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best octave pedal for drop C tuning?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by fallenreilly, Dec 8, 2011.

  1. fallenreilly


    Dec 8, 2011
    hey guys,

    new to the form. i did run a search and found pages and pages about what's the best octave pedal. unfortunately i didnt find anything that described my specific needs out of one. here's my question -

    what's the best octave pedal to use in drop c? i particularly want to drop one octave of my lowest C note to make some heavy parts in my band get that 'wall of sound' effect. we play similar music to tool/cave in/rosetta/deftones. i need to know which pedal can hold up tracking a octave lower than the lowest c in drop c tuning (C G C F) i will most likely be using a heavy distortion with the octave as well. please help! i want to get a pedal asap but need some advice - thanks in advance!

  2. One option would be to get an octave pedal that does two octaves down and play on the string formerly known as "D", so in essence you would have three octaves available; blend dry and wet signal to taste and blammo.

    I use an EHX POG2 (Two up and two down) and Eventide Pitchfactor (three up and three down). Those are a bit on the pricey side so maybe an MXR BOD?
  3. fallenreilly


    Dec 8, 2011
    thanks for the reply! i've heard of the EHX POG2 being great, but never had anyone who wants to play as low as i do with it, so i was a bit skeptical it could hold up with that low of a note. if i just wanted to run it one octave down would it still be audible and not super muddy? never heard of the Eventide Pitchfactor, is that a standard octave pedal as well? i'll have to look into that MXR as well.
  4. alec


    Feb 13, 2000
    Perth, Australia
    You'll need a digital one like the POG (don't know if the Eventide is but I guess so) because analogue pedals just won't track notes much below G on the E string.
  5. My mistake, MXR does not do 2 sub octaves.

    The Pitchfactor is a pitch shifter but has an octave function. I still have my POG 2 on my board because it is the best octaver that I have had my grubby little mitts on so far and I really like that I can save presets and that is has some additional effects (low pass filter, de-tune, swell etc).

    Honestly, the ability to hear an octave below the low C is going to depend on your cabs. I know there have been a lot of debates on fundamentals and sub-contra basses on here in the last few months. I haven't participated because I don't know squat about that. All I know is that when I go an octave below and open E, I can't really hear much aside from some wobble (great for dubstep!!). Tracking, the POG2 (or even the Micro POG) will perform really well. The only thing I will say is that both of those are digital and sound as such. If you are really concerned about tracking, get one that has two sub octaves and dry blend/cut and play on the high C string (Boss OC-3 does two sub).

    Jauqo III-X has a lot of insight into the subcontra range of sound that you are looking for.

    Good luck, brother.
  6. knumbskull


    Jul 28, 2007
    indeed - you are going to struggle to reproduce that low C octave live!

    i had a micro POG and it tracked perfectly but i didn't like the sound - also i couldn't hear much below stardard E. for info :)

    NB check out a poster named Jaqcuo XXI (i think) - he tunes to octave-down C# and has a great sound - i think if it's actual strings making the noise you get a much richer harmonic content...
  7. Knettgummi


    Sep 28, 2011
    Without going into the whole "octave below a low C is actually below the threshold of human hearing/hard to reproduce reliably without very high-end speakers" argument, I find that octave pedals are better suited for fattening up higher notes than to actually extend the low end range of a bass (IMO). This may in fact be closer to the result you're imagining, though, in which case an octaver is still the way to go (only tracking the low notes are less important).

    I personally think there's a lot of Justin Chancellor-vibe to be found playing slightly higher up the neck with an added octave down and a nice, synthy distortion. YMMV though.
  8. seedokebass


    Mar 21, 2009
    In drop C, anything below the G# (1st fret on your A-tuned-to-G string) probably won't sound very good. In my opinion. I used to be in a similar band to yours, drop D and some drop C tunings, Chancellor-esque effects.... when I wanted to make my parts heavier, I did power chords and used the octave pedal for higher register parts.

    Fallenreilly, do you have any links/samples of your tunes? Or some examples of stuff you dig for comparison?
  9. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    For sure, you need a digital octaver, and for sure, it will be difficult, and possibly impossible to "hear" anything that low, and for real for sure, you'll need massive power and seriously low-tuned and huge cabs to even get close. Just so you know.
  10. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    And even if you succeed it will sound like absolute crap. Seriously.

    Like Knett said, play higher notes on the neck for significantly better results from the octave-down effect. Or play your regular drop-C notes and use an octave-UP pedal instead of an octave down. Either of those methods will get you a much, much better "wall of sound" than what you described, which is like trying to scrape 100 lbs of poop into a 10-lb box.
  11. fallenreilly


    Dec 8, 2011
    thanks again! the feedback is much appreciated. if i were to use the pedal strictly for the lower octave feature, would the MICROPOG satisfy what i'd need the same way a POG2 would? the eventide looks awesome, unfortunately a bit outta my price range right now.

    after reading your guys responses, i'm thinking it might not be possible to achieve the specific sound i'm looking for :/. here's a link to my bands music - Archives - Band Profile | Facebook a lot of our new stuff is sludgier and 'bigger' sounding, and i was planning on using it more for that type of stuff. either way you get an idea of the sound.

    an example of what i'd like to sound like is - cave in - summit fever - YouTube skip ahead a little bit in the track. the bass adds such a perfect and huge low end IMO. i'd really like some heavy parts to come through this way with our new stuff. anymore advice is much appreciated! so far lookin like the micro pog may be the best bet.
  12. bearhart74

    bearhart74 Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2009
    I had an ebs octabass that tracked nicely down to low e but not much more than that without incurring significant delay
  13. fallenreilly


    Dec 8, 2011
    nice, honestly that may be what i'm talking about. i just have never messed with an octave pedal before and i assumed that's how the sound i'm referring too was achieved based off how heavy it came across. definitely could be the octave up mixed with the dry correctly though.
  14. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    A lot of heaviness comes from manipulating the regular frequency range rather than trying to go lower. For example even something as simple as a Big Muff or Fuzz Face, with the low mids boosted on the amp's EQ, and an adequately powerful amp rig, will sound devastatingly crushingly heavy even with a normal-tuned 4-string bass!

    Sure downtuning a bit gets you heavier, but there's a point of diminishing returns, where going even lower gets worse and worse rather than heavier-sounding.
  15. fallenreilly


    Dec 8, 2011
    again, many thanks. i take a lot of pride and time in developing my technique, playing and writing but have neglected my gear/tone/pedals etc... more than i should have. all of this info is really helping a lot. i have a big muff i'm going to try out. i'm currently running the Line6 BassPod XT Live set up and it's doing pretty well for my delays/flange and distortion - though it does lose a lot of clarity (w/ heavy distortion) and volume on clean stuff. any tips for that? as far as eqing etc...?
  16. Knettgummi


    Sep 28, 2011
    Haven't had the chance to listen to the examples you linked to yet, but I'll still recommend that you check out the micro POG - it does both octave up and octave down, and is probably the best tracking octaver available. Sounds like it should fit the bill.

    I haven't tried a POG2 myself, but I would guess that the -2 octaves is more useful on a guitar than a bass.
  17. Agree with the uPOG. I had one but upgraded to the pog 2 when I decided that I needed presets. The micro is a great pedal.
  18. Sufenta

    Sufenta Trudging The Happy Road of Destiny

    Mar 14, 2002
    The Signpost Up Ahead.
    Agreed that the POG is the best tracking octaver I've tried. When I first had it I thought it was the total package. I grew a little tired of the synth-vibe so I'm back to the OC-2, which has a tone I prefer but very spotty tracking. Now I'm considering returning to the POG. I think I can live with the tone of the POG. Bad tracking just trashes my vibe.
  19. fallenreilly


    Dec 8, 2011
    that fishman pedal could do wonders, the only thing i'm skeptical about is that there's no option for down an octave. while i'm thinking after these posts that i may be utilizing the octave up more to achieve the sound i'm looking for i'm kinda scared to drop close to $300 and have it not do what i'm looking for. jauqo iii -x what are your thoughts on this compared to the micropog?

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