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Microphone Month 4

POGs and HOGs

Q: I saw Daniel Fisher’s video on the Electro-Harmonix HOG at Sweetwater’s YouTube page — totally cool! But what’s the difference between the HOG (Harmonic Octave Generator) and the POG2 (Polyphonic Octave Generator)? Aren’t they both sort of octave generators?

A: Yes, they are both octave generators, and both work with polyphonic input signals, which is amazing! (Most octave dividers/generators can only process one note at a time.

There are a lot of differences, though. You can almost think of the POG2 as the HOG’s little brother — it contains what can be described as a “subset” of the features of the HOG.

For example, the POG2 can create two octaves above and below and one octave above and below the original signal. (Four octave notes plus the original.) The HOG adds 5th above, octave+5th above, 2 octaves+3rd above, three octaves above, and four octaves above — much closer to the drawbar layout and range of harmonics created by an organ.

The POG2 has an attack delay, lowpass filter, and detune controls. You can store eight presets in its memory and recall them from the front panel.

The HOG, on the other hand, has a much more fully featured “synthesis” section with separate envelope shaping for the octaves above and below the original signal, a true resonant filter, and a spectral gate.

The HOG also adds expression pedal control over a variety of amazing effects (as demonstrated in Daniel’s video). The pedal input can even accept control voltage signals for remote control, or you can use MIDI to control the processing. The HOG also has dry and processed outputs for stereo effects.

To sum up, if you need a polyphonic octave generator with powerful shaping controls, the POG2 will do it. If you want to take octave generation into the stratosphere and add synth-like processing, and do it all under manual or MIDI control, then the HOG is for you.

By the way, if you go with the HOG, it comes with an expression pedal, but you’re definitely going to want to add the optional 6-switch foot controller pedal as well, so you can store and recall presets.

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