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Fwonkbeta purple funk generator review


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My latest funk pedal and it's a keeper. I also bought the SGFX Supa Funk and Seamoon Funk Machine (also reviewed here) with the idea of seeing which of the three I like best but they're all so good at what they do I'm going to keep the lot and my pedalboard real estate is suffering as a result!

First off, this thing has balls!! This really is thick and juicy. After playing through this the Supa Funk sounds thin but then going back to the Fwonkbeta you feel like it's missing top end (I'm never satisfied!). But they both do something different; the Supa Funk filter emphasises the vowel like elements whereas the Fwonkbeta emphasises the low end and has massive depth. And you have enough flexibility with their frequency controls to find a spot in the mix to make them stand out.

I have a EHX parallel mixer and like to see how pedals work in this setup. Both the Fwonkbeta and Supa Funk do not have a blend control and you can hear why. Mixing in parallel some of the original signal diminishes their sound and they seem to work best as full on processors. In contrast the Funk Machine has a blend control and seems to work best with some original signal blended in.

The three controls are sensitivity (stroke), depth (fwonk) and frequency (juice). There's no choice of filter direction so this is a dedicated pedal in that respect, as Mr Black says; 'the FwonkBeta works by opening filter sweep (increasing frequency response) as envelope peaks; I guess you’d call that “up?”'. What I found with this pedal is that if you have a lot of staccato or ghost notes the filter doesn't have enough time to fully open so the sounds become very percussive and as you don't have a blend control that's what you'll get. With full notes you'll get the full on fwonk. The percussive sound can be good so not necessarily a bad thing but if you want more nuanced envelope sounds then the Supa Funk is the way to go. 

As for the frequency control, well this thing goes sub-sonic bowel moving if you want. You have to turn the control to about 10 o'clock to get into normal frequencies but once you get over to full CW the filter has a top end 'pop' and gets close to the Seamoon in that respect. For me about halfway is that really juicy sound.

The Seamoon has a setting with the depth off (full ccw) where it acts as an eq filter and has a nice bass boost effect. Both the Fwonkbeta and Supa Funk can't do this and at the least depth settings still have an envelope effect. Not an issue but just something to be aware of.

Like the Seamoon, this is more a specialist pedal as it does one thing really really well. The Supa Funk is the more nuanced of the three (and the only one where you can select sweep direction) but can't go as extreme.

The only thing I'd like to see on this pedal is an internal trim pot so you can set the gain, and thus sensitivity, to match your bass output. The Seamoon has this and it's a great feature.

Overall though, this is a great sounding envelope pedal and massive fun to play in the right context. Maybe not in a death metal band but I would love someone to prove me wrong!

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