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Boss Octave OC-2: tracking, and octave up?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by silentstranger, Apr 3, 2013.

  1. I just bought an Octave OC-2 on eBay, and so far it's really not what I was hoping for. If I play long notes on (say) the G string, the octave only lasts a second or two and cuts out, leaving only the higher tone. Short notes tend to work okay, though the tracking is still occasionally erratic. If I play a high double-stop, the octave jumps wildly between the two notes. Did I get a bum pedal, or is that just the nature of this beast? I've seen comments about it not having the best tracking, but I never thought it would be this dramatic. :meh:

    Also, the canned description eBay had for this pedal (not the part the seller typed) said it had one octave up and one octave down; the pedal I received has one and two octaves down. I know there are at least a couple versions of this pedal; does at least one of them have an octave up? I thought I remembered reading that, but I could just be crazy.
  2. It doesn't do chords. Also, no octave up.
  3. eddododo

    eddododo Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2010
    its a 'nature of the beast' type of thing

    a couple suggestions:
    -play higher on the neck; this helps the tracking ALOT. It will probably not track a Bb or lower very well
    -you have to 'play the pedal', as in your technique has to change a little to optimize its tracking
    -I use[d] an EHX freeze to extend the note for long notes
    - Check out the -1 oct solo'd alone. It is crazy dub-y, though it is about 10% too soft all by itself.

    happy playing!
  4. Happynoj


    Dec 5, 2006
    I like turtles.
    From the complaints that you have about this pedal, I would say that you should probably have bought a Micro POG. My OC-2 is probably my favourite pedal that I've ever owned, but it is quite a specific beast and as said before, you really have to adapt how you play to the pedal.
  5. Lebowsky

    Lebowsky Effects Forum Resident

    Mar 18, 2007
    Lausanne, Switzerland
    +1, I think the micro POG would be more what you were looking for/expecting
  6. widjajar


    Apr 21, 2003
    I sold my boss OC 3 for aguilar octamizer best octave pedal on earth
  7. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    the mxr gets good reviews.
    copilot effects cubic seems a fun one. Quite exciting from the clips I heard.
  8. Mine tracks all the way to the low E. It doesn't sound very good because it's the note is way to low though. I found that it also has a hard time tracking if your guitar has any kind of fret buzz, so if you have low action with even a small amount of fret buzz, it may not track so well. It also doesn't do well with dead frets.
  9. ga_edwards


    Sep 8, 2000
    UK, Essex
    A compressor in front of the octaver can help with the tracking and sustained notes.
  10. Almost every analog octaver has tracking problems around the fifth or sixth fret on the G string. Just play the note on the D string and you're fine.

    The OC-2 doesn't like strong input signals. And it takes a certain kind of playing to make it work the way it should. But after that it's all that synthy low bass. I like it a lot.
  11. Skrogh


    Jan 28, 2010
    It is actually quite obvious why the OC-2 (and other analog octavers) do the "octave-jumping" (latching on to overtones). The tracker of the OC-2, simply put, looks for the loudest frequency in a certain range. The fundamental decays faster than the overtones, so it won't take long before the overtones are actually louder. Humans perceive sound in a way, different to a machine, we tend to "remember" the beginning of the tone, and the decaying fundamental is thus not as obvious to us.

    Longer strings tends to have more overtones, thus playing up the neck (closer to the bridge) tends to give better tracking. Basses usually have some funky spots (known as dead-spots) either on the D or G string, usually somewhere around 3rd-7th fret, where the fundamental decays exceptionally fast.

    For good tracking:
    *Be careful only to let one string ring at a time.
    *Play closer to the 7th fret. (but be careful when playing close to the 12th fret, as lifting your finger will not stop the string from ringing here)
    *Roll off your tone/treble.
    *Be careful when playing on the E-string, as this can easily overdrive the OC-2 (but that can sound cool too)
  12. bludog


    Apr 3, 2012
    Brooklyn 11217

    I might add... perfecting your right and left hand technique will help alot. Not to say your technique is bad, it's just that if you are especially adept at muting with both hands it's much easier to get the OC-2 to track well (ok, maybe not well but much better) on faster lines. As for sustained notes, a compressor will help for that. As noted before, you really do have to "play" this pedal but the tone is great.
  13. eddododo

    eddododo Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2010
    a cheap eq (hello boss 7 band!) in front, dialing out the high mids and above can make it focus too..
  14. Wow, lots of great info here, thanks everyone! :bassist:

    Yeah, it definitely sounds like a failure of research and me buying the wrong tool for the job then. I'm glad to hear it's not a bad pedal; I'd rather not deal with the eBay dispute process.

    My main purpose in buying the pedal was to fatten up the sound when my guitarist soloes or plays single note riffs, kinda filling the roles of a bass and rhythm guitar simultaneously in a single guitar cover band. I've been using a SABDDI, but thought adding another octave to the mix would help.

    Got a couple recommendations for Micro POG and a compressor (the latter of which I've occasionally thought about getting already), plus a few other octaves too...looks like I'll be doing some more research. Unfortunately it appears the Micro POG costs about $200, so this experiment is gonna be more expensive than I thought :( I presume this is [yet another] one of those "you get what you pay for" type situations though.

    While the OC-2 probably isn't what I was looking for, I think I'll hold on to it for at least a while to mess with; could be fun for some more unusual sounds. I've still only heard it through my practice amp, so I'll definitely be taking it to practice tonight to give it a shot on my real rig. :D
  15. fisticuffs


    May 3, 2011
    Madison, WI
    The MXR tracks great for me with the exception of one or two notes that will kind of wiggle in and out. Everything else solid. I use the thing way too much. It's my crutch so I don't have to drop to D or play a 5.
  16. ugly_bassplayer

    ugly_bassplayer Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2009
    I love overdrive pedalsfor that role, awesome stuff to get a fatter sound when the guitar solos or takes single note riffs. A little dirt can go a long way.
  17. winterburn69


    Jan 27, 2008
    In my experience with mine, the tracking is terrible, but nothing sounds like it, it has a wonderful synthy octave sound and I love it. However, the MXR BOD is great, every note is clear and super bassy, but the mid button helps. That's the only thing I don't like about it. I'd like to get an OctaBass and a Micro POG too to compare all of them.

    Does anyone know if the newer ones track better?
  18. Bassmike62

    Bassmike62 GAS resistance is utterly futile... Supporting Member

    There's one in the local classifieds. I've been considering this pedal ever since I bought the Pigtronix BEP, which make the BSW a bit redundant.

    The seller I spoke to on the phone uses it for guitar and mention that he finds a bit of delay for the octave to kick in. Unfortunately, I did not have the reflex to question a bit more (shoulda read this thread before...), but is this more of an issue on guitar than bass ? Should I consider an OC-3 instead ?

    PS: I had the MXR BOD. Although it was nice enough, I'd like to try something different. Don't have the available cash for Micro-Pog, unless it's around 70 $.
  19. Bassmike62

    Bassmike62 GAS resistance is utterly futile... Supporting Member

    Bump ?
  20. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    I have never heard an "octave up" pedal that doesn't sound very false and weird to my ears. It's a thin, warbly, unnatural sound. This includes the POG and HOG. IMO, you're better off playing high on the neck, with an octave down device. Or getting an 8-string. (Two VERY different sounds, by the way).

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