Joel Korte of Chase Bliss Audio gave the pedal world quite a shock last week when he dropped the new Mood micro-looper and delay. With many in the community looking towards the previously announced Blooper and Automatone as the brand's next potential releases, the Mood pedal was a pleasant surprise.
The pedal is another collaboration (much like the recent Dark World), between Chase Bliss Audio and two other brands, Old Blood Noise Endeavors and Drolo Effects. Essentially, the stompbox features two separate pedals inside with the left channel being dedicated to effects and the right side acting as the micro-looper. More on that in a minute though...
Vintage King's Dustin McLaughlin got hands-on with the Chase Bliss Audio Mood and put it through the wringer. Watch below to hear some of the incredible sounds you can get with the Mood pedal and continue below to read Dustin's thoughts on the effects, looper, controls, and dip switches.
It’s best to approach the Mood by breaking it down into three different sections. The effects side, which was designed in collaboration with Old Blood Noise Endeavors, the center section of the pedal, and the micro looper side which was designed by Drolo Effects. Let's start with the effects side, which features three different time-based algorithms to choose from.
Effects Section (Left Strip of Controls):
This goes from a jagged, particle delay to a washed out, ethereal reverb just by advancing the Modify knob. The knob simply smears the repeats. The Length knob will extend the effect to a nearly infinite decay.
This is a clean digital delay. Length controls the delay time, while Modify controls the delays repeats. Unlike a typical delay that will self oscillate into insanity, turning Modify all the way up will evenly loop whatever you play into it without increasing in volume. So if you want a loop with longer and cleaner time than the micro looper side of the Mood, this is the best way to go.
This is where I spend most of my time on the effects side of the pedal. Using the Modify knob, it allows you to shift the pitch of your wet signal +1/-1 octave, both in forward and reverse motion. The Length knob determines how soon the wet signal repeats after you give it signal.
Middle Section (Center Strip of Controls):
Before we get to the micro looper side of the pedal, let’s look at the two center knobs and switch. We have a master Mix control and a control called Clock. This, in my opinion, is the heart of the pedal. Clock determines the master time and sample rate for both the effects side and micro looper side. So, the highest sample rate will be the cleanest but also the shortest delay or loop.
By turning the knob counter-clockwise, you’ll notice your repeats and loops will start to pixelate, but now with longer loop time. Turning this knob all the way to the 8 o’clock position will render your signal pretty much blown to smithereens.
The switch below allows the user to determine whether or not you want to affect the micro looper with the effect section and vice versa or keep each side separate from one another. Basically, it’s up to you how you want each side to interact with one another.
Micro Looper Section (Right Strip of Controls):
The micro looper side of the pedal is always listening. The way you can tell is that when the pedal is bypassed, there will be a red LED (record) glowing at all times until you engage it and it will glow green (playback). As mentioned above, the Clock control determines the length of the loop but if you need a visual aid, pay attention to that red LED. Every time it blinks, it’s restarting the loop cycle. As you adjust the Clock knob you will see that single blink becoming longer and shorter. There are three different ways to manipulate your micro loop.
As your loop is playing, anything played on top of it will create momentary stutters, time-stretching, and frozen notes that works in tandem with the Length knob. Length in all modes allows you to shorten the loop time down to a smashed together, pixelated version of itself. When you stop playing, the loop resumes as normal.
Similar to the Slip effect, Tape allows you to adjust the speed, pitch and direction of your loop.
This allows you to blur your loop into a ghostly recall of itself. Start with shortening your loop with the Length knob and then Stretch it back out and listen to how it struggles to pull itself to each note.
As with all Chase Bliss Audio pedals, the dip-switch grid on the back is a tweaker's dream. This holds especially true with the Mood. For something more subtle, bounce the delay time and match the ramp time just off from it to get a nice chorus. For something more extreme, try bouncing the Clock knob while in Slip mode to get fluttering arpeggiations.
The Chase Bliss Audio Mood is such an explorative device and you can take it in so many different directions. It can nail all the traditional delays, modulation effects and reverbs, as well as performing a blown out noise set on just one pedal. One way to think about the micro looper is more like an expression control. I found myself just bringing in bursts of it at the end of chord changes just to add a little octave up synth swell or rhythmic, reverse countermelody.
If you want to order the Mood micro-looper and delay pedal or have questions about any Chase Bliss Audio products, contact a Vintage King Audio Consultant via email or by phone at 866.644.0160.