8 Best Octave Pedals for Your Guitar

An octave pedal is a type of guitar effects pedal that is used to alter the pitch of the incoming signal by one or more octaves. The term “octave” refers to a musical interval that spans eight diatonic scale degrees. Octave pedals generate a sound that is either one or more octaves higher, lower, or both compared to the original note played on the instrument.

These pedals are commonly used to create a thicker, fuller sound by adding lower or higher harmonies to the original signal. Octave pedals are especially popular in genres like rock, metal, and experimental music. There are various types of octave pedals, and they can be monophonic (tracking a single note at a time) or polyphonic (capable of tracking multiple notes simultaneously).

Some common features of octave pedals include controls for adjusting the level of the octave-up and/or octave-down signals, blend controls to mix the original and octave-altered signals, and sometimes additional parameters for fine-tuning the sound. Octave pedals are used by guitarists and bassists to add a unique and dynamic element to their playing, allowing them to explore creative sonic possibilities.

Here is a list of some of the best octave pedals:

1. Boss OC-3 Super Octave

Known for its reliability and tracking, the OC-3 provides polyphonic octave effects and can handle chords well. The Boss OC-3 Super Octave is a compact and popular octave pedal produced by Boss, a well-known brand in the guitar effects industry.

The OC-3 is an evolution of the earlier OC-2 Octave pedal and comes with additional features, making it a versatile choice for guitarists and bassists. Here are some key features and details about the Boss OC-3 Super Octave:

Polyphonic Octave Effects: The OC-3 is capable of generating polyphonic octave effects, meaning it can handle multiple notes simultaneously. This makes it suitable for chords as well as single-note lines.

The pedal features three different modes to produce octave effects:

    • Polyphonic Mode: This mode is designed for polyphonic instruments like guitars. It provides accurate tracking for both single notes and chords.
    • Drive Mode: In this mode, the OC-3 adds a touch of distortion to the octave effect, creating a more saturated and harmonically rich sound.
    • OC-2 Mode: The OC-3 includes the classic OC-2 mode for reproducing the vintage monophonic octave tones of the original OC-2 pedal.

The Range knob allows you to adjust the range of the octave effect, providing flexibility in shaping the intensity of the octave-up and octave-down tones.

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Direct Level and Octave Level Controls: The pedal includes separate controls for adjusting the level of the direct (dry) signal and the octave signal. This allows you to blend the original signal with the octave effects to achieve the desired mix.

Like many Boss pedals, the OC-3 comes in a compact and sturdy enclosure, suitable for use on pedalboards and in various live performance or studio settings.

The pedal can be powered either by a 9-volt battery or an external AC adapter, providing flexibility for different power setups. The OC-3 also features a buffered bypass, which helps maintain signal integrity when the pedal is disengaged.

The Boss OC-3 Super Octave has been well-received for its tracking accuracy, versatility, and durability. It’s a popular choice for musicians looking to incorporate octave effects into their playing, whether for creating ambient textures, thickening up solos, or experimenting with unique tones.

2. Electro-Harmonix POG2

A polyphonic octave generator pedal that allows you to add one or two octaves up and/or down. The Electro-Harmonix POG2, short for “Polyphonic Octave Generator 2,” is a versatile octave pedal that belongs to the POG series by Electro-Harmonix (EHX).

The POG2 is an advanced version of the original POG pedal and offers a wide range of octave and harmonic effects. Here are some key features and details about the Electro-Harmonix POG2:

Polyphonic Octave Generation: The POG2 is capable of generating polyphonic octave effects, meaning it can process multiple notes simultaneously. This makes it suitable for chords and complex musical passages.

The pedal allows you to add one or two octaves up and/or down from the original signal. It provides individual controls for the sub-octave, octave up, and octave down, allowing for precise adjustment of each octave level.

The POG2 includes a low-pass filter section that enables you to shape the tone of the octave effects. This feature allows you to focus on specific frequency ranges and tailor the sound to your preferences.

Presets: One notable feature of the POG2 is its ability to store and recall presets. It has eight user-programmable memory slots, allowing you to save and quickly access different settings for various songs or parts.

The pedal provides controls for adjusting the detune and attack characteristics. Detune adds a slight pitch modulation to the octave effects, while the attack control influences how quickly the octaves respond to your playing dynamics.

The POG2 includes an expression pedal input, allowing for real-time control over parameters like volume, filter cutoff, or pitch. This enhances the pedal’s versatility during live performances.

Like many EHX pedals, the POG2 features true bypass switching, ensuring that the pedal does not color your tone when disengaged.

Build Quality: Electro-Harmonix is known for its durable and road-worthy pedal construction. The POG2 is housed in a rugged chassis, suitable for use in various live and studio settings.

The POG2 has been well-received for its flexibility, tracking accuracy, and the ability to produce rich, harmonically complex sounds. It is widely used by guitarists and keyboard players seeking to explore a broad range of octave and polyphonic effects in their music.

blankOther Octave Pedals

  • EHX Micro POG: A smaller version of the POG2, the Micro POG is a polyphonic octave generator with separate controls for dry, sub-octave, and octave up.
  • EarthQuaker Devices Tentacle: While not a full-fledged octave pedal, the Tentacle is a popular analog octave-up effect that can be used to produce vintage octave-up sounds.
  • MXR M288 Bass Octave Deluxe: Designed for bassists, this pedal offers a variety of octave options and is suitable for both guitar and bass.
  • Digitech Whammy V: Famous for its pitch-shifting capabilities, the Whammy V can produce octave effects and more.
  • TC Electronic Sub ‘N’ Up Octaver: Known for its TonePrint technology and compact design, this pedal offers polyphonic octave effects and a customizable TonePrint editor.
  • EHX Pitch Fork: Not strictly an octave pedal, the Pitch Fork is a polyphonic pitch shifter that can produce octave effects and more.