10 Of The Best Octave Pedals – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide
The era of electric guitars is not possible without the birth of octave pedals. Of course, nothing is much more satisfying than being able to shift the notes that you are playing.
The best octave pedals are responsible for such wonders. They have been with us for decades already, and they won't cease to exist anytime sooner.
The same effects are also present in the Alvin and the Chipmunks recordings. However, it was the high-speed recording that changed the pitch. But nonetheless, it is still an example of how octaves work.
Octaves and pitch shifters are necessary for guitar players. No one can embark on the great journey of creating new sounds if these effects pedals are not present in your pedalboard.
If you are looking for a decent unit to your collection, you better read this article. We will be featuring some of the best octave pedals on the market today. Also, we will provide a decent buying guide, too! So let's get started!
10 Best Octave Pedals Reviews
There is no denying that the Electro-Harmonix Pitch Fork would get the limelight on this list. Even before we tested these gears, we already saw that this particular pedal would sweep the competition in one go.
It has an excellent rapport with the community of guitarists. Many professionals are also seen to use this unit of a pedal, too.
Most of the octave pedals that you can see today are expensive. Even other EHX products can certainly put doubt in the heart of your pocket. Fortunately, the Pitch Fork became a reality.
It is the perfect choice for a best-value guitar pedal. It has great versatility and unique functionality. In short, this pedal is heaven-sent.
The design of this pedal is very intuitive. It won't confuse you with careening control knobs and whatsoever. Instead, it has an ugly ergonomic interface with a sturdy build, too.
Moreover, it offers 11 pitch shift positionings. As a result, you can get a lot of subtle gradients of octaves in just one pedal!
- Controls are intuitive and simple.
- Ideal for both experts and beginners.
- Can keep up with the speed of your instrument.
- Highly versatile octave pedal (gives you an umpteen choices for pitch shift).
- Tough and quality build.
- Battery drains quickly.
- It is not using a true bypass circuitry.
Another EHX product that tops this list is the Micro POG. The Micro POG, or the Polyphonic Octave Generator, is something that many guitar enthusiasts will surely love.
It uses a technology that allows it to thread multiple notes simultaneously. Moreover, it comes with a suitable number of controls for tone variation.
Of course, some of you might think that POG2 is better than this. Such statement is not wrong. However, the POG2 is a very expensive choice. As a result, it is a product that a lot of us cannot get easily.
Meanwhile, the Micro POG has a decent price, and it can do the things that are big brother can do. Therefore, this one is the winner of the deal.
You can never find issues on the construction and hardware of this device. Every component is compliant to industry standard. The chassis is die-cast, which makes it very sturdy.
Moreover, it has a compact size, too. Therefore, artists who are always on the go will always have room for this pedal.
- Gives the better value than the EHX POG2.
- The build is compact and sturdy.
- Consistent tracking on different notes
- Ideal for other instruments (Organ and bass guitars).
- There are no perceivable latency.
- Tends to create metallic sound if you crank the Octave Up settings.
- Only works with its default power supply.
We consider the TC Electronic Sub ‘N’ Up Octaver as an innovative volume pedal. It is among of the most modern digital volume pedals that we encountered, and we surely loved it.
We will never wonder if the upcoming pedals would be patterned to the technology of this product!
Aside from being a true bypass pedal, the Sub ‘N’ Up Octaver is also using the TonePrint technology. Therefore, you can make your octave effects by the use of their online editing software.
Once you are done creating, you can transfer the new effect in your pedal! Such feature is not even present to EHX pedals!
Although it is a new volume pedal, the Sub ‘N’ Up Octaver still follows the principle of simplicity. The controls are pretty straightforward, with clear labels as your guide.
When it comes to performance and versatility, you cannot question this volume pedal. It produces no latency and has excellent note tracking, too!
- Limitless octave effects, thanks to its TonePrint Technology.
- True-bypass circuitry.
- Compact and sturdy hardware.
- Complete harmony with your instrument.
- No noticeable latency.
- Can overtake the original tone of the guitar.
- Battery drains quickly.
As we mentioned earlier, another EHX product that can make the cut is the POG2. Had it not been for its price, this octave pedal swept this competition already.
Of course, we are not saying that not all of you can't buy it.However, the steepness of its value makes it an elusive choice for the many of us.
The interface of the EHX POG2 is almost similar to the Micro Synth. Therefore, you can say that this volume pedal is compliant with the industry standards.
A lot of professional guitarists recommend this product as one of the best solutions for your octave problems. It can also provide subtle effects just to make sure that you are fully loaded.
The parameters of the EHX POG2 has a fader and Dry Output on them. Meanwhile, the controls can give a full tonal versatility to your tone. For example, it has a "Q" bottom that provides resonance to your tone.
The interface and built of this product are top-quality, too. Therefore, it is never a wrong investment to choose this volume pedal!
- Comes will multiple controls and settings for maximum versatility.
- Great interface and layout.
- Robust construction and high-quality hardware.
- Produces no latency.
- Top-notch note tracking.
- It is quite expensive.
- Not for beginners.
It is undeniable that EHX dominates the scene when it comes to octave pedals and pitch shifters. However, a guitarist should never ignore the capabilities of the DigiTech Whammy.
This particular octave pedal earned a lot of good points from pro guitarists around the world.
The functionality of the DigiTech Whammy 5th Gen came from the setback of its predecessors. The ancestor of this volume pedal (Whammy IV) is not a true-bypass.
Moreover, the latter requires you to power it with a DC power supply. Fortunately, DigiTech answered these complaints and came up with the 5th Gen.
Everybody knows the quality of the DigiTech Whammy as an octave pedal. It has a tank-like build which can withstand continuous use.
Moreover, it has an intuitive interface, with all of its controls located in a visible spot. Also, it offers great versatility, as each of the three modes offers multiple settings, respectively!
- No noticeable latency.
- Powered by a 9-volt power supply.
- True bypass circuitry.
- It has a lot of controls and tone adjustment settings.
- Excellent note tracking capability.
- Sounds are not as clean as EHX POG.
- It is an expensive choice for an octave pedal.
The Boss OC-3 is a super favorite professional octave pedal. It is the heir of the OC-2, which became a hit in the community, too. Since this volume pedal is a Boss product, you can expect that it is very robust.
In fact, it can survive impacts and still work like nothing happened!
Meanwhile, you should know that the Boss OC-3 cannot do upward octaves. Moreover, if you do not activate its POLY mode, this octave pedal would remain to be monophonic.
In short, it can only track one note per time. Therefore, the ideal application for the OC-3 volume pedal is to make your sound thick. It can also fill the small end of your notes. In these areas, the Boss OC-3 excels.
You might say that the OC-3 is not as good as the EHX pedals. Well, we don't want to argue with that. But keep in mind that when it comes to interface and value, this particular volume pedal is not behind.
If you are a bass player, you must never ignore the OC-3 pedal on your options! It comes with the ideal controls to improve your play style.
- Sturdy hardware and body construction.
- Intuitive layout and controls.
- Can use monophonic and polyphonic settings.
- Can induce distortions to your sound.
- True bypass circuitry.
- Cannot make upward octaves.
- The polyphonic setting limits its versatility.
The EarthQuaker Devices Pitch Bay Dirty Polyphonic Harmonizer is a volume pedal that can change the game. It does not contain octave adjustments, but a lot of gains, too.
It is almost similar to Boss OC-3. The only difference is that it can do upward and downward octaves.
We can say that the controls for this volume pedal are somehow limited. Moreover, it can make fine adjustments to the harmonizing tones. It can slightly induce flexible increments for more subtle effects.
Meanwhile, the distortion works well in creating the right mix of various tones. In short, the blending with this one is fantastic!
When it comes to the built, we cannot say that this EarthQuaker Devices volume pedal is the toughest. However, it has a decent rigidity. We are confident that it can endure continuous usage.
Furthermore, you should know that the Pitch Bay Dirty is a compact pedal. It will always have space in your pedalboard.
- Excellent and harmonizing capabilities
- Decent hardware and construction
- Compact and lightweight
- No latency
- Comes with a lot of gains and distortion
- The power supply generates a lot of noise
- You need to spend time familiarizing the controls
This list would not be complete without the EarthQuaker Devices Tentacle volume pedal. As an EarthQuaker Devices product, this one doesn't possess any exaggerated design.
Its layout is downright simple. For those who are still new to volume pedals, the Tentacle is a great choice!
The function of Tentacle is to give some range to your fuzz pedal. Apparently, that is the original purpose of an octave pedal. Therefore, if you are just looking for a basic octave pedal, this one is the perfect choice for you.
Moreover, you can save more if you buy this product because it doesn't have any extra additives that add to the cost.
Since the Tentacle is an EarthQuaker product, its hardware and construction are truly sturdy. You don't have to ask about the layout because it is very straightforward. It has the portability factor that touring guitarists also need.
Despite its limited application, the Tentacle is still a formidable pedal!
- Ideal for general applications.
- Simple interface.
- Does its function effectively.
- Compact and portable.
- Durable design.
- The power supply is noisy.
- It is not versatile.
Conceptually, octave pedals are for the generic guitars only. However, it doesn't mean that bass guitars don't have a use for them.
If you are a hardcore bass player, then we recommend the MXR M288 Bass Octave Deluxe for you. Among the octave pedals for bass, you should prioritize this one.
Most of the bass octave pedals are deficient in tracking low tones. Of course, it is logical that bass guitars often produce such kind of sound.
Fortunately, MXR 288 is an exemption. It note-tracking capabilities is so impressive that you can compare it to some of the top rated brands out there. We can even say that the MXR 288 is one of the most functional octave pedals today!
The brand MXR is famous for effects pedals. The only reason that this pedal is on the bottom of this list is that it is dedicated for bass guitars only. Therefore, its extensive functionality is limited to bass instruments only.
It is not a drawback. But if you want an octave pedal that can take on various applications, the MXR M288 is not the best of options.
- Excellent tracking of low bass notes.
- Great interface and design.
- Impressive durability and toughness.
- No sound latency.
- Highly responsive guitar pedal.
- There is no versatility on this volume pedal.
- The control on the girth and growl is tad confusing.
If you want an inexpensive option, then you have to try the Joyo JF-12 Voodoo Octava. This guitar pedal is not the best on the list.
But with its decent pricing, many thinks that it is a reliable choice. In short, you can choose this octave pedal if you want an immediate replacement or practice partner for your guitar.
One of the great features of the Joyo JF-12 is that it comes with Fuzz Distortion setting. You can use it to provide harmonics with your tone. If you are a jazz or country player, such feature will come handy.
Moreover, its distortion effect can work independently to the octave. Therefore, the blending control of this octave pedal is pretty decent, too.
Surprisingly, the Voodoo Octava is using a true bypass circuitry. Nobody would expect that a cheap pedal like this possesses a standard setup. Therefore, buying the Voodoo Octava is not a regrettable move.
For beginners, this pedal could become your stepping stone to greatness!
- Inexpensive octave pedal.
- Comes with distortion tones.
- Build is pretty sturdy too.
- True bypass wiring.
- It doesn't need clean ups.
- Noticeable buzzing sounds are coming from it.
- You can hear interferences if you crank up the gain.
- It is not a "pedalboard friendly" choice.
Best Octave Pedals Buying Guide
Octave Pedal: What Is It?
When it comes to definition, there is nothing complicated about an octave pedal. It is an effect pedal that has a straightforward use and concept.
Technically, an octave pedal is a stompbox that can reproduce a different note than the original note your instrument is creating. Of course, the created note could be lower or higher. It just depends on to you.
Also, many octave pedals allow you to modify the blending of the notes. In this way, you can make new sounds that could improve your solos or any setup you have in the band. Moreover, the amount of blending is adjustable, too.
Therefore, the sound versatility doesn't end as your long as you keep your head running.
How Does An Octave Pedal Works
At seems, octave pedals are all about fun and games. With all the effects that you can create, everything so fantastic about it.
However, when you are already in the setup, you might scratch your head and wonder in which part you should use it. Familiarizing the utilization of an octave pedal is necessary. Otherwise, the application for this device becomes limited.
On the other hand, there are a lot of things you can do with an octave pedal once you know it down to the bones. The first thing you can do with it is pitching down the tone of a guitar by an octave.
Next, you can use a fuzz pedal to thick riffs that could shatter ears. You can hear such effects combination in the piece "Song Two" of Blur. A lot of metal and rock bands are using such playstyle, too.
Another useful application of an octave pedal is replicating the sounds of other musical instruments.
It can recreate the organic sound of a twelve string guitar. If you have a lot of volume pedal and a lot of delays, then you can pair them to an octave stompbox to create an organ sound.
How To Choose An Octave Pedal
If you are looking for an octave pedal, make sure that you are well aware of its tracks. Specifically, this is a form of assessment to ensure that there is no noticeable latency when you are doing fast plays.
Moreover, you should also check if the created note can keep up with the overall pace of your piece.
Meanwhile, a good octave pedal should allow its user to strengthen the intensity of octaves. If you have an octave pedal, your sound will be divided into three: the original note, the up one, and the down one.
Of course, some octave pedals can create more than three notes. Therefore, the device should come with individual controls for each note. In this way, you can be able to choose the right note that would fit with the voice of your guitar.
Of course, an octave pedal won't be of use when it doesn't provide deep bass or instant chorus.
If there are a lot of tweakings that you should do before you can achieve such feats, then such pedal is no good.Instead, it is a good sign to veer away to another product.
Aside from these factors, you should also know the number of pitch intervals that an octave pedal can provide. As we mentioned earlier, an octave pedal can give you a minimum of three notes.
But if you are a versatile guitar, you know that such amount is not enough. Therefore, you might need an octave that offers a gradient of notes. If you are just an amateur, then using a basic octave pedal is justifiable already.
The speed of the pedal should also synchronize with your instrument. A lot of cheap pedals cannot keep up fast-paced play styles. Because of that, they tend to produce dull and annoying sounds that could ruin your performance.
Thankfully, a lot of digital octave pedals today have mechanisms to fix such issue. Of course, if you will opt for a low-budget model, you might encounter such problem.
Lastly, you should not ignore the build of the pedal. Do not ever pick those units that are flimsy or doesn't give any form of responsiveness.
Instead, make sure that the octave pedal you buy is sturdy and has a decent amount of sensitivity. In this way, you can save your money from going down the drain.
Now that we got all of these things on the wrap let us proceed to our review of best octave pedals on the market. We know that you are excited so we will cut any dawdling. Let's get down to business!
The best octave pedals is necessary for guitarists who want to put additional sizzle and spice to their sound. It is not exactly the sound that can blast you, but it is certainly the effect that can soothe your ears with harmony and rhythm.
If you find the mix too dull, then adding an octave pedal on the equation will solve the problem.
Among all of these units, we deem that the Electro-Harmonix Pitch Fork is the best octave pedal. From design down to the performance, everything about this pedal is exceptional.
In fact, it will take some time before another pedal can surpass the Pitch Fork. But as of now, it is bringing home the bacon.
While we declared that the Pitch Fork is the best choice for octave pedal, it is not wrong to try the rest of our recommended products.
You would never know the ideal pedal for your setup if you don't try various options! So don't get afraid. Try them out now!