Playing C1 on the E string?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Reg Braithwaite, Jun 10, 2021.

  1. Reg Braithwaite

    Reg Braithwaite

    Oct 21, 2018
    Good morning. I’m working on playing some Bach, and this year’s piece (Invention N° 4 in D minor) requires playing a few notes below my chosen instrument’s range (A five-string EUB tuned EADGC).

    These notes are infrequent and for emphasis, I hit C1 twice and finish on D1. I wonder if a detuning/octaver pedal will track low enough. I do not need to play for an extended period detuned, it would be enough to have a pedal I can use to hit the note momentarily.

    I am aware that there are non-effects solutions to this problem, like using BEADG tuning and playing the higher notes up the neck, joining the fifths tuning club and treating my EUB as a five-string cello, or playing “at pitch” so that what is notated as a C2 is played as a C2.

    But I already own another instrument with a low B, and I really have an attachment to playing this piece at bass pitch in half position as much as possible.

    Are there any effects that can transpose notes down a fourth or octave reliably?
  2. Digitech Drop or EHX PitchFork may be the simplest solutions for you as each can pitch shift a set frequency, can be set for momentary for a quick note and both have good reliability and sound.
  3. Reg Braithwaite

    Reg Braithwaite

    Oct 21, 2018
    Thanks! When checking past threads, some users have suggested that many pedals' pitch tracking works best in higher, guitar-like registers and can be inconsistent or even “ugly” in lower registers. Since my explicit use case is shifting low notes down, I wanted to be very sure a pedal works well in the lower bass registers before buying.

    Have you tried either or both of these? Do you know if they can reliably shift pitches down to D1 and C1?
  4. I make no promises, in most cases retailers offer returns if the item is not satisfactory and free shipping. Both of these are digital pitch shifters, most of the pedals that have issue with tracking are either analog based or are doing more complex signal processing along with pitch shifting/tracking. Also many of the players that complain about tracking are at fault for having less than precise technique, not dampening open strings or just plain sloppy playing.
    Reg Braithwaite likes this.
  5. Alien8


    Jan 29, 2014
    This one is probably your best bet. You can set it to the pitch it goes down to and has a momentary foot switch mode so you can tap and hold it for your single notes. Excellent tracking.

    Whammy Ricochet | Pitch Shift Pedal
    Reg Braithwaite likes this.
  6. sunbeast

    sunbeast Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2006
    Los Angeles, CA
    In my opinion most digital pitch shifters these days can track your notes correctly just fine, the trade off with digital pitch-shifting is in tone and latency (the latency is a result of the time it takes for the circuit to read your note, so there is really no instantaneous tracking in low registers with digital the way there is with analog octavers). You can track faster if you use a higher note to trigger the note you want, but wider shifted intervals also tend to sound the most unnatural (the most natural sounds are found when only detuning within a few steps, larger steps can tend to sound more synthetic or organ-like as the timbre across registers is so different). If you are only using the shifting for short hits and then turning it off then likely all the suggested options should work OK. The biggest issues come when someone is looking to use a pitch-shifter to completely transpose lines, at which point the tone and latency can become much more distracting IME.

    I’d recommend demoing whatever Digitech (Drop, Whammy, etc) and the EHX Pitchfork at Guitar Center or similar, they tend to be readily available options with some slightly different ways to try out to get what you want (ie- checking the difference in response between different intervals).
    Reg Braithwaite likes this.
  7. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Jun 22, 2021

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