OCTRON4 IS AN ANALOG OCTAVE PEDAL - NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH A DIGITAL OCTAVE PEDAL.
SWITCHING: TRUE BYPASS is handled by the foot switch on the top level. Blue LED is lit up when activated.
SIGNAL ACTIVATION SWITCHES: The three lower foot switches control relays that turn the signals on and off and they correspond with the level controls.
LEFT: Octave UP. Yellow LED shows status.
CENTER: Direct. Red LED shows status.
RIGHT: Octave DOWN and SUB, combined. Green LED shows status.
SUB: Creates a note more than one octave below the note you play.
DIVIDE BY 4: Two octaves below the note you play.
DIVIDE BY 3: One octave, plus a fourth below the note you play. Play E, and you get a very low A.
DIRECT LEVEL: Controls the level of the direct signal while the pedal is activated.
OCTAVE UP LEVEL: Controls the level of the Octave UP signal.
BRIGHT/PURE SWITCH: Selects between a bright sound, rich in harmonics, and a darker sound with a more pure upper octave.
OCTAVE DOWN LEVEL: Controls the level of the Octave DOWN.
SUB LEVEL: Controls level of SUB.
SUB DIVIDE 3 / 4: Select SUB for one and a half octaves down, or two octaves down.
MIDS/LO SWITCH: Selects between a mid-boost and a super-fat low end. Setting applies to both Octave DOWN and SUB signals.
INPUT JACK: 1/4" stereo jack. Disconnect Input to shut off battery.
OUTPUT JACK: 1/4" stereo jack. A stereo jack is used to maintain equal tension.
Tips for Octave Down Tracking
Like other Analog Octave dividers, Octron4's lower octave will get confused by chords, open strings, harmonics, weak pickups and sloppy playing. Clean, articulate playing is rewarded with near-perfect tracking. Here are some general tips for getting the best tracking results not only with Octron4, but with any octave divider, and even many guitar synthesizers that work on the same principles:
- Use the NECK pickup - a guitar's neck pickup has the roundest and purest tone. As you move away from the neck, with middle, bridge, or any combination of pickups, you add more harmonics and less of the fundamental frequency. Lower octave tracking will become less accurate resulting in skipping and dropping out. Also, make sure your guitar is set up right. Dead spots and buzzing frets will cause poor tracking.
- Let only one note sound - The octave down circuit will warble, skip and drop out if you play multiple notes at once or let open strings sound. Palm muting will help you control your dynamics and will produce the best tracking. The more articulate your single note playing is, the better the tracking will be. You can even use the tracking as a way to improve your playing.
- Letting notes decay - As a note decays, there comes a point where the Octave down circuit can no longer determine the note you're playing. At this point it will sputter a little and drop out. The way to prevent this is to know at what point this happens, and modify your playing to prevent it. Learn just how long you can let a note hang and cut it off before the Octave down circuit gets confused. Note - with single-coil pickups the natural hum can get pretty loud. When especially bad, this can cause Octron4's lower octave to skip.
- Play the chromatic scale on every string, up and down the neck. It seems that every guitar has one or two notes that just won't track well.
Sneak Preview of Octron4 Sounds from Dave's Bench-Cam:
How do the features of Octron4 compare to Octron2? Read Dave's blog post to get a rundown.
The main board, shown here with the daughter board plugged in, has the input stage, the octave UP circuitry, and the mixing/output circuitry. It uses a set of relays which are controlled by the 3 foot switches on the front of the pedal.
This is the Octron4 daughter board. It has all of the octave divider circuitry.