Bloop, bloop…coming through!
Back in January at the NAMM Show, Chase Bliss Audio was thrilled to unveil the prototype of a project they’re working on with their friends KNOBs and 3 Degrees Audio. On January 23rd, Chase Bliss posted a video on their Instagram page that stated “We’re making a looper. It doesn’t do much yet. We’re filming the process of making it.” The caption of the video clarified there was “No planned release date or price,” but mentioned that “Each month we’ll publish a video covering the development and all the things we’re doing wrong.” Long story short, they knew it wasn’t ready, but wanted to announce its progress since conception. They made the decision to document the stages in the development process in efforts to absorb suggestions from pedal enthusiasts through various social channels.
On February 1st, Chase Bliss Audio posted another video on Instagram of the Blooper pedal in toddler phase. Joel Korte, founder of Chase Bliss Audio declares optimistically “We’re blooping!” He states that this was the “first time we had my Chase Bliss motherboard and his powerful xmos DSP processor communicating properly.”
Over the next several months, the collaboration team released “Blooper Reels,” which included discussions, new development strategies, and LOTS of ideas. On April 17th, Chase Bliss Audio posted another video on Instagram introducing the Blooper team and what each of their rolls were. KNOBs was the product designer. His job has been paving the road for “what the product should be.” Joel Korte introduced himself as the project manager, making sure that all moving parts of this Blooper mission were running smoothly. Next, he introduced Mark Seel, DSP designer and founder of 3 Degrees Audio, who Joel referred to as a “wizard guy.” Mark would be in charge of the DSP design as well as coding. The next Blooper team member introduced was Parker Coons, who would be assisting in hardware design and DSP support. Lastly, Zach Warpinski was introduced as the electronics technician/tester.
On September 5th, Chase Bliss Audio announced the launch of a Kickstarter campaign to assist in the final stages in development of the Blooper. In the announcement video, Joel Korte hinted that the reason for the crowd-funding campaign was that an additional project was underway, and they “don’t want to stop,” they want to “keep going.” They didn’t want money to stop them. Pledges of $529 or more will receive a Blooper pedal in CBA’s signature wooden box packaging once everything in the development process was finalized (ETA on Kickstarter is December 2019.) The addition of the wooden box is a special touch, since Joel recently faced a tough business decision to retire the boxes. “It’s an overwhelming process. And they’re expensive.”
So what exactly is Blooper?
We have a general grasp on what the development process has been like, but what has Blooper actually come to be? As listed on the Kickstarter campaign, here are the major features that the Blooper team believes will be most exciting to customers:
- 40 seconds max loop time (48kHz, 16 bit) with ultra-low-noise hardware / XMOS DSP processor, 32 save-able presets and full undo / redo capability
- 8 layers of undo / redo, unlimited overdubs (oldest layer gets discarded after 8)
- Layers knob to navigate through undo / redo layers
- 6 loop modifiers (quantized & free time/speed changes, scrambler, trimmer, filter and dropper) available over 2 independent channels
- Normal, additive (effects get recorded), and one-shot sampling modes
- Full midi implementation via 1/4″ TRS
- Repeats knob for fading loops or to use blooper like a tap-tempo delay
- CV clock sync and modulation control
- Stability control introducing optional tape and warble effects to loop.
- Chase Bliss ramping control (including randomization and ability to sync to loop time)
- Expression control over any parameter either individually or simultaneously
- Dip-switches for customizing behavior: dry kill, straight to overdub, etc.
The Blooper team has come a long way since the seed was first planted in early spring of 2018, with the help of a surrounding community of pedal enthusiasts. Joel admits that Blooper takes the lead as “the longest development process of any project we’ve ever done.” He is confident the final product will be ready for release sometime in late 2019.