makes your solo sound like multiple guitars (or keyboards, or voices)
playing in unison. An octave or pitch shifter pedal makes you sound like multiple players in
Pitch Changing Pedal Types
Octave and pitch shifter pedals are very specialized. Most are
monophonic, meaning that they are intended to work for single notes and not for chords. Some octave
pedals produce a sound that is one or two octaves below the original note, while others follow the
model of the Tycobrahe Sound Company’s Octavia, which is a fuzz pedal which adds a tone that is one
octave above the original note. Some pitch shifters are can produce multiple voices, including
thirds, fifths, and multiple octaves up or down.
So here are some of the choices:
Whammy DT Pitch Shift Effect Pedal
is one of the most versatile pedals in this
category. This is a true polyphonic pedal that lets you play with different tunings without
retuning your guitar. The Whammy DT, lets you drop or raise your tuning by 7 half steps or a full
Harmonix Micro POG Polyphonic Octave Pedal
lets you six string guitar sound like a
twelve string or your 4 string bass sound like an eight. It lets you go an octave up and an octave
down and can handle chords, arpeggios, and single notes smoothly with no glitches.
Boss OC-3 Super
was the first polyphonic octave pedal. The unit operates in three modes: OC-2
mode which produces notes one and two octaves down; Polyphonic Octave mode, which allows octaves to
be added in specific note ranges (user selectable) while playing chords; and Drive Mode, which adds
distortion to the octave voice. The OC-3 has separate inputs for guitar and bass.
Boss PS-6 Harmonist
offers four intelligent pitch shift effects, letting you create three voice harmonies in major and
minor keys. It includes up to four octaves of pitch bending, as well as detuning. In Super Bend
mode, you can bend notes or chords as you would with a guitar’s whammy bar, but to unbelievable
extremes of up to two octaves up or down. In Detune Mode, you can get a sound similar to a chorus
pedal on chords and arpeggios. Harmony Mode only works on single notes, but creates up to three
voice harmonies using 3rds, 4ths, 5ths, 6ths, and octaves.
Rocktron Black Rose
Part of its boutique series of effects, featuring True Bypass circuitry, the
Rocktron Black Rose Octaver adds a tone that is one octave below the notes you are playing. It
tracks beautifully and provides ample control over the sound of the octave below signal, which can
be changed from smooth to crunchy by the flip of its “Roots” switch, and adjusted with its mid
frequency boost Fragrance control. You can route the original tone and the octave tone separately
through separate amps and effects or you can merge them into a single output.
JHOC1 Jimi Hendrix Octavia Octave/Fuzz Pedal.
An oldie but a goody, the Jimi Hendrix
Octavia pedal is a reproduction of the original octave up pedal enshrined in the Jimi Hendrix
exhibit in the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame. This gives you the same fuzzed out octave up tones Jimi
used on the Band of Gypsys: Live at the Fillmore East performance.