I first tried an “envelope follower” playing around with my son’s Korg Pandora portable multi-fx processor. We were abroad staying at a family friends house, so it was pretty cool to plug in the Korg Pandora and play through the headphones. I loved just hitting out some funky rhythms using one of the presets with an envelope follower (or it might have been called filter or envelope filter) effect in the mix. The Pandora was noticeably hissy to my ears though.
Fast forward a few months and the kids get me this for my birthday – The Electro Harmonix Micro Q-Tron! How wonderful! That was a couple of years ago so I’ve had plenty of time to test it and use the effect. I’ve tried it with several different guitars and a bass, so I think I’ve given it a good chance to become a part of ‘my sound’.
However every couple of months after I have forgotten how it sounds I dig out this effect, put it in front of the amp and am disappointed by it! I don’t know what it is but the Korg Filter was so simple, I adjusted no parameters, it was good as it was. The Electro Harmonix Micro Q-Tron pedal has quite a lot of options and control but none of the sounds I get out seem to appeal to me. Is it a bad workman blaming his tools? Possibly, but I’m not saying this pedal is no good. I’m saying that the sounds that I can get out of it with my guitar, my amp and my playing techniques are kind of not-interesting, not-sparkling, not inspiring. You know sometimes you pick up a new guitar, use a new effect or a different amp and you are inspired, it might even lead to you write some new cool songs or riffs. From this Electro Harmonix Micro Q-Tron I got nothing! I prefer my amp’s built in auto-wah or I have a multi-fx unit with a wah and expression pedal on it.
I think it’s time to get some some solid facts up here, so you know how the Electro Harmonix Micro Q-Tron pedal works and changes your sound;
- It’s in a sturdy metal box, that has Made in NYC, USA printed on the top under the Electro Harmonix logo. Open the box up and stamped into the metal it says “Made in China“, that’s confusing!
- You have to undo 4 screws to change the PP3 9V battery (or find out it’s made in China)
- It’s got true bypass (but open it up and it says China bypass)
- There are three knobs and a foot switch. The knobs are;
- Mode – this knob clicks into one of the three positions marked HP, BP or LP this changes the emphasis to Highs (HP), Mids (BP) or Lows (LP).
- Q – Determines the peak bandwidth of the filter. As the Q control is turned clockwise, the filter will sound increasingly narrow with a more obvious peak
- Drive – the filter sweep sensitivity control. Turning the DRIVE control clockwise will cause the filter to react more to your playing
If you want to check out the website for this pedal ands further info/videos go the the EHX Micro-Q-tron page. I think the players on that page playing funky style seem to get more out of the pedal than I have in my video, where I play more regular chords, arpeggios and distorted sounds.
I hope you enjoy this review and it is useful to you. Since I bought the Electro Harmonix Micro Q-Tron I have seen demonstrations of another of their products called The Worm which might be more of what I was looking for, it seems a lot more flexible and multi-voiced. Also I have heard there is a new version of The Worm which can be controlled with an expression pedal, a great bonus.