Intensive Care Audio
Vena Cava Filter
Vena Cava Filter
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Intensive Care Audio's "Vena Cava Filter" is a distortion with an auto-filter and ring modulation used for the treatment of Bland Guitar Syndrome and Excessive Aural Dryness. Used regularly it can provide effective relief from these, and other music and instrumentation related conditions.
Wave Function: An 8 position rotary switch allows you to select 1 of 8 available LFO waveforms. From left to right these are;
Random Slopes, Random Steps, Sweep, Sine, Triangle, Square, Ramp Down, Ramp Up.
Freq: Sets the frequency (speed) of the LFO. The speed (and waveform) of the LFO is indicated by the LED above the FREQ control.
Ring: Sets the base frequency of a ring modulator which is swept by the LFO along with the filter. Turning fully clockwise disengages the ring modulator. At settings below 12 o’clock the carrier frequency becomes inaudible and provides an interesting stuttering effect. Set correctly it can also create octave down effects which when swept by the LFO moves around with the wave shape set by WAVE FUNCTION.
Ring Switch: This switch removes the LFO controlling the ring modulator frequency so the ring modulator can be set at a specific frequency. The LFO will continue to sweep the filter.
Voice Switch: Selects between two voicing options for the filter. One is a narrower notch with emphasis on high frequency content.
Volume: Sets the overall output volume of the effect.
Blend: Sets the mix between distortion (fully anti-clockwise) and filtered and ring modulated distortion (fully anti-clockwise). Use in conjunction with the PEAK control to set intensity of the overall filter effect.
Gain: Sets the gain of the distortion. It ranges from a very mild overdrive to a heavy, fat distortion. At lower gain settings the filtering effect becomes less pronounced.
There are a few pedals that are among the wildest ones I’ve ever come across, and the Vena Cava Filter is definitely near the top of the list. Auto Filter, Ring Mod, and Distortion all squeezed into one beautiful looking package. You can dial things down for fairly classic distortion, subtle crunchy auto wah, clangy ring mod, or any combination of the three, but it’s the massive sound of all three interacting that really makes this pedal an exciting, unique machine for me. For huge chaotic solos, massive filter swells, rad rhythmic mayhem, or heaps of other sounds, it’s really such a cool machine. I’ve been exploring mine for over a year now and I’m still finding new and exciting settings. Despite the wealth of options, I t’s super easy to dial in some fun sounds. TLDR: if you love unconventional effects that reward exploration, definitely give this one a try.
I got to try out this pedal when I was visiting my friend in his studio.
My god it's so fun! I never thought I would want a ring modulator pedal in my rig for christ-sake! At first I won't lie the pedal is intimidating and my friend (who is a producer) tried explaining the ins and outs of a ring modulator pedal. I didn't catch most of what he was explaining about how it works. But like with any pedal the best way is to just go in blindly and start messing around. So I did.
Snd let me tell you: this pedal was clearly designed with guitarists and songwriters in mind. It's not just experimental for experimentation's sake. There's a riff in all of these settings. When my friend let me use his we immediately started working on this strange swamp-grunge robot track. It was so inspiring!
It also works really well for finishing off a song in a really rowdy way descending into a wall of noise. I can't wait until I have a chance to grab one of these for myself and experiment with the multitude of noises this box offers!
This pedal is insane! I got this because I watched a video of Lee Kiernan of IDLES demoing it on board to death. 6 months after purchase and I still find new and wacky ways to use this pedal!
I'm no pedal connoisseur but this thing is unreal! Big up intensive care audio.
11/10 highly recommend it.
The Vena Cava is my favourite distortion by a mile (and I have had a load!). For a moment, forget the ring mod and the modulated filter and the tap tempo and voicing options, and look at just the gain section. Its amazing, it has something extra that other distortions don't have, it cuts with out being piercing and fills the room without being booming.
Then you can pimp out your drive with the filter or the lower voice control. want a bit of movement on the filter, pop on one of the 8 waveforms, tap in the speed and your off. Want it to get wild?? Turn on the ring mod, which is also versatile. Yes, it can sound like your tone is being passed through some grinding gears but turn down the filter a bit and set in the peak just right and you get a snarling distortion which is really musical.
I love this thing, check out some demos above and you will see what I mean!
If you like to clang like I do, and also enjoy strange filters that some people might think sound like “space garbage” this pedal is for you. I guarantee you a grinding good time, with lots voices to choose to annoy everyone except yourself. Like DBA filter sounds? This guy is for you. My only caveat is that the plastic foot switch caps are not great, and when mine arrived, one of the switches had come loose and fallen into the body. It turned out to be an easy fix with just fingers and wrench, but the dealer I bought from did say I wasn’t the first person to have this problem. But like I said, easy fix, and it looks like maybe they’ve moved away from that switch style