Medium-sized pedal with a heavy-duty steel enclosure
Fat cleans with the Full Spectrum Tilt EQ
Power by battery or power supply
The Octamizer is a medium-size pedal with a heavy-duty steel enclosure. The four knobs control Octave Level (wet signal volume), Clean Level, Octave Filter (tone color via LPF), and Clean Tone (tilt EQ).
The tilt EQ (Clean Tone) cuts the high and low frequencies simultaneously. Each control knob is responsive and contributes to a diverse and wide scope of sounds.
Analog octavers demand the right playing technique, pickup height, and various other factors that can alter the equation. I have used the Octamizer with a Custom Shop P-bass (with rounds and flats).
It tracks like glue and there are little to no glitches, especially with dub/neo-soul basslines and staccato playing. Plus, the gig-saver bypass is a thoughtful feature (it kicks in when the battery runs out).
Tone-wise, it is its own thing. Don’t expect the Octamizer to sound like an OC-2 or any other octave pedal on the market. It can do everything you expect from a sub-octave pedal.
But the real magic (IMO) is in using the clean channel and tilt-EQ as an ‘always on’ preamp. You can’t hear the octave but the tone sounds deep and clean (thickening agent!).
For more rabid sonics, crank the octave for massive sounds all the way to funk synth territory.
Aguilar Octamizer is uniquely poised due to its stellar circuit. The pedal does a great job at single-note lines, electronica sounds, fattening the tone, and plenty more.
All in all, the pedal’s superior tracking, dual filter architecture, and analog circuit exemplify the quality you’d expect from a brand like Aguilar.
2. Octabvre mkII by 3Leaf Audio
This oddly-spelt bass octave pedal owes its pedigree to 3Leaf Audio’s collab with bassist Time LeFebvre.
It features a dual-footswitch design in a large and robust enclosure. The pedal has a premium price but promises top-drawer components and functionality for bass players who want tones ranging from subtle fattening to synth-like grit.
The Octabvre mkII is HUGE – both in terms of size and price. It sports 4 beefy knobs, a 2-way toggle, 2 LEDs, and two footswitches.
The knobs include Volume (master output), Mix (dry/octave blend), Tone (change the octave tone), and Sub Volume (adjust lower octave in isolation). It has a Bypass and dedicated SUB footswitch to kill the dry signal for sub-octave isolation.
The pedal has an amazing range and the tracking is exceptional. There are no glitches even when you venture deep into the lower octave.
Turn the Tone knob all the way clockwise to find Mutron flavor and counterclockwise for an OC-2 sound. Of course, there is a whole universe of octave mojo between the two extremes.
The TIM switch modifies the response of the TONE knob based on the sonic preferences of Tim LeFebvre.
The TIM mode ranges from subtle to OC-2-mania with a lot of fatness in the in-between settings. If you don’t need the TIM switch, the old Dual Mode Octabvre is cheaper.
Octabvre mkII is versatile in every sense of the word. Between the isolated lower octave, the dedicated footswitch, and the Sub OCT knob, it gives you options no other pedal can.
The sounds work exceptionally well in a band setting and sit very well in the mix.
It’s pricey and hard to score, especially since they do limited runs with pre-orders. But for those who can afford it (money and time), it’s a ticket to analog greatness.
A mini-switch acts as a mode selector to toggle between Vintage and Polyphonic modes. The footswitch is a high-quality buffered bypass and the pedal has a 9V DC operation (or 9V battery).
The OC-5 can handle all the bread and butter octave functions. It goes a step beyond thanks to the poly mode to whet your tone with synth-like textures.
It’s noise-free, accurate, and almost latency-free. The tracking is decidedly superior compared to the BOSS OC-2 and OC-3. Although to be honest, anything can track better than the OC-3. Bleh.
The OC-5’s Vintage Mode has the iconic magic of wet OC-2 tones. The addition of the Octave +1 modernizes and makes the OC-5 more versatile.
From organ plump to warbly chime and subsonic growl, the OC-5 is musically endearing to operate. The robust build, two modes, and low latency make it a stellar choice to take your tone deeper without breaking the bank.
Bass players may be skeptical after the disappointment that was the OC-3. Don’t dwell on it.
Of course, gear snobs will still crave the bragging rights of an OC-2. I concur. Go on, refresh eBay…again.
5. Markbass RAW Octaver
Markbass keeps it simple with the RAW Octaver pedal. There’s an input and output jack, an on/off footswitch, blue status LED, and two knobs.
The two-knob operation involves a Dry control and OCT that corresponds to the volume of the octave down signal. The Markbass RAW runs on an external 9-12V DC power supply – with no battery compartment.
It’s a sub-octave pedal (no +1) famed for fast and clean tracking as you go low – REAL low. The petite dimensions (45 x 95 x 50 mm) and minuscule weight make it a pedalboard-friendly option.
There is no rocket science involved here. You get a no-frills pedal with a skillful circuit and a good octave below tone.
You can blend the original signal of your bass with the octave using the two control knobs. No switchable low cut, FX-Loop or expression pedal, or other battery operation either. Set it. Stomp it. Sub Out.
Fortunately, that’s all you need to add meaty, low-end oomph to your tone. It’s nowhere as “synthy” as the MB Octaver. Nor is it dirty or fat.
It adds a very pleasant analog-like thickness. The tracking is great and you can tweak it on the fly easily. No battery operation though, as is the norm with compact pedals.
The MB Octaver RAW is our pick of the minis. Simple operation, a small footprint, and inexpensive pricing are the key selling points.
I recommend it as a compact sub-octave pedal with a musical tone for quick-recall. It won’t appease Sir-Tweak-A-Lot, but it sounds really good for the price.
6. TC Electronic Sub ‘n’ Up
Sub ‘n’ Up Octaver is a polyphonic (digital) bass octave pedal by TC Electronic. It can be paired with their flagship Tone Print Technology and mobile app.
It has an edge with clean shimmer and lightning-fast tracking, but it does lack the depth/warmth of analog pedals.
The Sub ‘n’ Up Octaver features four knobs: one for dry blend, and three for the octaves (one up and two down).
It also features a toggle switch, a red status LED, and a true bypass footswitch. The Poly Toneprint Classic has an on/off toggle to activate monophonic octave sounds.
The Sub ‘n Up brings a bazooka to a gunfight. The note tracking is reasonably good, as is the polyphonic pitch technology.
This octave pedal excels at subsonic mayhem and glassy octave-up swells. From polyphony to complex chords, you can find usable sounds with knob-tweaking.
It’s a notch above the competition in terms of versatility. However, there is a decent amount of effort that goes into setting up TonePrint and making ‘patches’ for easy recall.
This is clearly for the pitch-shifter enthusiast rather than bass players who want a set-and-forget pedal.
The Sub ‘n’ Up lands somewhere between an EHX POG and SA C4. Go for it if you like octave up and don’t want the EHX POG.
Team up with the TC App (TonePrint) to create some high-toned modulation and ambient sounds. If you want a compact version, TC does offer a Sub n’ Up mini version as well.
7. Source Audio C4 Synth Pedal
Despite my strong affinity for analog sounds, I’m always impressed by the stuff Source Audio brings to the market. The C4 is yet another digital effects tool with exceptional customization possibilities thanks to the Neuro app.
It’s not really an octave pedal. But hot damn, load up the OC2 patches and you know why I had to add it to this roundup.
Choose Analog buffered or relay based true bypass
Neuro Desktop or Mobile App
128 Factory Presets + Community presets
External Expression Control
Let’s see, what do we get – a) mobile/PC editing to shape and store sounds for easy recall, b) MIDI/Hub ports, c) 128 presets with 6 on the pedal, and d) online preset sharing with the community.
I’m just getting warmed up.
To cut a long story short, you effectively have an envelope filter, synth, and one of the most versatile octavers rolled into one modestly sized pedal.
The C4 enclosure is not huge, especially when you consider it will replace at least two other pedals. The power requirements are not odd either.
It can be powered by a 1Spot. And, you don’t need to sell an organ on the dark web as it’s under $250, making it a killer deal all said and done. Did I mention that it does MuTron, Meatball, and OC-2 tones like a boss?
Hold up, it’s not a silver bullet. There are some downsides to it.
For one, the tweaking has to be done from the app, so you will have to do the legwork in the editing phase. Secondly, it’s kinda meh with polyphonic octave and classic synth sounds.
Lastly, it has a learning curve and you run the risk of getting lost in the infinite possibilities, but to many this is not really a downside.
Octave pedals are imps. They do that one “thing” really well but make you chase them around the forest for everything else. Consider Source Audio C4 if you want less chasing and more versatility.
It can handle your needs for a lot of sounds. The main downside is the poor performance of the polyphonic octaver, which is the only reason I refrain from calling it a one-box solution.