The 7 Best Bass Octave Pedals (Reviews & Buyer's Guide)
Posted in Gear | Last Updated on December 7, 2018
While a band is trying to play at top of their game every single sound is crucial, and for the bass, there are several ways in which you can optimize its performance.
One way is to use a bass Octave pedal, perfect for exploring new sounds by adding or removing sound within an extra octave.
Through a bass octave pedal, you can get extremely different sounds, especially if using it skillfully.
If you are already familiar with them you already know that they are not difficult to use, and even if this is not the case, implementing it will take your sound to another level. That is why we bring you a list with the best 7 bass octave pedals that you can find in the market.
Donner Digital Octave Guitar Harmonic
This is a very tough little pedal, composed with a digital circuit that provides exceptional performance considering the price.
It has two knobs, one WET and another DRY that allows you to regulate the use of the octaves above or below.
This digital circuit also includes 7 different calibrations, selectable with a central knob; settings which add musical color to the tones.
Using this pedal helps you to create a 12-string effect and cut a little clearer sound. This way, the fretless mwah sound is more complete and makes that slightly saturated effect work better.
It has very intuitive interface, it is very easy to use because it has only three knobs, the selector allows to choose three different modes. It also includes a LED bulb that indicates when it is active, it function is to avoid sustaining the effect for longer than it should.
- It has a tough design
- Possess a LED indicator to know when it is on
- Offered at an accessible price
- Three position selectors for different effects and 7 different modes
- Provides an extra octave above and below your scale
- Does not include the 9V DC power supply
- It can generate a pop rumble when you step on the pedal
- It might work better with a guitar than with a bass
MXR M288 Bass Octave Deluxe
It stands out among the other octaves for a bet that MXR has made to include two knobs to adjust the sub-octaves, independent of each other in terms of application and calibration.
This model integrates two inputs and a single output. Another of its main characteristics is that it leans towards the traditional sound when using an analog circuit, capable of providing a true bypass when the pedal is not activated.
In addition, the M288 is assembled inside a resistant and lightweight aluminum housing, easy to use, and due to its size, easy for you to integrate into a pedal board.
It has 3 knobs to adjust "GIRTH", octave of soft and deep character; "Growl" generating a sound with greater variety of harmonics, more guttural, similar to, well a "growl"; and "DRY" which allows you to regulate the amount of original signal that is mixed with the effect.
This way, thanks to the media booster and the rest of the effects, you can generate many different tones, adapting the outcome to your style, perfect for punk and guttural sound bands.
- Offers to double Sub octaves
- Metallic and resistant design
- True bypass
- It has a Booster for medium frequencies
- The tracking is of average performance
- Also, the Price is high considering the final performance
EBS Sweden AB EBS Pedal SE OC
This analog style pedal works very well in any of the three modes you select, and regardless of whether you use 4, 5 or 6 strings. It works very well together with the effects of distortion, without forgetting that it is advisable to place it first in the chain to achieve a clean effect.
Thanks to this amazing system, the secondary notes are more effective playing on high frets. You can learn where these points are and play the same note in a different position on the fretboard obtaining a wider and more impressive tracking.
Here is a little tip while setting it up. Adjust the Octave pedal up so high that it increases stress in the midrange and an upper end, reaching the effect and presence of the Octave or use the lower setting to create a lower end that perfectly reflects a sub-bass leaving space between two octaves.
- 9 V power supply
- Gives a thick sound
- Preserves the power at low range
- Counts with a triple octave splitter mode
- Does not sound very good with notes below 65-70 Hz
- Some notes may be delayed
- It needs to be placed first in the chain of effects to avoid distortion
TC Electronic Octaver Pedal TonePrint
(Best Classic Sound)
This baby is very good in the sub octave mode, to the point that it works for basses and for most string instruments and keyboards.
The sound output turns out really clean, and no matter where you place it in your effects chain it will not generate buzzing upon switching.
With this electronic pedal, you can operate in Toneprint and Otherworldly modes which add specific deep and high effects respectably.
Besides, this pedal has a top-tech octave engine and individual mix controls which offer dry, one octave-up and two sub-octaves, along with Sub 'N' Up in-game to offer a flawless style.
This is an ideal tool if you are looking to achieve the 70s and 60s bass sound thanks to the performance offered by the settings available from within the application and special pedal adjustments.
On the downside, there are so many features to this pedal that you will need plenty of time to experience them all and see which one can benefit your style. Hey but if you look at this at other angle this can be a positive.
- Application for smartphone and computer with many possibilities
- No buzz
- The lower tones sound like an organ (wow)
- Works well with other stringed instruments or keyboards
- Difficult to calibrate
- Artificial sounds may not fit every style
- The octave envelope can work poorly in the Polymode
- You might need an equalizer to make it work better
JF 12 Voodoo Octave Guitar Pedal
Price-wise, the performance of this analog pedal is exceptional. Although it is not the ideal pedal to obtain if you are after a professional sound, it works quite well and with it, you can select between fuzz (distortion) and octave independently.
In addition, the standard distortion that this device offers is satisfactorily large and complete and can be turned on along with the Octave and Fuzz effects.
The result is very nice and decently mixes the effects with the original sound.
The Mid Cut allows you to take something out of the body and, as a featured function Tone allows you to decide between a thundering and deep end and a very-high high end.
It works as a preamplifier pedal, much more comfortable than carrying an amplifier everywhere, taking time to achieve the calibration you are looking. Especially suitable for recordings or presentations; In addition, it is strongly built for its price and includes a rubber rear band.
- Anti-slip rubber is used to prevent accidents
- In addition to being an octave pedal, it also includes distortion
- Normaland Mid working mode Cut
- The quality check isn’t A+ and some arrive with defects
- It can make whistles upon switching on and off
- Warranty is only 30 days
Boss Electronic Keyboard Footswitch OC – 3
This is the upgraded version of OC-2 model. In this digital polyphonic pedal Boss has included a new sound without abandoning the traits which brought success to the previous model.
The result is that bassists and guitarists can use a double octave effect, achieving a classic sound or experimenting with new sounds. Thus there is the possibility of mixing three individual sounds: the original note input, a note one octave below and one that is two octaves below.
Using octave polyphonic mode you can add octaves when you play chords, something uncommon in a compact pedal. You can also get more aggressive sounds using the Drive mode, which adds a touch of distortion to the octave sounds.
This pedal is a good choice for presentations, which allows both guitar and bass player to share the pedal and apply a touch effect in unison, lest not ignore the fact that this will always require good synchronized tuning.
- 5 year limited warranty
- Double inputs and outputs for basses and guitars
- Includes the original OC-2 mode
- You can add octaves when the chords are played
- The follow-up is not very good
- The digital sound could distort the notes
- It has better performance with long wiring
Electro Harmonix POG Polyphonic Generator
This is the micro version of the Electro Harmonix POG and integrates 3 knobs with sustained and powerful effects.
The first knob is for DRY, turning it towards the right, the volume of the original signal will increase. The knob for SUB OCTAVE controls the volume output signal an octave below and the original input signal. Then, the Octave UP knob controls the volume output of the signal an octave above the original tone.
Manipulating these elements allows you to achieve the effect of 12 strings. The sub-octave adds a lot of circumference to the lower end while the high octave is pure, it produces a sound similar to a rock organ.
Besides, if correctly adjusted, you can approach a singer guitar, but requires patience because if not done correctly the sound can become rash and metallic.
This one is a very versatile pedal, which even within the style of music you play allows you to explore many different sounds.
- Generates about octaves and sub octaves
- Super-fast polyphonic tracking
- Heavy-duty and compact die-cast chassis
- Includes 9V DC power adapter
- High price
- Performance below expected as judged by the price
- The sound may seem artificial
Knowing which bass octave pedals are out there is cool, but we also listed a small beginners guide below for you to get to know your new acquisition better! Keep scrolling!
What is a Bass Octave Pedal?
This type of pedal allows reproduction and mixing with the original signal of a sound that is one octave above or below, although most are only capable of generating octaves below.
In addition, they are rarely characterized for cleaning or dirtying the sound of the bass, they rather create a double effect on the sound that, well used, will amaze anyone listening.
Some pedals even achieve two octaves above the original sound. The traditional pedals are monophonic, however, due to technological advances, digital pedals can have an effect on all tones, reaching the so-called 12-string effect as some of the examples we listed above.
The octave pedals accurately mix the input signal of your bass with a synthesized signal whose tone is lowered or raised by an octave or difference from the original.
The synthesized signal is derived from the original input signal coming from the bass, causing its frequency to be reduced by half (octave down) or double (an octave above).
Mastering this type of pedal is not simple, but it is well worth it because they can be used in conjunction with other bass effects to create a magnificent and original output effect which performs well both in a recording studio and live performances.
When to Use It?
Your bass octave pedal will be useful for different settings in a practice.
For these type of pedals, their versatility depends directly on your creativity and your taste.
Note – These pedals are most commonly used by bass players on bass solos.
They are also particularly useful for providing a "larger sound", with the effect similar to a metal tone.
Another function available, in the case of polyphonic devices, is that you can achieve an effect of using two basses or guitars simultaneously, called the 12-string effect.
Monophonic and Polyphonic
Traditionally these pedals have been monophonic because they can only process the effect for one frequency at a time, this was because they used analog circuits of reduced capacities.
Although they were used like this for many years, this lack prevented applying the effect of playing with all notes simultaneously.
Over time with the advancement in electronics a lot of stuff has changed like enhancing the quality of the internal processing units, which gave the ability to some vendors to produce low octave polyphonic pedals with success.
The result is the processing of all signals and the so-called 12-string effect. Also, being digital they usually have better tracking.
On the downside, the digital devices take away some of the nature of the sound making your live performance sound a little bit like a recording.
Should I Go Analog or Digital?
The analog ones have been used for a long time, and so far they are still doing well. These generate a warmer sound which is great for vintage lovers.
However, in many cases, these pedals have a bad follow-up and end up overshadowing the bass player.
On the other hand, the digital ones can process multiple frequencies simultaneously, while mostly analog pedals work in a simple frequency.
Another advantage is that you will be able to more efficiently monitor the notes played so that the process of the desired effect will be more precise.
These pedals undoubtedly have a profound effect on the quality of performance a bassist can achieve, most professional bass players use them very consistently. If you search for it you will find one that suits what you are looking for, be it a classic, guttural sound or an economical one with basic octave effects.
When it comes to selecting pedals that are economical you have as a first option the JF 12 Voodoo Octave Guitar Pedal which grants a great quality for an almost absurd pricing.
On the other hand, if you intend to achieve a professional performance you should purchase the MXR M288 Deluxe or the Electro Harmonix POG Polyphonic Generator.
All the pedals, regardless of whether they are analog or digital, must provide the sound you are looking for without generating buzzing or loud sounds when you operate them. So, choose the one that fits better with your style and let the music go!