Carl Martin Octa-Switch MK3

Add programmable multi-effect switching control to your analog pedals with the new Carl Martin Octa-Switch MK3.

Carl Martin Octa-Switch MK3

It follows the same design and features as its predecessor, the Octa MKII. The main difference being the smaller more space saving footprint. It works without any need for complex MIDI and digital menus, all you have to do is plug your pedals, program the combinations you want in a preset and play.

Since normal humans have at most only two legs, there really is not much foot control available especially for those with multiple stomboxes. With one leg serving as your balancer, you will only have one free leg to step on the stompboxes that you want to engage or disengage, thus limiting your effect switching to just one pedal at a time.

Multi-effect pedals have long since solved this problem by allowing you to program multiple pedals into a single switch, allowing you to make virtually unlimited changes in realtime with just one pedal switch. The only downside to this is that many guitarists prefer the sound of analog stompboxes, and so MIDI controllers and digital footswitches are created to provide a digital brain that controls analog pedals.

The Carl Martin Octa-Switch MK3 is one such foot controller, designed to handle up to eight effects. All you have to do is turn on all your stompboxes, and plug them into the Octa-Switch MK3 and it will allow you to program which pedals to turn on a per “bank” or patch setting, much like you would on a multi-effects unit.

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To remove the need for complex menus, the company utilized basic DIP switches for you to set the effects that you want to be enabled by a particular preset. The only downside to this setup is that you can’t change specific settings of your analog pedals as you switch presets, something that’s been available from multi-effects units for the longest time. Still, being able to switch multiple analog effects simultaneously during live performance is a good thing, much like having extra legs that let you properly switch on/off the appropriate effects while you perform.

Here is how the company describes the Octa MK3, “Your eight effects plug into the eight effects-loops on the back of this unit (all true-bypass, impedance free gold relays so you can run any of your pedals, new and old without problem), and then by turning on or off the numbered switches in each of eight DIP Bank switches, you determine which effects you wish to use simultaneously in each Bank. There is a blue LED for every effects loop used and for each Bank (so once you are programmed, when you step on Bank 6 you will see the lights of all the effects you have assigned to Bank 6 and the Bank 6 LED). Once you have each Bank programmed, we recommend placing a piece of scotch or electrical tape over each DIP (….just to protect the switch from damage or floods….like beer). There is a buffered (or not….switchable) Mono input and a stereo Output, and the unit is powered by dual 9v batteries, or by a regulated power supply.”

The new Octa-Switch MK3 is now shipping, and the company is even giving one away for free to a lucky fan that will spread the word about the unit via social media. For more information, head over to Carl Martin

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