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If you’re unfa­mil­iar with this effect, it’s trig­gered by how hard you pick, and can give you auto­matic wah-wah sounds or some­thing alto­gether dif­fer­ent. More of a ‘bwah-bwah’ or ‘qwow-qwow’ sound than a ‘wah-wah,’ depend­ing on how you set it. Kee­ley uses the clas­sic opto-coupler design for depth and warmth, and has built in plenty of con­trol. The Gain con­trol lets you set the input level to get the best response to your pick­ing strength. The Peak con­trol lets you set how bright or dark the effect is, from deep and bassy to shrill. The Fil­ter Selec­tor is a three-way selec­tor knob that lets you choose between three dif­fer­ent types of fil­ters. There’s also a Range switch, which lets you empha­sise either the high or low fre­quen­cies. There’s also a Direc­tion switch on the side that con­trols whether the wah-wah sound goes up or down (like press­ing the wah-wah pedal down on each sin­gle strike, or up on each sin­gle strike). Oh and the graphic design is really great, with easy-to-see con­trols and a cool blue/magenta graphic over a white box. The ‘effect on’ indic­tor LED is nice and bright and the switch feels sat­is­fy­ingly clicky.


Plug this baby into a clean chan­nel and you’ll get all sorts of great tones, from ‘quacky’ and edgy to big, fat and ‘gloopy’. Y’know those great old ‘home organ’ tones? This can get that out of your gui­tar no prob­lem. Want a funky, scratchy, treble-heavy tone? That’s in here. But unlike some enve­lope fil­ters, which seem to put unec­ces­sary stress on your amp’s pre­amp when the sig­nal hits its peaks, this one seems con­tained and slightly com­pressed, which keeps it from get­ting out of con­trol. You can coax some utterly robotic sounds that are almost talkbox-like. You can go from Jerry Cantrell to Jerry Gar­cia with ease.

Try it with over­drive or dis­tor­tion and you’ll get some truly wild sounds that might remind you of, say, The Prodigy synth sounds. It can sound organic or syn­thetic depend­ing on where you put it in the sig­nal chain. The abil­ity to select between up and down modes is a huge asset to an enve­lope fil­ter and although there are some oth­ers that have this, it’s kinda amaz­ing that it’s not a stan­dard fea­ture on all of them, as ubiq­ui­tous as a ‘rate’ con­trol on a cho­rus pedal. In the case of this one, it’s per­fectly imple­mented and voiced. It’s espe­cially use­ful with big fat over­driven gui­tar tones, where you can cre­ate a great backwards-feeling ‘shoolp’ sound.


This can be a pretty wild effect, and although it cre­ates some amaz­ing sounds in its own right, it really comes to life when you com­bine it with other effects. Com­bine it with heavy reverb or delay for really fat har­mon­ics, or feed a wah-wah or tremolo into it for some­thing truly exag­ger­ated. Its util­ity is lim­ited only by your imagination.