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Electro-Harmonix POG Pico

Polyphonic Octave Generator Pedal By Paul White
Published July 2024

Electro-Harmonix POG Pico

The Electro‑Harmonix POG, which stands for ‘polyphonic octave generator’, has been around for a number of years and has spawned both Nano and Micro versions, but now its essential POGishness has been condensed into the even smaller Pico‑format enclosure. This diminutive red pedal follows the four knobs and one button format of other EHX Pico pedals. The bypass is electronically buffered, and if using a pedalboard PSU you need to know that the current requirement is 100mA — though a separate PSU is included in the price.

Separate volume knobs set the levels of the octave‑up, octave‑down and dry components of the sound, while the fourth knob, Tone, has three different modes that you select using the Filter button. The colour of the LED indicates which mode is active, showing green for Tone mode, red for Low‑pass mode and orange for High‑pass mode. In Tone mode, you get a tilt‑like EQ with a flat frequency response in the centre, then as you turn the knob clockwise you get more treble while the low end gets pulled back. Go the other way and the bass comes up while the treble comes down. Tilt EQ is applied to all three voices in this mode. The low filter works below 300Hz while the high filter works above 800Hz. In Low‑pass filter mode, the filter has a resonant character; the Tone control attenuates the highs in the sub and octave‑up voices, leaving the original sound unprocessed. And no surprise for guessing that High‑pass filter mode cuts lows in the sub and octave‑up voices, again leaving the original dry sound unchanged.

The key thing about the POG technology is that the pitch‑shifting works reasonably smoothly on chords, not just monophonic lines, though it is smoother still on single notes. It may not sound quite as pristine as some of the ‘big gun’ studio rack units, as polyphonic sounds can still exhibit some of that tell‑tale shimmer, but it can still sound really impressive when mixed with the dry sound. Play monophonic parts and the pitch‑shifting is rock solid, with none of that shimmer.

Mix all three voices and you can achieve a fat organ‑like sound, which sounds even more convincing if you pass the result through a rotary simulator pedal.

Mixing in just a little of the upper octave creates a viable faux 12‑string guitar sound, while mixing in just the sub octave is great for big, doomy riffs. Mix all three voices and you can achieve a fat organ‑like sound, which sounds even more convincing if you pass the result through a rotary simulator pedal. Speaking of which, I wonder if the EHX Lester rotary effect might eventually make it into the Pico range?

If octave sounds are a big part of your sound, then one of the more comprehensive POG pedals might be a better choice, but if you just want to throw in the occasional bit of octave magic without sacrificing much pedalboard space, then the POG Pico fits the bill perfectly: while it’s scaled down in physical size, the sound is still as big as ever and those three filter modes offer a useful amount of tonal shaping. 


£199 including VAT.

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