17 Best Octave Pedals in 2020 (All Price Ranges)

Effects pedals have a transformative impact on the tone, color, and characteristics of a guitar. Along with the particular amplifier and guitar model you choose, pedals are extremely important if you want to take control of your guitar’s output.

In this article, I’ll be discussing octave pedals. Pitch-shifting is an excellent way to add layers to your tone, opening up a whole new realm of possibilities. It’s an effect that has been popularized by some of the most iconic guitarists in recording music history and continues to be a staple on pedalboards today.

Best Octave Pedals Featured Image

There’s a whole host of octave pedals out there, each with different characteristics and capabilities. When searching for a new pedal, it can be overwhelming trying to sift through the options to find the best-suited addition to your guitar rig. Whether you want an octave pedal that will add a layer of thickness underneath your clean guitar tone, or you want to push your sound to the extremes with unusual intervals and harmonization, this list will include the perfect pedals for you.

If you’re unfamiliar with octave pedals, I’ve included an in-depth guide at the bottom of the article here where I explain everything you need to know about the effect so that you can make an informed decision.

Name of ProductImage of ProductDescriptionPrice RangeFull Review
1. Electro-Harmonix Micro POG (Best Overall)Electro-Harmonix Micro POGType: Digital
Effects: Octave, Pitch Shift
$280Read Full Review Below
2. Digitech DROP (Best Value)Digitech DROPType: Digital
Effects: Octave
$215Read Full Review Below
3. Boss OC-3 (Best Under $150)Boss OC-3Type: Digital
Effects: Octave
$135Read Full Review Below
4. Neewer Digital Octave (Best Under $50)Neewer Digital OctaveType: Digital
Effects: Octave
$40Read Full Review Below
5. Electro-Harmonix Pitch ForkElectro-Harmonix Pitch ForkType: Digital
Effects: Octave
$175Read Full Review Below
6. Digitech Whammy (5th Gen)Digitech WhammyType: Digital
Effects: Octave
$220Read Full Review Below
7. Koogo HarmonizerKoogo HarmonizerType: Digital
Effects: Octave
$45Read Full Review Below
8. Ammoon Precise OctaAmmoon Precise OctaType: Digital
Effects: Octave
$70Read Full Review Below
9. Earthquaker Devices Rainbow MachineEarthquaker Devices Rainbow MachineType: Digital
Effects: Octave, Delay, Chorus
$230Read Full Review Below
10. VSN Precise OctpusVSN Precise OctpusType: Digital
Effects: Octave
$45Read Full Review Below
11. Digitech MosaicDigitech MosaicType: Digital
Effects: Octave
$150Read Full Review Below
12. Behringer Ultra Octaver U0300Behringer Ultra Octaver U0300Type: Digital
Effects: Octave
$35Read Full Review Below
13. EBS Sweden SE-OC Octave PedalEBS Sweden SE-OC Octave PedalType: Digital
Effects: Octave
$230Read Full Review Below
14. Walrus Audio DescentWalrus Audio DescentType: Digital
Effects: Octave, Reverb
$300Read Full Review Below
15. TC-Electronic Sub ‘N’ UpTC-Electronic Sub ‘N’ UpType: Digital
Effects: Octave
$230Read Full Review Below
16. Electro Harmonix OctavixElectro Harmonix OctavixType: Digital
Effects: Octave, Fuzz
$140Read Full Review Below
17. Electro-Harmonix POG2Electro-Harmonix POG2Type: Digital
Effects: Octave
$400Read Full Review Below

Here Are The Best Octave Pedals

1. Electro-Harmonix Micro POG (Best Overall)

Electro-Harmonix Micro POG

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Estimated Price: $280

Type: Digital
Effects: Octave, Pitch Shift
Connectivity: 1 x 6.35mm Jack Input, 2 x Outputs
Power: 9 Volt

My Review: The Micro POG (polyphonic octave generator) is a premium quality pitch-shifter pedal that combines simplicity with sonic versatility. Although it doesn’t have a multitude of controls or parameters, the Micro POG’s ability to produce thick, full-bodied octave tones is in my opinion unrivaled. I prefer it to the full-sized POG pedal because it slots onto your pedalboard without taking up much space, and is much more straightforward to use.

With the Micro-POG, you can transform your guitar into a 12-string or make it sound like an organ. The three controls are labeled as Dry, Sub-Octave, and Octave-Up. By adjusting this trio of parameters, you get complete control over the blend between the three octaves. You can either mix the three to add body to your tone or completely remove one of the octaves for a more extreme effect.

Adding the sub-octave into your clean guitar will make it sound more like a bass, and likewise, adding the higher octave to a bass guitar will make it resemble a six-string. For such a concise and simplistic pedal, it’s amazing how much tonal flexibility Electro-Harmonix has managed to cram in. There are also two outputs on the Micro POG, so you can use it to split your signal for a dual-amplifier setup.

Who This is Best Suited for: The Electro-Harmonix Micro POG is the perfect octave shifter pedal for guitarists or bassists who value simplicity. There’s no need to read the manual with this pedal, it’s very straightforward to use. Not to mention the tones it produces are huge and versatile.

Bottom Line: You know what you’re getting with an Electro-Harmonix pedal. Their quality is unquestionable, and the Micro POG further reinforces that notion. With a simple 3-control design that provides detailed octave options, this pedal is a brilliant addition to your setup.

2. Digitech DROP (Best Value)

Digitech DROP

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Estimated Price: $215

Type: Digital
Effects: Octave
Connectivity: 1 x 6.35mm Jack Input, 1 x Output
Power: 9 Volts DC

My Review: Digitech’s Drop effects pedal produces precise pitch-shifting instantaneously when you step down on the pedal. It’s worth noting that the Drop can’t shift up an octave, as you can probably guess by the name. However, it’s unique functionality and flexibility when going down an octave is unrivaled. It’s the perfect pedal if you want to make your guitar sound like a bass, or add deep layers of thickness to your tone.

With nine individual settings providing you with 1-7 polyphonic semitones of drop-tuning, there’s an array of options included with this Digitech pedal. Additionally, there are multiple settings for tuning your guitar down by one octave, and you get to choose whether your dry signal remains present in the mix or not.

Perhaps the most innovative feature of the DigiTech Drop pedal is the miniature toggle switch. This gives you the power to set the footswitch to either tap or hold, basically controlling the amount of time that the down-tuning effect lasts for. With true-bypass switching, the Drop preserves your dry signal even when it’s unused.

Who This is Best Suited for: I would recommend the Digitech Drop to any guitarist who intends to add bass to their clean signal. If you’re in a two-piece with no bassist, this is the perfect option for adding low-end thickness into the mix. Also, it’s a great option for those who want to use the octave effect sporadically, as you can control the length using the footswitch rather than needing to tweak various parameters.

Bottom Line: The Digitech Drop specializes in down-tuning a guitar, so it’s not the right pedal for those who want to explore higher octaves. That being said, it’s a premium-level pedal that functions smoothly and provides many options based on pitch shifting down. The price is a little on the high side, but this is reflected by the quality and versatility that the Drop has to offer. Even with the slightly higher price tag, in my opinion, this is still the best octave pedal for the money.

3. Boss OC-3 (Best Under $150)

Boss OC-3

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Estimated Price: $135

Type: Digital
Effects: Octave
Connectivity: 2 x 6.35mm Jack Input, 2 x Output
Power: 9 Volts DC

My Review: The Boss OC-3 is more than just an octave pedal. With three specifically designed modes to choose from, you can shape the effect to your liking. It’s equally compatible with bass as it is with an electric guitar, too. The three selectable modes consist of Polyphonic Octave mode, Drive mode, and the original OC-2 mode.

Firstly, the Polyphonic Octave mode can be used to shift your guitar up or down by multiples of 12 notes, allowing you to play multiple notes or chords and still get the desired effect. The Drive mode is similar to the aforementioned Polyphonic Octave mode but with an added touch of distortion. This mode is especially effective when you are dropping down an octave with your guitar. Finally, we have the OC-2 mode, which has been uniquely devised by Boss and lets you go down an octave or two while retaining the clarity of your dry signal.

Who This is Best Suited for: The Boss OC-3 is best suited for multi-instrumentalists who play both guitar and bass. The added bass input is specifically for low-end octave effects. If you’re a fan of Boss’ range of easy-to-use, reliable pedals, I’d recommend the OC-3.

Bottom Line: Similar to the majority of Boss pedals, the OC-3 is durable, straightforward, and effective. With three built-in modes that each have individual characteristics, there’s plenty of room for experimentation with this affordable pedal.

Popular Related Article: Recommended Delay Pedals (Digital and Analog)

4. Neewer Digital Octave (Best Under $50)

Neewer Digital Octave

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Estimated Price: $40

Type: Digital
Effects: Octave
Connectivity: 1 x 6.35mm Jack Input, 1 x Output
Power 9 Volts DC

My Review: It’s true that in most cases the price of an effects pedal is reflected by the quality, but at around $40, this Neewer Digital Octave pedal is a steal. There’s nothing flashy about this pedal, with three onboard knob controls and a switch. But sometimes, where effects pedals are concerned, simplicity is best.

The two small parameters positioned in the top corners of the pedal are for controlling the amount of the octave present. On the left, you have the sub-octave control, and parallel is the higher-octave. In the center of the pedal is the larger dry control, which affects the amount of your clean signal that is present in the overall mix.

With footswitch is fitted with true bypass technology, so there’s no danger of your dry signal being compromised when the pedal isn’t in use. The switch at the top center of the pedal allows you to quickly toggle through three modes, selecting the top octave, bottom octave, or a mixture of both. Indeed, it’s hard to believe that all of this is housed in such a compact pedal and for such a fair price.

Who This is Best Suited for: If you’re shopping for an octave pedal on a budget, look no further than the Neewer Digital Octave Pedal. It has all of the functions you need to add texture to your guitar tone, whether you want to add sub-octaves, shift your pitch up, or blend your dry signal to add thickness to your tone. It’s a small and concise pedal so it will have no problems slotting into a crowded pedalboard.

Bottom Line: A pedal that costs around five times less than the premium options on this list isn’t going to match their quality, but the Neewer Digital Octave Pedal certainly bridges the gap. With a variety of modes to choose from, true bypass switching, and a thick, warm tone, it’s certainly worthy of consideration.

5. Electro-Harmonix Pitch Fork

Electro-Harmonix Pitch Fork

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Estimated Price: $175

Type: Digital
Effects: Octave
Connectivity: 2 x 6.35mm Jack Input, 1 x Output
Power: 9 Volts DC

My Review: Another offering from Electro-Harmonix makes it onto our list, this time we have the popular Pitch Fork. A high-quality polyphonic pitch shifter, this pedal provides you with the power to accurately shift your pitch to any chosen interval. Unlike a standard octave pedal, it can pitch-shift your note up by any amount of steps rather than only multiples of 12 (octaves).

The extreme side to the Pitch Fork pedal allows you to create weird and wonderful textures, making your guitar resemble an 18-string guitar or blasting atmospheric notes into the upper realms of sonic possibility. When combined with an expression pedal, the Pitch Fork begins to flourish. You can control the sweeps and octave-jumps by applying pressure to the pedal, for the ultimate psych-rock tone bending tool.

The Pitch Fork has an impressive three-octave range. It’s also guaranteed not to glitch even when you’re playing fast, technical licks, thanks to the digital mechanics designed by Electro-Harmonix. There’s a buffered bypass to ensure that your dry signal integrity is maintained, and the latch or momentary modes are useful for controlling the length of the pitch-shift effect in real-time.

Who This is Best Suited for: Guitarists who don’t want to be confined to simply shifting up in octaves. The Pitch Fork provides ultimate flexibility where tonality is concerned, allowing you to accurately choose the intervals that you want the pedal to produce.

Bottom Line: The Electro-Harmonix Pitch Fork pedal is a detailed option that goes beyond the capabilities of a standard octave pedal. With many different pitch-shifting options available, it can be used to find unique expressions and tones by toggling the onboard parameters. Hook up an expression pedal and you’ll see the Pitch Fork show its class.

Popular Related Article: Our Favorite Distortion Pedals

6. Digitech Whammy (5th Gen)

Digitech Whammy

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Estimated Price: $220

Type:: Digital
Effects: Octave
Connectivit:y 1 x 6.35mm Jack Input, 1 x Output, 1x MIDI Output
Power: 9 Volts DC

My Review: The 5th generation of Digitech’s revered Whammy pedal features all of the classic elements that made this model so popular among guitarists, with some advanced updates taking it to the next level

With the famous expression pedal design, you get full control over the pitch shifting performance of the pedal, ranging from subtle and slow to crazy and manic.

The main improvement from the 4th edition of the Whammy pedal is the Classic/Chord switch. This polyphonic ability is a rarity on octave or pitch shifting pedals, allowing you to play triads or other chord shapes whilst modulating the pitch.

The Whammy pedal allows bassists or guitarists to shift their instruments pitch up by two octaves. Several intermediate intervals can be selected too, like 5ths or 3rds, so you can create harmonies along with the standard octave shift effect. The purity of the guitar’s clean tone is preserved by the addition of true bypass switching. Finally, the Whammy has a high-quality 24-bit set of converters to ensure clean pitch bending with no blemishes.

Who This is Best Suited for: Fans of Jack White’s guitar playing in the White Stripes will love the Whammy pedal. If you need to stand out on stage and draw attention to your solos or riffs, the Whammy’s unique bending tones will certainly turn some heads towards you.

Bottom Line: The Whammy pedal by Digitech could almost be classed as an individual effect because although it’s technically a pitch-shifter, it has an instantly recognizable one-of-a-kind sound. With numerous intervals to choose from and the classic expression pedal design, this pedal is an absolute joy to play with. This is easily one of the best octave pedals out there.

7. Koogo Harmonizer

Koogo Harmonizer

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Estimated Price: $45

Type: Digital
Effects: Octave
Connectivity: 1 x 6.35mm Jack Input, 1 x Output
Power: 9 Volts DC

My Review: The affordable Harmonizer pedal by ever-improving FX manufacturers Koogo is a straightforward option that produces reliable octave shifting for a guitar or bass. With a simplistic three-parameter design, this pedal allows you to choose between 11 intervals to create harmonies with your guitar notes. These intervals go up in semitones, making it possible to produce dissonant combinations of notes or more ear-friendly harmonies.

In the center of the pedal is a switch that toggles between Up, Detune, and Down. The Up/Down controls are self-explanatory, allowing you to shift a whole octave in either direction. The Detune control is more experimental, letting you choose the exact interval and pulling the pitch of your instrument down in that direction.

Who This is Best Suited for: The Koogo Harmonizer is recommendable to any guitarists who like their pedals to be quick and easy to navigate, but still want an array of sonic sculpting options available to them.

Bottom Line: For less than $50, the Koogo Harmonizer pedal is great value for money. This compact stompbox has 11 intervals to choose from, so you can create pleasant-sounding overtones or destroy your tone with atonal harmonies. The selectable switch is a useful addition that allows you to quickly toggle through the settings and change the characteristics of the pedal.

Related Article: The Best Fuzz Pedals Currently on the Market

8. Ammoon Precise Octa

Ammoon Precise Octa

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Estimated Price: $70

Type: Digital
Effects: Octave
Connectivity: 1 x 6.35mm Jack Input, 1 x Output
Power: 9 Volts DC

My Review: Newly established pedal producers Ammoon has quickly forged a reputation for their affordable, high-performance FX stompboxes. The Precise Octa is a polyphonic octave generator featuring a minimalist three-knob design allowing you to add or remove higher octaves, sub octaves, or dry signals. Alternatively, if you prefer then you can blend the three controls to add textures to your clean guitar sound.

With impressively fast-tracking, there’s no chance of the pedal causing your signal to glitch out, as can be the case sometimes with digital octave effects. The dry through signal is fully analog, so you don’t lose any of your instrument’s natural sound.

With a high-quality true bypass footswitch, the Ammoon Precise Octave pedal provides maximum signal path integrity and doesn’t hamper your tone when the pedal is turned off. The metal housing is durable and the rubber feet on the bottom of the pedal provide more grip on your pedalboard.

The three parameters on the Ammoon Octave pedal are UP – which adjusts the volume of the higher octave signal. This is 12 notes higher than your guitar is playing at any given time. Then there’s SUB, which is an octave lower than the notes you are playing. Finally, there’s the DRY control, which affects how much of your clean guitar is present within the mix.

Who This is Best Suited for: If you’re looking for a slightly-above entry-level octave pedal, the Ammoon OCTA is a good middle ground between the cheapest options and the premium quality ones. It’s a simple pedal to set up and use so if your experience with effects is limited, this pedal is a great option to learn from.

Bottom Line: The OCTA pedal by Ammoon provides you with high quality higher and lower octaves at a reasonable price. It’s simplistic in design, doesn’t take up excess room on a pedalboard, and has several useful features. The three controls can wither be used to make one of the octaves more prominent or blend them all in a mixture.

9. Earthquaker Devices Rainbow Machine

Earthquaker Devices Rainbow Machine

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Estimated Price: $230

Type: Digital
Effects: Octave, Delay, Chorus
Connectivity: 1 x 6.35mm Jack Input, 1 x Output
Power: 9 Volts DC

My Review: With its flamboyant design and extensive range of controls, the appropriately name Rainbow Machine by Earthquaker Devices is a force to be reckoned with. The second version of the pedal comes equipped with thick delay and chorus effects and off-the-wall pitch shifting capabilities. It can transform the sound of your guitar until it becomes almost unrecognizable, fabulously, and unnaturally.

The onboard pitch-warbling effects are designed to be slightly imperfect in terms of tuning, so no one else will be replicating your sound. There are several doubling effects too, which thicken your tone and add more body to your guitar’s output. With six independent effect controls, there’s no end to the sonic possibilities that the Rainbow Machine offers. The tracking control affects the prominence of your wet and dry signals, while the large, unusual magic knob creates wildly experimental effects.

There’s also a pitch knob that adjusts the pitch of your chosen harmony. You can use this to create ear-friendly harmonies with commonly used intervals like 3rds of 5ths or use it to create more random and atonal blends of notes which will grab an audience’s attention for sure.

Who This is Best Suited for: I’ll first say who this pedal is not best suited for – audio purists who prefer the natural sound of a guitar. On the other hand, if you enjoy creating crazy tones that push the boundaries of guitar playing, you’ll love the Rainbow Machine.

Bottom Line: Earthquaker Devices’ Rainbow Machine is unlike any other octave pedal on the market. With its seemingly random tone selector control, it’s full of surprises and will keep you on your toes every time you use it. It’s ideal for synth-based music where the guitar needs to act as a textural instrument rather than the conventional tones we’d expect from a 6-string.

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10. VSN Precise Octpus

VSN Precise Octpus

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Estimated Price: $45

Type: Digital
Effects: Octave
Connectivity: 1 x 6.35mm Jack Input, 1 x Output
Power: 9 Volts DC

My Review: The Octpus by VSN combines polyphonic pitch-shifting with a true bypass for a seamless performance. This narrow and compact pedal has a high-visibility LED indicator which signifies whether the pedal is on or off, a useful tool especially when you’re playing on a stage with dim lighting.

The two parameters along the top row of the Octpus can be used to add or remove the sub-octave or upper octave respectively. There’s also a switch positioned in between the two controls, which selects which octave range the knobs affect. For example, if you push the switch upwards, the highest octave is played, if you leave it in the neutral position, both octaves are played, and if you push it downward, only the sub-octave is played.

The housing of the Octpus is constructed of solid aluminum-alloy, so it can withstand the usual bumps of touring or practicing. In total there are 11 different octave modes, an impressive number for such a low-priced pedal.

Who This is Best Suited for: If you don’t have big bucks to blow on an octave pedal but still want an abundance of tone-altering options, the VSN Octpus ticks the boxes.

Bottom Line: Affordable, durable, and versatile, the VSN polyphonic Octpus pedal provides you with an array of octave effects with silent true bypass circuitry and slimline body design. It’s great value for money and would make a worthy addition to any pedalboard.

11. Digitech Mosaic

Digitech Mosaic

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Estimated Price: $150

Type: Digital
Effects: Octave
Connectivity: 1 x 6.35mm Jack Input, 1 x Output
Power: 9 Volts DC

My Review: With its stunning psychedelic design, the Mosaic pedal is the result of Digitech’s expertise in both the world of pitch-shifting and polyphonic detection. This interesting pedal turns your 6-string electric guitar into a 12 string. I know what you’re probably thinking, does it sound tacky and unauthentic? I was skeptical, but surprisingly it gets very close to the real thing.

Unlike standard pitch-shifting pedals that allow you to replicate the notes that you’re playing in either an octave up or down, the Mosaic takes an alternative approach and that’s what makes it stand out in the crowd.

By utilizing polyphonic pitch-detection to track the notes as you play them, the pedal can decide which notes need transposing up by an octave and which ones need transposing down. Some notes are slightly detuned and doubled to create the authentic doubling sound that is an integral part of a 12-string guitar.

The result is a very smooth polyphonic pitch shifting process that sounds convincing and natural. Even when you use it to produce complex intervals that don’t sound particularly friendly to the ear, like a 7th, the pedal still retains its authenticity.

The Mosaic is also very simple to operate. On the left side of the pedal’s face, there is a knob for controlling the amount of the doubled sound that is present in the mix. To the right lies a tonal control which changes the characteristics of the pedal. When you hit the bypass switch, you can be sure that your dry signal won’t be compromised thanks to the high-quality inner circuitry.

Who This is Best Suited for: If you play chorus draped guitar and enjoy the sound on a 12-string, the Mosaic provides you with a natural sounding simulator that transforms the sound of your electric guitar.

Bottom Line: The Mosaic by Digitech is like no other pitch-shifting pedal. Its unique ability to convert your notes into a natural-sounding 12-string is unrivaled. It’s also worth mentioning the interesting artwork on the face of the pedal, as this makes it a stand out on your pedalboard.

Related Article: The 17 Best Reverb Pedals Currently on the Market

12. Behringer Ultra Octaver U0300

Behringer Ultra Octaver U0300

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Estimated Price: $35

Type: Digital
Effects: Octave
Connectivity: 1 x 6.35mm Jack Input, 1 x Output
Powe:r 9 Volts DC

My Review: Behringer’s range of entry-level pedals is a great starting point for guitarists wanting to further their knowledge on the subject of processing and effects. The UO300 features the manufacturer’s usual wide-stompbox design, with three adjustable parameters sitting above the footswitch.

The knob that is furthest to the left controls the direct input of your guitar, so you can add or remove some of the volumes from your clean signal. Next to that, there are two-octave controls that can be used to adjust either the sub-octave or the higher octave. By flicking the range switch on the far left of the pedal, you can choose either Hi, Mid, or Lo.

A versatile pedal, the UO300 can be used with either a guitar or bass. The independent volume controls give you complete dominion over the output of the pedal, and you can blend the tones of two octaves with these knobs. This Behringer pedal is powered by a 9v power supply but could be powered by 9-volt batteries too.

Who This is Best Suited for: If you’re looking for an affordable, reliable octave pedal that has a good number of options, then the Behringer UO300 will suffice. With its simple design and decent tonal quality, it’s a good option for guitarists just starting on their effects pedal journey.

Bottom Line: The Behringer UO300 is a useful octave pedal that is well suited to both electric guitar and bass. With three switchable modes, you can tailor the pedals tonal output to suit your instrument. The controls are concise and easy to navigate, and the classic Behringer stompbox design is durable and reliable. It’s not the most detailed of pedals, but for the price, it’s a good option to consider.

13. EBS Sweden SE-OC (Best Bass Octave Pedal)

EBS Sweden SE-OC Octave Pedal

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Estimated Price: $230

Type: Digital
Effects: Octave
Connectivity: 1 x 6.35mm Jack Input, 1 x Output
Power: 9 Volts DC

My Review: The SE-OC Octave Pedal by Swedish manufacturers EBS is a detailed pitch-shifter which gives you control over all the aspects of your guitar’s tone. By recognizing chords consisting of two or three notes, the SE-OC can trigger the lowest note and create an octave effect based on it. It can control the original input’s level, so you can blend the wet and dry signals easily.

There are three switchable modes on the SE-OC High, Mid, and Low Range. These relate to the coloration of the sub-note. This aspect of the pedal is most effective when you are playing the higher frets of your guitar or bass, and they add a thick undertone which gives your output more body.

The SE-OC is highly compatible with a distortion pedal, especially if you’re playing low-end riffs. If you want to produce synth-bass tones, it also caters to that pretty impressively. First manufactured in 1992, the SE-OC Octabass was EBS’ original stompbox, and it speaks volumes of its quality that it has stood the test of time until the present day. It gives you plenty of headroom, beefy low-end tones, and options galore.

Who This is Best Suited for: Bassists or guitarists who play a lot of mid-range riffs and need to add power to their tone will love the SE-OC. It’s filled with versatile controls that can be tweaked to find unique sounds from your instrument.

Bottom Line: The EBS SE-OC is predominantly a bass octave pedal, and shows its true class when you are playing in the higher registers of a 4-string bass. This stompbox is stacked with adjustable parameters which allow you to shape your tone with pinpoint accuracy. In my opinion, this is one of the best octave pedals for bass guitar out there.

14. Walrus Audio Descent

Walrus Audio Descent

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Estimated Price: $300

Type: Digital
Effects: Octave, Reverb
Connectivity: 1 x 6.35mm Jack Input, 2 x Output
Power:  9 Volts DC

My Review: The Descent by Walrus Audio was specifically designed to being ambient octave textures mixed with spacey hall reverbs and melodic shimmer effects. Although predominantly a reverb-based pedal, the Descent is capable of shifting up or down by one octave and blending this with the other settings to create dreamy melodies and textures. On the top row of the pedal, there are 8 parameters five that control the reverb settings and three that control the octave settings.

There’s also a switch that flicks between Hall, Reverse, and Shimmer settings. By tweaking the Wet Mix and Tweak controls, you can add layers of reverb top to the octave effects. These two effects are highly compatible with each other.

The Descent also can store user presets, so if you stumble across a tone that you’d like to reuse in the future, you can simply save it to the internal memory bank using the footswitch in the bottom left corner.

There are two stereo outputs and an input for an expression pedal on the Descent too. The dual output is useful for splitting your wet/dry signal and sending them to separate amplifiers. The addition of an expression pedal allows you to control the blend of the effects in real-time while on stage.

Who This is Best Suited for: If you’re intending to purchase a reverb pedal at some point in the future, you could double up with the Walrus Audio Descent pedal. It’s fairly complex, so I’d recommend it to guitarists with at least some experience using pedals.

Bottom Line: Reverb seems to blend effortlessly with every other effect, but it’s especially compatible with octave pedals. The Descent is a detailed pedal that combines space and pitch shifting so that you can produce dreamy, ambient tones with plenty of room for experimentation.

15. TC-Electronic Sub ‘N’ Up

TC-Electronic Sub ‘N’ Up

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Estimated Price: $230

Type: Digital
Effects: Octave
Connectivity: 1 x 6.35mm Jack Input, 2 x Output
Power: 9 Volts DC

My Review: The Sub n’ Up Octave pedal features TC Electronics’ next-generation octave engine, to deliver pristine pitch-shifted tones. Thanks to the polyphonic capability of this pedal, it performs equally as well whether you are playing singular notes of chords. The individual blend controls allow you to add or remove the dry signal, octave up, or sub octaves.

There’s also the addition of control which can be used to add modulation to the mix via the powerful TonePrint editor, specifically designed by TC Electronic to produce ambient, mellow octaves. The tracking is extremely fast and precise on this pedal, so there’s no unexpected glitches or stutters.

Whether you intend to create shimmering higher octave tones for textural purposes, a natural-sounding 12 string emulation, or a fuzzy drop-tuned blues riff, the Sub n’ Up can do it all. Along with the polyphonic capabilities, it also has a retro-styled monophonic octaver. This is great for turning your electric guitar into a bass or producing glitch old-school pitch-shifting effects.

Who This is Best Suited for: The Sub n’ Up Octaver is a brilliant pedal that would slot nicely onto any guitarist’s pedalboard. It is well suited to any genre of music or style of guitar playing. If I was to recommend it to anyone, in particular, it would be a guitarist who wants multiple octave options, because if you’re just looking for the basics, this pedal is probably overkilling in that respect. If, on the other hand, you do want a multitude of sonic options then go for it!

Bottom Line: TC Electronics are renowned for the attention to detail that they put into the designs of their FX pedals. The Sub n’ Up Octaver is filled with processing possibilities that will keep you occupied for hours on end. It’s a highly detailed pedal, which is capable of polyphonic chord octaves and also has a built-in vintage style glitch pitch shifter. You get the best of both worlds with this pedal.

16. Electro Harmonix Octavix

Electro Harmonix Octavix

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Estimated Price: $140

Type: Digital
Effects: Octave, Fuzz
Connectivity: 1 x 6.35mm Jack Input, 1 x Output
Power: 9 Volts DC

My Review: The Octavix by Electro-Harmonix is a truly great pedal. Designed to bring the “Hendrix Era” into a fuzz pedal, you’ll instantly recognize the saturated sounds that his pedal produces. The impressive thing about the Octavix is that it blends the vintage fuzziness of decades gone by with modern enhancements such as volume, boost, and octave controls. The volume knob decides the overall level of the output, the boost adds fuzztone into the mix and the octave control adjusts the volume of the higher registers.

Another cool feature of the Octavix pedal is that you can switch between 9 or 24-volt power rails, changing the voltage supply for the circuit. This is a rare feature that I have to admit I’ve never seen before, but it produces interesting results. When the toggle switch is set to 9 volts, it acts as a classic fuzz box. When you change it to 24 volts, the sound becomes crisper and the octave tone gains clarity.

Who This is Best Suited for: If you’re a huge fan of Jimi Hendrix’s guitar tone like I am, you’ll have countless hours of fun with the Electro-Harmonix Octavix. For all rock guitarists, this pedal offers an authentic 60s octave and fuzz tone that is warm and versatile.

Bottom Line: The Electro-Harmonix Octavix is a great pedal that brings the classic fuzz sounds of the rock n roll era to your pedalboard. The fact that you can choose between different power settings is a unique feature that makes a big difference to the overall output of your guitar.

17. Electro-Harmonix POG2

Electro-Harmonix POG2


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Estimated Price: $400

Type: Digital
Effects: Octave
Connectivity: 1 x 6.35mm Jack Input, 2 x Output
Power: 9 Volts DC

My Review: Perhaps the most extensive pedal on this list, last but by no means least we have the POG2, again by Electro-Harmonix. Much like the Micro POG that started this list off, the POG2 has all of the qualities you’d expect from an EHX pedal.

The controls are set out interestingly on the POG2. Instead of using standard knob parameters, the controls are set off as sliders, resembling a mixer. In total there are eight sliders which all control different elements of the octave effect. On the left-hand side, you have a slider for each octave, beginning with Dry Output and then moving up 12 notes from 2 sub octaves below to two octaves above your original note.

On the right-hand side, there are 3 sliders which can be used to further manipulate the output of the pedal. Firstly, you can alter the attack to determine how long it takes for the effect to kick in once a note has been played. Then there’s a low-pass filter that can remove any problematic frequencies in the bass end. Finally, there’s a detune slider if you’re feeling more experimental. There’s a preset saving footswitch in the bottom left so you don’t lose your preferred settings, and true bypass switching ensures that your dry signal is preserved.

Who This is Best Suited for: The POG2 is not the most straightforward of pedals to operate, so I’d recommend it to musicians who have at least some experience with processing and FX. That being said, once you’ve learned your way around the pedal, it is laid out intuitively so don’t let that put you off!

Bottom Line: The Electro Harmonix POG2 is one of the more expensive pedals on this list, but there’s a reason for that. It provides unrivaled details and processing options, can store up to 8 user presets, has alow pass filter built-in, and offers dual outputs.

Choosing the Right Octave Pedal (Buying Guide)

Octave and pitch-shift effects have been a staple of guitarist’s pedalboards for many decades. These versatile effects can be defined as pedals that make adjustments to the pitch of the original sound source. They take the note that is sent into them and transform it into a different note.

It is a common misconception that octave and pitch-shifting pedals produce a higher tone than the original sound, and although this is their most prominent type of application, they are also often capable of adding a lower octave, therefore thickening the overall sound. With so many variations of an octave and pitch-shifting pedals available, there’s a whole host of possibilities that can be explored by guitarists and bassists.

The Theory Behind Octave Pedals

Understanding how an effect works theoretically isn’t essential for a guitarist, but I’ve found that it can make it easier to achieve the desired result when you have some knowledge on this subject. Knowing what is causing a pedal to produce an effect can also be beneficial to the mixing and producing stages of creating music.

Musically speaking, an octave is simply the interval between two of the same notes. As you’re probably aware, the letters used to symbolize musical notes (eg. A, B, C) repeat themselves across the keys of a piano or the frets of a guitar. For example, if you were to play the open E string on a guitar, the E would come back around at the 12th fret on the same string, but this time it is being played an octave higher.

In terms of numbers, octaves can be explained as being 12 notes, keys, or frets apart. So if you play any note on a guitar then ascend 12 frets you will be playing exactly an octave higher. Similarly, when a pianist plays the bass notes with their left hand, they are usually playing the lower octave of the root note of the chord that their right hand is playing. This produces a harmonically-rich sound and the use of octaves ensures that none of the notes clash with each other.

When it comes to octave pedals for guitars, it can get a little more complex. Some pedals can shift the pitch by more than one octave, for example, they may go up by 24 notes rather than 12. Certain pedals allow you to create layers of different octaves, making the guitar sound more like an organ!

The Differences Between Pitch-Shift and Octave Pedals

Now that we’ve covered the basic theory behind octave pedals, you might be wondering why some are also labeled as pitch-shift pedals. Although both use the same processes to manipulate the original sound source, there are some notable differences between these two effects.

The purpose of a pitch-shift effect is to change the original note by any interval of your choice. So unlike an octave effect that only shifts the notes by 12, 24, or 36 notes, a pitch-shifter can move it by 1, 5, or any other number of your choice. In some respects, pitch-shifting could be classed as a harmony pedal because it is producing different notes to the input which can then be blended with the original.

Pitch-shifting is a very effective tool to have in your arsenal as a guitarist. It can be used to create abstract tones for texture, recreating the sounds of alternative tunings or adding low undertones to your guitar to make it sound more like a bass.

How Octave Pedals and Pitch Shifters Work

Now that you’ve had a basic introduction to octave pedals and what they do, I’ll explain in more detail how these pedals produce the desired effects. You’ve probably noticed from the list of recommended pedals at the top of this article that there is a wide range of functions and variables across the different options and these are usually determined by the way an octave pedal works.

Tracking

For an octave or pitch-shift pedal to work, it must have the ability to accurately track the dry signal of your guitar. All effects require this to work, but they vary it the way that they detect your signal.

Most modern octave pedals and all pitch-shift pedals use digital tracking because it is more accurate than its analog counterpart. Digital tracking allows the pedal to produce more options, with improved flexibility, and can be applied to a variety of sound sources.

Alternatively, analog tracking is commonly used on vintage-themed octave pedals. Unlike digital tracking, analog affects the filtering, amplitude, and frequency of the original sound. This produces a more primitive range of sounds which often have a slight wobble to them.

Jimi Hendrix was one of the first guitarists to popularize an octave pedal. The legendary ‘Octavia’ pedal can be heard on many of his best-known recordings. With its analog tracking, the pedal has a warm and fuzzy sound.

Polyphonic vs. Monophonic

Another inherent ability where octave and pitch shift pedals may differ from one another is whether the tracking is polyphonic or monophonic. Polyphonic means that the pedal can detect and shift multiple notes at once, even triads or groups of notes (chords). This creates a distinctive tone that can be likened to an old organ, with many frequencies being played simultaneously.

Vintage analog pedals are almost guaranteed to use monophonic tracking. This means that they are only capable of detecting and manipulating one note at a time. The issue that occurs with monophonic pedals is that they can’t handle overtones or wrong notes, and it can wreck the clarity of the effect.

Octave vs. Pitch-Shifter vs. Harmonizer The Differences

As with most guitar effects pedals, several variations branch off from the core effect. In this case, it would be most accurate to use “pitch-shifting” as the umbrella term to describe any pedal which makes changes to the original pitch of the dry signal. However, some pedals can produce octaves, pitch shifting, and harmonization whereas others are only capable of one of these varieties.

As I mentioned earlier in this article, octave pedals simply shift the original signal up or down by multiples of 12 notes. These notes a symbolized by frets on a guitar or bass, or keys on a piano or keyboard. When the pedal is used to produce a higher octave, it takes the dry signal, detects the note that is playing the reproduces it 12, 24, or 36 notes higher. One of the most popular uses of an octave pedal is from The White Strips classic rock song “Seven Nation Army”. In this song, Jack White uses an octave pedal to create a lower sound that resembles a bass guitar, while still playing the dry guitar signal at its original pitch.

Instead of being limited to octaves, a pitch-shifter pedal can reproduce the dry signal at any interval. So instead of shifting the note up or down by 12 steps, these pedals can be used to create weird and wonderful textures. With a pitch-shifter pedal, you can set it to produce an interval of as many notes as you like. These pedals are great fun to experiment with because they can be tweaked until you find a unique pitch-shift to accompany the dry signal of your guitar.

Harmonizers are another variation of pitch-shifting pedals. The difference between this type of pedal and the previously mentioned pair is that a harmonizer generally does the work for you. Similar to an octave pedal, there are many pre-set intervals built into a harmonizer that you can choose from. Rather than being completely adjustable like a pitch-shifter, a harmonizer chooses intervals that sound pleasant together, for example, the 1st, 3rd, and 5th of a major scale to make a major triad. This means that every note you play will have a layer of perfect harmony accompanying it. Harmony pedals are popular among vocalists, with some even having the capability to produce choir-like backing vocals that sound authentic and natural. Indeed, they are also often utilized by guitarists for their ability to add rich textures to the tone.

Many octaves, pitch-shifting, or harmonizer pedals have the capacity to do perform all three functions. However, if you would like to predominantly produce one of these variations, I’d recommend looking at the pedals that specialize in a singular function. Oftentimes pedals with multiple effects built-in can lack the individual quality of the singular effect you’re looking for, so if you only want to add octave layers to your guitar, consider one of those pedals first.

Octave vs. Pitch Shifter vs. Harmonizer – Summary

Octave Pedals

  • Take the original signal and reproduce it up or down by multiples of 12 notes
  • Great for making a guitar sound like a bass
  • Vintage style octave pedals use analog circuitry
  • Modern versions use digital circuitry

Pitch-shifter Pedals

  • Can change the original note by any number of steps
  • Effective for creating abstract textures
  • Reach lower or higher notes than your guitar usually allow
  • Blend the effect with your dry signal

Harmonizer Pedals

  • Polyphonic
  • Produce pleasant harmonies in chosen keys
  • Adds a perfect harmony to your original note
  • Great for creating backing vocals

Commonly Found Additional Controls and Parameters on an Octave Pedal

Some additional controls commonly feature on the octave and pitch-shift pedals. Although this varies from pedal to pedal, you’ll usually find a combination of the following parameters

  • Gain/Overdrive
  • Attack
  • Filter
  • Detune
  • Preset Selection

Almost all octave pedals will have a gain control built-in, with some allowing you to add a touch of distortion or overdrive to your guitar. By turning up the gain control, you can use an octave pedal as a boost pedal. This is especially useful when using octave-up styled effects as it makes the effect more clear within a mix.

Some octave pedals also have an onboard attack control. The attack is the amount of time it takes for the audio to reach its peak level, and when it is softened with an octave pedal it creates a tone that resembled an ambient synthesizer. When this control is combined with “space” effects like delay or reverb, it can transform your guitar sound into a creamy texture.

Filter controls are less common but can be a useful addition to an octave or pitch-shift pedal. This parameter allows you to filter out specific frequencies, and in the process create more or less resonance. You can also boost certain frequencies to give the octave pedal more color and sparkle.

Detune controls also add another element to an octave pedal. Many pitch-shift pedals have this parameter built-in, and it allows you to create a similar effect to the chorus, which is produced through pitch manipulation.

Finally, some octave pedals are able to store user presets which can then be re-used in the future. The advantage of this is that it makes it possible for you to quickly navigate through preferred settings without having to go through the rigmarole of tweaking all of the individual parameters to recreate your desired sound. This option is very useful if you intend to use your octave pedal to create multiple tones for different songs, as you can simply toggle through them on stage without any unnecessary hassle.

Combining Octave Pedals with Other Effects

One of the standout qualities of an octave pedal is its compatibility with other effects. Whether you want to create Hendrix inspired fuzz-draped riffs in the lower registers of your guitar, or spacey organ-like tones using higher octaves, you can do so by combining your pitch shift pedal with other FX in your signal chain.

Adding dirt to your octave pedal is undoubtedly one of the most effective ways to make the effect seem more prominent. Overdrive will sharpen the tones slightly, but if you want to go for a more extreme result then a fuzz pedal like the Big Muff range will suffice. Combining variations of distortion with lower octaves is a great way to add power and thickness to your low-end.

Combining space effects like delay or reverb with your octave pedal can also produce interesting results. This is particularly effective with polyphonic octave pedals. Playing multiple notes with two or more octaves added at once sounds great when mixed with a touch of reverb. The reverberation softens the overall tone and makes your guitar sound ambient and psychedelic.

Filter effects such as wah-wah can also take an octave pedal to another level. If you want to get adventurous, you can use the trio of fuzz, octave, and wah to produce screaming solos with plenty of power in the treble-end.

Positioning an Octave Pedal in Your Signal Chain

One of the factors that impact a guitarist’s tone the most significant is the positioning of pedals within a signal chain. Although there’s no set blueprint for positioning your pedals, there are some advised methods that will produce certain results. I’d encourage you to experiment and find out which orders you prefer the sound of, but if you would like some advice on the matter to get started, read on.

The most common place to position an octave pedal is at the front of the signal chain, coming after your tuner and any dynamics pedals like volume. Ideally, the signal going into an octave pedal should be clean to ensure that the note can be accurately tracked. This allows the pedal to reproduce the note at a higher or lower octave without being marred by other effects.

As I previously stated, there’s no set-in-stone method for positioning pedals, in fact, oftentimes guitarists find the most interesting tones by doing things in the “wrong” way. If, for example, you were to position your octave pedal after fuzz in the signal chain, the result would be chaotic and warped.

Octave and Expression Pedals

Another way to enhance the effectiveness of an octave pedal is by using it in conjunction with an expression pedal. Not all octave pedals will have this capacity, but the ones that do can be manipulated in real-time when hooked up to an external expression foot pedal. Some octave pedals have expression already installed, which allows you to blend the effect or smooth out the transitions between different notes.

Octave Pedals and Signal Splitting

You might have noticed that a handful of the octave pedals I reviewed earlier in this article had two jack outputs. The purpose of this is to give you the option of signal splitting. Signal splitting is where you take a dry, unprocessed signal, and separate it from the wet, processed signal.

Whether or not you would need an octave pedal to have this ability depends on your intentions. If you are the only guitarist in a band, you might feel the need to thicken up your tone. Signal splitting is a great way to achieve this, as it allows your clean tone to constantly keep playing underneath the wet signal.

The advantage of using an octave pedal to split your signal is that it comes early in the chain. This means that your wet signal can use all of your pedals that come after the octave, like fuzz, reverb, or delay, while your dry signal is only affected by dynamic-based pedals like compression or volume, which don’t noticeably change the tone.

To split the signal, you will need two amplifiers. Alternatively, you can run your clean channel straight into a venues P.A system, and then your effects channel out of an amp. Many guitarists in two-piece rock bands use a dual-amplifier setup, as it provides a tonal thickness and compensates for the lack of a bassist or second guitarist.

Recording an Octave Pedal

Not only is an octave pedal a useful tool for playing live, but it can also be a valuable asset in the recording studio. Some guitarists prefer to keep their recordings as authentic and organic as possible, recording all of their pedals through an amplifier, as if they were playing a live show. This is the traditional way to record processed guitars, and there’s no doubt that it produces brilliant results if the amplifier and pedals are of good quality.

However, thanks to the advances in recording technology, you don’t need a Marshall stack to record great sounding electric guitar anymore. If you have an audio interface, access to a DAW such as Ableton or Protools, and two jack cables, you can record through your pedals straight into the computer with ease.

The advantages of recording straight into the direct input rather than micing up an amplifier are the speed in which you can get ideas recorded, and the fact that the signal is completely clean. With an amplifier, there is some natural coloration of the tone occurring which depends on the valves or other inner mechanics of the particular amp.

With a direct input on the other hand, the tones are much truer to your electric guitar’s natural voice, and so the pedals have maximum effect on the sound. You can then mix the recording within your preferred DAW, adding amp simulators retrospectively if you wish.

Octave Pedals for Bass Guitar

Another great thing about an octave and pitch-shifting pedals is that they lend themselves to bass guitar just as well as they do a six-string. Octaves are a hugely prominent part of playing bass, and because the higher notes are limited on a four-string, adding an octave pedal gives you access to those registers you couldn’t usually reach.

Combining Octave Pedals with Fuzz, Overdrive, or Distortion

If you’re a fan of guitarists like Jack White, Jimi Hendrix, or Tom Morello, you’ll have heard the magical combination of octave pedals and dirt.

My favorite pedal to combine with octave is fuzz. There’s something so powerful about a fuzz pedal screaming away in the higher octaves. For a guitar solo where you need to grab the attention of the audience, octave with fuzz is the perfect combination.

When you pitch-shift down, distortion is especially effective. The lower notes sound great with a touch of crunch sprinkled on top. Experimenting with different combinations of octave and dirt pedals is an activity I’d strongly recommend, although beware that you may lose many hours due to the fun it produces!

Power Requirements:

The majority of octave pedals are powered by a standard 9-volt power supply. Some pedals come with their exclusive supply, whereas some others require you to purchase it separately.

Some of the pedals on this list are also capable of being powered by 9-volt batteries, which is useful for musicians who like to busk or play in settings with limited electricity. I’d recommend a power supply purely for peace of mind, they’re not too expensive and will save money on batteries in the future.

Conclusion:

Octave pedals can completely transform the tone of your guitar. It’s the kind of effect that can be used subtly to slightly thicken your sound or pushed to the limits to create extreme, jaw-dropping effects.

Hopefully, after reading this extensive guide to the best octave and pitch-shifter pedals available, you’ve got a good idea of which particular selection will make the best addition to your pedalboard. All that’s left to do now is enjoy the experimentation stage of getting a new octave pedal, I’m sure it will bring you many hours of satisfaction.

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