Octaver in the Effects Loop.... Any Downsides?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by two fingers, Jul 5, 2022.

  1. Sure, why not?

    22 vote(s)
  2. Nope

    10 vote(s)
  3. Man up and set up a small board.

    9 vote(s)
  4. Jam a carrot in the effects loop input and see what happens.

    12 vote(s)
  1. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Gooooooooooood morning pedal heads!

    The obvious answer is "Try it and see". I get that.

    I'm not running a pedal board in my current band. I just don't need it. (I'm working on landing a few songs in the set that will allow me to bring out more toys. but for now....)

    However, we're getting ready to add "Sledgehammer" to the list. It's a great excuse to whip out my fretless live for a few songs anyway. But I can't imagine playing that song without the octaver.

    Rather than running the pedal in front and setting it on the floor, I'm considering just setting the pedal behind my amp head and just reaching back there and engaging it for that one song via the effects loop.

    If it matters, the bass is a G&L L2000 fretless, head is a Mesa TT800 (two effects loops...one for each channel...I'll be using the Subway channel for this), and octaver is an Aguilar Octamizer.

    Are there any downsides to running an octaver in the effects loop?
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  2. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    I'm sure it'll work fine. That said, I don't see connecting it to your FX loop as being any easier or more convenient than through the main input??? YMMV.
    DJ Bebop and HolmeBass like this.
  3. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    I was only thinking of tucking it away behind the head. I suppose I could run a cable from around back to the front if the effects loop doesn't work out well. I hadn't even thought about that. :wacky:

    Don't you go getting all logical with ME before I've even finished my coffee! :rage:

  4. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    I'm 2 cuppas ahead of you, and here to help ;) .....and IIRC The Vintage Stallion once posted that most currently produced FX have output levels optimized for connection to the amp's main input.......even if most will sound fine connected either way.
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  5. MattZilla


    Jun 26, 2013
    Vintage stallion lol
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  6. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    ...a horse, by any other name.....would still smell like a horse ;) ;)! I'm 59....when my adult kids tell me I'm a"geezer'", I remind them that the appropriate descriptor is "vintage".
  7. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    I'm obviously a fan of the aforementioned senescent equine.
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  8. NKBassman

    NKBassman Lvl 10 Nerd

    Jun 16, 2009
    Winnipeg, MB, Canada
    My only thought is that the pedal might distort if you feed it a line level signal.
  9. The down side is you’re missing your opening to make the case for more songs with effects. As long as you’re already having to bring that mostly empty pedalboard, might as well see what else you can do with it. :bassist:

    Remember, the smaller the board is, the more likely adding just one more pedal will create a balance problem, making it easier to accidentally drop and damage. This is best addressed by adding pedals two at a time. :D
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  10. NKBassman

    NKBassman Lvl 10 Nerd

    Jun 16, 2009
    Winnipeg, MB, Canada
    FYP :D

    I started bringing my full board to rehearsals and gigs, even though all I really "need" for that band is a compressor and an overdrive. But all the other goodies on my board help me get to where I want to be sounding, and gives me the flexibility to change things up if I get the urge. Even if I will never use an envelope filter in three sets of music, it's not worth not bringing the full board just because the pedal's already on there.

    I'd rather have a fuzz and not use it, than need want a fuzz and not have it. :p
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2022
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  11. Almost. You should always upgrade to a bigger board before you fill up the old one. I just didn’t want to put the cart before the horse. :)
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  12. mexicanyella


    Feb 16, 2015
    Troy, MO
    TF, one thing that strikes me is, you might get a different sound by passing an “octave added” but otherwise unshaped, unprocessed signal into the amp, versus adding an octave to the signal after it’s been shaped by amp’s preamp section.

    There may be boosted frequency bands or overtones doing it one way or the other than sounds cooler.

    I say this remembering that years ago I ran a Rat 2 and an old AC-powered MU-Tron “Phasor” together and the order made a big difference. One way was a phase shifted effect placed on a Rat crunch sound—Waylon Jennings, with crunch—and the other way was a swirly overtone freakout—Radiohead on meth and reacting to their cars being repossessed and towed away.

    The latter was way more exciting and unpredictable.
  13. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    That is a possibility. It might also track better if fed a bigger signal. Only way to know for sure is to try it.
  14. RichSnyder

    RichSnyder Columbia, MD Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    @two fingers - If you go down the path of a pedalboard and decide you want a compressor, which you probably will if you go pedalboard, I can send you a Cali76 CBC to try out. I bought one, fourth time now, and everyone loves them but I can't fall in love with the tone as much as I try.
  15. 6Bass101


    Apr 2, 2016
    Fort Mill, SC
    My understanding is that an octaver tracks better when closest to the bass. For that reason, I would want to put it before the pre amp. I do put a compressor in front of it to help keep my signal more consistent (advise I read here on TB at some point).

    That said, I use modeling these days (currently HX Effects) and thoroughly enjoy moving an effect to every spot in the chain to see how it sounds.
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2022
    Nuage420, DJ Bebop and two fingers like this.
  16. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    This turned into an enabler thread fast.

    I guess you should get a pedal board and an effects rack to compare. And a new bass. And apparently a horse.
  17. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    My 2 octavers (MXR VOD and TC Sub 'n' Up) both track best when closest to the input BUT they also sound best on the lowest notes when after an HPF.........so many layers.........
  18. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    If you only get one horse, it'll be lonely. You need a second horse for companionship, and backup.
  19. I got my OC-2 just so I could play Sledgehammer. I haven't tried with my fretless yet, which is currently OOC, but it still sounds great on the Stingray.

    Adding something more useful, I've found plenty of call for the octave pedal when having to change keys for singers.
  20. 2112

    2112 Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2005
    I'm betting running the octaver in your effects loop won't create any issues in and of itself. But, how well it tracks may depend on how well-behaved your input signal is. I've been using a Digitech Drop, which is digital, and I put it right after my compressor and I have no problems with tracking. And it happens to sounds great on Sledgehammer. This has been the best setup for me. If your tracking suffers, it may help to roll off your tone and/or add a compressor, etc.) to help fence your input signal in.

    As with all effects, exactly where the octaver will sound best in your rig will depend on your particular setup and settings, so it's best to try several different locations. But nobody likes messing with plugging/unplugging cables... so it sounds to me like you need a loop switcher with at least 10 loops. (Just kidding. :laugh:)

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