Octave Pedals: How do You use it?

I got a Boss OC-5 Octave pedal. I watched a bunch of videos raving about how good it is and wanted to try it out.

When playing around with it, I just felt lost and I was having trouble getting anything out of it that I liked. Let me be clear, I don’t think this is a Boss OC-5 problem. I think this is a me problem. Maybe I was going too heavy with the settings and a lighter touch would have been more productive.

  • How do you use an Octave pedal?
  • What sound are you going for when you use it?
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Are you playing straight thru the octave pedal, or chaining it with other pedals?

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Put it before an OD , and you will really get a deeb bass overdrive. You don’t have to use much, or you will start to bottom out your amp and have unwanted distortion.
Also cool to put a little chorus after the OD, and really thicken the whole deep OD signal.

Like anything, you need to play with it, one dial at a time, until you hear some sounds you like, and then stick a OD after it, and Chorus, and some Reverb, possibly some delay I suppose? IDK, I don’t have a delay pedal, don’t really like them, but that probably really equates to “Don’t really know how to use them correctly”, but no love lost.

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You can go anywhere from deep synth sounds, to just a little thickening and depth to your tone, or if yours has Octave Up, you can add to your high end leads

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It was first in line in a chain.

This was what I was hoping for. I think I may have been getting a bit knob crazy by the time I started playing around with it.

Oh yeah. I was playing around with stacking drives and got some wonderful overdriven tones from slightly overdriven through heavy fuzz. When I tried to throw in the low octave it got way out of control. This was the first time I’ve ever messed with a pedal chain like this. I think the key, at this point will be to back everything off and just add a little at a time.

I don’t have a Chorus. My son has a Delay and a Reverb. I ran out of time and didn’t get to play with the Delay. I did play around with the Reverb and I didn’t have much luck there either. When combined with distortion I couldn’t tell the difference between when it was on or off. Using it alone, all I got was a muddiness to the sound but I didn’t have a lot of time to work with it either.

Here is what I was working with…

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Sweet! I’m awaiting a backordered one to replace the OC-2.

There is basically a “standard setting” that folks use a lot that gets you the “Sledgehammer” sound and everything else is experimental. Without the upper octave, I never changed settings from this (which is why I wanted a bit more diversity in the 5).

Check out YouTube.

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I’m waiting on an MXR Octave Deluxe

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Imo delay is much more useful than reverb. Delay works especially nice with chorus or other effects while reverb is more for ambience. I also put my octaver before my OD. Dirt into chorus or even filters to make it sound really nice.

Nice pedalboard Eric!

I prefer MXR too. I sold my OC-3 for the MXR vintage octaver.

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I have the Micro POG by Electro-Harmonix (octaver) which is third in my pedal chain (after the tuner and compressor). After the POG comes the Tube Screamer (overdrive), then the Bass Clone (chorus), followed by the Flamma FS02 (reverb). From there, everything feeds into the Tech21 DI (preamp) and then to the amp and studio monitors.
It takes a great deal of playing around to find the right combination of pedals and settings to create a specific type of sound. As @T_dub and others mentioned just try different things.
When I’m practicing, I generally leave all the pedals off anyway. I only use them for recording covers (or just goofing around :smiley_cat:)

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@PamPurrs I seem to remember you had said you talked to someone that said he didn’t play live without an Octave pedal. I was hoping to discover, while playing with it, how he uses it that way. Do you remember that or was that somebody else?

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I think it was Scott Devine in one of his pedal videos. Maybe do a search on YouTube for Scott Devine pedals or something like that.

EDIT: Oh wait, after I posted that I remembered it was my bass guy at the music store I go to. He’s been gigging for 20 some years and he’s the one that said that to me.

But I did also see it in a Scott Devine video :smiley_cat:

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Thats what I said to do, I am not sure if you are saying you ALSO do that, or Also, you should put the Octave before the OD (which is what I said)
no big deal either way.

I have the TC Electronics Sub-n-Up, and it is a great pedal. I have not played with the MXR Bass Octave pedal, or a POG, but I have tried a clone of the BOSS pedal, and it was nice (also TC Electronics). I do love my MXR Bass Envelope Filter, but that is the only MXR pedal I have I think. I like MXR, I just went with other things like EHX, BOSS, Keeley, Behringer, and some no name pedals SanJune (my favorite budget compressor pedal), Flamma, NU>X…

as I stated, I probably don’t know how to use them correctly, but @JoshFossgreen’s new Patreon video is about practicing rhythm with delay pedals, so I may have to break out my Zoom B1x-Four or MS-60b and set up a delay pedal in stomp mode and give it a whirl.

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Yes, I also do that! My other point was that I like to drive OD also before my envelope filter. They usually say that it’s better to have a clean signal going into your filter but I like the sound when I add some drive.

Yeah man you totally should! Mind you that when I started I had zero experience with delay but I just start to experiment. I like to discover what works for me, it was either delay or reverb on my pedalboard (I don’t think those two are even that important for bass tho). I just started the chord tone essentials on talkingbass but maybe I will check out Josh’s Patreon after I complete that. :slight_smile: Thanks for the tip!

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His video is really cool. It will show up on Youtube, if it is not there already, I just watched it on Youtube, on his JoshFossgreen channel. The patreao, I think you get extra stuff, and you need to log into the patreao or go to his site logged in on patreon.
If you don’t know what Patreon is, you just sign up to donate a dollor or 3 dollars or higher per video he releases each month. I think it cost me about $3 to $6 per month. it is just to help pay for his channel, so he offers a little bonus for patreon members, which is often getting extra level to the lesson he does, or notation for it, or extra content. there are levels, you can be the basic bonus, the extra bonus or the 3rd bonus if IIRC.
It is a cheap way to get some cool stuff, and help support Josh on his personal channel, which has LOTS of great content, along the lines of Bass Buzz, but a little more lesson focused, with not AS MUCH flash. So alot like B2B, where he has fun but is serious, without visual jokes, like Noob Josh and such.

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I’ve never really had a great deal of joy with deep bass tones but it’s not my thing anyway. I have a TC Electronics Sub n Up and find playing with the higher octave ‘up’ setting far more fun. That said, it’s mainly just for goofing around. There aren’t many practical applications for it, at least not at my level of playing

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Oh, I don’t know. You don’t have to be very good to have one-down on an OC-2 make you sound cool :slight_smile:

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I’ve had several of the OC pedals, and they’ve never tracked well for me.
The POG is phenomenal, as is the octave portion of my MXR Sub Octave Bass Fuzz… (but I can only use it if I ALSO use the distortion/fuzz… darn).

Hope you can dial it in better… but I’ve had my issues with the Boss Octave stuff.

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They supposedly fixed this with the OC-5. We shall see

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I know that my ashdown amp had a built in octave, because if you throw on just a touch it isn’t very effect-y noticeable, it just thickens up your tone some. i personally love the synthy chiming high end you get with the pog/subnup, but that is a very different thing. from what I’ve heard it’s also very different than how your pedal sounds.

edit: yeah, sounds nothing like a pog type octave, even in poly mode. it’s cool though.

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Part of the charm of the OC-2 is the poor tracking and the glitchiness :slight_smile:

If you want an octaver that tracks well, go with a digital like the POG - they are much better than analog.

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