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Which Octave Pedal for this Sound & Style ?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Modern Growl, Jul 26, 2012.

  1. I know a bit about Octave pedals... and I'd really like to stay analog if possible - but I need the pedal to handle long(er) notes.

    I'm looking to get this sound and style.
    Radiohead: All I Need ...bass line starts at about 21 seconds in.

    The notes are long, with mellow playing. No crazy fast playing style here folks. Thats the tone I'm after... with perhaps the ability to dial in more subs.

    **Note - I tried the Aguilar Octamizer and it couldn't hold a note for more then 2 seconds before tracking fudged. I tried up and down the neck... all higher then C on the E string, nothing lower. It just broke up and couldn't track anything... I sent it back and I'm getting another and I sure hope it doesn't do the same thing. Next go MXR BOD ?

    Did I just get a bad Octamizer or is tracking notes as long as in the clip above not possible with an Analog pedal? Must I go digital for this? Like the POG? I would like to avoid that and hope I just got a bad Octamizer... :(

    I'm not asking for too much, am I? Can I stay analog, or must I go digital for what I want?

    Sorry for the rant - any input would be great - thanks.
  2. moles


    Jan 24, 2007
    Winnipeg, MB
    I'm no expert, but I'd think that the fact the octamizer is analogue isn't the problem, but the sustain (and level) of the signal being fed into it is. Judging by your sig, your bass isn't the issue, but what kind of compression, if any, are you using, and is it before or after the octave?
  3. I have a compressor built in my RH750 - but I turned that off to make sure that wasn't the issue. It really seemed like my Octamizer was bunk. It couldn't hold a note for longer then 2 seconds before cutting in and out...
  4. amfmsb


    Dec 16, 2007
    I've gotten a pretty close approximation of that song with one of the synth sounds in the M9. I think it was called "attack synth". I'll have to double check and get back to you.
  5. Anyone else? Am I asking too much to get that type of tracking out of an Analog pedal?
  6. mmbongo

    mmbongo Dilly Dilly! Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    I haven't found an analog pedal that tracks better than an Octcamizer. That thing is phenomenal.

    However, it doesn't track nearly as well as a MicroPog, which is digital. The sound wasn't worth the tradeoff for me, so I still have the Octamizer. POG's are digital, and they sound like it.
  7. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2006
    Northern California
    I've covered All I Need using the OC-2 and the EBS as well as the EHX BMS. You should be able to do it with the Octamizer. Clean technique is a must with an analog octaver and if that's not the issue then perhaps there is an issue with your Aguilar.

    As a side note a compressor in front of your octaver will help with tracking and sustain.

    Also, I'm sure you know the bass line on that track is a synth. I used an octaver, a bit of fuzz, a foot swept filter and some vibrato. Hope that helps.
  8. Edinjazz


    Jul 26, 2012
    New York, NY
    Endorsing artist: MTD (Michael Tobias Design) electric basses
    I think a lot of even really good Octave pedals have a problem keeping a solid tone for too long. I am sure some of them go up till 5 seconds or maybe a little more before they start to fluctuate. It's probably a technical issue that effect engineers worldwide are trying to resolve. As years go by, its getting better and better. Look for newer models by higher end brands. I am happy with mine, but I am just a user, not an expert and my advise is subjective. I'd look into reviews in gear magazines as well. Are you sure that the long sound in the Radiohead recording is produced by an Octave pedal and not synthesizer, though? By the way, what Jared Lash said is very true - I can personally attest to it - a compressor in front of Octaver, with them both at the front of the chain, helps a lot! Oh and I remembered another thing - try to play starting at your 7th fret, or at least 5th fret and up. The lower notes at that position tend to go through more effectively then in lower fret positions. Also, anything below B on A string might have more problems. My Octaver will go lower than that (but always more likely if I play a note above 7th fret). Also make sure your attack is even and moderate, as strong digging into the strings may "choke" the Octaver. As far as how low the Octavers go is probably depending on different models and brands.
  9. RedMoses


    Jul 4, 2012
    I have an Octamizer and i think it sounds great! even with long notes. I only run into the tracking problem when playing A or lower on the E string, attacking your string more lightly will help reduce the tracking. Try lower the "Octave Filter" knob!, i have mine ALL THE WAY down and still get plenty of booty, generating less low octave Freq will help tame the tracking.
  10. hmm, well that explains why it sounds perfect :)

    from the problem I explained, you think I just got a bunk Octamizer? 2 seconds of sustain before breaking up on higher notes CANNOT be common... no?
  11. I had an Octamizer, and loved the sound and tone of it but couldn't get the tracking where I wanted it. I could get decent sustain out of notes, but it would still flub-out on enough occasions that I made the switch to the MXR BOD. By no means is it perfect, but the tracking is improved IME. I also like having controls over two different octave sounds. You'll be able to do that radiohead sound, as well as more grindy octave tone, very versatile.

    Hope that helps
  12. How is the level output of the MXR BOD? I dont' see a level knob to control the volume.... is it even with the input?
  13. It's a little deceiving with the way it's labeled, but basically each knob is a volume for each tone. The dry is your unaffected. I usually have mine about 2 o'clock and boosts the dry tone a little. Then Girth is that deep, subby tone that the radiohead tune had, while girth brings in a throaty, grindy sort of tone. I play with those depending on how prevalent I want the octaves to be.

    I've also played around with just having just one of the octaves up, and the dry off which can be cool too.

    One thing I left off earlier is the Mid switch. I never turn it off, because I like having mids everywhere. Definitely adds another layer to what the pedal does.
  14. MXR just put up a new video the other day of the BOD and the BEF together. This is a lot of fun to do.

  15. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2006
    Northern California
    Yeah, it's a great sound. In fact, I was trying to cop another synth tone (Boards of Canada's roygbiv) and when I did I realized that with a few tweaks I could get the "All I Need" sound too. One of my favorite songs.

    Well, just to be clear, are you making sure that you're muting all the other strings when fretting a note? And I find I get the best tracking with an octaver when I solo the bridge pickup and pluck right at the end of the fretboard.

    Some glitches are to be expected, but I've been able to play that song with pretty much every octaver without much of an issue as long as I hit that lowest C on the E string rather than the A where it tracks a bit worse.

    One other thing to consider is that if it consistently glitches out on the SAME note that your bass may have a dead spot there. They are most common on the C at the fifth fret of the G string, but can happen elsewhere and cause major tracking issues.
  16. ^ It would cut out on me on an open G, on a 12 fret G... 12 fret A... etc.. everywhere. It happened to all notes, no matter where I played them.

    Technique was stupid precise. When I heard the problem, I stopped playing music and went into troubleshoot mode, lol. i just held played notes up and down the neck, holding the note - and every time without fail, the Octamizer tracked it for 2 seconds, then went in and out (mostly out) of tracking. I honestly didn't understand how that could be normal, and if it was, how it could be tolerated.
  17. I would just wait for the other one to arrive and see if it can do the job. I wouldn't write the Octamizer off just yet.
  18. moles


    Jan 24, 2007
    Winnipeg, MB
    Still think it's just a case of your bass' output level dropping below what's trackable, by the end of that 2 seconds. AFAIK, no compressor will track what it's not hearing! :) Just as an experiment, have you tried putting some heavy compression in front of the octaver?
  19. Edinjazz


    Jul 26, 2012
    New York, NY
    Endorsing artist: MTD (Michael Tobias Design) electric basses
    I just tried something with my own setup. Apparently, my Octave pedal tracks for at least 10 seconds or until my sound's natural sustain dies out. Its actually smoothly tracks equally at all parts of the neck, all the way to the bottom G (on E string). I guess that's pretty good. Do you have a Phaser? If you put a mild setting on a Phaser after the Octave pedal, it will also make your sustain longer. I didn't realize that my Octave pedal could track smoothly for so long. I never really thought of it before. I had never tried the Octamizer, but you really might wanna go to the store, try a new Octamizer to see if that's the case with all of them, and then definitely try some other brands - EBS, MXR, Boss, etc. and compare to see what's working best for you.

    P.S. Also, Make sure that your natural sound comes full on and your Octave is no more then 2/3's of the way up. If the Octave is too high, it may cause more fluctuation.

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