Electrix MODS
Modular Performance Effects

By Barry Rudolph

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Canadian manufacturer Electrix, a division of IVL Technologies, expands its line of performance-oriented analog effects with the half-rackspace Filter Queen and EQ Killer Modular Performance FX units or MODS. These join the three flagship Performance FX units Electrix introduced last year: the Mo-Fx multi-effects, the Filter Factory stereo filter and the Warp Factory vocoder. The MODS are half the size of the others and just as packed with special effect possibilities for the musician, DJ, remixer or engineer who wants to add an individual performance dynamic to special effect treatments. The Filter Queen and EQ Killer forego the MIDI implementation and the multi-effect capabilities of the Performance units in favor of a more stripped-down and straight-ahead approach: These units diverge from a lot of studio processors by providing quick and extremely striking results for any user at any experience level. High on the instant gratification index, they use large, momentary “engage” buttons to allow you to “play” the effect you have dialed up. You also get smaller latching engage buttons, and both buttons are surrounded by red LEDs for fun.

Electrix’s EQ Killer and the Filter Queen pack a sizable punch into half-rack units

Filter Queen
The Filter Queen is an analog, stereo high-order filter with digital control. Electrix uses the word “vintage” to describe the filter’s traditional synthesizer VCF sound. The Filter Queen uses two 2-pole filters in stereo mode—or you can chain them together for a single 4-pole filter with a push of a back-panel button. I wish the button was on the front panel, but I do like the fact that the unit automatically combines the stereo signals to mono. I also appreciated the way that the Filter Queen and the EQ Killer are powered by external 16 VAC power supplies that are on the end of AC cords instead of “wall wart” modules that can eat up three available plugs on your plug strip.

There are both RCA and 1/4-inch jacks for line-level left and right inputs and outputs on the back panel, and you can switch to phono inputs for direct connection to a turntable. The unit will handle up to +18 dBu at line level and up to -20 dBV at the phono inputs. Maximum output level is +18 dBu. There are also jacks for foot switch operation of the engage buttons and a jack for an expression pedal such as the Roland EV-5. The external pedal will control the filter frequency for wah-wahing or notch filter sweeps.

There are four filter types on the Filter Queen: lowpass, highpass, bandpass and notch. All filters are 12 dB per octave, or a more pronounced 24 dB per octave in 4-pole mono mode. The filter covers a 12-octave range from 10 to 20k Hz with just a single knob (one of the advantages of digital control). There is a Resonance control with negative values that smooth out the filter just as positive values make frequency changes much more pronounced, right up to feedback whistles. I liked the bandpass for wah-wah or Mutron effects: The notch is deep (in 4-pole) and ends up sounding like a whooshing phaser or flanger effect. The lowpass is great for rolling off superbright sounds, and the highpass is great for “lo-fi” two-way-radiolike effects in which all the low frequencies are taken away. A single, large momentary push button or a latching smaller button switches the effect on and off, and an effects mix control blends the amount of effect with the original signal.

 

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Reprinted with permission from Mix Magazine, August, 2000
2000, Intertec Publishing, A Primedia Company All Rights Reserved






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