Bass Guitar Music

Under $99 Alternatives to the Electro-Harmonix Polyphonic (Higher) Octave Generator Nano/Micro POG $206-219 & EHX POG2 $358: Royal Blood Bass Sound at 87% Savings

The best way to describe the Royal Blood sound is like a Siamese Dream-era Smashing Pimpkins meets Led Zeppelin or The White Stripes. The key is a single bass guitar split into two signals using a tuner or A/B into a higher octave or chord generator. We send the bass signal to a traditional rock bass setup, but the single-octave, double-octave, or octave-fifth chord are distorted and sent to an electric guitar amp. Without distortion, the setup approximates a 12-string bass.

Guitarists have used “octavers” for years. The pedal produces a lower octave note far simpler than a POG by halving the frequency, say from A440hz to A220hz, which is easily done. The POG artificially generates an octave higher using more complicated math, for example from A440hz to A880hz.

One key is to send the generator a smooth, round note, so there’s as little noise as possible in the octave generation process. Distortion and tubes are happy to restore some noise to the signal once the transition is complete. While killer bass tone is central to the formula, I’ll focus on the higher octave chain.

The Electro-Harmonix POG2 accomplishes this effortlessly. It tracks well, has a million options and tones, and costs nearly $400. A killer investment for Royal Blood, who tours with two on his board with different settings for the double-octave and the octave-fifth setting, which can also be accomplished with a Boss Octave OC-5 (with a new higher octave setting on the model #5) or Harmonist PS-6 ($135–155).

The ZOOM bass and guitar MultiStomp series contain pitch options that simulate these pedals as well as the tuner, splitter, EQ, distortion, and amp-simulation. BUT. These pedals have serious latency issues and do not track well. For around $99 they are indispensable for trying out sound concepts with dozens of stomp and amp simulators, but poor for tracking on account of a significant delay.

The best recommendations below have little or no latency or delay and track basically as well as their Electro-Harmonix and Boss counterparts.


VSN Guitar Octave Effect Pedal For Electric Guitar Precise Polyphonic Octave Effects Generator Octpus Guitar Pedals True Bypass Mini Size

Two higher octaves notes aka 1/2 octaves or 12/24 steps – Nails the classic Royal Blood tone.


Donner Harminic Square

Donner Digital Octave Guitar Effect Pedal Harmonic Square 7 modes

Single generated note alows the chord feature, ideally the 5th which works for most chords.


Ammoon Octa

ammoon Precise Polyphonic Octave Generator Pedal

One higher octave, most expensive recommendation, but best looking and simple.


Zoom MultiStomp Bass

Zoom MS-60B MultiStomp Bass Guitar Effects Pedal, Single Stompbox Size, 58 Built-in effects, Tuner


Zoom MultiStomp Guitar

Zoom MS-50G MultiStomp Guitar Effects Pedal, Single Stompbox Size, 100 Built-in effects, Tuner


Top Independent or Local Albums

These are my favorite independent/local/self-funded albums I can think of today. While I was making the list, I realized that independent and indie are not the same thing. Also, Radiohead’s self-released material doesn’t count. Here they are in random order:

  1. Triple Lutz – Vampire Screenplay* (Dallas, TX)
  2. Centro-matic – Love You Just The Same (Denton, TX)
  3. Pedro The Lion – The Only Reason I Feel Secure (Is Because I Am Validated By My Friends)
  4. David Gray – White Ladder (Self-Funded)
  5. Caedmon’s Call – My Calm, Your Storm (Houston, TX)
  6. galleryCat – Bi-Polaroid* (Dallas, TX)
  7. ENIAC – All That’s Left of Us (Denton, TX)
  8. Spilling Poetry – Invisible (Lubbock, TX)
  9. Mexico – If You Wanted to Go* (Dallas, TX)
  10. Flat People – Flat People* (Dallas, TX)
  11. The Promise Ring – Wood Water (Jade Tree)
  12. Gone Since Five – This Is How You Felt* (Lubbock, TX)
  13. Pedro The Lion – It’s Hard to Find a Friend (Seattle, WA)
  14. Astronautalis – This is Our Science (Fake Four)
  15. Primitive Radio Gods – Rocket (Self-Funded)
  16. Centro-matic – Navigational
  17. Julien Baker – Sprained Ankle (IndieGoGo, Murpheesboro, TN)
  18. Spilling Poetry – Microphonic
  19. The Wishlist – Life’s Design of Mind* (Dallas, TX)
  20. Three Car Garage – ThRe3 CaR GaRagE* (Luboock, TX)
  21. Centro-matic – Fort Recovery
  22. Sorta – Strange and Sad but True (Dallas, TX)
  23. TW Walsh – Blue Laws (Boston, Seattle)

* I played on these records.