

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€433
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Denon DN-300DH

Denon DN-300DH, MW/UKW/DAB and digital tuner, 40 Station presets for each band, balanced XLR- and unbalanced RCA outputs, compact 1HE design

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€195
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Allen & Heath SQ-DANTE-A card

Allen & Heath SQ-DANTE-A card, audio interface plug-in card for the SQ digital mixing series, 64×64 channel audio and control, 96kHz or 48kHz operation

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€689
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Thomann Mix Case 1402 FXMP USB

Mixer Case Suitable for the t.mix xmix 1402 FXMP USB, External dimensions: Approx. 435 x 450 x 155 mm, Colour: Black

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€54
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Joyo JW-02 Wireless System

Digital Wireless Instrument System Transmission frequency: 5.8 GHz, 4 Channel transmitter & receiver, Built-in 3.7V / 500mAh lithium battery, Car anti-jamming, Battery status LED indicator, Frequency response: 20 Hz - 20 KHz, Delay: <7 ms, Sample rate: 24-Bit /...

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€98
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