Octave pedals let you add rich, bright tones or deep bass sounds to your guitar, bass, or keyboard input. While these effects have a restricted set of applications, when you really want to stand out, they can make all the difference in your sound.
We’ve witnessed a big improvement in the usefulness of Octave pedals as our capacity to generate intricate digital designs for pedals has grown. We hope this article will walk you through what you need to know and help you make a decision, as well as propose some of the best octave pedals available today, whether you’re simply searching for a new octave pedal or are a newbie just beginning into the world of octave pedals on the market and pitch shifters.
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Electro-Harmonix Micro POG Polyphonic Octave Generator
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The Micro Pog Polyphonic Octave Generator is a descendant of the POG (a legendary and award-winning EHX octave pedal). The Electro-Harmonic Micro POG is our premier option for octave pedals, offering the same precise tracking and smooth polyphony in a reduced design.
The EHX Micro POG is a timeless classic that is both simple and powerful. You may adjust the volume of your guitar by one octave up or down, making it sound like a 12-string, organ, bass, and so on. It’s amazing how much you can do with just three knobs. It’s a little on the expensive side, but it’s a POG, so you know it’ll sound great.
You can turn your guitar into a 12-string or make it sound like an organ with the Micro-POG. Dry, Sub-Octave, and Octave-Up are the names of the three controls. You have complete control over the blend between the three octaves by modifying this trio of parameters. To add weight to your tone, combine the three or altogether delete one of the octaves for a more severe sound.
When you add the sub-octave to your clean guitar, it sounds more like a bass, and when you add the higher octave to a bass guitar, it sounds more like a six-string. Electro-Harmonix has managed to cram a surprising amount of tonal flexibility into such a small and simple pedal. The Micro POG also has two outputs, allowing you to split your signal for a dual-amplifier arrangement.
The Micro POG tackles this problem by cramming all of the same features into a compact, pedalboard-friendly die-cast chassis. The secret to its success is POG, which stands for Polyphonic Octave Generator. It can easily handle single notes and chords. That means you can play quick solos with no latency and it will polyphonically track them flawlessly.
With an Electro-Harmonix pedal, you know exactly what you’re getting. Their quality is undeniable, and the Micro POG only adds to that impression. This pedal is a fantastic addition to any setup, with its simple 3-control architecture and extensive octave settings. Electro-Harmonix Micro POG Polyphonic Octave Generator is the Best Octave Pedal in 2023.
Mooer Pure Octave
The Mooer Pure Octave is a compact octave pedal with a variety of blending choices and octave modes. It has eleven separate octave settings, with up to five octaves possible in one configuration. Because of its sturdy metal chassis, this pedal will readily fit into any pedalboard and stay there for a long time. For people with little room, this is a good option.
This pedal has a wide range of sounds that can be used in a number of situations and styles. For octaves that are plainly outside the grasp of a conventional guitar, the tone of the octaves sounds as natural as feasible. A deep throaty sound is produced two octaves below, which necessitates a larger speaker.
A single octave up delivers bright, guitar-like tones without the roughness or neck range limitations of traditional analogue octave effects. Two octaves higher gives a cutting, brittle tone that borders on synthesizer territory for pitch shift modes.
The versatility of this octave guitar effect pedal is what makes it so appealing. The octave down is accompanied by a modest volume modulation that adds movement to the dry signal and smooths out the frequency spectrum in the second octave down. You can also use the octave-up in conjunction with the dry signal to create a convincing 12-guitar sound. Add a second octave higher if you want a pipe organ sound.
This pitch shifter pedal tracks quite well, has no latency issues, and keeps up with the performer at all times. The Mooer Pure Octave is a fantastic alternative for guitarists who want a good octave pedal in a small enclosure since all of the notes open, sustain, and decay organically without any glitches or unpleasant artefacts. One of the Best Octave Pedals in 2023.
TC Electronic Sub ‘N’ Up Octaver Pedal with TonePrint
- Next generation octave-engine - for flawless polyphonic tracking
- Classic monophonic octaver - cool old-school octaver tones
- TonePrint Editor w. Modulation - for otherworldly octave tones
TC Electronics’ next-generation octave engine is used in the Sub n’ Up Octave pedal to provide exquisite pitch-shifted tones. This pedal’s polyphonic capacity allows it to function as effectively whether you’re playing single notes or chords. You can add or delete the dry signal, octave up, or sub octaves using the individual blend parameters.
There’s also a blend knob control that can be used to apply modulation to the mix using the TonePrint editor, which was created by TC Electronic expressly for producing ambient, mellow octaves. There are no unexpected glitches or stutters because the tracking is exceptionally fast and precise on this pedal.
The Sub n’ Up can do it all, from shimmering higher octave tones for textural purposes to a natural-sounding 12 string replica to a fuzzy drop-tuned blues riff. It contains a retro-styled monophonic octaver in addition to polyphonic capabilities. This is ideal for transforming your electric guitar into a bass or creating glitchy pitch-shifting sounds from the past.
TonePrint, a smartphone app from TC Electronic, allowing you to download patches and soundscapes by artist Sub N. You can also use TonePrint to create your own sounds and get lost exploring with control knobs. This polyphonic octave pedal is wonderful not only for guitarists, but also for composers who are always looking for new sonic area to explore. TonePrint’s editor lets you to apply modulation to the mix, resulting in excellent polyphonic tracking in the octave engine.
You may also use the Sub N’ Octaver to access a cool monophonic octave, which is great for creating fake bass lines with a guitar. You may also connect this pedal to your bass to beef up the sound even more, or simply go over the line and blast both sub-signals for a massive guitar sounds. A well-designed octave pedal that provides you with a lot of variation and flexibility in a small package.
DigiTech Whammy (5th Gen) 2-Mode Pitch-shift Effect with True Bypass
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The 5th edition of Digitech’s venerable Whammy pedal includes all of the classic qualities that have made this model so famous among guitarists, as well as some technological updates that elevate it to new heights. You have complete control over the pitch changing performance of the pedal with the famous expression pedal design, which ranges from subtle and sluggish to crazy and frenzied.
The Classic/Chord switch is the most significant upgrade from the 4th edition of the Whammy pedal. This polyphonic capacity, which allows you to play triads or other chord patterns while modulating the pitch, is uncommon on octave or pitch altering pedals.
Bassists and guitarists can use the Whammy pedal to raise the pitch of their instruments by two octaves. You can also choose from a variety of intermediate intervals, such as 5ths or 3rds, to generate harmonies in addition to the typical octave shift effect. The addition of true bypass switching preserves the purity of the guitar’s clean tone. Finally, the Whammy features a high-quality 24-bit converter set that ensures flawless pitch bending.
Although officially a pitch-shifter, Digitech’s Whammy pedal has an instantly recognisable one-of-a-kind sound, it might nearly be classified as an individual effect. This pedal is a joy to play with, with a variety of intervals to choose from and a classic expression pedal design. This is without a doubt one of the best octave pedals available.
BOSS OC-3 Electronic Keyboard Pedal
Boss consistently delivers high-quality and dependability at affordable costs, the Boss OC-3 Dual Super Octave is our “Best Budget Pick.” With this one, they set the bar high, as it was the first octave stompbox to offer a Polyphonic Octave mode. It also contains a Drive mode with distortion, as well as the original OC-2 mode, which was important in the popularity of this one.
Polyphonic Octave is a multi-note mode that may harmonize full chords if desired. You can even choose which note range it should trigger on. The OC-2 Mode may add notes one and two octaves below (thus the name “dual octave pedal”), while the Drive mode can do the same but with added distortion. It’s worth noting that the bass and guitar inputs are separated. The dedicated bass input includes a custom-designed circuit that can produce extremely deep and steady bass octaves.
You’ll be able to change your direct level (the volume of your original signal) separately from the first and second octave levels using the knobs. The mode selector is the fourth knob, and it determines what the third knob does. For the ‘Oct 2’ and ‘Drive’ modes, it’s either a 2nd octave volume knob, or a range control for the ‘POLY’ mode. The transposing is precise and the tracking is quick.
Bottom line, Boss pedals are virtually indestructible under normal use and not a one-trick pony, and this one offers a wide range of possibilities for both bassists and guitarists at the lowest price you’ll find for this level of quality.
Electro-Harmonix Pitch Fork Guitar Pitch Effect Pedal
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This high-quality polyphonic pitch shifter gives you the ability to precisely alter your pitch to any desired interval. Unlike a typical octave pedal, it can pitch-shift your note up any number of steps rather than just multiples of 12 like a standard octave pedal can (octaves).
The Pitch Fork pedal’s extreme side lets you to create strange and fascinating textures, such as making your guitar sound like an 18-string guitar or blasting ambient notes into the top reaches of sonic potential. When used in conjunction with an expression pedal, the Pitch Fork really shines. Applying pressure to the pedal controls the sweeps and octave jumps, making it the perfect psych-rock tone bending tool.
The three-octave range of the Pitch Fork is amazing. The digital mechanisms created by Electro-Harmonix ensure that it won’t glitch even while you’re performing quick, complex licks. There’s a buffered bypass to keep your dry signal clean, and the latch or momentary modes let you set the length of the pitch-shift effect in real time.
The Pitch Fork pedal from Electro-Harmonix is a detailed choice that goes beyond the capabilities of a conventional octave pedal. Toggling the onboard parameters can be used to find distinct expressions and tones thanks to the numerous various pitch-shifting possibilities available. When you use an expression pedal with the Pitch Fork, you’ll notice how refined it is.
MXR M288 Bass Octave Deluxe
- Constant headroom technology (Cht) for exceptional headroom and tracking
- True bypass
- Organic analog tone
The MRX M288 Bass Octave Deluxe offers two independent analog sub-octave voices with a Dry control and a Mid boost switch to optimize the sound of our parallel clean signal. MRX’s 18-volt Constant Headroom Technology provides a good amount of headroom and great tracking.
To mix in your direct signal, you can use the Dry knob and if you wish, you can also add up to + 14 dB of internally adjustable mid frequencies (400 Hz or 850 Hz) by engaging the Mid+ switch. All of these options come in a very durable enclosure and a well-planned design. This pedal’s layout is simple enough to get a great tone right out of the box. With a little adjustment, the M288 Octave Deluxe is capable of pricing sounds for the most discerning players.
The Growl and Girth controls are where most of the action is in this pedal. The Growl knob is the mid-range, slightly edgy octave-below controls, while the Girth knob is for a smoother octave-below. Since these controls are independent of each other, it opens up a great array of tonal possibilities. The Dry Knob helps you achieve the precise blend of effects to signal ratio.
The MRX M288 Bass Octave Deluxe works with a 9 Volt battery or a Dunlop power adapter. Overall, a fantastic choice offering great tone, flexibility, options, and a great price.
JOYO JF-12 Voodoo Octave Fuzz Guitar Effect Pedal
- The Fuzz on the ultimate octave is a brilliantly thick snarling beast.
- Fuzz tones along with optional Octave switch. Normal or mid cut switch option.
- Add the brilliant Octave Up effect to the Fuzz and you're in 'White Stripes' territory. The Octave Up adds a whole new dimension to your riffs making...
Joyo’s octaver in poisonous green is next on our list. It’s a pretty amusing little gadget, and it’s clear that they developed it with a specific type of person in mind. This is the best analog octave pedal for folks who like to experiment and go a little crazy (in a good way!). Because this pedal is an octave higher, it’s great for getting those really fantastic highs. One of Joyo’s favorite sounds is described as “tin cans descending from the skies and breaking into glass figurines on marble ground,” which is actually rather realistic!
This pedal has both a distortion and an octave effect, and it’s great to have a two-in-one option. You can pick whether or not you wish to add some fuzz. If you utilize it, you’ll get the most beautiful harmonics that fill the space with something that isn’t simply a guitar anymore, but pure beauty. The fuzz isn’t too strong, and it’s sweet enough for jazz and country music. The pedal features complete bypass to ensure that it doesn’t alter your tone when you’re not using it, and it’s made of durable aluminum.
Boss OC-3 Dual Super Octave
Polyphonic indicates that multiple notes can be played at the same time, therefore it can handle chords and arpeggios, which is ideal if you’re not simply playing a single line of melody. This indicates that it is adaptable, which is a good thing. It also means that you won’t have to be as careful every time you play; you won’t have to worry about accidentally playing two notes at the same time.
The nicest feature of this octave is the bass drive mode, which adds distortion to your tone, making it dirtier and thicker. It has the ability to lower your tone by two octaves! The sound it generates is fantastic, and it instantly cools down any song. This octave pedal is great if you want a bassier sound because it doesn’t allow you to transpose your song up or down.
One of the best features that sets it apart from other octave is that it comes with a 5-year warranty, which means you’ll get a new one if it breaks down suddenly. We usually believe that a long warranty indicates that we’re dealing with high-quality guitar effects pedals, because if the manufacturer knew it wasn’t, they wouldn’t give one at all.
Donner Octave Guitar Pedal
- [Octave Guitar Pedal] With 7 shift types and 3 tone mode toggles, Harmonic Square guitar pedal gives you 21 options of semitonal, octave and detune...
- [3 Tone Modes] Harmonic Square octave pedal has 3 tone modes including Sharp, Flat, and Detune. Sharp: Pitch up. Detune: Adjustable pitch signal...
- [2 Knob] WET Knob: Adjust the harmonic signal level. DRY Knob: Adjust the dry signal level.
The Donner Harmonic Square Octave is an octave and pitch shifter pedal for six-string guitars, four-string bass guitars, baritone guitars, and other instruments. It has three different modes of operation. You can pick between Sharp, Detune, and Flat with the toggle. Each of these produces a unique octave and allows you to experiment with a wide range of sounds.
The main knob of the Donner Harmonic Square switches between seven octave modes: 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 1 octave, and 2 octaves. All of the technology is encased in a lightweight aluminum alloy chassis that will fit on any pedalboard and withstand road and gig abuse. This pedal has three knobs (2 tiny and one normal) and a toggle switch, giving you complete control over your sound. The amplitude of the impacted signal is controlled by one of the tiny knobs labeled “Wet.”
The level of your original sound is controlled by the other little knob (Dry). You can alter the toggle to choose between the Sharp, Detune, and Flat modes to choose the degree of pitch-shifting you want. You can choose to go up or down by the desired semitones, as well as 1 or 2 octaves, using the main knob (the encoder). The Donner Digital Octave is a great octave pedal, especially when you consider its features, small size, and low price.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an Octave Pedal?
Pitch-modulation effects pedals are what Octave pedals are called. They function by duplicating your guitar’s input signal and adjusting the pitch up or down by a full octave (doubling or halving it). The output signal can then be heard as both the original note and the pitch-shifted note, or just the shifted note alone. Playing the two open E-strings on a guitar at the same time, for example, has the same result as playing the E6 open with an octave pedal set to -2 octaves.
For decades, Octave pedals have been around. Jimi Hendrix, as you might expect, was a guitarist who popularized this effect. Since then, we’ve heard a slew of legendary guitar tones featuring this incredible effect. The trick to this effect is to keep it basic. A common octave pedal takes the original signal and halves, doubles, or does both halves and doubles it. As a result, the sound produced by this effect is a mixture of the original tone and a tone that is an octave higher or lower, or both.
An octave effect is similar to a few other effects that guitarists frequently utilize. Harmonizer and pitch shifter are the two. While an octave blends the original signal with one that has been moved by a full octave, a harmonizer takes a step further and allows you to select the interval you wish. Both of these effects give the impression that two or more guitars are playing in the background.
The pitch shifter, on the other hand, modifies the actual signal produced by your guitar and is usually controlled by an expression pedal. Players like Tom Morello, Steve Vai, and others have expressed this sentiment. A “dive bomb” is the most popular trick you can do with this effect.
What are Octave Pedals used for?
Octave pedals are useful in cases where your guitar isn’t quite enough on its own. For example, if you want your guitar to sound more like a bass, you can use an octave pedal to add depth to your guitar. Solos performed an octave lower can sound fantastic! Similarly, if you want to play some incredibly high, glistening notes, the pedal will allow you to do so without having to reach ridiculously far up on the fretboard.
Octave pedals can effectively add a number of additional instruments. Many pedals add an extra octave to what you’re already playing, giving the impression that you’re playing two instruments. It also implies that you can play bass on a conventional guitar instead of hiring a bassist, or why not accompany your bassist and alternate between two amazing bass sounds now and then.
Octave pedals are also useful if you need to change octaves rapidly and don’t have time to shift your hand, or if you’re unfamiliar with the octave you want the music to be in and don’t have time or energy to figure out where the notes are located; in other words, they’re useful for cheating! When you’re playing a phrase and want to move it up or down an octave, just keep your hand in place and play the same thing again and over again, letting the pedal do the work!
What to look for in the Best Octave Pedal?
Octaves aren’t the one-trick pony that some people believe them to be. A lot has changed, and some octaves now seem more like harmonizer pedals than original octaves.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably looking for something classic, so that’s the first thing to think about. I’d steer clear of one that tries to be an octave and a harmonizer at the same time, mostly because the jack-of-all-trades is usually the master of none.
The top selections below, as well as those on the market in general, will provide you with a number of options that you will undoubtedly want. You’ll need a’sub octave’ and a ‘octave up,’ which allow you to specify the volume of up to two more octaves rather than just one. In addition to their own separate settings, you’ll have a knob called mix, dry, or volume that allows you specify how loud those octaves are. You should think of this as the volume of your original pitch, which you might keep or discard.
Finally, I’d go with one that has a ‘effect out’ output and a ‘dry out,’ so you can use different effects on your original pitch and your octave’d ones later. For example, you can use a reverb to keep your original pitch and then use a sub-octave with distortion to create a massive soundscape. If you have these alternatives, the possibilities are unlimited.