Quick Hit: Pigtronix Octava Micro Review

Amazing oomph and wonderfully weird ring-modulator tones somehow cram in next to classic octave sounds in this tiny treasure.

Recorded with a Squier/Warmoth “Jazzblaster” into the Octava Micro and an MXR Reverb, and then routed to a Jaguar HC50 miked with a Royer R-121 and a Goodsell Valpreaux 21 miked with a Shure SM57, both feeding an Apogee Duet going into GarageBand with no EQ-ing, compression, or effects.
Clip 1: Bridge pickup. First bypassed, then with Octava volume at 3 o’clock, blend at max, filter at 1 o’clock, drive at 4:30, and fuzz circuit disengaged.
Clip 2: Neck pickup. First bypassed, then with Octava (fuzz circuit engaged) volume at 11 o’clock, and blend, filter, and drive at max.



Killer range of gnarly, classic-sounding fuzz and octave tones. Astounding oomph in tiny footprint.

Lacks mind-controlled Inspector Gadget-style popout footswitch for fuzz circuit.


Pigtronix Octava Micro


Ease of Use:



The Octava Micro uses five controls—a fuzz-circuit pushbutton and volume, master blend, filter, and drive knobs—to cram an updated take on the analog octave-up circuit from Pigtronix’s Disnortion into a housing with proportions roughly the inverse of its havoc-creating potential.

While the fuzz is unfortunately not independently footswitchable, the Octava Micro is capable of lardaceously huge tones even with fuzz disabled, thanks to the powerful drive section at the beginning of the signal path.

With fuzz engaged and extreme blend and drive settings, the Octava becomes far more than just an octaver.

The blend knob determines how much classic-toned octaving goes into the mix—vintage-flavored tones that’ll remind some of Hendrix and Trower—while the low-pass filter control lets you brighten or tame EQ response for different pickup types. And the volume control packs serious amp-driving wallop.

With fuzz engaged and extreme blend and drive settings, the Octava becomes far more than just an octaver, going from ring-modulator-ish sounds that eff-up certain scale intervals in a deliciously unpredictable way to transforming just about any guitar—including my vintage-voiced Tele—into a doom-rock/metal bludgeon.

A compact pedal format preamp designed to offer classic, natural bass tone with increased tonal control and extended headroom.

Read MoreShow less

Fig. 1

Here’s a different way to unleash the beast within your tracks.

Welcome to another Dojo. Last month I explained in detail how to set up and use sidechain compression techniques to get that classic pop/EDM pumping sound on your rhythm guitar parts and other instruments in your mix. This time, we’ll use the same setup techniques but, instead of sidechaining a compressor, I’m going to show you the benefits of using a gate.

Read MoreShow less

In high cotton: Charlie Musselwhite is thoroughly content with his return to the Delta. “We love living here,” he says. “It just makes sense, and it feels like the blues is alive and well in the Delta and you can just feel it rising up from the earth, it’s so present.”

Photo by Rory Doyle

On his new album, Mississippi Son, the harmonica giant steps out on guitar, evoking the legends of country blues 6-string and earning his place among them.

For Charlie Musselwhite, the blues isn’t just a style of music. It’s a sacrament. And Musselwhite is one of its high priests. With a palmful of bent notes on the harmonica—the instrument on which he’s been an acknowledged master for more than a half-century—or the fat snap of a guitar string, he has the power to summon not only the blues’ great spirits, but the places they rose from. If you listen closely, you can envision the Mississippi Delta’s plantation lands, where the summer sun forms a shimmering belt on the low horizon and even a slight breeze can paint your face red with clay dust. It’s a place both old and eternal—full of mystery and history and magic. And the music from that place, as Musselwhite sings in his new song “Blues Gave Me a Ride,” “tells the truth in a world full of lies.”

Read MoreShow less