Octave Pedals - What For?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by 6810, Feb 12, 2009.

  1. 6810


    Jan 11, 2008
    OK, so I lurk around the "tuned to F#" threads and now have a great understanding (albeit incomplete) of hertz, speakers, watts and volume...

    I also noticed that a lot of people have octave pedals...

    As far as POGs go, I get why they might be useful.

    But standard octave down type pedals? What for?

    Who uses them, to what effect and in what kind of music. I'd love to know.

    I've tried a number of octave pedals, a number of times, but have yet to find a use for them... how/what are you doing?
  2. i dont own an octave pedal myself, but if i did, i could see myself using it as a substitute for a 5-string bass. i can play in my normal 4-string register, but it comes out an octave down. i could definetely see myself doing that
  3. JohnDavisNYC


    Jan 11, 2008
    Brooklyn, NY
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar, D'Addario
    electronic music. i suppose there are some funk/fusion guys who rock the octave pedal, too, like marcus miller.

  4. I also thought the same (I have a 5 string and mainly use it) thought that it was totally useless,... however a good octave below can be used for doomy stuff (even if it can't be heard properly it can still creatue ultra low boom!) or it can be used as a second line underneath a high string run or solo (making sure that it doesn't leave a sonic gap in a band setting,... lots of low strings to sudden high strings really annoy me in my metal bands setting cos its like all the bass has just been cut out!)

    I've only really started experimenting with it as I am starting to mess with my ps-3 pitch shifter,... I'm mainly using it for bedroom experimenting before I bring it into a band setting but use octave above and below for a 'full orchestral' weird sound, or using slightly detuned with an expression pedal to go a 2nd below the original note to a 7th above (using the expression pedal to jump in between them,...)

    I'm still experimenting but thats what I use it for,... its also call to use with delay, fuzz and other effects :)

    my only complaint with the sub octave on my ashdown head is it doesn't really seem to do anything even turned up completely full!
  5. 6810


    Jan 11, 2008
    see, that's how I think I might use one.

    Currently in a stoner-power trio and I want to play some more upper register stuff to give a bit more color during the (guitar) solos. I want to be audible and melodic, but also want to hold down the low end.

    I'd love to hear some live clips or of anyone who does this...

    or just generally any more and other uses of octave pedals...

    Oh, I also use a 5-string, including the 5th string...
  6. There are sooooo many uses.

    Some people just like the synthy sound of their octave. Some people want to thicken up their sound. Some (me) find playing an octave up while having the octave down to be super funky.

    My personal favorite use is to run an octave down in parallel with my micro q-tron. It's awesome.
  7. Happynoj


    Dec 5, 2006
    I like turtles.
    It can create an awesome funky groove - it just sounds phat!
  8. octave down + filter could = ultra low sub dub sound thingymajiggy (you know, the kick pedal style thing :p)

    I generally like playing more with octave up cos I like the synthy/organy/chimey sound my ps-3 can make,... thinking be good for some intro's or weird melodic parts in music! I've seen doug whimbish do a crazy solo with pitch shifter and artifical harmonics,... but I have not been able to recreate that in any way shape or form!

    you may not like it but I LOVE that its just sooo tripped out and using effects outside the box!
  9. Doubling a riff - try Deep Purple's "Black Knight" with a Guitar and Bass, with the Bass having an octaver set 1 octave down on the Bass with the wet and dry signals blended approximately equal, and you get the "sonic bulldozer from hell" sound.
  10. René_Julien

    René_Julien Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2008
    Can the PS-3 (or PS-5) do organ-like sounds?

    I use and love the EHX big POG for organ emulation.
    But I'm on the lookout for alternatives.

    To the OP, I don't find use for the octave down effect myself for the kind of music I play. But like said before I can see how it can be useful for some genres or bass range issues.

    I have the POG, -1oct +1oct +2oct setting and it gives me a very metallic artificial organ sound.
    Not very usefull all the time (in band setting), but very fun for some small intros or solos.
    I didn't wanted an octaver, I wanted an organ emulator. :)
  11. john_g

    john_g Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2007
    Can an octave pedal simulate a 5 string using a 4 string? Or, for example, a drop D using a 4 banger? There are several songs we are doing in my band that are drop D and instead of detuning between songs or lugging another bass already tuned around, could the octave pedal do this simple task?

    I should mention that when I say drop D, it really is only the low D, not all the strings detuned.
  12. Kenny Allyn

    Kenny Allyn

    Mar 25, 2006
    I was looking to catch some of the vibe Garth Hudson got on Chest Fever ... with the exit of a keys player from the band, it fell to me to get some of the B-3 organ moan, so I use a low octave pedal (EBS OctaBass) combined with a Micro Vibe and Voodoo Bass pedal to get some of that feel.

    It also gets used to add a lows when I play higher registers and keys to keep some bottom.

    I have a Micro POG also to do octave up doubles of organ and horn lines

    :) ... They can be very useful tools used correctly
  13. the song is black night and not black knight iirc :)
  14. i haven't bothered reading everyone else's posts, but heres my input, sorry if theres a repetition.
    the subtle use of a good octave pedal (that tracks well, and probably used with a compressor before it) can be a good way to blend in a really DEEP sound.
    this sort of thing has been done subtly on a number of recordings with great results, for instance think 'Sledgehammer' by Peter Gabriel and 'God Shuffled His Feet' by Crash Test Dummies.

    also, can be good used as an addition to a synthy sound as it can produce keyboard like sounds..think about it with an envelope filter and perhaps a tasteful fuzz?
    delicious no?
  15. Rando McNally

    Rando McNally

    May 21, 2008
    I like octave down for some stuff, but I always blend it with a dry signal. Sounds cooler like that. Effects blends (for bass, at least) are where it's at, especially with octaves.
  16. Barkless Dog

    Barkless Dog Barkless to a point

    Jan 19, 2007
    Check out a band called Clatter
  17. 3toes


    Aug 30, 2006
    Denver, Colorado
    George Porter Jr. uses an EBS Octabass quite often when playing with PBS. Helps fatten up the sound a LOT; quite useful when you're rocking a 3-piece band.
  18. That's what happens when I type with my brain in neutral...
  19. What he said. I don't think an octave pedal will mimick a 5 string though. THe tracking on the E string never tracks acurately, but I only have experience with a cheap Arion octave. If you want a 5 string sound get a 5 String.
  20. markjazzbassist

    markjazzbassist Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Lakewood, OH
    they are great to use for synth textures with a envelope filter and fuzz/OD, or they are just great alone as a thicker bass tone.
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