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Hi,

I am looking at replacing my Aguilar Octamiser as I don’t use it that much and looking to get an octave pedal that’s a bit more adventurous. 

The EarthQuaker devices bit commander looked really fun and wondered if anyone had some experiences with it? I wanted to ask how good it is as a stand alone octave pedal especially in the tracking department as that is where I felt the Aguilar wasn’t very good. I also wanted to ask how crazy the synth function can be, to experiment with.

Any experiences with the pedal or any other options for octaves pedals with extra functions would be great.

Thanks for reading this.

Rick

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The placement of the octaver in the effects chain plays some role in the tracking performance. Some say that a compressor in front of the octaver helps the tracking. Some like bridge pickup, some playing with the tone settings of the bass. There are lots of other comments, too, so a short study might be reasonable before buying a new one.

If in need for a synth, check this video: https://ironether.com/pedals/fmeron/

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The Bit Commander seems to be analog like the Octamiser so tracking may not be better.

TC Sub N UP is digital and could have that extra you're looking for because you could change functions with the Toneprint software.

I prefer the sound of analog octaver but they're not very easy to use.

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I agree with Itu, placement in the chain is key.

I tend to run mine after a compressor as it evens out the attack and volume so the octave can see an uniform input.

I have several octave pedals, including the Aguilar, and it is not one of my favourites unfortunately.

I love the EBS Octabass as it gives a very clean analog octave and tracks pretty well in my setup.

Another cool one is the classic Boss OC-2 which I use for more synth/electronica things due to its dirtier sound.

For me, the best synth approach with a bass is to create a modular system with and octaver, dirt and some filtering and/or modulation option.

John Davis from Jojo Mayer's NERVE is amazing at creating synth sounds with his J-Bass. Cool cat to listen/watch.

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Thanks so much for the advice guys. I will definitely try to get a bit more out of the Aguilar before writing it off. I do run it behind an mxr compressor but will try a few different settings.

 

i still want to see if there are other options to combine synth modulation and octaves in one pedal as I don’t use the octave a lot, but that is probably my own failure to get the best out of my current setup. 

Thanks again for all the advice 

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The Aguilar is really sensitive to how you play. I remember having similar tracking issues starting out with it and thought maybe it was defective. I contacted Aguilar support and they explained that technique is everything for that pedal to track properly. So on the plus side, it definitely can force you to start correcting bad habits in your technique. The advice to place it after a compressor is really good as well since it will keep the signal to the octamizer more consistent.

 

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3 hours ago, dannybuoy said:

Wait for the new Source Audio C4 if you can. It may well have all the octave/dirt/filter/synth capabilities you can dream of!

https://www.talkbass.com/threads/source-audio-spectrum-inteligent-filter.1385756/

Wow, that pedal looks awesome that’s moved into the I want pike. Thanks for the recommendation. Hopefully it will come out soon 

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23 hours ago, Bassic_Science said:

The Aguilar is really sensitive to how you play. I remember having similar tracking issues starting out with it and thought maybe it was defective. I contacted Aguilar support and they explained that technique is everything for that pedal to track properly. So on the plus side, it definitely can force you to start correcting bad habits in your technique. The advice to place it after a compressor is really good as well since it will keep the signal to the octamizer more consistent.

 

Thanks for this, I am still trying it a few ways and I agree with you that I need to sort out my technique and change compression settings to get the best from it

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11 minutes ago, Rick05 said:

Thanks for this, I am still trying it a few ways and I agree with you that I need to sort out my technique and change compression settings to get the best from it

Not sure if you have tried this, but rolling down the tone know helps most of the time as the pedal does not see the high frequency harmonics and overtones that new strings can produce, giving you better tracking.

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1 hour ago, Byo said:

Not sure if you have tried this, but rolling down the tone know helps most of the time as the pedal does not see the high frequency harmonics and overtones that new strings can produce, giving you better tracking.

Thanks, I’ll give that a go too and see how it sounds

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1 hour ago, Byo said:

Not sure if you have tried this, but rolling down the tone know helps most of the time as the pedal does not see the high frequency harmonics and overtones that new strings can produce, giving you better tracking.

+1. If you have both bridge and neck pickups, it is recommanded to cut the bridge one. Analog octavers also like fretless necks (less noise) and flatwound strings (less high frequencies).

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4 hours ago, Helbass said:

+1. If you have both bridge and neck pickups, it is recommanded to cut the bridge one. Analog octavers also like fretless necks (less noise) and flatwound strings (less high frequencies).

Might be time to bring the fretless back into frequent rotation, been waiting for an excuse 

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The Godlyke Great Divide has always sounded good to me but very hard to find.

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On 23/05/2019 at 09:29, dannybuoy said:

Wait for the new Source Audio C4 if you can. It may well have all the octave/dirt/filter/synth capabilities you can dream of!

https://www.talkbass.com/threads/source-audio-spectrum-inteligent-filter.1385756/

Well, you've just cost me £300 or so! Had no idea about this pedal, it looks like a FI killer!

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15 hours ago, Kev said:

Well, you've just cost me £300 or so! Had no idea about this pedal, it looks like a FI killer!

Me too

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On 24/05/2019 at 15:53, Japhet said:

The Godlyke Great Divide has always sounded good to me but very hard to find.

Looks cool but a bit pricey for what I need 

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On 10/05/2019 at 08:27, itu said:

The placement of the octaver in the effects chain plays some role in the tracking performance. Some say that a compressor in front of the octaver helps the tracking.

I used to run my compressor  everything, including my OC2, but I've just started running the compressor after it as the OC2 can be quite quiet, so the compressor helps bring it up to the same volume as my clean tone.  Something to consider for anyone else having a similar issue with the OC2. 

 

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On 26/05/2019 at 01:29, Kev said:

Well, you've just cost me £300 or so! Had no idea about this pedal, it looks like a FI killer!

Not really an FI killer; it’ll do some things that FI won’t do: FM synthesis (thanks to Roger for taking my suggestion on board),  arpeggiator and sequencer, it’ll still have multiple filters/phasers. The FI v3 update adds a 4-slot modulation matrix with which you can route a choice of many sources to almost any parameter, full ADSR envelopes and the C4 can’t do that. I own an FI and will be getting a C4 as soon as it’s released. 

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Posted (edited)

Is the SA C4 also monophonic synth (as with the FI and Helix Stomp)? 

Be obviously interesting to see how good it is at tracking, but if @Quatschmacher is getting one immediately following release we shouldn't have too long to find out how it stacks up against the FI. 

I'm going to be so bold as to suggest that tight tracking is perhaps the single most important feature to having an 'usable' synth. 

My understanding is that a polysynth, as well as allowing chordal synth patterns, will be better at tracking because it won't glitch so easily if any notes are e.g. deliberately overlapped or octave notes played together. 

Wondering if the Mooer GE300 is currently the only polysynth option?

Edited by Al Krow

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Al Krow said:

Is the SA C4 also monophonic synth (as with the FI and Helix Stomp)? 

Be obviously interesting to see how good it is at tracking, but if @Quatschmacher is getting one immediately following release we shouldn't have too long to find out how it stacks up against the FI. 

I'm going to be so bold as to suggest that tight tracking is perhaps the single most important feature to having an 'usable' synth. 

My understanding is that a polysynth, as well as allowing chordal synth patterns, will be better at tracking because it won't glitch so easily if any notes are e.g. deliberately overlapped or octave notes played together. 

Wondering if the Mooer GE300 is currently the only polysynth option?

C4 is primarily monophonic but does have some polyphonic capabilities.

There’s an option to specify the highest and lowest note tracked so that may give some improvement as it’ll be only looking in that range.

Not sure if poly will improve tracking. Sometimes there’s a bit more latency as it’s having to deal with more information when tracking multiple notes. You might find that string bumps still produce unwanted glitching in addition to the mono note you’re playing.

There might be others who can compare sooner as it sounds like SA will be releasing some hand-made casings as there’s been a hold-up with the factory casings. I’m waiting for the proper production one as it looks nicer. I have plenty to keep me busy until then.

If I can sort some desk space such that I can get wires into my audio interface then I’ll get some more clips up of the v3 FI patches I’ve made so far to whet your appetites.

 

edit - I’ve posted another rough (iPhone in front of speaker) recording of some patches. 

Edited by Quatschmacher
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