It’s highly likely that the battle of analog and digital stompboxes will arise at some point in the conversation, no matter what effect we’re talking about. With octave, it’s likely to show itself in the very beginning, since the internal character of the unit hugely defines the essence of the results. Even though many musicians are turning a new leaf and are starting to trust digital devices more, analog pedals are still sought after due to their unique ambiance and character.
It’s really hard to say which will yield better sound – an analog or digital. However, if you take a look at our list of the best bass octave stompboxes and pay attention to the fact that the majority of them feature analog circuitry, you’ll be able to make a couple of conclusions. Analog circuit does have its flaws, but as we move forward and witness technological development, those mishaps seem to be corrected in every new release. If you want your performance to stand out, then the latter type is what you should choose. Today I’m going to introduce a pedal that belongs to the analog family. Aguilar Octamizer is a top-notch unit that will let you go down by an octave and enhance the bass even more. It isn’t cheap, but its quality is worth the money. Let’s start this article and allow the features and sounds to speak for themselves!
Aguilar Amplification can easily be considered as an expert in the field of bass dedicated devices. They have been committed to the low frequencies for a really long time and know-how to put together a pedal that can track the bottom-end perfectly. Aguilar Octamizer is a wonderful example of that. It is equipped with all the tiny details that are required for creating an ultimate octave-down effect. I’m sure you’re eager to find out more about specific features, so I’ll cut to the chase and end your struggle.
This unit has a detector circuit, which goes the extra mile to recognize your notes and reproduce them similarly. The whole point of purchasing a bass-dedicated unit is the ability to track and Aguilar understands that perfectly. Octamizer is equipped with analog circuit that transfers your clean and affected signals individually. This means that we get separate controls for dry and wet sounds, letting us adjust each meticulously. What’s more, this bad boy offers a tilt EQ for clean signal. What this means is that lower frequencies will be cut once you boost the treble and vice versa, high-end will be tamed while accentuating the bass. This way the color of your sound is altered precisely and it is really even in the end. Wet signal, on the other hand, features a sweepable multi-pole low pass filter, which modifies tonal content with accuracy. Just like its siblings, Octamizer has a steel enclosure that can easily stand the test of time. Powering options include a single 9V battery and an adapter. You can choose the one you prefer, plug in this baby and let octave-down submerge you in the lowest sounds. After all, with great pedals like this, you are allowed to lose your mind and consciousness.
As I have mentioned above, Aguilar Octamizer comes with separate controls for wet and dry signals. This means that you can basically split your sound in two and navigate through its parameters individually. The end results will be saturated with the original ambiance of your bass, as well as the characteristics of the octave-down effect. With the help of the control section you can always get the hang of the pedal, but more importantly, you can understand how far a unit can take you. That’s how you can tell a mediocre pedal apart from a badass one. For this reason, we should dive into the details of each encoder immediately.
- Octave Level changes the volume of the wet signal which is an octave lower than the original;
- Clean Level determines the volume of clean bass signal;
- Octave Filter alters the tonal color of the affected sound with the help of the low pass filter;
- Clean Tone is a tilt EQ, which boosts or cuts low or high frequencies simultaneously. Once again, this means that trebles get attenuated when bass is amplified and vice versa.
Regardless of the sophisticated circuit, Octamizer is rather easy to modify. Each of the controls has a wide scope of options to choose from and their combination can yield diverse results each time.
Aguilar Octamizer Sound
Aguilar Octamizer starts to shine and unveil its real character once you plug it in and start performing. It is the sort of a unit that forces you to see what a clean channel can yield. You can roll off the octave fully and mess around with the Clean Tone. The peculiarities of its tilt EQ will force you to rethink the purpose of the pedal since you’ll have to battle a huge desire to leave it as a preamp.
Once you engage the octave but keep the clean sound expressive, you will hear both at the same time. The effect will start adding its fuzziness and depth, while the essence of clean bass sounds will still be noticeable in the background. Roll off-dry signal and crank up the octave and you’ll access the extreme territory. You’ll be left with funky synth-like sounds that have a lot of definitions. As I have mentioned above, Octamizer doesn’t have any problems with tracking. And just in case some issues occur, keep in mind that it’s caused by the circuit and isn’t actually Aguilar’s fault.
When I say that the expertise of brands can be trusted, I understand that I’m making a loud statement. Sometimes I even doubt myself while uttering those words, but my experience always proves that such an attitude is close to reality. Octamizer from Aguilar proves my point excellently. It showcases everything the brand stands for and it does so while expressing the nature of your bass to the fullest. This bad boy mixes octave with low-end so beautifully that you might reconsider using other effects. Good luck!
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