In your journey at exploring the guitar and its sounds, you will find out that you can expand the whole sound range by just investing in a nice pedal. You should know that pedals come in a wide range of selections you can choose from, depending on the sound you want to recreate. However, one of the most essential pedals you can buy is an octave pedal that will enhance your sound and open up new tonalities and ranges that you can explore and experiment with. In this article, we are going to take a look at the best octave pedals that you can get your hands on and get that great octave effect.
However, when it comes to octave pedals, which are the most popular in the market, there is plenty to choose from. For example, do you want one that can take your tone down, or up, or maybe both, do you want something else in the mix as well. I would suggest you do some research before committing to one. Also, this is the reason I have written this guide, so you can make a better and more informed decision that will fit your needs when it comes to octave pedals. I have written this guide based on my years of experience playing and teaching guitar, countless hours of research, expert consultation and testing. Without further ado, let’s get on with it.
Our Picks For The 5 Best Octave Pedals
First up we are going to speak about the top picks. These products listed here are all handpicked by me personally. I have picked these as a result of countless hours of research, personal experience, vigorous testing, expert consultation, popularity and buyer feedback. These are all fail-safe choices that will deliver you performance, accuracy, speed and excellent value for your money. You won’t be disappointed in these. Let’s help you get that amazing octave effect!
5. AROMA Octpus
We are going to start off this list with a pretty affordable model, the AROMA Octpus. This pedal is the definite best if you want a cheap octaver with simple features but that will provide you tons of performance. No need for a complication, just performance, and reliability.
This pedal is extremely well made, with its full metal body. IT is definitely extremely durable and will take a lot of beating on stage and in the studio. This polyphonic octave can definitely deliver a great octave functionality, altering the sound perfectly without any problem. The polyphonic octave is honestly one of my favorites.
I should also mention that this pedal has a dry knob for the dry signal volume. It has two Octave knobs that allow you to adjust it properly. This pedal might not cost much and might not look like much but it is definitely on the list for consideration, top-notch.
4. JOYO JF-12 Voodoo Octava
Next up we have a super affordable octave pedal, the JOYO JF-12 Voodoo Octava. This guitar octave pedal delivers excellent sound options, it also has a versatile fuzz that delivers a great performance and the lower octave performance. While it doesn’t clean up the sound properly and it is not the most responsive pedal compared to the most but it is still pretty good for the price that it comes at.
JOYO delivers a lot of pedals some better than the others, but if you are searching for versatility in them you should definitely take a loot this one. The JOYO JF-12 Voodoo Octava has definitely a great build quality, that will definitely be capable of delivering a lot of durability on the stage, it can definitely take on a few years of touring before it gives up.
I should mention that this guitar octave pedal has a true bypass circuit, and on top of that it delivers an analog vibe to it despite being a digital model. The warmth and the ambiance in the sound definitely make it worthwhile. The sound of the JOYO JF-12 Voodoo Octava is pretty much excellent and the fuzz effects make it perfect at delivering some funky and thick sounds. Texture, grain and character, an absolute beast despite its price.
3. Donner Digital Octave
If you want one of the cheapest options when it comes to octave pedals but you want performance as well you should take a look at the Donner Digital Octave. This pedal is definitely a bargain, for the price that it comes at it is definitely a superb pedal that will satisfy your needs, especially if you are a beginner. While it might not sound as good as the more premium models it is still pretty impressive.
Like I said it doesn’t sound as good as the more premium options in the market and on this list, but it really delivers what it promises. If you want to take your tone up or down, and not anything else this might do plenty of justice for you. It has a sturdy aluminum body that is unseen in the budget range.
One of the most impressive things about this guitar octave pedal is that it lets you choose between dry or wet sound, and it lets you change your tone to 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 12 or 24 semitones which are extremely impressive. Also this impressive beast has true bypass that will let you change your tone perfectly without a doubt. Definitely worth the price without any doubt.
2. BOSS OC-3
The runner up on this list comes from BOSS, a brand that has delivered the gold standard of the base layer for a wide range of effect pedal setups, and the OC-3 is definitely one of the most impressive in the market. I should mention that the BOSS OC-3 delivers perfect value for the price, definitely the most bang for your buck. One of the most capable and reliable octave pedals in the market.
The BOSS OC-3 Super Octave Pedal is packed with a wide range of features that are extremely impressive and useful. Starting from the most simple ones it comes with the standard BOSS casing that is of the highest quality and it is timeless with the dark copper color and finish, exceptional from the get-go. If you have used BOSS pedals you know that they are a synonym for quality and reliability and this one is no different.
This is also a pretty versatile guitar octave pedal coming in with inputs for both guitar and bass, making things easier for multi-instrumentalists. I should also mention that it also has mono and direct output lines you can take advantage of. The controls are not the simplest but they will do great justice for your guitar playing, taking things to another level. Definitely one of the best octave pedals out there.
1. Electro Harmonix Micro POG
The top pick for the best octave pedal in the market is none other than the Electro Harmonix Micro POG. It’s no wonder that the Electro Harmonix has done it time and time again with their pedals and right from the get-go you will see that this pedal is definitely something special. While it might be a little expensive it is definitely a great pedal that will deliver you plenty of performance.
I have to say that this pedal also looks amazing and super well built, definitely a beast in all aspects. Right from the first strum, you will see that this pedal has definitely something special going on with it, it definitely sounds pretty clear and good. I want to mention that the Electro Harmonix Micro POG has all the controls that you may be looking for and you can definitely make use of its versatility here.
The Electro Harmonix Micro POG is also my favorite octave pedal because it is extremely easy to use, no confusion here, just select the setting and it delivers the sound you want. It is also pretty small and very well built as I said. It can be used for a long time before you will need a new one, and it can take the wear and tear of the stage and tour. It’s also extremely versatile because it can be set to Dry, Sub Octave or Octave Up. The sub octave knob will let you control the volume of the octave down, and the rest are self-explanatory. Not many other competitors can do that Definitely the best without a doubt.
Things to Know Before Buying an Octave Pedal
Whether you’re a bass guitar player or an electric guitar player, when you are buying musical equipment it is sometimes fun to try your luck, however, it is even better to know what you are looking for before committing. Let’s check it out.
What is an Octave Pedal?
Let’s start with the basics. You know that there are millions of pedals out there that will change your tone one way or another, whatever the case you can find it. Starting off with the most simple thing an octave! An octave is a difference between two notes, it may be higher or lower, the difference is an octave, more or less.
For example, on a keyboard, you may see multiple C notes and if you play them at the same time you will hear that they are the same note, but they all sound higher or lower than the other, those are the octave differences. Think of it as the hues of the same color. Red has different hues, such as crimson, maroon, cherry and so on. Every effect has its own role down the signal chain, so all of them are equally important.
Since you know what an octave is, you might already imagine what an octave pedal does to your tone. It is generally used to play the notes an octave lower or higher, so it would double, triple or quadruple the tones you have in disposition, allowing you to recreate different and unique sounds personal to you. After a few years of playing the electric guitar, I felt like the amp and the guitar wasn’t enough and I wanted different sounds, an octave pedal is a great start, it will definitely let you explore and let you achieve a personal sound.
Types of Octave Pedals
Generally, you will see two types of guitar octave pedals. Traditionally there were the monophonic octave pedals that could only process one frequency at a single time. But the advancements in technology have made them much more capable since polyphonic pedals now come with internal processing units, that allow the pedal to deliver the best sound quality at multiple frequencies and even let you go two octaves up or down!
Analog vs Digital
Until a few years ago, all octave pedals have been analog tools, however, in the last few years, we have seen digital models, which use digital audio emulation to deliver a warm analog sound with the convenience of digital pedals. They have also been available, affordable and extremely convenient. It also can process different frequencies at the same time, something that analog pedals couldn’t achieve.
I have always been the advocate of checking the build quality of the product before committing. It counts here as well in the octave pedal industry. Check to see if the pedal is well made, if it looks wacky or something cheaply put together it will definitely not hold on stage and will break apart quickly. Also, it can be a sign that it won’t sound as good.
Check to see what else the pedal offers. What are the options, does it offer just octaves or does it let you explore even further. It is better to have more options so you can get experimenting in the feature, and let me tell you, once you buy a pedal you won’t stop since it is extremely fun and rewarding. Most of them let your music go down by two octaves, so make sure you pay attention to that too.
Before moving on I have to mention that you should check on the sound quality of the pedal you are planning to buy. This can be done by reading reviews about them or checking YouTube videos about them, which is the best way to get a nice idea about the pedal you are planning to buy.
What Kind Of Other Pedals Are There?
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Where should the octave pedal be placed?
Traditionally speaking an octave pedal should be placed at the beginning of the effects chain. This means that it should be placed right after the tuner and the volume pedal, but definitely before the drive section. This is specifically done to guarantee the cleanest signal through the pedal. This means that the notes and chords can be reproduced clearly when the effect is activated. Also, this is the main reason as to why this is the most popular pedal in the market and the first one that many guitarists buy, it just delivers plenty of versatility and variation.
Are there different ways to use an octave pedal?
While it might seem like octave pedals have just a single function, taking your tone an octave higher or lower, they are extremely versatile and can deliver a wide range of use. One of the most frequent ways that an octave pedal is used, is a pitch shifting them down an octave and combine it with a fuzz pedal to make single note riffs richer and fuller, just like in many different songs. One of the most notable uses of this technique is on the chorus of Song Two of Blur, and indifferent songs in metal and rock bands. You can also use an octave pedal to recreate the sound of a twelve-string guitar or combine it with delay pedals and volume pedals to recreate more organic sounds.