The SolidgoldFX Funkzilla is an envelope filter with tap tempo, an expression pedal jack and enough knobs and switches to launch a rocket. Despite the extensive controls, the footprint is surprisingly small, so if you want an envelope filter that seemingly does it all, you’ll have room to add the Funkzilla.
What we like:
The versatility of this unit is phenomenal, and every one of the aforementioned knobs and switches serves a practical function. Depth, Frequency, and Attack controls are to be expected, but the optional three-way Waveform toggle (sine, ramp, and square) combined with the option to change the direction of the sweep (also on a toggle) make the Funkzilla exceedingly versatile. For example, I typically preferred the sine wave in forward sweep for autowah effects and in reverse sweep for funk riffs. I preferred the square wave setting for Stereolab-type rhythm beds, for which I usually engaged the Tap Tempo feature.
Speaking of Tap Tempo, I even found the Rhythm mode—which can only be activated while you’re in Tap mode—to be useful. The Rhythm mode allows you to choose from eight different presets that offer rhythmic accents in the envelope’s sweep. I typically find this function to be unhelpful in tremolos but, when married to the musical sweep of the envelope, this proved to be a really cool feature, suggesting rhythms and accents I might not have thought of otherwise.
The Attack and Depth controls are very sensitive, and I mean that in a good way: The long taper on these knobs really lets you dial in the sweet spot(s) that will marry pick attack, tone, and pedal response in your rig. The signal is very hi-fi; nothing is lost. And the purple sparkle paint job? Gorgeous.
Concerns: The expression pedal controls the speed of the envelope’s sweep while in Tap mode, but with the 1-2-4 switch, which multiplies the rate tapped in, it seems like you could adjust the tempo fairly easily just using Tap Tempo. It would be cool to have the option of changing the frequency, shape, or direction of the wave via expression pedal.
Tone: 4.5 out of 5. The signal is very open and present, which doesn’t, in and of itself, scream “funk.” That said, you really get to hear the sweep of the pedal and your guitar’s tone, so it’s hard to complain. Roll back your tone knob if you want something a little more old school.
Build quality: 4.5 out of 5. The marriage of small footprint and extensive functionality is greatly appreciated, as is the range on the Depth and Attack knobs. The toggles’ proximity to the Bypass and Tap switches made me nervous, but I had no problems while playing.
Value: 4.5 out of 5. The Funkzilla offers a ton of functionality in a tidy, well-built box.
Overall rating: 4.5 out of 5. From funk to Radiohead ballads to plain ol’ autowah, this pedal lets you cover an amazing amount of ground without taking up too much real estate, and it sounds great doing it. Maybe you don’t think you need an envelope filter, but the Funkzilla might change your mind.