MXR Bass Octave pedal...hmmm...

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by raul, Aug 1, 2011.

  1. raul


    Aug 30, 2006
    Planet Earth
    just got this pedal today and noticed that when i hit the low E string, the octave effect seems to kinda go in and out of effect, like it can't really take it at some settings...i have to go a bit easy on it so it doesn't want to cut out...

    is this so on yours? is it just mine?
  2. scotch

    scotch It's not rocket science! Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2006
    Albany, NY USA
    Please see Profile for Endorsement disclosures
    The MXR is an analog octaver. There really aren't any analog octave pedals that can reliably track that low. It depends on your bass, tone and technique - but you can expect to get only down to about 'G' or 'G#' with it. Digital pedals fare better at tracking the low notes, but the tone is quite different. All things considered, the MXR is actually one of the better tracking analog pedals!
  3. Bassmike62

    Bassmike62 GAS resistance is utterly futile... Supporting Member

    I had one. Even though it was at very top of the chain, it still didn't track better than the Digitech BSW. Sold the MXR and kept the other. Tone is very different, but it's ok for my needs.
  4. Reaper Man

    Reaper Man

    Jan 15, 2010
    I'm guessing you didn't really read up on the pedal before you bought it.

    Scotch has the description down pretty well- will only reasonably track till about G, which is still better than just about every other analog octave pedal
  5. hans9


    Apr 12, 2011
    aren't those things different from each other?? one is a synth wah (digitech BSW) -- MXR Octaver is an not sure if there's anything wrong here or is it just me...
  6. Synth wah has a really great octaver as one of its modes, hence the comparisson.

    You can also blend it with the envelope filter
  7. Bassmike62

    Bassmike62 GAS resistance is utterly futile... Supporting Member

    Yes, as I mentionned, they are, but I can live with that difference, as I don't use that effect often anyway (mostly to spice up short passages: intros, breaks...). Maybe the pedal didn't react well to the set-up I had at that moment, happens sometimes.

    Plus, as mentionned by DosiYanarchi, the BSW doubles as a decent fllter as well. And triples duty with all the other crap you can have fun with during a rainy afternoon.

  8. raul


    Aug 30, 2006
    Planet Earth
    you're right, i didn't read up on it much. i read about it in passing, and saw one at GC and picked it up along with the MXR Envelope Filter, which i love and was hoping to find the MXR Compressor but didn't...

    ok, now i know. it sounds pretty nice though!
  9. RichSnyder

    RichSnyder Always groove.... Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    Columbia, Md
    Open strings tend to track poorly on most octave pedals. The lowest tracking octave that I've run across is the Bass Octave setting on the Line 6 M series.
  10. CopperheadLXXIX


    Aug 9, 2003
    Jax, FL
    I find that putting a Guyatone Bass Limiter just before the MXR (and probably any other decent compressor/limiter would do I imagine) helps a little with tracking. Mine with do low F just fine that way.
  11. Bassmike62

    Bassmike62 GAS resistance is utterly futile... Supporting Member

    Not saying it's the be-all-end-all of octave & filter la-la-land, but it's certainly an interesting bugger

  12. The Mouse

    The Mouse

    Jun 2, 2009
    My pedal tracks fine with my passive pbass but doesn't with my MM Stingray. I have no idea why... True dat..
  13. ergbass


    Nov 26, 2010
    you have to work over it, analog octavers don´t track perfect. But they sound so much better for me.
  14. sunbeast

    sunbeast Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2006
    Los Angeles, CA
    To track the note ideally, the pedal needs to get as much fundamental note with as few harmonics as possible. The P-bass's pickup sits closer to the neck, giving more fundamental note response (especially a passive bass, which will have a natural rolloff of high-end/harmonics). The Stingray's pickup is located in a place that senses more harmonics over the fundamental, and these harmonics are accentuated by the active preamp (though it may work better if you roll off some mids/highs with the pre). An analog octaver will also have a hard time tracking effectively with a soloed J-bass bridge pickup- the closer the pickup to the neck, generally the better it will work with an analog octaver...
  15. Venom of God

    Venom of God

    Oct 8, 2007
    Makes sense, my Thunderbird can track all the way down to a low F with my M288!
  16. hans9


    Apr 12, 2011
    yeah i heard this in youtube and it sounded great...
    i wonder how will a digitech xbc chorus will sound if it's blended with the envelope filter??
  17. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    The main question being, who needs to go an octave lower than low E and has the gear to reproduce such tones?
    Other than Jauqo I mean. :smug:
  18. sunbeast

    sunbeast Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2006
    Los Angeles, CA
    +1. With the heavy low end that the octave sound tends to have, my speakers can start flapping on the C or D notes at the volumes I tend to play, let alone the E below that- I can't even imagine what I'd use a lower octave of E for (the D is usually as far as I go, which is convenient because I can stick at the 10th fret and above and get much better tracking when the octave is engaged).
  19. scotch

    scotch It's not rocket science! Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2006
    Albany, NY USA
    Please see Profile for Endorsement disclosures
    I also agree! Anything lower than low 'A' (octave below bass guitar A string) really starts to become distracting and unusable in most genres other than as a novel ornament. Just my opinion. Typical bass amps and cabs aren't really engineered to go that low anyways, are they?

    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.
    I use the MXR Bass Octave pedal and I really dig it. I rarely use it engaged with the open E string. And when I do I don't have have any tracking problems(the E strings on my standard basses are .080).

    One of the main reasons players have tracking issues with bass octave pedals is that they don't know how to balance just the right amount of highs with the open strings. If you already have issue with the note(s) being to muddy or just not clear, of course once the pedal is engaged issues will arise.

    MXR Endorser.