- by Kevin Deal
Any good musician knows the hassle it is to change octaves. Most often make the mistake and not invest into a tool that can help them with their performance. The best octave pedal can influence the overall sound and feeling of a piece of music’s flow note by note.
The Value of Octave Pedals
It is imperative to understand that your sound can (change directions). With octaves, it allows the musician to demonstrate control over what they are doing sound wise.
In laymen’s terms, an octave pedal allows you to control the pitch and range of your sound. It finds the dry signal of your tune and blends it with an octave that is higher or lower than it.
A good octave pedal adds an octave that is below the pitch playing and the one that is above it. This allows for control and better harmony of the song. Basically, you want to find an octave pedal that can change your octaves seamlessly. It can help compensate for those that want to add bass to their pieces without being too difficult for any intermediate to advanced player to use (example).
The best octave pedals are ideal for their ability to add varying levels to each piece effectively.
Octave Pedal Uses
For singing sounding riffs, octave pedals might be an excellent choice. The octave isolation and utilization allow it to work ultimately as a professional level of sounding (link).
For Example: Think of Iron Maiden, bands of that quality used octave pedals to improve their guitar solos. Classic songs like Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes could not have been made without the use of a good octave pedal.
Choosing the best octave pedal can be daunting at first. New musicians often make the mistake of buying an octave pedal without looking into the specs behind it. This leads them to buying one that does not get the job done.
The Differences in Genres, Size, & Uses for Octave Pedals
While there are many reviews out for the octave pedals, they fail in understanding the multiple genres of music. Music comes in different shapes and sizes and needs to be tuned effectively. Getting the right octave pedal can improve your audition performances to making a big impact while on stage.
- Look for an octave pedal that is versatile. While octave pedals simply use fuzz to help correct the octave being played, a versatile one will last years upon end.
- A good octave pedal can make the riffs sound thicker and clearer, making your guitar solos memorable. Octave pedals are useful for live performances as well as personal practice to both isolate a guitar's ability to stand out from the rest of the instruments in a piece whilst helping control the overall octave relative to the rest of your pieces.
This means that it eases the pain of hitting the right octave within your performance. Octave and sound control is the main thing you want to look for when finding a quality octave pedal. You’ll find that the best pedals are responsive and durable. Basically, you need to find the right pedal for your upcoming performance.
Our Top 5 Best Octave Pedal for You
Reviews Of Our Best Octave Pedal
1. Joyo JF-12 Voodoo Octava Guitar Pedal
Starting off our review list is the Joyo JF-12 Voodoo Octava. This pedal is a hybrid between fuzz and octave control, both which are easily adjusted by the user.
We like the fuzz distortion feature this pedal offers. It is similar to the EHX Big Muff in sound and provides a full and grainy effect. Making it perfect for those who need an octave pedal with effective sustain.
Joyo’s best feature is its octave effect. It is easily switched from the fuzz effect. This leads to a unique and creative sound effects such as alien-sounding tunes mixed with the raw signal. Some of the body is scooped out with the mid cut of this pedal.
- Tone Control – Since it has 2 effects placed on it, the JOYO is ideal for controlling tone. This is perfect for bands who might need a pedal that heightens their music engineering
- Ease of Use – This Fuzz/Octave pedal is designed with a simple goal in mind. Add Fuzz or change the octave. It’s the simple
- Affordable – The JOYO is ideal for those who might need an economic pedal
- Unstable – Due to its lack of stability, the JOYO can prove to be a problem for some buyers. Its small and simple design is counterbalanced by its inability to be used for extended periods of times
- Volume – The JOYO has issues in keeping the volume centered. Volume control is important and it can lead to a distorted sound if not used correctly
2. Electro-Harmonix Pitch Fork
With over 33 options for pitch shifting, the Electro-Harmonix Pitch Fork changes pitch with absolute precision. Also, it has an expression pedal which allows the user to choose from momentary to latched activation.
It’s most prized feature is its functionality. Pitch Fork Pedal offers up to 3 octaves above or below the root. This might prove useful for the musician who wants a pitch effect pedal worth its money. While there are a few flaws in its sound quality, the Pitch Fork Pedal could be an excellent choice for the aspiring guitarist.
- Polyphonic Octave Effects – One thing about the Pitch Fork is its effective octave control. With three modes, it gives the user to transpose the pitch down, up or both. The pitch shift can be adjusted to be varied by an expression pedal or be set to a fixed interval
- Multiple Features – With a wide array of features, the Pitchfork offers 33 different effects
- Straight forward design – Based on its simple design, the Pitch Fork is easy to use. This might be useful for beginners who are trying to find an easy octave pedal for their performance
- Quality of Sound – The Pitch Fork makes small, unexpected changes in volume throughout the performance. While it is a functional octave pedal, it lacks in proper sound quality. Making it a challenge for those wanting to make high quality music
- Slight Lower Octave Glitch – When trying to make the correct pitch for the lower octave, the Pitch Fork lacks in proper control. Small glitches can occur leading to a reduction in performance quality
3. DigiTech Whammyv-01
The classic Whammy Pedal is a must in any growing banc. In addition to the classic Whammy sound, true bypass and Whammy pitch-shifting are featured within this pedal. What makes the pedal shine is not only its intricate design, but the backing of a respected brand, as well.
For 60 years, artists used Whammy’s pitch shifting to grow their sound. Thus, making this 5th generation pedal useful for those wanting to make a change in their music.
- Features – The Whammy-01 Pedal might be a great choice for the experimental musician. With over 9 harmony settings, this is might be a good choice for those looking for multiple effects
- Pitch Shifting – Octave control is a hassle in a musician’s career. The Whammy-01 pedal allows for absolute control over pitch and sound. Thus, this could be a good choice for musicians who need better engineered songs
- Expression Pedal Issues – With repeated use the expression pedal starts to lose its luster. After multiple attempts to calibrate, the expressional pedal still did not respond
- Heavy – Weighing in at 3.6 pounds, this is a large pedal. It is stable, but clunky at the same time. Unlike other pedals, the Whammy’s massive size might prove to be a problem
4. Boss OC-3 Super Octave
BOSS is one of the leading providers in creating musical equipment. And the Boss OC-3 Super Octave is no different.
Its main feature is its polyphonic octave effects. With over 4 modes this small pedal is no stranger to versatility. This compact digital sound pedal might be useful for the experimental musician.
- Lightweight – Weighing in at 1.1 pounds, the Boss OC-3 offers a lot of space. It’s compact and small design makes it easy to be used with other pedals during a live set
- Durable – BOSS creates most of their products out of metal. Because of this, the OC-3 is one of the most durable pedals within this list. This pedal is ideal for the musician who plays a bit too heavy during showtime
- Tracking – The lead issue with the Boss OC-3 is its lack of proper tracking. When playing in dropped tunings, the tracking tends to reduce just a bit
- Artificial Sounding – Since it is a digital pedal, there are times when it starts to sound synthetic. For artists looking for an analog sound, this could be an issue
5. Electro Harmonix Micro POG
A smaller version of the original POG, the Micro POG follows its predecessor through its fluid sound range and polyphonic tracking. This simple small pedalboard consists of 3 adjustable knobs (Dry, Octave Up and Sub Octave), expanding the user’s capabilities.
One feature that we liked was its tracking capabilities. Because of its extremely fast tracking mechanism, the pedal rarely encounters a glitch. This polyphonic octave generator might be an excellent choice a small band or recording musicians.
- Polyphonic Fast Tracking - Most digital pedals often glitch after time. Through repeated usage, we have found no glitches with this pedal. The Micro POG might be a choice for those who want to play chords without any delay in quality
- Customizable Effects – The Micro POG has 3 levels of octave control. Use the dry knob to control the low ends while using the octave up to fix the high ends of your sound
- Expensive – Being the most expensive on our list. Making this a costly investment for those on a lower budget
- Artificial Sounds – The POG lacks the sound quality of an analog pedal. Since it is digital, it may take a few configurations to reach a synthetic sound setting
We decided that the winner is the Electro Harmonix Micro POG. It thickens the user’s sound while also increasing layers behind the music composition.
It is compact, making it easy for those who might be touring on the road. And its simple interface draws musicians in while giving out the maximum music production.
The customizable factors and features behind the Micro POG are the reason why it is the winner. In comparison to other pedals, the POG has features without a reduction in sound quality. The only drawback found is its price.