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rwinking

Wah tone

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I was listening to Frank Zappa and he had this cool thing where he would use a wah, but not move it. He could find that perfect frequency and then play on it forever. My question is about this kind of thing. Is there a way to find that perfect frequency that you like and then just save it so that when you turn on a wah footswitch it just turns that frequency on? Not really using an expression pedal, but just that frequency at the push of a button? I know it must be possible with all the Helix can do. I just am at a loss as to how to pull it off.

Thanks a lot.

rick

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I believe you can just add a wah block just like any other effect and tune it how you like it.  I just tried it in Helix native and it worked fine.But I don't have any sort of controller connected.  I think(not sure) if you add a wah on the Helix hardware itself it does assign itself to an expression pedal by default. I would guess you would just need to un-assign it from the expression pedal. Maybe I'll play with it(I have the LT) and check it out. 

 

P.S. Big Zappa fan myself. He definitely did have some very cool "cocked wah" tones. 

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I thought of one possibility....when I assign a block to wah I think there is a low/high range. Maybe if I find that place and assign it to both low and high?

Since you are a Zappa fan, there is a tone I was curious about.....the solo in Blessed Relief has this kind of cocked wah tone but also a normal tone mixed in. It is hard to describe unless you know the tone. He used it on a few of those Hot Rats to Grand Wazoo era tunes....well before he hired Steve Vai. Anyway, that might be for another thread?

Thanks. Just your answer may have moved me into how to think about this. When you plug an Xpression pedal into the right jack it automatically defaults to wah/volume pedal. At least I think it does or I may have set mine up that way a long time back. Definitely let me know what you find on your LT!

rick

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If you go to BYPASS/CONTROLLER ASSIGN, you'll see that there are two controllers assigned to the WAH, BYPASS and POSITION. Clear the POSITION assignment, then switch to EDIT, go to the WAH, turn it ON and set the POSITION Value where you want it and SAVE.

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8 hours ago, rwinking said:

I was listening to Frank Zappa and he had this cool thing where he would use a wah, but not move it. He could find that perfect frequency and then play on it forever.

 

@rd2rk already mentions above how to do this with a Helix.... I'm just here to say this is known as the "half cocked wah" or "fixed wah" and is used all the time in the industry. You probably hear it a lot more than you realize - you just didn't know it because it isn't moving. It is most commonly kicked in for solos but it is also the technique Knopfler used for the entire guitar track on "Money for Nothing". 

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Another way to do this is with a parametric EQ. You can make all the “half cocked “ tones you like with a parametric. 

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