Digital Brain. Digital Heart. Doesn’t quite have the same ring to it does it? Well, here we are… in a few hours we will be releasing our first fully digital design. How did this happen? Well, I’m going to tell you. That’s the point of this blog post.
When I started this company in 2013, I had *zero* intention of ever releasing anything fully digital. It just wasn’t appealing to me in any sense. There was enough great digital stuff out there already and I wanted to focus on the stuff I was good at.
But as each year passed, the emails *really* started to pile up. At least once a week, we would get an inquiry asking when we would release a reverb. At first I just ignored it… but after a couple of years I really started to consider it. I went through every thought experiment… “How could I make this analog?” I bought spring tanks… experimented, and I loved the sound of them.
The stumbling block for me is that I did not think that digitally controlling analog reverbs really offered anything useful. I always just used them at one (maybe two settings), so it felt gimmicky to me. Small springs that might fit in our pedals did not sound nearly as good to me as big springs. I resigned myself that reverb was not something that we would release.
But the emails kept coming.
So I kept thinking.
Then one day it hit me. For me, these things always start in a somewhat selfish way. My devices have to be something that I personally think is useful. I had been using bigger, more complicated reverbs and I found that I would forgot what some of the controls did sometimes. I wanted something simpler. I always wanted to be able to change between two channels (one bigger, one more subtle) and have the trails melt into each other. And then I looked at Brothers… what if we did a reverb pedal with routing like that? It felt exciting to me, it felt like something I really wanted for my board, so I started really thinking about it. The big kicker for me was that the two channels would have to wildly different… and once I was able to get Keeley Electronics and Cooper FX on board, I thought there was a chance for something really interesting to happen.
It’s a strange place to be in because this might be my favorite Chase Bliss pedal. I can’t draw too many conclusions on this because it seems the latest release is always my favorite Chase Bliss pedal, but still, it’s a thing. At the end of the day, I have to be honest with myself. A digitally controlled analog reverb in our format was not appealing to me, it’s not the reverb I wanted. I wanted Dark World.
So, will we do more digital pedals? Probably. Will we do more analog pedals? Of course! It’s what I do, after all. It feels good, it feels freeing in a way, like anything is possible. And if you were wondering, yeah, I’m still sticking with the tagline: Digital Brain. Analog Heart.