Octave is not the easiest effect to work with. It can be quite a headache to nail it and find that perfect sound. It is like cooking, you add too much of it and everything is ruined, you add too little and something is lacking. This is especially true for bassists, too many octaves down and your sound disappears, too many octaves up and your bass is not a bass anymore. However, the best bass octave pedal might make it all easier for you. It can combine simplicity with the quality performance and give you mind-blowing results in the end. It might even offer several effects, which will give you a great deal of versatility and take your sound to a whole new level. One way or another, you have to own this unit to see for yourself what it does. This article will list down the 5 best bass octave pedals on the market and give you some information on the utilization of this effect. If you are interested, just keep on reading!
Table of Contents
- Top 5 Best Bass Octave Pedals
- What is an octave effect?
Top 5 Best Bass Octave Pedals
|EBS Sweden AB SE-OC Bass Octave Pedal||(5 / 5)||Check on Amazon|
|MXR M287 Sub Octave Bass Pedal||(5 / 5)||Check on Amazon|
|Jim Dunlop M288 Bass Octave Pedal Deluxe||(4.8 / 5)||Check on Amazon|
|Donner Digital Octave Pedal Harmonic Square||(4.8 / 5)||Check on Amazon|
|Aguilar Octamizer Bass Octave Pedal||(4.8 / 5)||Check on Amazon|
What is an octave effect?
Octave effect is based on quite a simple concept. The dry signal is mixed with the synthesized one that is an octave higher or lower than the original. The affected sound comes from the bisecting or doubling of the frequencies in the incoming signal. There are many ways of achieving this effect, however, the simplest and the most convenient one is by using an effects pedal. Typically, stompboxes can create octave up or octave down effects. The first one corrects the negative part of the waves so that the final sound is an octave higher in pitch. The second one transforms the signal into a square wave and employs flip-flop circuitry in order to split the frequency in two. This produces the sound that resembles a synthesizer.
This effect was highly praised by so many legendary musicians. One of the first guitarists to employ octave in his performance was Jimi Hendrix. Jimmy Page was very familiar with this effect as well. He uses it in Led Zeppelin’s “Fool in the Rain”. It can also be heard on recordings such as “When Doves Cry” by Prince and “Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes. Octave is very versatile and can be used with various instruments, however, it really shines when paired with bass.
What is a bass octave pedal?
Bass octave pedal is basically the same as a guitar octave pedal. The only difference between these two is that the bass dedicated unit is specifically designed for lower-end, which means it might only offer an octave up or down. Several octaves down would not be suitable in this case, because your sound would not be audible at all. Several octaves up and you might as well get yourself an electric guitar. This is why a bass octave pedal will give you the best results. I know how exhausting it is to get a specific effects unit for every single instrument, but trust me, it is worth it. I am going to paint an image here, so that you will understand my point better: imagine that you have a severe stomach ache, you would not go to the cardiologists, would you? The same thing goes for the pedals, yes, an electric guitar octave pedal will do the job, but it might not know exactly how to treat your instrument. It is as simple as that.
The difference between analog and digital bass octave pedals
If you have been in the music industry for long enough, you know that the battle between analog and digital pedals has been the most prolonged one here. This eternal war will probably never be terminated and we will never know, which one is the winner. However, we can scrutinize the advantages of each of them and figure out, what works best for the given scenarios.
Analog bass octave pedals
These bad boys are the original devices that have been the innovators of the industry. They employ analog circuitry in order to produce the octave effect. They have characteristic sound, which is why they are preferred by so many musicians. Such kind of pedals have found their niche and will probably always remain the powerful competitors. The sound that analog bass octave pedals create is unique in nature and is hardly emulated by other units. However, they have their own flaws. Analog pedals tend to be monophonic, which means they cannot process complicated chords and are able to discern merely single notes. This might be a huge drawback if you are a professional bass player and are not satisfied with simplicity. What is more, analog pedals do not have good tracking abilities, which means they might not be able to perceive what you are playing at all. More often than not, such kind of pedals are programmed to “see” only specific frequency range, thus making it difficult to pair them with bass. Nevertheless, the performance that analog bass octave pedals deliver does not resemble anything else, that is how they capture the hearts of both musicians and audiences till this day.
Digital bass octave pedals
Digital bass octave pedals were created as a result of technological advancements that took place in engineering. Modern electronics makes the digital signal processing possible, which means we have more reliable and versatile products on hand. Digital pedals are mostly polyphonic, thus, they can recognize even the most sophisticated chords. This enables you to concentrate on your playing without worrying about the pedal’s ability to understand what you are doing. Plus, such kind of stompboxes can track pretty well, since they discern a wide range of frequency range. Digital bass octave pedals can produce both octave up and octave down, which makes them more versatile and flexible. The effect they create is refined and professional. So if your performance relies on your craftsmanship and consists of complicated parts, you should probably go for digital bass octave pedals. However, what you will choose between these two is completely up to you and I have no right to tell you what to do. I would suggest trying out both of them and deciding accordingly.
And we have made it till the end! We have successfully discussed the best bass octave pedals out there, their advantages and drawbacks, as well as basic information about some technicalities. I hope this journey was not too overwhelming. The good news is, you can now easily make up your mind and purchase the pedal of your dreams. Do not forget to listen to the demos and figure out how the provided pedals sound. After you have done that, you will be one click away from the perfect octave pedal for your bass. I will not take up more of your time. Good luck!