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Octaver - Tips, Advice and Headaches


Linus27
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I've been using an octave pedal for the last 6 months and using it to some good effect. I'm new to using one and started out with the Behringer Ultra Octaver which has been pretty good for £20. I use it to beef up single low notes as well as creating that typical octave sound when playing high melodies and runs. Some of the effect is to create a big full bass sound when playing single low notes or a more cello type sound and style for the mid to higher stuff. The band I'm in is acoustic guitar and vocals and a percussive drummer so it works really well filling the bottom end and creating the melody. I play a fretless active Stingray and I also have a chorus pedal and compressor/limiter pedal.

 

So I thought it was time to invest in a decent Octave pedal as it's a major part of my sound and the band sound and after lots of research I settled on the EBS Blue Label Octabass. The good news is it's pretty easy to use and has quite a nice sound to it. However I'm not overly impressed with the tracking and its causing me some big headaches. If I set it to track low, it's fine and copes well with a low G on the E string and even the open E. Mid register is ok also, for example A on the D string but as soon as I start playing high A's or even high E's on the G string it all starts to become a mess. If I then choose to set it to track high notes, it copes with the high and mid register notes really well but as soon as I play the lower notes, for example a B on the A string or a G on the E string, the tracking goes a bit AWOL.

 

I decided to compare it back to back with my cheap Behringer Octave pedal and despite the EBS sounding a lot better tonally, there wasn't a huge difference in tracking performance between the two pedals. I'm beginning to wonder if the answer is to run two Octave pedals, one set and activated for playing low notes and then another set up and activated when I play the mid and higher stuff. Seems a bit of a compromise though.

 

Any advice or tips or is this just how it is with Octave pedals.

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16 hours ago, Linus27 said:

I've been using an octave pedal for the last 6 months and using it to some good effect. I'm new to using one and started out with the Behringer Ultra Octaver which has been pretty good for £20. I use it to beef up single low notes as well as creating that typical octave sound when playing high melodies and runs. Some of the effect is to create a big full bass sound when playing single low notes or a more cello type sound and style for the mid to higher stuff. The band I'm in is acoustic guitar and vocals and a percussive drummer so it works really well filling the bottom end and creating the melody. I play a fretless active Stingray and I also have a chorus pedal and compressor/limiter pedal.

 

So I thought it was time to invest in a decent Octave pedal as it's a major part of my sound and the band sound and after lots of research I settled on the EBS Blue Label Octabass. The good news is it's pretty easy to use and has quite a nice sound to it. However I'm not overly impressed with the tracking and its causing me some big headaches. If I set it to track low, it's fine and copes well with a low G on the E string and even the open E. Mid register is ok also, for example A on the D string but as soon as I start playing high A's or even high E's on the G string it all starts to become a mess. If I then choose to set it to track high notes, it copes with the high and mid register notes really well but as soon as I play the lower notes, for example a B on the A string or a G on the E string, the tracking goes a bit AWOL.

 

I decided to compare it back to back with my cheap Behringer Octave pedal and despite the EBS sounding a lot better tonally, there wasn't a huge difference in tracking performance between the two pedals. I'm beginning to wonder if the answer is to run two Octave pedals, one set and activated for playing low notes and then another set up and activated when I play the mid and higher stuff. Seems a bit of a compromise though.

 

Any advice or tips or is this just how it is with Octave pedals.

Some pedals track much better than others. Digital octavers track better than analogue in the main, but digital ones usually have a bit of latency compared to analogue.
 

There are certain common dead spots on Fender-style basses, with C-Eb on the G string being the worst offenders; these cause tracking to be fairly iffy. 

 

The best-tracking analogue octavers I’ve tried are the MXR Vintage Bass Octave and Bass Octave Deluxe; Red Witch Zeus was also pretty close. 

Edited by Quatschmacher
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Hi,this is my first post on B.C. I'm happy to be here.

I just bought a Laney Black Country Customs "85" and so far I'm really liking it.It sounds great,tracks well and it's operation is straight forward.

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The Boss OC-5 has a terrific tracking. On my Le Fay Remington Steele 6 (Fretless), it tracks down to the low B...

 

Check these 10 pages

Loads of comparisons with other octavers and BassChatters comments too, so real time ones.

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1 hour ago, Hellzero said:

The Boss OC-5 has a terrific tracking. On my Le Fay Remington Steele 6 (Fretless), it tracks down to the low B...

 

Check these 10 pages

Loads of comparisons with other octavers and BassChatters comments too, so real time ones.

Thanks Hellzero. I managed to get the EBS working ok but the Boss OC-5 just seems superior and the tracking looks amazing. That video review was also very impressive. I'm going to take the EBS pedal back for a refund and get the OC-5 when they become available again.

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This is the old 'digital vs analogue' octaver debate.... digital will track better but analogue will sound more organic. But it's still a matter of taste and if you like the sound of a digital octaver then it'll solve your tracking issues. 

I like the sound of analogue so have to adjust my playing to suit the pedal. 

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PS the TC Electronic Sub n Up has digital tracking polyphony as well as a classic analogue emulation mode. Along with toneprint capability (which I've found to be v useful on their other pedals) it could be an interesting alternative and the best of both worlds. 

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2 hours ago, Kev mac said:

Hi,this is my first post on B.C. I'm happy to be here.

I just bought a Laney Black Country Customs "85" and so far I'm really liking it.It sounds great,tracks well and it's operation is straight forward.

Hi mate welcome 

Congratulations on your 1st post 

I've never got on with octaver pedals but that's down to me but I've heard other people using them and make them sound great 

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