Action Filter 4
Bedienungsanleitung
User Guide
EN
Foreword
The Action Filter 4 is a beastly thing that will rip out the best parts of your favorite tracks. Fat basses
and silky highs will disappear with a single hand movement while the resonance being produced by
the Action Filter 4 doesn‘t really compensate for that loss.
Well, why do we build the Action Filter 4 anyway and even in its fourth generation? The answer is
easy: It is a great unit. With a single hand movement, you are free to remove fat basses and silky
highs from a track and introduce resonance for brand new sounds.
No wonder that the predecessors of this intuitive mix tools find constant use in countless clubs,
studios and setups. And now there is an even better Action Filter: Version 4!
Your VERMONA crew from the
Elektroakustischen Manufaktur, Erlbach
User Guide Action Filter 4
1
Table of Contents
Foreword...........................................................................................................................................1
Important safety information............................................................................................................3
What you should generally know......................................................................................................5
Scope of delivery.........................................................................................................................5
Please read this!..........................................................................................................................5
Setup and Powering....................................................................................................................6
What did you buy after all?................................................................................................................7
A filter - what‘s that?..................................................................................................................7
Up with the lowpass....................................................................................................................7
Can a band pass through the filter or will it be rejected?............................................................9
Control elements............................................................................................................................. 12
GAIN – make fit what doesn‘t fit.............................................................................................. 12
TRIGGER BYPASS - momentary or permanently...................................................................... 12
MODE - small switch, large pull................................................................................................ 13
FILTER A and FILTER B - where is the high- and lowpass?................................................ 13
The filters in BAND-MODE.......................................................................................... 13
The filters in NOTCH-MODE........................................................................................ 14
RESONANCE - nothing to boo.................................................................................................. 15
STYLE - do you like it hard or soft?........................................................................................... 15
Connections.................................................................................................................................... 16
INPUT........................................................................................................................................ 16
OUTPUT.................................................................................................................................... 16
POWER - 12V DC / 1A............................................................................................................... 16
2
EN
Important safety information
The following safety precautions must be observed during all phases of operation, service and repair
of this equipment. Failure to comply with these precautions or with specific warnings in this manual
violates safety standards of design, manufacture and intended use of this equipment.
The manufacturer assumes no liability for the customer’s failure to comply with these
requirements!
Voltage peaks
The units are equipped to manage voltage peaks, which are often generated during live situations.
When using the units with unstable voltage, please make sure that the device is grounded.
Cleaning
Please clean the units with a dry duster only. Do not use sharp cleaning fluids or water!
Dampness
The units should not be used in damp or wet places. Make sure the units are not used in humid
atmospheres (walls, floors, ceilings etc.) because this could cause condensation within the units.
WARNING: Risk of electrical shock!
Use near explosive goods
The units should not be used near easy flammable or explosive goods.
Cooling System
The unit should not be used near heating systems, warm or hot fans etc. When using the unit in a
rack, wall system or fixed installation, make sure the unit has enough space to let the generated
heat dissolve.
Accessories
Do only use cables, plugs and adapters, which do not affect the normal use of the unit.
Spare parts or modifications
Modification instructions and schematic information should only be used from service departments
of our officially authorized dealers. To prevent the risk of electrical shock, do not open any unit
yourself. Due to the risk of injury, the manufacturer prohibits the installation of additional
components or any modification to the existing circuits.
Always disconnect the power lead/AC adapter before opening the unit.
User Guide Action Filter 4
3
The manufacturer will not be liable for any claims in these cases! Opening the unit violates
the warranty rules.
4
EN
What you should generally know
Scope of delivery
To ensure top quality, we carefully inspected the Action Filter 4 before packaging. Nevertheless, the
unit could have been damaged during transportation. Therefore, we ask you to take a serious look
at the unit when unpacking. Do not hesitate to contact your dealer or us, should there be anything
unusual with the unit or its packaging.
You should find the following items in the box:
-----
the Action Filter 4
a DC-Power Supply (12 volts/1 A)
this manual
a cable holder
Please read this!
The Action Filter 4 is not an ordinary filter but a unit with unusual functionality intended for
creative use. To make the most out of the Action Filter 4, we recommend taking the time to read this
manual. Beside the details of operation, you will also find a couple of useful tips.
User Guide Action Filter 4
5
Setup and Powering
Presuming there were no issues while unpacking the unit (which we of course hope), the Action
Filter 4 is ready to be setup:
1.
Connect the provided 12 volts DC-power-supply to the Action Filter’s POWER input.
☛
When connecting the power supply, the polarity can be disregarded. The labeling
on the unit‘s rear (minus = inner tip) refers to the provided power supply. It is
important that the performance will not be under-run 1 A. It should not exceed 1
A as well. Make sure, you use a stabilized power supply!
⚠︎
Only use the provided power-supply! You may already own a 12-volts power
supply that you may want to use with the Action Filter 4. Even if the connector
and voltage match, that peripheral may deliver AC (alternating current) whereas
the Action Filter 4 requires DC (direct current)! Using the wrong power-supply
may damage the unit!
2.
Connect the Action Filter 4’s INPUT jacks to the audio source, e.g. a DJ-Mixer, groove box,
synthesizer or CD-player.
3.
Connect the Action Filter 4’s OUTPUT jacks to the audio inputs of your mixing console,
audio-interface or amplifier.
4.
Press the POWER button on the front to power up the Action Filter 4. Next, switch on the
other components, such as the mixer or the audio-interface.
The Action Filter 4 is now ready to use.
☛
6
The cable holder that comes with the Action Filter 4 can be attached to the hole
next to the POWER connector on the unit's rear. You can use it to fixate the PSU's
cable.
EN
What did you buy after all?
Action Filter 4 is an analog stereo filter designed to mainly process complex audio sources. This
means, full tracks or loops will be processed entirely. Be it in a DJ-setup or during studio productions,
the Action Filter 4 is a lot more effective and versatile than typical Kill-EQs. We chose the word
“action” in the unit’s name because the filter is always operated manually. There is neither MIDInor control voltage (CV) automation. Thus, the Action Filter 4 demands and supports your intuition
and creativity.
A filter - what‘s that?
Before describing the functions of the Action Filter 4‘s knobs and switches, let’s take a closer look at
filters and what you could do with these.
A filter is an element that carves out specific portions of an original source. This deadpan theoretical
explanation is true for every filter: coffee-filters, color-filters or audio-filters. While colors and
coffee are sometimes topics during lunch break, we are, of course, interested in filtering audio
sources.
Up with the lowpass
Filters are differentiated by two basic types: low- and highpass. These names self-explain the
operation methods. A lowpass filter will only let low audio frequencies pass. The highpass does the
opposite: It only lets high frequencies pass.
The question now is: Which high respectively low frequencies? Who’s in control? Good news - it’s
you! The CUTOFF control allows setting the cutoff-frequency - the point from which the filter starts
working. For a lowpass filter this means: the lower CUTOFF is set, the stronger the suppression
of high frequencies, meaning that the sound gets more muffled. Ergo, the highpass filters works
inversely: the higher CUTOFF is set, the stronger the suppression of lower frequencies, meaning
that the sound loses bass.
User Guide Action Filter 4
7
Compatible File" option turned on. This
option is in the Illustrator Native Format
Options dialog box, which appears when
saving an Adobe Illustrator file using the
Save As command.
Compatible File" option turned on. This
option is in the Illustrator Native Format
Options dialog box, which appears when
saving an Adobe Illustrator file using the
Save As command.
This is an Adobe® Illustrator® File that was
This is an Adobe® Illustrator® File that was
saved without PDF Content.
saved without PDF Content.
To Place or open this file in other
To Place or open this file in other
applications, it should be re-saved from
applications, it should be re-saved from
Adobe Illustrator with the "Create PDF
Adobe Illustrator with the "Create PDF
Compatible File" option turned on. This
Compatible File" option turned on. This
option is in the Illustrator Native Format
option is in the Illustrator Native Format
Figure 1: Left: lowpass filter; Right: highpass filter
Options dialog box, which appears when
Options dialog box, which appears when
The green area is being passed through the filter, whereas the red area is being rejected.
saving an
Adobe Illustrator file using the
saving an Adobe Illustrator file using the
Save As command.
Save As command.
Now, RESONANCE comes into play. This parameter interacts with the CUTOFF control. It will
produce an emphasis around the cutoff-frequency zone. The level here is boosted until the sound
This is anaAdobe®
Illustrator®
File that was
This is an
Illustrator®
Fileresonance
that was
develops
characteristic
enhancement.
By moving CUTOFF,
theAdobe®
working
point of the
saved without
PDF Content.
saved without
changes
(and therefore
its sound) because the focused frequencies
will PDF
also Content.
change.
To Place or open this file in other
applications,
it should be re-saved from
LEVEL
CUTOFF
Adobe Illustrator
with the "Create PDF
Compatible File" option
turned on. This
RESONANCE
option is in the Illustrator Native Format
Options dialog box, which appears when
saving an Adobe Illustrator file using the
Save As command.
FREQ.
To Place or open this file in other
it should be re-saved from
CUTOFF
Adobe Illustrator
with the "Create PDF
Compatible
File" option turned on. This
RESONANCE
option is in the Illustrator Native Format
Options dialog box, which appears when
saving an Adobe Illustrator file using the
Save As command.
applications,
LEVEL
FREQ.
This is an Adobe®
that
was
This highpass
is an Adobe®
Illustrator®
File that was
Figure 2: Illustrator®
Left: lowpassFile
filter
with
resonance, Right:
filter with
resonance;
saved without PDF Content.
saved without PDF Content.
To Place or open this file in other
To Place or open this file in other
This is how it works in practice: A lowpass filter will cut the higher frequencies.
applications, it should be re-saved from
applications, it should be re-saved from
This might sound profane but has developed into a characteristic element of
Adobe Illustrator
with the "Create PDF
Adobe Illustrator with the "Create PDF
and dance-tracks.
Here, intros, breaks
and build-ups
are
emphasized
CompatiblehouseFile" option
turned on. This
Compatible
File" option
turned
on. This in
cumulative
effect
by slowly opening
or closing
filter inNative
sync Format
with the
option is in their
the Illustrator
Native
Format
option
is in thethe
Illustrator
beat.box, which appears when
Options dialog
Options dialog box, which appears when
saving an Adobe Illustrator file using the
saving an Adobe Illustrator file using the
Save As command.
Save Asin
command.
A highpass filter is well-suited for mash-ups
order to suppress bass drums
☛
and basslines of a track, allowing it to be easier combined with a second track.
Sometimes, you may want to alter this second track with a separate lowpass filter,
too.
8
EN
Can a band pass through the filter or will it be rejected?
What happens if you combine a high- and lowpass filter? There are two possibilities: a serial or a
parallel routing - one after the other or both next to each other.
In series, high- and lowpass form a so-called bandpass. In the Action Filter 4, a highpass will first
remove lower frequencies. From here the signal is send into a lowpass, where higher frequencies
are processed.
FILTER A: Highpass
FILTER B: Lowpass
INPUT
OUTPUT
Figure 3: Serial combination of high- and lowpass filter
What remains is a frequency band of a certain width which is specified by both CUTOFF controls.
By likewise moving both CUTOFFs to the left or right, this band is moved across the frequency
spectrum.
LEVEL
CUTOFF
Highpass
CUTOFF
Lowpass
FREQ.
Figure 4: Bandpass filter: the green area is being passed through the filter whereas the red area is
rejected.
The Action Filter 4 allows independent control for the high- and lowpass filter and therefore a
free bandwidth by adjusting both CUTOFF controls to different values. In addition, the filters’
resonance controls can be set individually and therefore create different enhancements at the lower
and upper cutoff-frequencies. This particular feature of the Action Filter 4 allows creation of sounds
not possible using typical bandpass filters with a fixed width.
User Guide Action Filter 4
9
Now what happens with both filters being interconnected in parallel? High- and lowpass filter work
as always. When connected in series to create a bandpass, the spectrum is being cut from top AND
below. In parallel connection, there is a highpass filtered signal AS WELL as a lowpass filtered signal
in existence.
FILTER A: Lowpass
INPUT
OUTPUT
FILTER B: Highpass
Figure 5: Parallel combination of low- and highpass filter
The highpass will remove lower frequencies and the lowpass eliminates high frequencies for their
signal path. Both signals are being mixed and as result a section in the middle is missing. This is why
this filter type is called a notch or band reject filter.
LEVEL
CUTOFF
Lowpass
CUTOFF
Highpass
FREQ.
Figure 6: Notch filter: The green area is being passed through the filter whereas the red area is rejected.
Again, the Action Filter 4 is superior to typical notch filters because of its ability to freely adjust the
cutoff-frequencies as well as the bandwidth for the notch.
10
EN
☛
Back to practice: a bandpass filter can emulate specific speaker types such as
old single-chassis monitors or laptop-speakers by creating a frequency limited
band and additional accents using resonances. Complex loops may be processed
by a bandpass filter in order to isolate a certain frequency range - very useful for
sampling.
The notch filter is a useful mixing tool that allows preserving the low and high
frequencies of a track. You may now fill the mid spectrum with a second beat that
was possibly processed by a bandpass - a nice reason to use a second Action Filter
4 for!
User Guide Action Filter 4
11
Control elements
Figure 7: The Action Filter 4’s front panel
GAIN – make fit what doesn‘t fit
The GAIN control sets the input level in order to match the Action Filter 4’s input to different
output levels of connected units such as DJ-mixers, groove boxes, audio-interfaces etc. In case, the
output level of the connected unit is pretty high by default, the Action Filter 4’s inputs may clip.
This is indicated by a red LED located top right of the GAIN control. Typically, the level should be
set in a way that the LED only lights up shortly at absolute peak levels.
☛
Overdrive created by high input gain settings can be used intended to create
especially powerful sounds. This will not harm the Action Filter 4.
TRIGGER BYPASS - momentary or permanently
The BYPASS switch placed in the center of the unit toggles between the filtered and unfiltered
audio signal. In ON position, BYPASS is active, meaning the filters are inactive, passing the source
signal to the outputs. This is indicated by a blue LED.
With the switch set to OFF, the filter is active and the blue LED unlit.
Nearby the switch, you will find the TRIGGER button that works like a transformer function on
a DJ-mixer. This button activates or deactivates the Action Filter 4’s filters for the period of the
button-pressing. TRIGGER functions contrarily to the BYPASS switch. With BYPASS set to ON
(filters off, LED lit), TRIGGER button will activate the filters temporarily. With BYPASS set to OFF
(filters active, LED off), TRIGGER button will temporarily bypass the filters.
12
EN
MODE - small switch, large pull
Each of the Action Filter 4’s channel houses a high- and lowpass filter with a slope of 24 dB per
octave. As described in section "Up with the lowpass" on page 7, it is circuit-dependent whether
both filters form a bandpass- or a band-reject-filter. With MODE switched to BAND, both filters are
connected in series. In contrast, the NOTCH position offers parallel wiring.
The MODE switch has a larger effect than it may seem at first. By switching between BAND and
NOTCH, the functions of both CUTOFF controls change. Let‘s take a closer look!
FILTER A and FILTER B - where is the high- and lowpass?
While describing high- and lowpass filters, the Action Filter 4 does not show any of these on the
front panel. Previously, we labeled the CUTOFF knobs as High and Low. However, this indicated
their position in the circuit. This sometimes led to misconceptions when changing between BANDand NOTCH-modes. Therefore, we changed the knob labels to FILTER A (left) and FILTER B (right)
on the Action Filter 4.
The filters in BAND-MODE
With MODE being set to BAND, FILTER A‘s CUTOFF controls the highpass filter. From here, the
audio signal is routed into FILTER B that is configured as lowpass (see figure "Serial combination of
high- and lowpass filter" on page 9). To hear the full frequency spectrum CUTOFF A needs to be
turned fully left and CUTOFF B fully to the right. Moving the control towards each other narrows
the passing frequency range. Because the high- and lowpass filters both cover the full spectrum, the
audio signal may disappear at certain overlapping CUTOFF settings.
Use the markers on the CUTOFF controls as aid to orientation. The further the distance of the
marks, the wider the passing frequency range - very much like a fan being opened. Conversely,
closing the “fan” will narrow the passing band.
User Guide Action Filter 4
13
Figure 8: The frequency being passed through the filter, shown as “fan”.
☛
To use Action Filter 4 as a classic lowpass filter, select BAND
mode and keep FILTER A fully open (CUTOFF set fully left). Use
FILTER B‘s CUTOFF to control the lowpass filter as desired.
Do the opposite for getting a pure highpass filter.
The filters in NOTCH-MODE
The world upside down: With MODE set to NOTCH, the filters work inverted. FILTER A controls the
lowpass while FILTER B adjusts the highpass (see figure "Parallel combination of low- and highpass
filter" on page 10). This wasn’t done to annoy you but for technical and practical reasons. Here
too, the “fan” comparison might help you to understand the underlying principle: FILTER A cuts
the higher, FILTER B the lower frequencies. This results in a V-shaped center-notch. The further
the CUTOFF marks depart (fan opens), the wider the notch in the frequency spectrum that filters
out a larger midrange section.
14
EN
Figure 9: The frequency range being rejected by the notch filter shown as “fan”
With both CUTOFF controls pointing towards each other, both filter-signals overlap which results
in a slight emphasis in the overlapping area.
RESONANCE - nothing to boo
Resonance in a filter is achieved by internal feedback. This leads to amplification of the frequencies
around the CUTOFF value. Resonance generates a change of timbre that will sound synthetic with
increasing intensity.
Unlike filters used in synthesizers, such as our PERfourMER MKII, the resonance in Action Filter 4
will not reach self-oscillation. The resonance has been restricted with intend to avoid uncontrollable
feedback of the sound, especially during live performances. No matter how you set the Action Filter
4, it will not damage your gig.
STYLE - do you like it hard or soft?
The first Action Filter utilized a slightly raw sounding circuit. We optimized the sound in the next
revision which lead to a smoother sound experience. It turned out that some users preferred the
rawer, some the softer sounding Action Filter revisions. It is impossible to make everyone happy,
isn‘t it? We guess we found a way! The STYLE switch allows toggling between ROUGH, which
equals Action Filter 1 and the rounder sounding SMOOTH position. It’s your choice!
User Guide Action Filter 4
15
Connections
Figure 10: The Action Filter 4’s rear
INPUT
Input jacks L and R serve to connect the audio source to be processed. The connections are available
as 1/4“-TS- as well as RCA-connectors. Both inputs can be used at the same time but you won’t be
able listening to both input pair’s signal simultaneously. Both types serve to facilitate connections
in the corresponding setup so there is no need to use adapters which would introduce a possible
source for problems. With both input types being connected, priority is given to the jack-inputs.
OUTPUT
Output jacks L and R serve to connect to a mixing console, an audio-interface or an amplifier.
Unlike the inputs, the jack- and RCA-outputs can be used in parallel.
POWER - 12V DC / 1A
Connect the provided power-supply here. The cable may be fixed with the adjacent clip to avoid
unwanted pulling out. A real LIVE-saver, isn’t it!
16
HDB electronic GmbH
Badesteig 20
08258 Markneukirchen
GERMANY
Fon
+49 (0) 37422 4027-0
Emailinfo@vermona.com
Webvermona.com