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Carl Martin debuts streamlined Ottawa Vintage Optical Envelope filter pedal

Carl Martin Ottawa
(Image credit: Carl Martin)

Carl Martin has unveiled its latest modulation pedal, the Ottawa Vintage Optical Envelope filter. Ottawa, auto-wah... get it? 

The tongue-in-cheek pedal – supposedly named after Canada’s capital city and the "wah-wah-wah" of the politicians who reside there – is a beefed-up version of the brand’s pre-existing Optical Envelope Filter, and aims to deliver psych-inspired auto-pilot wah sounds.

In terms of control, the Ottawa adopts a suitably streamlined approach, featuring four control knobs for Tone, Attack, Q and Level, as well as a three-way selector switch.

Attack is in charge of dictating the sensitivity of the filter, while the Tone and Level knobs are responsible for tweaking the high cut filter and the pedal’s volume, respectively.

The final Q control knob adjusts the bandwidth of the Ottawa, meaning it can be used to roll between soft, warm, rounded wahs and narrow, sharp, “ear-ripping” tones. All three control knobs are said to be closely linked, and so some off-the-cuff changes may be required to maintain an optimum tone.

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Carl Martin Ottawa

(Image credit: Carl Martin)
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Carl Martin Ottawa

(Image credit: Carl Martin)
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Carl Martin Ottawa

(Image credit: Carl Martin)

As for the selector switch, three separate presets have been crammed into the pedal, accessible via the centrally located toggle. HP, BP and LP – High Pass, Band Pass and Low Pass – aim to deliver a holistic library of wah sounds, ranging from ‘60s psych sounds to ‘70s disco tones.

The Low Pass setting also means the pedal can be used with a bass guitar.

No official US price has been confirmed, so keep your eyes peeled on the official Carl Martin website for more information when it emerges.

Matt Owen

Matt is a News Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.