1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Question on octave pedal

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Rich48, Nov 25, 2017.

  1. Rich48

    Rich48 Supporting Member

    Aug 26, 2017
    Portland Oregon
    I have started to relearn how to play bass again after not playing for about 45 years. A lot has changed since the 60's and this forum has been great for trying to get up to speed on all the new tech. I have no experience with pedals so I hope my question is not too dumb.
    Does an octave pedal lower or raise a note you play by an octave? If so can you get notes to sound like you are playing on the b string of 5 string using a 4 string bass? If it works this way, what pedals would you recommend? Also would the Zoom B3n have this functionality?

    Last edited: Nov 25, 2017
  2. tfer


    Jan 1, 2014
    An octave pedal gives you the octave below (and some also provide the octave above, but they aren’t as common).

    As for using one to create a seamless B string, the answer is no. They provide a tone that is more sinewave(ish) than a true 5er.
    Roberto Nunez and bassbrad like this.
  3. theduke1

    theduke1 Supporting Member

    Dec 22, 2010
    Manitowoc WI
    I agree with tfer
    I used a Digitech Drop because my band tunes down1/2 step and a band I help out tunes down a whole step.
    This allows me to keep my 5 string tuned to standard 440 but play in the required tunings.
    That way I don’t have issues with neck adjustments or floppy strings.
    My advice is if you need a low B get a 5er
    I hope this helps
    You are welcome to visit The Wisconsin Bassplayers Club here on TB anytime
    tfer likes this.
  4. Rich48

    Rich48 Supporting Member

    Aug 26, 2017
    Portland Oregon
    Thanks guys, it would be cool if a pedal could do that, but I guess I will need to learn to play a five string if I want to hit those low notes.
  5. Spectre1966

    Spectre1966 Striving For Mediocrity Supporting Member

    Jul 4, 2014
    Wallingford, CT
    5 strings are great and not too hard to learn. You will love it.
    DiabolicLow B and tfer like this.
  6. veryvery


    May 23, 2016
    There are pedals that can do both, including the EHX POG, the TC Electronic Sub'n'up, and the Mooer Tender Octaver.
    NG51 likes this.
  7. two fingers

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

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    I play fives and love them.

    However, 4 string basses strung BEAD are making a huge surge in popularity right now. That may be one solution for you.
    Felken and The Rage like this.
  8. Hipshot bass xtender is another non-pedal option... lets you quickly drop tune a 4 string down to D and there's a two step version that goes down to B. You just need a string gauge that will maintain some tension when detuned. And maybe a lighter touch when playing the 'B' string
    Bass Xtenders
    tfer likes this.
  9. tfer


    Jan 1, 2014
    I was a huge proponent of hipshot D-tuners back in the day. Great tool for quickly grabbing a drop D tuning.

    But when I was fighting the urge to get a 5 string (which eventually turned into a six string...!) I tried the two position key, and while it worked well on drop D, the lack of tension from the E string caused an increase of relief on the neck, and made the other 3 strings go flat.

    Maybe a thicker E string could have helped maintain tension, but instead of that, I started looking at ERBs.
  10. I've got D'Addario Chromes on mine with a fairly chunky 105 gauge E string and it seems to stay in tune when dropped, though I more regularly use the D than the B. I could imagine it might be a problem with lighter gauge strings
  11. CyberSnyder

    CyberSnyder Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    I Endorse Alien Audio Basses
    I've done this on a Line 6 M5.
  12. Crazy Otto

    Crazy Otto

    Jan 11, 2016
    This is what I do, my hands are too Trumpish to do a 5 justice.
  13. veryvery


    May 23, 2016
  14. Amajew

    Amajew Supporting Member

    Jan 11, 2016
    My experience with this.
    I thought it was a great idea for the one 4 string I play but then when I did it I missed the G string much more than I initially thought.
  15. Making the transition from 4 to 5 string is not a major undertaking.

    And I'm a small guy with small hands and all of my basses are fives. Personally, I don't see small hands as an impediment to playing a 5.

    People play 10 string basses and at that neck width your hand size isn't much of a consideration.
    theunknowndude likes this.
  16. superheavyfunk

    superheavyfunk Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2013
    Some digital pedals can get you there... My Bass Whammy does a pretty darn convincing job of making my bass sound like I'm tuned to B when I'm really tuned to D standard, or even E.

    Analog pedals will never get you there though
  17. Felken


    Jun 28, 2016
    Ottawa, CAN
    Octave pedals can go up, down or both. I use it to get an octave sound, and it's funky as hell. But, it pretty much only works for the D and G strings. Lower than that, and your octaves aren't as clear, and they become muddy.
  18. two fingers

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

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    True. If my tone is a little brighter it (Aguilar Octamizer) will track down into the A string some. But it shines when playing in the middle of the board when you play the high and it provides what would otherwise be the "first position" notes.
    tfer likes this.
  19. BEAD tuning could work. It makes jamming with people that listen with their eyes really awkward and annoying though.
  20. CyberSnyder

    CyberSnyder Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    I Endorse Alien Audio Basses
    Just for clarification, because I've seen the question pop up frequently over the years, *most* octave pedals only go down one or two octaves. The mother of all octaves, the Boss OC-2 has an OCT1 and OCT2 knob. One for an octave down, the other for two octaves down. Some pedals like the SubNUp has an octave down and octave up. The POG variants will also do an octave up and down.
    Felken likes this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.