Dirty-South Blues Harp forum: wail on! > octave pedals
octave pedals
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KC69
135 posts
Oct 29, 2010
5:46 PM
need help comparing Octave Pedals. Not sure what I'm looking for and at. The Lone Wolf Octave Pedal talks about being up Octaves and true bypass. That would make my F# very very high pitched. I copare that like a high G Harp wich is high pitched. Not sure what true bypass means.

The Boss OC-3 Super Octave talks about being one or two Octaves lower. I'm thinking this might help my higher pited harps. the Boss is Guitar pedal. It is also $30.00 less than the lone wolf.
would like to hear any opinions, help , comments on applications, or any earlier threads discussing this topic.
And I Thank You. K.C.
Buddha
2637 posts
Oct 29, 2010
6:18 PM
I've tried everything that is out there.

There is only one that truly works with the harmonica and that's the Electro Harmonix HOG/POG

everything else is garbage as far as I'm concerned.

Why do you want to use an octave pedal? There are very few people who are even using them correctly and if you're playing blues, I wouldn't use anything outside of analogue delay or a tape echo unit.



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"I am a great believer in understanding, not copying."
KC69
136 posts
Oct 29, 2010
6:53 PM
Thanks Buddha. Thats the things I need to hear. One reason I was considering an Octave, I play a mixture of music with a guy who plays country ( for 2 years in Nashville ). he plays all styles of music from modern , rock, pop, a little blues , what ever the venue or the crowd wants. He plays in flats and my f# is so high pitched. I thought an octave might help lower it. My Ab so low it might raise it.
I also play out of the rack. A variety of styles including gospel. I wondered if an octave pedal would add anything.
All input is appreciated.
And I Thank You K.C.
Joe_L
759 posts
Oct 29, 2010
6:56 PM
Carey Bell, Billy Branch and Paul deLay used them to great effect. They can sound cool, if used sparingly. Also, a true bypass is exactly that. When the pedal is off there is no signal loss or degradation.
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The Blues Photo Gallery

Last Edited by on Oct 29, 2010 6:58 PM
KC69
137 posts
Oct 29, 2010
7:04 PM
And I Thank You Joe L. My brain cramps after too much reading. I have known what true bypass means now that u brought it to my attention.
Joe_L
760 posts
Oct 29, 2010
7:08 PM
I play Blues and I use one periodically. They can be fun, but I don't use it often enough to justify owning it.

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The Blues Photo Gallery
Buddha
2638 posts
Oct 29, 2010
8:14 PM
for what you are describing, I wouldn't recommend an octave pedal.

Effects work for what I do because I play my own brand of crazy shit. When Ricci used to play harmonica, he didn't use the octave pedal all that much and even in that type is music it only worked for a few tunes.

I'm all for wild and crazy stuff but for your situation, I would stick with delay for blues and an acoustic set up for the country.

Save the money that you would have spent on a good octave pedal and buy yourself a used Sennheiser 441


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"I am a great believer in understanding, not copying."

Last Edited by on Oct 29, 2010 8:15 PM
KC69
138 posts
Oct 30, 2010
4:07 AM
Thanks Buddha: I appreciate the help. Can u describe the Sennheiser 441 sound and application. I do play blues and have studied and played with my freind Jimi Lee. Here in the backwoods of central Ohio, I don't have many blues players to work with. Thats why I'm doing my own out of the rack.

Joe L: Thanks again for responding and help. I think I'll wait and try someone eles or find a used octave to mess around with.

And I Thnak You !!! K.C.
OzarkRich
291 posts
Oct 30, 2010
7:05 AM
The Lone Wolf Octave is not a true octave like other pedals. It actually "fattens up" the tone instead.
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Buddha
2639 posts
Oct 30, 2010
7:05 AM
the sennheiser 441 is simply the best dynamic mic in the world. It's the closest you can get to having a condenser mic. I like it because it gived me the same sound as if I weren't playing though a mic at all.

look for the ones built in early 70s as they were handwired and said to sound more robust.


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"I am a great believer in understanding, not copying."
ZackPomerleau
1233 posts
Oct 30, 2010
7:19 AM
I have one, one of those OC-2's, I got it for like $50. I use it for one song in our usually three hour set, so I saw no need for a POG. It works for what I need it for.
Buddha
2640 posts
Oct 30, 2010
7:34 AM
the OC-2 absolutely sucks for octave work but thanks for chiming in with all of your gigging experience Zack.


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"I am a great believer in understanding, not copying."
KC69
139 posts
Oct 30, 2010
10:05 AM
Buddha: Does the Sennheiser 441 also work for a vocal mic, or best as instrument. Any ideas where I would locate one. How about Greg Hueman.
Buddha
2641 posts
Oct 30, 2010
12:19 PM
it's widely acknowledged as the best overall dynamic mic in the world. Lots of people use if or a vocal mic.


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"I am a great believer in understanding, not copying."
nacoran
3109 posts
Oct 30, 2010
1:24 PM
"When Ricci used to play harmonica." Has he moved on to violins?

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Nate
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ZackPomerleau
1234 posts
Oct 30, 2010
1:26 PM
Buddha, he obviously doesn't need an incredibly expensive one, and that one would be fine at a used price. If he wants a better one he can get it. It serves its purpose.
KC69
140 posts
Oct 30, 2010
1:55 PM
Thanks for the update Zack. I heard your audio that Buddha posted on another thread. It was Smokin !! My 23 year old punk rocker was also amazed.
ZackPomerleau
1235 posts
Oct 30, 2010
2:00 PM
KC, I'm curious to what audio? And, I have heard one of those Sennheiser's live, those things sound outrageously good! Although, maybe that was just Levy...
KC69
141 posts
Oct 30, 2010
3:14 PM
Its the clip posted by Buddha on the thread of Brandon ( aka superchucker ) new video. the clip is crossroad blues and acouple post below the clip , Buddha says it is Zack. Am I Right or Lost ??
KC69
142 posts
Oct 30, 2010
3:40 PM
OK Zack I was lost. went back and listened to the clip. Realized it was Adam. I was wondering how u got that far in 3 years. I've been playing just over 3 years and I thought I'd better pick it up. Whats cool was your comment on theory. I do study some theory and after 3 years I'm feeling a lot better about my playing and realizing some of these things are within reach. Just need to keep workin hard. And I Thank You ! KC.
hvyj
758 posts
Oct 30, 2010
4:18 PM
The HOG and POG are great. But for harp, if an octave divider effect is appropriate for the style of music you are playing, the MicroPOG also works very well and is relatively inexpensive.

The nice thing about the EH harmonizers and octave dividers (including the MicroPOG) is that they will track consistently well and will track well polyphonically. Also, they track well even at fast tempo.
Buddha
2642 posts
Oct 30, 2010
4:18 PM
"Buddha, he obviously doesn't need an incredibly expensive one, and that one would be fine at a used price. If he wants a better one he can get it. It serves its purpose. "



Zack, it's not about price, its about utility. If you actually played in serious real world situations, you would know the OC-2 is crap as an octave pedal. Additionally, it simply does not sound very good and when you couple that with the fact it does't track the harmonica well it's worthless as an octave pedal for the harmonica.

Don't forget who has been the guy that has used these effects before the others... maybe he knows a little something huh?
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"I am a great believer in understanding, not copying."
nacoran
3112 posts
Oct 30, 2010
4:24 PM
If you want to get an idea if you really want to be doing pitch shifting, try recording yourself and messing around in Audacity. If you already have a computer it's a free way to see if that's the sound you are looking for. Then you can decide on a pedal (or even delve into using your laptop for live effects.)

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Nate
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hvyj
759 posts
Oct 30, 2010
4:35 PM
At the risk of overfeeding an already very healthy ego, I must confess that my inspiration for using effects was what I saw Buddha do.

Listening to Buddha, I learned that two criteria are important. First, the pedal has to be harmonica friendly. Second, the effect must respond well to technique (the MicroPOG does) otherwise it's just a sound effect. So, one will actually play differently and phrase differently when using the effect.

There is a third criteria I think is also important: What does the effects pedal do to your signal/tone when it is NOT engaged? The HOG and POG2 are true bypass. The MicroPOG is not, but Analogman does a true bypass mod for the MP for $40 plus shipping.
Joe_L
761 posts
Oct 30, 2010
4:42 PM
Carey Bell, Billy Branch and Paul deLay used the Boss OC2 to great effect. I've also used an OC2. It doesn't reproduce chords very well, but it does a good job with single notes.

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The Blues Photo Gallery

Last Edited by on Oct 30, 2010 4:44 PM
ZackPomerleau
1237 posts
Oct 30, 2010
5:18 PM
Joe, it sucks for chords completely. Good thing you mentioned that.
Hakan
42 posts
Nov 06, 2010
9:00 AM
I agree with Buddha, POG is very good. I discovered POG thanks to Buddha (HOG I don't know about). Boss Octave and also Boss Pitch Shifter is garbage for harp. I'm using POG here:



The POG can be seen here:

Last Edited by on Nov 06, 2010 9:02 AM
hvyj
805 posts
Nov 08, 2010
5:01 AM
True story: The other night after playing with a jazz band I stopped by a blues jam run by another harp player. Since i had my bass amp and pedal board i used a t the jazz gig in my trunk, that's what i brought into the blues jam.

Anyway, there was a black guitar player and black bass player there who I've jammed with before and we did a set of mostly funk during which i made liberal use of my effects.

The harp player who ran the jam (who is a very good player) was intrigued by the pedal board electronics and asked if he could play through my rig. of course, i agreed. He was frustrated and disappointed that he could not get the sounds out of the pedals that i was getting. I tried to tell him that he had to lighten his attack and vary his breath pressure and oral resonance chamber in order to get the desired response out of the pedals, but he couldn't relate to what I was saying.

Moral of the story: good, harmonica friendly pedals are NOT just sound effects. They respond to technique. So, using them is almost like playing a different instrument. You phrase differently in order to get optimum musical expression from the particular effect you are using but you must also alter your attack, breath pressure and oral resonance chamber in order to gt the desired sound out of the signal that's running through the pedal(s). It's fun to do, but one must really pay attention and make adjustments in playing technique in order to do it effectively.
HarpNinja
760 posts
Nov 08, 2010
7:45 AM
Excellent point. I used a tron-up envelope effect this past weekend on the M13. It sounds fantastic for harp, but you have to really attack the notes to get it to work. Something very cool about it, that is unique compared to other envelope filters, is you can get it to to effect your sound beyond the initial attack. With the right technique, you can get it to filter around the whole note, which sounds really really cool. I always get a good response with that one.

Going back to the topic at hand here, using an octave pedal while playing really fast just doesn't do the effect justice. The EH stuff tracks great, but I also find that I stick to single notes when using an octave down effect anyways.

Bottom line is you truly do have to play the effect. If you just do more of the same with the effect on top, it isn't going to be as cool.

BTW, tap temp delays are the greatest thing ever. I used a sweep echo and a long digital delay with tapped quarter notes and it was wicked cool. Very, very funky and trippy.


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Mike
VHT Special 6 Amp for Harp Blog
bigd
238 posts
Nov 08, 2010
9:13 AM
The only factor I would add from my experience (I own a POG that I bought from the player who bought it from Chris M.) is using it in a moderate way (not too subtle-not too dramatic) has been general-audience friendly, e.g. elicited comments of surprise, smiles, interest, etc. And most importantly for me: It needs to be matched with the right equipment, e.g., It worked pretty well with previous amps created for me ( a Kinder Soulful, and a Mini Meteor) but quite less so with my present Magnatone and Premier amps. The availability of a POG or HOG in many music stores would allow you to bring the gear you would match it with right into the store for a demo which I would recommend, d
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Buddha
2667 posts
Nov 08, 2010
9:22 AM
I'm now using the POG2 exclusively and gave my HOG to Todd Edmunds. The only thing I didn't like about the HOG was the size. I like the HOG/POG2 over the POG because it has the -2 octave whereas the POG is only -1 octave.


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"I am a great believer in understanding, not copying."
HarpNinja
761 posts
Nov 08, 2010
9:50 AM
The POG2 is something I plan on getting eventually as I think the octave effects are the coolest harp effects beyond time effects like delay. Otherwise, multi-effect units often replicate enough well that dedicated pedals for other limited-use effects isn't warranted.

The POG2 gives you presets, correct?
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Mike
VHT Special 6 Amp for Harp Blog
9000
42 posts
Nov 08, 2010
9:57 AM
My Micropog arrived on Friday. I picked it up off of my doorstep on my way out the door to the gig. I chose it because it is harmonica friendly. Although it doesn't have all of the features of its bigger brothers it also appears to be simple to operated. I fooled around with it during sound check and quickly came up with a tone that I could use. I used it for 2 solos that night and really liked it. It wasn't appropriate for my Sat gig so I'm looking forward to more experimentation at future gigs. BTW I have a LW Octave pedal which I really like for some things but I think it needs to be renamed because it just doesn't operate or sound like an octave pedal. Great for thickening up the tone of an amp that isn't quite there...also seems to reduce feedback a bit.
All the best,
Jay
toddlgreene
2059 posts
Nov 08, 2010
10:38 AM
I've got an OC2 that I don't use since I play a lot of octaves, and the reviews of it above are spot on. If anyone is interested in it, however, drop me a line. Email is in my profile. It's probably more appealing to those of you who also play guitar.
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cchc

Todd L. Greene, Codger-in-training

Last Edited by on Nov 08, 2010 10:40 AM
hvyj
809 posts
Nov 08, 2010
10:58 AM
@9000: Just for grins, try this setting on your MP: Dry octave on 10 o'clock, octave up and sub octave on 2-2:30 O'clock. This generates a very cool keyboard like 70s synth type sound. Or at least it does with my rig.
9000
43 posts
Nov 08, 2010
6:26 PM
@hvyj: Thanks! I'll try it the next time I set up a rig.
gmacleod15
91 posts
Nov 08, 2010
6:31 PM
Sorry to change the subject...sort of
I am considering buying a Boss DS 1 Distortion Pedal. Anyone tried one with harp?

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MBH member since 2009-03-24
Buddha
2671 posts
Nov 08, 2010
6:40 PM
doesn't work with harp gmacleod


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"I am a great believer in understanding, not copying."
boris_plotnikov
302 posts
Nov 08, 2010
8:24 PM
KC69
I have Boss PS-3 pitch shifter/delay and Boss HR-2 Harmonist (the same, that Jason Ricci used before switching to MicroPOG) and they are OK, but POG/HOG/MicroPOG has shorter delay before effected signal and sounds better. Boss OC-2 is sh*t and doesn't track chords and intervals.

You can also check Boss PS-5, but I think EHX could be better.

Buddha
Why don't take a microPOG then? Do you actually use all possibilities of regular POG for harmonica?
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AirMojo
26 posts
Nov 09, 2010
7:00 AM
Does the Digitech RP series (like the 355) with Richard Hunter's patches have octave settings ?

I've been considering getting the Micro Pog for octaves, and already have other effects boxes (Boss DM-2, EH nano Holy Grail reverb, Boss OC-2 (used only for compression like Jason Ricci used to use it for).

May make more sense for someone who doesn't already have some pedals to go for the Digitech RP 355 and Richards's patches.
AirMojo
30 posts
Nov 10, 2010
6:03 AM
Hey KC ! Glad to see you are still harpin' ! Hope to see you again, maybe as the next Buckeye in Akron, OH.

Ken H in OH

PS So know one uses a Digitech RP unit for Octaves ?
Silvertone
55 posts
Nov 10, 2010
7:14 AM
Ive got a digitech rp350 and like the octave effects. I am not a gigging musician but have been playing for a while. I havent tried anything else so take this as you see fit . The RP unit has a pile of different effects delays chorous reverb octave distortion noise gates envelope filters. Not to mention the amp and cab simulators.And it is a great usb recording interface. I have a dan echo but havent touched it since i got this. As far as im concerned this gave me the most bang for the buck. Its letting me try many different effects w/out buying a hundred different pedals. I know some on this board dont think much of them, but for someone who wants to experiment w/ different effects to me it was a no brainer. I did buy Richard Hunters patches and that saved me a lot of time. I like the RP units and do recommend them and Richards patches.
hvyj
815 posts
Nov 10, 2010
10:04 AM
I haven't actually tried an RP 350, so this can be taken with a grain of salt, or two, or none, as you see fit. Generally speaking, though, I think muli-effects units sound better into a PA and pedals sound better into an amp.

I have enormous respect for Mr. Hunter. A few weeks ago, on Harp-l he posted a link to sound samples of the rotary speaker sounds he gets from his RP 350. He seemed to be very proud of them, but, candidly, I thought they sounded sort of weak and artificial compared to the sound you can get get from, say, a DLS RotoSim (which I use) or a Line 6 pedal (which I've heard, but haven't actually used myself).

I don't mean to suggest that the RP 350 doesn't sound good for octaves and other stuff. I really don't know. But I was certainly not impressed with Mr. Hunter's posted samples of rotary speaker sound. FWIW.
HarpNinja
770 posts
Nov 10, 2010
11:38 AM
The Line 6 Rotary sounds good through the actual pedal. The models on the M Series and POD HD Series does't sound as good.

I set up an organ scene, but to be honest, don't like it. I prefer using just the rotary horn/drum effect by itself.
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Mike
VHT Special 6 Amp for Harp Blog
Afro Blue
3 posts
Dec 09, 2012
7:17 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8k2lGjnr0k

Here, Billy Branch exemplifies an octave pedal and delay for harmonica. You may find his rig very familiar.
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Hunger is the best spice.
bonedog569
740 posts
Dec 10, 2012
5:51 PM
Ooops -- old resurected thread. Still lovin my POG. interesting Billy Branch video Blue. Lee Oskar whom he references, also plays through a solid state amp.

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Last Edited by on Dec 10, 2012 5:57 PM


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