New fuzz pedals have been popping up from all corners of the world in this month of February 2022, but nothing remotely close to the CMC Triple Octave Manipulator, a 3-octave monster designed in collaboration with Thomas Erak of The Fall of Troy.
This is a monophonic synth-style fuzz that offers a wide range of octave gnarl thanks to its three separate signals for Upper, Root and Lower octave, each with controls for volume and gain. Correct, each octave has its separate fuzz.
A 4-way rotary knob on the top right of the case selects the wave shape of the lower octave:
- Clean works great on bass for a fat synth sound heavy on the sub-bass vibes
- Synth delivers an edgier low octave tone rich in harmonics.
- Square Wave Sub is a gated fuzz-style tone with an added sub-octave signal
- Square Wave Unison is the same setting as the third one, but without bub-octave.
For the square wave selections, the setting of the gain control is crucial to control the stability and sustain of the octave as well as the threshold of the fuzz gate.
Here’s the first video of the CMC Triple Octave Manipulator Fuzz.
CMC Triple Octave Manipulator Fuzz, Builder’s Notes
CMC Guitars and Effects presents The Triple Octave Manipulator. The signature pedal of Thomas Erak (The Fall of Troy) is an analog fuzz/octave with a lot of tweakability for those looking for unconventional tones.
The main controls are as easy to adjust as any mixer, with Volume & Gain for the Upper Octave, Root Octave and many Sub Octave voices. Each section can be used on their own or blended together to produce a wide variety of classic octave up, thick vocal-like fuzz, clean bass lines or scrambled synth tones!
Like most monophonic octave pedals, the T.O.M. is very sensitive to the guitar’s output and playing dynamics. Tracking is always improved when using the neck pickup above the 12th fret but part of the charm is the unexpected glitches and jittery sub octaves it can produce, which is why the sub signal has 4 positions to choose: Clean, Synth, Square Wave Sub and Unison Square Wave.
Clean is ideal for a fat bass sound that you want to feel more than hear while synth is armed with extra overtones to grind alongside the fuzz signals. The Square Wave selections offer a gated fuzz at the heart with or without the sub octave signal. Here, the gain control is crucial in dialing in the stability and sustain of the octave as well as the threshold of the Fuzz Gate.
Once dialed in, the master volume helps meld everything into one solid signal to send to you amplifier. Each CMC T.O.M. is handmade one at a time in NY with great attention to detail. Check out the links for Thomas Erak’s Triple Octave Manipulator.