Remember the first time you thought, “That sounds like a Telecaster”?
Or “I bet they’re tuned down”?
Or “Holy reverb — Poison!”?
Those moments represent precious development of your musical ear. Upon acquiring my first octave pedal, I began to hear the effect all over songs I’d listened to many times before; Jimmy Page’s solo on “Fool in the Rain," Metallica’s remake of “Whiskey in the Jar" — and how about Jimi Hendrix’s fuzzy octave-up effect on "Purple Haze"?
Taurus has released Dexter, a polyphonic octave pedal that offers an octave above and below your fundamental note. Assuming you don’t drop the word "polyphonic" into your everyday lingo, it means the pedal uses a 24-bit DSP to allow you to play multiple notes or chords at once without overloading the pedal.
Each octave has its own Level and Range knobs. Level adjusts how much of the effect you want blended with your dry signal. Range adjusts the frequencies that are affected. Think of it as a crossover. Tucked in the left corner is an Output Level knob, which is a master volume knob when the effect is engaged. Choose to use one octave or both octaves at once.
Dexter was easy to get along with; so much so that I had the pedal in my bass pedalboard at a gig hours after receiving it. The lower octave gave my bass more of a synth sound for the pop songs. The higher octave, when used sparingly, can help fill the void when the guitarist drops out on chords and takes a solo.
The Input, Output and Power jacks are on the top of the pedal. Dexter comes with a 12-volt power supply and is true bypass. Also in the box was an assortment of stick-on rubber feet and an instructional manual. Instead of a circular LED, the entire bottom half of the pedal lights up when it’s on and looks really cool in the dark!
Clip 1: I’m picking chords with more of the +1 Octave dialed in to get a 12-string guitar sound.
Clip 2: I have both octaves running at 12 o'clock with plenty of overdrive. It gives me a Digitech Whammy-type effect with the luxury of the -1 octave fattening things up.
Clip 3: A P-bass with both octaves dialed in generously. Very cool if you’re after a Cheap Trick or King’s X bass sound but don’t have an eight- or 12-string bass.
Clip 4: My favorite. Along with some chorus, the +1 octave mimics the overtones of a Hammond B3 organ.
You can't believe everything you read on the Internet, but Billy Voight is a gear reviewer, bassist and guitarist from Pennsylvania. He has Hartke bass amps and Walden acoustic guitars to thank for supplying some of the finest gear on his musical journey. Need Billy's help in creating noise for your next project? Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.