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  1. #1

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    Hi all - it's been awhile. I thought it might be useful to take a look at the new(ish) Boss OC-5 and how I've been using it to play unaccompanied. I've been a user of the OC-3 for years (and it's probably one of the most well-loved pedals I own) but I was interested in the new OC-5 and the improvements, especially the new lowest note recognition.

    I did a lengthy comparison between the features, tracking, and tone of the OC-3 vs. OC-5. The last OC-3 video I posted was well-received and I hope it's not offensive if I share this new one here. I think it'll be helpful to anyone considering an upgrade.



    In short, I appreciate the new lowest note recognition mode, slightly improved tracking, and the new octave up sound on the OC-5. If I had one criticism, it would be that I would've wished to limit the lowest note recognition to a certain range on the guitar - a bit like if I had combined the old OC-3 polyphonic mode with this new one. I find it a little annoying that if I want to play a quick single note fill during a solo arrangement, it'll pitch shift the entire thing, even though it's in a higher register of the guitar. Luckily, the OC-5 also can function exactly like the OC-3 in this sense so I could always go back if I wanted to.

    Personally, I'll be keeping the OC-5 as I really like the new features. I probably won't get much for my OC-3 with the broken knob and beat up enclosure so I think I'll hang on to that too. The OC-5 will probably go on a pedalboard and the OC-3 will live with a battery in it.

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Great demo! Thank you. I was wondering if this pedal would be right for me. (I no longer have my old BOSS octave pedal.) I think so!

  4. #3

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    It would've been better if you played some voicings with the lowest note on the D string up higher on the board. That was one thing about the OC-3 that interrupted some solo guitar playing in a noticeable way, because the bass would completely drop out.
    On DDD, all the voicings were on the low E string, which would've sounded the same on the OC-3.

    Still, it's good to know that you don't have to worry about muddy sounding intervals between the lower strings as much, a big drawback on the OC-3. I don't understand what the octave up thing is doing.
    Donna Lee sounded the same as it would played normally in that position. Is it supposed to add a note an octave higher (like Wes) to the fretted note, or can it make the fretted note sound an octave higher? Did you have it on a low setting so it would sound more subtle?

  5. #4

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    Lowest note recognition will work through the entire range of the guitar if that answers your question. Not sure what you mean by DDD, but in the section where I was playing a few lower chords with the lowest note on the sixth string, the point was to showcase how the OC-3 would've gotten confused over which note it should be pitch shifting.

    The Donna Lee sample was meant to demonstrate how the OC-5 tracks fast passages. The octave knob is a blend to add in an octave up to the note you're playing. I might've had it set more subtle on the Donna Lee bit with an even blend between dry and wet. The sample right after is 100% wet.

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by McJazzer
    Lowest note recognition will work through the entire range of the guitar if that answers your question. Not sure what you mean by DDD, but in the section where I was playing a few lower chords with the lowest note on the sixth string, the point was to showcase how the OC-3 would've gotten confused over which note it should be pitch shifting.

    The Donna Lee sample was meant to demonstrate how the OC-5 tracks fast passages. The octave knob is a blend to add in an octave up to the note you're playing. I might've had it set more subtle on the Donna Lee bit with an even blend between dry and wet. The sample right after is 100% wet.
    DDD= "Darn "Dat Dream"- Dat's da way we speak around here...
    Listening to DL again, I can hear the higher octave a bit, but it's pretty subtle. Definitely not like Wes.
    The funky licks you play afterward don't sound like Wes either. Maybe you should use your thumb.. I guess it adds something to the single notes, but more for fusion than jazz.
    It could be the fact that you're using a carved top with a floating pickup that affects the sound. I tried using my Borys B-120 (a laminate electric archtop) with my OC-3, and it didn't sound as convincing (the bass) as my Borys Jazz Solid, so I used the Jazz Jazz Solid for a four hour solo guitar gig, and it sounded great. Like you said in the beginning, on my desk top with JBL speakers, the bass doesn't sound like a real bass (upright or electric). It had that digital sound and a little too much of the higher octave for my taste. I hope that can be remedied, because that's all I'd want it for. Taking the lowest string down 8va might make solo gigs easier, but I didn't get that from your presentation.

  7. #6

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    Is there an octave device which will add a note an octave down, EXCEPT, below a specified note. OR, with decreasing volume (on the lower note) as you go lower in pitch?

    The idea is to thicken the higher notes while leaving the lower ones alone.

  8. #7

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    Yeah - the octave up mode will not cheat you a Wes tone. Only practice will give you that. The octave up still shifts the transients, which seems like the culprit when trying to figure out why it sounds "digital."

    Really, you can't expect to fully replace a bass player. Rather, the OC-5 (and OC-3) is a nice way to fill out the room on a solo gig. I've always thought it helped me sound more full in an exposed setting.

    RP - I haven't heard of one. What would be the context that you'd need that for?

  9. #8

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    Thanks for the excellent demo, there aren't many available that are not distortion targeted.

    The Oc-2 mode will be great too, I much preferred the oc2 sound and feel to that of the oc3.

    I think the tracking makes or brakes octave devices, and boss is very good in that department, especially if one is looking for a more organic and less synth like tone.

    One of the best proposals for an octave pedal today!

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by McJazzer
    RP - I haven't heard of one. What would be the context that you'd need that for?
    I like to solo with the octave-lower engaged. I like the sound on the higher notes. But, the lower notes are too distorted. If there were a programmable pitch-dependent curve, it might work perfectly for my purposes.

  11. #10

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    I’ll stick with my OC3, I have the bass range limit set at about D which works for me. I usually mute the 5th string when I play chords with the root on the 6th string, so that issue with 2 notes falling into the bass octave does not occur with me. Chords with roots on the 5th string only have one note in the octave range anyway.

    I’ve never tried splitting the output though. Now that I have a focusrite interface that can take 2 inputs, I might try that while recording into Reaper, could be interesting. It means you could pan the 2 signals to stereo a bit, and mix the octave bass however you want, or even get rid of it if you decide you just want to keep the straight guitar sound.

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    I like to solo with the octave-lower engaged. I like the sound on the higher notes. But, the lower notes are too distorted. If there were a programmable pitch-dependent curve, it might work perfectly for my purposes.
    It can be done with a Roland GR-33 and a split pickup, I am sure you can program a Boss SY300 too but I did not try it.

    Adding a high octave to everything would give you a similar result, no ?

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by medblues
    It can be done with a Roland GR-33 and a split pickup, I am sure you can program a Boss SY300 too but I did not try it.

    Adding a high octave to everything would give you a similar result, no ?
    You mean adding the high octave but actually playing in the middle of the guitar's range, instead of up high?

    Doesn't quite work with the way I like to play. The high notes really sing out in a way that an octave-up added to a low note does not. And, then, the high end can sound pretty shrill if you go up too high.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop
    I’ll stick with my OC3, I have the bass range limit set at about D which works for me. I usually mute the 5th string when I play chords with the root on the 6th string, so that issue with 2 notes falling into the bass octave does not occur with me. Chords with roots on the 5th string only have one note in the octave range anyway.

    I’ve never tried splitting the output though. Now that I have a focusrite interface that can take 2 inputs, I might try that while recording into Reaper, could be interesting. It means you could pan the 2 signals to stereo a bit, and mix the octave bass however you want, or even get rid of it if you decide you just want to keep the straight guitar sound.
    I do something like you, and don't suffer from glitchy bass notes. I think splitting into a separate bass amp for live playing would be ideal, but for recording I just turn the direct signal right down and mimic my main rhythm part, but with somewhat more movement in the bass register. I don't try to play a "real" bass part, if you see what I mean.

  15. #14

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    Thanks. Very helpful. I've been thinking about getting one of these. Sounds like it's quite useful for solo guitar settings.

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by McJazzer
    Yeah - the octave up mode will not cheat you a Wes tone. Only practice will give you that. The octave up still shifts the transients, which seems like the culprit when trying to figure out why it sounds "digital."

    Really, you can't expect to fully replace a bass player. Rather, the OC-5 (and OC-3) is a nice way to fill out the room on a solo gig. I've always thought it helped me sound more full in an exposed setting.

    RP - I haven't heard of one. What would be the context that you'd need that for?
    When I do a four hour solo guitar gig, I bring out the heavy artillery. I use an RS-12 speaker cabinet, hooked up to my AI Coda playing through the OC-3, using my Jazz Solid that has a powerful pickup that was specially made by Kent Armstrong to emulate the Dearmond 1100, which is hooked up to an AI Corus It may not fully replace a bass player, but it comes pretty close. I was livin' the dream of replacing those damn keyboard players, who have taken all the gigs away from guitar players.

    A Mesa Boogie is a powerful amp that has incredible projection. I listened to a guy I knew who used to play guitar in one of John Lennon's bands, and you could hear his Mesa Boogie from ANYWHERE in the huge hall we used to play in, but it was a very treble oriented sound.
    If you wanted to get a real bass sound, you'd have to use completely different equipment.

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgcim
    A Mesa Boogie is a powerful amp that has incredible projection.
    I have a Mesa Boogie Mark IIB from the early 80s that I've used for jazz gigs. Like you say it has incredible projection, but it also can produce beautiful clean tones that are very much like playing through a Fender tube amp. It's based on the Fender Princeton circuit I believe.

  18. #17

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    Thanks for demo. Besides the OC-3 overdrive does the OC-5 do everything the OC-3 does specifically in the polyphonic mode?