Roger Mayer (engineer)
Roger Mayer is the electrical engineer who developed several electric guitar effects, most notably the Octavia, an effects pedal which reproduced the input signal one octave higher, and mixes the two sounds with some added fuzz. The effect was popularized by Jimi Hendrix, and can be heard during the solos on the song "Purple Haze".
The Octavia, as well as several other effects, are still being produced under Roger Mayer's name.
Roger Mayer was an acoustic engineer, working for the Admiralty on underwater research projects. At a time when guitar effects were virtually unknown, he designed and built fuzz boxes for leading English guitarists (Big Jim Sullivan, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck) that can be heard on P.J. Proby singles such as "Hold Me" (1964) and on numerous Yardbirds tracks. In early 1967, he saw Jimi Hendrix play at Chislehurst Caves and introduced himself. Hendrix was aware of the Yardbirds' records and wanted detail on how the guitar tones were created. Within weeks Roger Mayer was in the studio with him, working on tones and designing custom guitar FX to realize the sounds Hendrix 'heard' in his head. His designs can be heard all over the albums Axis: Bold as Love and Electric Ladyland. Mayer worked with many other artists from the Isley Brothers to Bob Marley (he co-built a pioneering early synth for Stevie Wonder) but is most closely associated with Jimi Hendrix.
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