Monday, June 20, 2016

Keeley Neutrino Envelope Filter Review

The Keeley Neutrinio is a envelope filter that is a step above other envelope filters I've played.  I had been looking for an envelope pedal to play with and some of the cheaper brands didn't respond very well to my playing. Making be wonder what the deal with these was. But the Keeley Neutrinio is killer adding in funk and jam band sounds is easy. Getting it to making crazy synth sounds can be a bit trickier but yeah those sounds are in there.

I talk a lot about dynamic playing and there really are two kinds. One is alternating playing soft passages and heavy passages. The other is using your pick attack and volume knob to control how much gain is coming out of the amp. My favorite pedals are the ones who respond to this second type of playing the most. Most drive pedals and tube amps have this to a degree but in the last few years we've seen a plethora of extremely sensitive pedals. My favorite combination for drive pedals is my Zephyr fuzz into an OCD pedal. Both stacked together can sound like your amp is fixing to meltdown but rolling down the volume can give you a beautiful clean tone without switching them off. 

The Neutrinio is a fun and very dynamic pedal. You can switch back and forth between your pick and fingers for more dynamic range. I like to use a brighter pick like a tortex rather than a nylon or herco style pick that has a warmer tone.The more dynamic your pickups the better this pedal is going to work. I find that single coil vintage sounding work best where as hotter focused sounding humbuckers are not as dynamic to begin with. That's not to say you can't have fun with them. People say active EMG's lack dynamics but I had no problems getting the Neutrinio to make all kinds of sounds with mine.

The controls are very interactive with your guitar. The Peak knob controls how high the wah sound goes. The Range switch emphasizes either the low or high notes while the three way LBH acts as a high or low pass filter to roll off the edges. I find this is particularly important with really bright sounds. The gain knob is the one I move around the most and the final knob to dial in my tone. There is also a side switch which reverses the sweep of the wah, so instead of a "wOw" sound it's more of a "OwwA".

I really like setting up this pedal so that I have to roll the volume back a bit to get it to sound the best. I don't find that I have to fight with it like I have some others and it's highly tweakable to adjust to whatever the situation is. Using this pedal with drive pedals that also respond well to picking dynamics is amazing. One thing that I find fascinating is that you HAVE to control your picking intensity and your volume knob. I think I do a pretty good job with these but I had to really tighten up what I was doing. It forces you to work on different aspects of dynamic playing. So if your looking to work on that aspect of your playing I can't recommend the Keeley Neutrinio enough.

Note: This review was completely unsolicited, I received no compensation for it and all views and opinions are my own.

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