Monster tone is a culmination of technique, control, meticulous research, and superior electronics. Many guitarists spend their whole life searching for the specific frequency that makes their heart jump and their spine shiver. I’m here to help you get to that Promised Land; your very own tonal Valhalla.
What if I told you there was a pedal out there that has the ability to emulate any instrument? What if I told you that same pedal could generate perfect octaves in 4 different ranges? What if I told you that it had 8 easily programmable presets, a built in FX loop which extensively controls attack, filter, and frequency…… and built to fit snugly on your pedal board? Did I mention that it is true-bypass? If your not salivating yet, check your appetite because this pedal is truly a feast of tone fit for a Monster.
This magic box that I’m referring to is the EHX POG2. Electro-Harmonix has a reputation for being mainstream boutique, supplying pedals to retailers nationwide while bringing the quality of a player-friendly pedal builder and the POG2 is everything that they stand for. With this bad boy you can go from mimicking a B3 Organ to Jack White in an instant.
The amazing thing about this octaver is that it does not drop in pitch or time. It is tied to your original output with absolute accuracy. There are five controls in the octave generator that you can use to custom tailor your beefy tone: Dry Output, -2 Octaves, -1 Octaves, +1 Octaves, and +2 Octaves. Each of these controls the volume of the octave it represents. Personally, I like to use it to beef up my solos by keeping the Dry Output (original signal) at normal volume, -2 Octaves at about 2, -1 Octaves at 3-4, +1 Octaves at 3, and +2 octaves at 2-3. The result is my original tone, plus 4 little clones of it keeping it company!
The FX side of the POG2 allows guitarists to customize their attack and sound. The Attack control can be sensitive at times, but the dynamics are outstanding. No volume pedal? You don’t need one with this baby giving you luscious volume swells (*Figuratively speaking. If you don’t have a Volume Pedal get one ASAP!!!) The Low-Pass Filter lets you adjust the resonance and quality of your sound. I like it effect just fine if its mixed in tastefully, but it can get a little wacky for most guitar stuff. However it is essential in recreating the sounds of other instruments (B3, flute, viola, etc.). The Detune feature allows for a finishing touch to your master-crafted tone. Think of it as hot sauce; perfection when it is just right, but just awful if its poured all over the place. The best thing about the FX Controls is that they can be turned down in the mix or even off- you don’t have to use them if they cramp your style.
Consisting of buttons labeled Dry FX and Q, the Central Control is the difference from emulating a flute and playing songs from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (which I am very apt to do) and sounding like Stevie Ray Vaughan playing the solo from Tightrope (which I very much would like to be apt do). Dry FX has three settings that control the amount of FX in the mix. Personally I like it with the FX at a minimum. I’m a firm believer that a pedal is at its best when it just blends into the tone. However I’m a big fan of the Q (which adjusts the LP Filter) because it adds beef to the sound.
The POG2 has 8 programmable presets that are footswitch selectable. Dial in a setting that you like, save it with the pedal, and MAKE SURE TO WRITE IT DOWN!!! Once you save a preset that you absolutely love, the only foolproof way to remember it is to write it in your Tone Journal (Don’t have one? Start one today!).
The POG2 is a monster of a pedal fit for a monster player, but has functions for players of all levels and styles. It is an essential part of my live sound, and I have no idea what else I could use in its place. It tracks the octaves flawlessly, has a memory bank, and its versatility is unmatched. The only criticisms that I do have is that the presets could be more easily cycled through, and the tracking of the octaves are almost too perfect.