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Best Octave Pedal to Get Low B up to E- on a Four String Bass

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by tedw, Nov 11, 2012.

  1. tedw

    tedw Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 13, 2006
    Northwest U.S.
    I'm new to octave effects and would appreciate some input.

    I prefer four string basses but occasionally need to play lower notes (B up to E-). I went to a bass clinic with a pro this weekend and he suggested using the octave effect to get the lower notes. He demonstrated it, and I seems like a pretty slick idea.

    Based on your experience, I'm interested in learning what octave pedeals you feel would work best for this application.


  2. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    The best sounding octave down fx, imo, are all analog. However, none of these will track well below a normal low A. So, you'll need a digital octaver, like a Micro POG to do what you want.
  3. Lemon Of Troy

    Lemon Of Troy Banned

    Nov 6, 2012
    Palmetto State
    Agreed. I couldn't stand the sound of the POG, though.

    The Aguilar Octamizer and MXR Bass Octave sound much better, but like Boogie said, they don't track well on the bottom strings. But I find that with my Octamizer, if I play the E/B higher on the neck it does fine. Especally if you don't need to hold the notes.
  4. HaVIC5


    Aug 22, 2003
    Brooklyn, NYC
    I think what OP meant was low B up to Eb, the pitches afforded by a 5-string. In this case, most octavers will do just fine. Analog octavers would be a little glitchier, but almost all of them will handle a B, in my experience.
  5. JonnyAngle

    JonnyAngle Dropping Acid Pedal Etching .com Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 24, 2008
    Maple Grove, MN
    Line 6 m5
  6. topo morto

    topo morto

    Mar 22, 2010
    Do you need the G-string? have you considered going BEAD?
  7. yaksonator

    yaksonator Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2011
    Branson, MO
    Octron by foxrox.
  8. tedw

    tedw Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 13, 2006
    Northwest U.S.
    Thanks HaVIC5, you interpreted my question correctly. Sorry for my lack of clarity.

    I stumbled into an EH Micro Pog and actually like the effect, but the lower notes (B to E- on the A string) sound too effected (like an organ) to me.

    So I'm very open to other ideas. I've heard some good things about the Aguilar unit as well as the Boss OC3.

    I appreciate any and all ideas.
  9. tedw

    tedw Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 13, 2006
    Northwest U.S.
    Thanks for the suggestion. I do use all four strings and need to drop down the lower notes afforded by the B string only occassionally.

    So I can see how BEAD could help, but I think it would create a different problem for me...
  10. chatterbox272


    Apr 12, 2012
    But you could still play just about anything from regular tuning, it would just need to be shifted up 5 frets. so unless you're playing those top notes on the G, BEAD will definitely give the best sound.
  11. krstko


    Aug 29, 2011
    Cerknica, Slovenia
    Another pedal you should check out is EBS Octabass. Tracks well (even below A) and it produces a awsome fat analoge tone. Also it's built like a tank, looks like it will work for ever ;)
  12. willbassyeah


    Oct 9, 2011
    +1 on mxr BOD and octamizer, both are very different sounding though, and i think octamizer sounds better when the octave is solo-ed without the clean sound blended in.
  13. topo morto

    topo morto

    Mar 22, 2010
    Yeah BEAD is a big change, but as you say, not generally because you don't have the notes available.

    You do tend to find yourself playing higher up the neck, so it somewhat depends if you like that sound. On the other hand, it can be a lot easier playing where the fret spacing is a bit narrower! As you can tell I am a BEAD fan, think it should be the 'standard' four string tuning!

    Back to octavers... as others have said, the octavers currently available either have some tracking issues, or are essentially just pitch shifters and will sound a bit organ-y. Also, there's always going to be a slight delay.

    You do tend to find that performance of octavers is very dependent on the particular instrument, your playing style, etc, so if you try a few you might find one that works well for you.
  14. sillyfabe

    sillyfabe keeping the low-end silly since '06 Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2009
    San Bernardino,CA
    As stated before it depends on how you want it to produce said octave...

    Organic? Synthy? Monophonic? Polyphonic? Able to blend in your own signal? Analog? Digital? Size? Age?

    A good starter for an analog octaver is the Boss OC-2. It's monophonic (as are ALL analog octavers) and is really a FAT octaver. I own this and use it along with the synth mod.

    Looking for a more organic tone? Look at the Aguilar Octamizer. Sounds true to your tone but can also get really deep. I've borrowed it but prefer the synthy nature of the OC-2.

    A good polyphonic octaver will always be digital and depending on which model you get there will be some....digital-ness to it. BUT with that said a really good one has tone control/filter/freq controls that really can shape its sound.

    A good start is the EHX micro POG which has orig,+1 and -1 OCT blend able in anyway you want. Of course it is nowhere near as FAT as the OC-2 but its polyphonic nature means it can handle just about anything.
  15. bomber moran

    bomber moran

    Oct 14, 2011
    any of the line 6 M series, using the pitchglide effect set to -5. it will detune your EADG to BEAD in one stomp.
  16. tedw

    tedw Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 13, 2006
    Northwest U.S.
    Thanks, Topo Morto. You make good arguments for BEAD. The thin is, I never cared for the sound of a B string above the 5th fret and I've had some pretty good 35" and 34" scale 5ers. Other than that, BEAD makes a lot of sense to me.

    I'm getting the point that I'm going to have to try several of the octavers before I find the right one(s) for my basses. Currently, I play a Rob Allen Mouse (30" scale four string) and 34" 4-string P (I'm not mentioning my two 5ers here since I'm inclined to move away from them). So maybe I'll need two octavers.
  17. Gadgetjunky


    Aug 9, 2011
    Yep, great detuner.
  18. tedw

    tedw Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 13, 2006
    Northwest U.S.
    Thanks, Sillyfabe.

    My objective is to find an octaver that sounds like my bass, and is especially good at dropping B to E- on the A string by one octave (thereby allowing me to play a 4 string only while stilling being able to occaissionally access the extra low notes available on a 5 string).

    I got my hands on a Micro Pog and I really like the artistic options that it gives me in all ranges. But the organy feel is too much for me on the lower notes. Yet, it may work for me considering that (1) I don't need to play the extra low notes all that much (2) tonal differences between my clean tone and the Micro Pog may not be all that noticable in the mix when I engage the lower notes on the Micro Pog and (3) it just sounds cool in the upper registers.

    I'm in an exploratory phase, so I'm getting a very clear message from the posters that I should try a serveral octavers.

    Thanks for your help.

  19. sunbeast

    sunbeast Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2006
    Los Angeles, CA
    You won't find any analog octavers that actually reproduce the tone of your instrument faithfully due to how they work- you can EQ out the harmonics of your bass to sound more like the octaver signal, but not vice-versa. The closest I have heard is the MXR BOD, as it has a built-in mid-boost for the clean signal that can be dialed in to sound like it is part of the harmonics of the octave rather than a seperate signal. The one I had didn't have the greatest tracking though, and any analog octaver will come with a learning curve to play it without glitches. Digital pitch-shifters can get closer (the POG series are all pitch-shifters), but all of them I've ever heard have their own weaknesses (ie- that organ-like synthesized sound of the POG).

    I agree that the Micro Pog will likely not be very noticeably different than your bass in a mix (especially in the lower registers where the harmonics usually aren't as clear anyway), and they track pretty well as long as you aren't playing super fast (at least I recall mine having a noticeable little delay in tracking when playing fast).
  20. tedw

    tedw Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 13, 2006
    Northwest U.S.
    Thanks, Sunbeast.

    After all, it's what's happening in the mix that really matters, right?

    Exploring pedal effects is a whole new world to me, and I'm not sure where it will take me. We'll see how the Micro Pog does the next time I play at our church.