The OCTAVIA is probably our most famous and distinctive creation. This guitar effect was designed in early 1967 and featured on "Purple Haze" and "Fire" by Jimi. It's unique tones can also be heard on such tracks as "One Rainy Wish", "Little Miss Lover", "Little Wing", "Machine Gun" etc.
The OCTAVIA produces a sound that is an octave higher than the note you are presently playing. This doubling effect is accomplished through electronic mirror imaging techniques that are program sensitive and also respond to the feedforward inputs of the player. The electronic circuitry is analogue in design and will react faithfully to all the subtleties and harmonic overtones from the guitar. The effect produced is very unique but human in quality. The unit that is manufactured today is representative of the latest evolution of Octavia that Jimi used and contains the feedforward and gating effect that my earlier evolutions lacked. The modern clones today often copy the Tycobrahe unit that in fact was a rip off of my earlier 24 volt versions. These units were not designed to work optimally with 9 volts and in fact you would be buying a clone of a copy so it makes sense to buy a unit from the man who invented it.
Electronically the OCTAVIA is an analogue circuit with the properties of a frequency doubler, envelope generator and amplitude modulator with addition frequency shaping filter circuits. The effect produced is subtle to wild depending on the settings used and will respond to the attack of the player. A clean tone from the guitar with say the tone rolled control rolled off will produce "ring modulated" overtones that characterise the solo to "Who knows". The sound is tangibly different if a fuzz unit is in front of the Octavia: an upper octave double is created, clearly demonstrated in the solo to "Purple Haze". The bright harmonics are more controllable if the neck pickup is selected and the tone control set to roll off the treble. The effect really comes into it's own on the top E and B strings from the 7th fret up. A clean and precise picking style is essential with particular attention to accurate fretting techniques.
Jimi placed the Octavia after a fuzz and wah unit in most cases so it would react to the combined effects of both the wah and one or more fuzz boxes. It is important to experiment with how much signal you are driving the Octavia with as this has a great influence on the sound produced.
Starting with the Ultimate Speaker Demo, an ever-increasing number of the GearTunes audio clips are being tracked using the Radial JCR Reamp. The Reamp was invented by my good friend and colleague John Cuniberti who engineered/co-produced many of Joe Satriani's most infamous recordings.
For GearTunes, reamping allows me to record a track where the guitar "hears" the amp in the room, but initially only the guitar or guitar and effects signal is recorded. This allows me to spend additional time perfecting amp tones and mic placement once I have the performance I'm looking for. One of the byproducts of this process is the creation of GearTunes DI Clips which enable you to play select guitars and effects through your amp by using your mobile device or computer as a reamp device.
For GearTunes DI Clips - and Gear Tune DI Clips ONLY (always found under the DI clips tab for gear that has one), you can play our guitar and effects through your amp. Simply use an unbalanced cable that terminates with an 1/8th inch jack on one end and a 1/4 inch jack on the other. Connect the 1/8th jack to the output of your mobile device or computer and the 1/4 inch jack into the front of your amp. Start off with your amp volume at zero and your mobile device (or computer) volume all the way up to ensure you hit the front end of the amp with enough signal, and then gradually increase the volume of the clean channel on your amp until you reach a level that is not capable of causing damage to your ears or equipment. GearTunes accepts no liability for the use, abuse or misuse of these clips, and playing them into your amp is done exclusively at your own risk.
I am tremendously excited about being able to share GearTunes DI Clips with you as you journey on your quest to find right gear for the music you play! Cheers ~ Doug:)
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