To say that anticipation has been high is an understatement, and while the journey has felt like a long one, we've finally reached the summit. The Chase Bliss Audio Blooper pedal is in our hands and it was worth the wait.
So what makes the Blooper so special? For starters, it's everything you'd want in a loop pedal. You can save, sync, use different levels of undo/redo, and you've got MIDI control. From there, you can take it anywhere you want. You're able to blur, blend, create patterns, filter, trim, and that's really just for starters.
Watch our new demo of the Chase Bliss Audio Blooper below and after the video, continue reading to discover my five favorite features of the pedal.
Five Favorite Features Of The Chase Bliss Audio Blooper Pedal
1. Using The Blooper As A Delay
Typically, you’d find a Repeats knob on your favorite delay pedal and turning it up would most likely send it into self-oscillation. With the Blooper, max it out clockwise and you’ll see that the pointer on the knob lands right on an infinity symbol. This means whatever you play, it will playback in an endless loop.
So, as you can imagine, rolling off this knob will eventually cause whatever you play, to fade out at some point, meaning you can use Blooper as a high-quality digital delay. Within that delay set-up, you can add modifiers for pitch-shifted, reversed and filtered repeats.
Like your delay with a little more color to it? Turn the Stability knob to about 10 O’Clock for an excellent tape echo sound. Blooper has around 30 seconds of total looper time so, you’d better believe that you can create extremely drawn out, ambient, Fripper-Tronics style looping with this.
Best delay feature though? Rapidly tap in your delay time with the Rec knob and make sure that you’re still in record mode to achieve a delay (red LED). Turn the Repeats to about 10 O'Clock. Play whatever slapback riff you want in time with the delay and right at the end of your riff, click the Play (green LED) foot-switch to grab that last repeat of the delay and it will loop/glitch that repeat until you click the Rec again to access the delay. So essentially switch back and forth from delay to looping. So much to explore as just a stand-alone delay pedal.
2. Utilizing Layers With Blooper
Many recent loop pedals have added functionality to peel back and add layers that you’ve already recorded. Blooper can record up to eight separate independent layers, but what is awesome is that there is a dedicated knob that you can scroll through as 0pposed to clicking them on a switch. Best part? You can still click through with Blooper as well!
A fun experiment to try is recording eight different notes all in key with each other. Then, using the dip switches on the back, Bounce the Layers knob and they all play in a sequence. From there, you can add the Scrambler Modifier to randomize it!
3. Recording Modifiers
Blooper currently ships with six on-board Modifiers (or effects) and Chase Bliss is talking about adding more in the future that you can upload into the physical pedal via the USB port on the side. Here’s a quick overview of the different Modifiers.
Smooth Speed: Like a tape machine in that you can shift the pitch and timing, both forwards and backwards +/- 2 octaves.
Dropper: This causes small parts of your loop to audibly drop out.
Trimmer: Shortens the length of your loop all the way to a rapid-fire glitch.
Stepped Speed: Similar to Smooth Speed, but as you advance through the Mod knob, the intervals are hard set to 5ths and octaves.
Scambler: Randomizes your loop into a different pattern.
Filter: A low and high pass filter to eq the sound of your loop.
Now you can approach these in any number of ways. My personal go-to approach is to record a single layer of something very staccato. Then I’ll turn the Trimmer on and turn it to where it’s glitching in time with my loop.
While I listen back and assess a good part where that glitch would fit and I’ll punch just a quick burst of it in. Probably at the tail end right before it wraps around again. I’ll then go over to Stepped Speed and select a 5th or octave down. Again, I listen back to my loop for a good spot to punch that in and record it.
Overall, I try to use Modifiers as rhythmic enhancers. Little ratchets and blurs and dotted 8th bursts that excite a more simple static loop.
Being able to sync Blooper with your favorite drum machine can be extremely rewarding. For this demo, I ran out the TRS MIDI port into a Chase Bliss MIDI box that was sending a clock to my Alesis SR-16 drum machine. I would let the drum machine play and I’d jam on top of it.
Here’s a tip: Once you’re ready to record, you wanna click record on 4 but start playing on 1. This is just how it functions when you’re synced up via MIDI. Upon recording, adding some modifiers and playing back, there’s no phasing or getting out of time with Blooper and the SR-16. They stay perfectly synced. This is a killer way to further your songwriting process.
5. Using The Blooper As A Regular Looper
I love loopers. I’ve been playing them for nearly 20 years. Digital Echoplexs, 16-Second Delays, the DL-4, RC-30, the Mobius looper, etc… I like 'em simple and I like 'em complex, but when you strip away all the bells and whistles, how is it in its most bare-bones state? For this, the Blooper is quite excellent.
All loopers absolutely have a “feel” to them. If you’re playing something tight and rhythmic, you wanna make sure that it’s recording you accurately and that it’s seamlessly helping you connect the loop. Also, it just sounds good. The playback is of high quality, no added artifacts or degradation as you add layers.
Having separate Rec/Start and Stop foot-switches is nothing new but still such a simple luxury as opposed to most single foot-switch loopers where you have to double click to stop. It's also a satisfying feeling to click both foot switches at the same time to erase and immediately jump into a new idea. If they ever made a Blooper Junior, just give me those functions with a Layers knob and I’m all set.