What is note bloom?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by WilburBufferson, May 1, 2015.

  1. WilburBufferson

    WilburBufferson Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 11, 2009
    I hear a lot of these demo guys talk about "note bloom" when it comes to overdrive pedals. What are they referring to? Is this more of the same marketing pedalspeak like "transparent overdrive"? Sounds like hooey to me, but maybe my ears aren't educated. Can anyone post two contrasting videos (or give examples) of unbloomed and bloomed notes? It's spring after all and I can SEE flowers starting to bloom. :cool:
  2. goonie

    goonie Friend of Leo's

    Dec 20, 2011
    as far as I can tell bloom = a touch of compression
    pedro58 likes this.
  3. RaistMagus

    RaistMagus Tele-Holic

    Dec 31, 2010
    I understand it as the responsiveness you get from a tube power section working at optimal levels, say a Deluxe Reverb with the volume knob at 4-5.
  4. Tonemonkey

    Tonemonkey Poster Extraordinaire

    They tallk about it because its an unintended (initially) benefit of a tube amp on an overdriven note, and they want to claim it as a feature of their pedal.

    In my experience, it when you for example bend a note and the harmonics make the note "grow" beyond the initial strike.

    Like most aural stuff. it's a beeatch to put into words. but its definitely not "hooey".
    Cazualwhiteguy likes this.
  5. Rich_S

    Rich_S Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

    Dec 29, 2006
    Potsdam, NY
    Bloom is what happens when sag is finished.
    ponce, Dan R, Gibson and 8 others like this.
  6. WilburBufferson

    WilburBufferson Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 11, 2009
    Soo... a note is initially compressed and then "opens up" with additional/latent harmonics?
  7. ruger9

    ruger9 Poster Extraordinaire

    Dec 31, 2004
    Hackettstown, NJ
    Excellent description- best I've heard. We're talking tube rectifiers here.... so.... CAN a pedal or solid state rectifier have bloom? The Weber Copper Caps for example are supposed to sag like a tube rectifier..... and some amps have "sag resistors" built in for this same reason...
  8. ruger9

    ruger9 Poster Extraordinaire

    Dec 31, 2004
    Hackettstown, NJ
    It "opens up" because the tube rectifier has "caught up" with the signal- initial sag due to a power drain from the rectifier, then it catches up and goes back up to "full power"...kinda, in layman's terms lol.

    Sort of like a dimming lightbulb when a major appliance turns on.... the window AC unit turns on, the light plugged into that outlet dims for a second. That's sag.
  9. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Nov 9, 2008

    There is nowhere on earth a more dense and voluminous concentration of hoo-hah than in the world of distortion/overdrive pedals.

    Even Washington DC is a distant second place.

    Expensive amps round it out at number 3...
    Gibson, sds1 and Toto'sDad like this.
  10. unixfish

    unixfish Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 20, 2013
    Northeast Ohio, USA

    You pick a note / chord hard, it sounds, then in the next 1/4 to 1/2 second, the sound "fills in" and "blooms". This is all related to tubes and power access.

    A pedal cannot make bloom; it can, however, push a tube circuit harder to make the amp bloom, or bloom more. The claims that the pedal will bloom can be disproven by plugging it into a solid state amp.

    This is like a gasoline (petrol) manufacturer claiming their fuel makes more power. Well, if the engine is set up for high octane / etc, it can use the properties of the fuel to produce more power. If you burn two types of gas independently, they both produce the same amount of heat. The engine creates that power - the fuel has the properties to allow it to be unlocked.

  11. surfoverb

    surfoverb Doctor of Teleocity

    Jul 17, 2007
    note bloom is the glue that holds a crystal lattice structure together
    Gibson, sds1 and Pixies2005 like this.
  12. homesick345

    homesick345 Poster Extraordinaire

    Jan 20, 2012
    Beirut, Lebanon
  13. JD0x0

    JD0x0 Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 22, 2009
    New York
    Acoustics can bloom IMO, and I hear it happen and I've made it happen. Even unamplified..

    Here's what I've gathered...

    IMO compression and 'sag' can help contribute to 'bloom' but it's not necessary, as I've had the same phenomenon happen to unamplified instruments, where the note gets 'bigger' and the string's fullest harmonic content comes out, after you hit certain notes. I've even noticed the string's amplitude INCREASE seconds after a note was hit, before it started decaying. Again, unamplified, as to eliminate the factors of compression, and the speaker putting energy back into the string.

    I understand the naysayers. Not all players can hear it or have the 'touch' for it. And not all instruments facilitate 'bloom'
    It requires a combination of things to make work. So of course not all players will experience this.
    The Dumbles are pretty known for their 'bloom' sometimes they call it 'note flipping' if you need good example, try a web search with those terms there's a few threads on other forums that go pages long, into 'note bloom' it's a very real thing, and not cork sniffing at all, IMO.

    BTW Dumble ODS's are Solid State rectified, and dont get much 'sag' IMO but they do the 'bloom' thing extremely well. Better than most amps, IMO.
  14. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Mar 17, 2003
    Spring City, Pa
  15. fendertx

    fendertx Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Nov 12, 2008
    I have no opinion on note bloom or lack there of, i just wanted to say that the big ass picture of a cork sniffer cracked me up.
    Sleepyscholar and jrblue like this.
  16. Hiker

    Hiker Poster Extraordinaire

    Jul 20, 2008
    This is a OD pedal question fellas, not a tube amp question! ;)

    Back on topic.

    To put it one way, different harmonics are introduced during the process. The guitar signal travels through the OD pedal(s) circuit (and through the solid state or otherwise-amplifier circuit) and finally through the speakers that are carried to those within earshot which the listeners may or may not find enjoyable.
    fasteddie42 likes this.
  17. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

    Jun 21, 2011
    This is note bloom gone wild, so be careful.

    Attached Files:

  18. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Nov 9, 2008
    ^^^I thought $1,000 Klons and $60,000 Dumbles were "note bloom gone wild" ...:confused:
    Pixies2005 likes this.
  19. ruger9

    ruger9 Poster Extraordinaire

    Dec 31, 2004
    Hackettstown, NJ
    Good point on the acoustics... I've experienced that as well.... but it doesn't seem to have to do with the guitar itself as much as how you pluck the note.... but yeah; I've experienced what I would call "bloom" on an acoustic.... but it's not something that happens during regular playing, but more when you pluck/beat THE HELL OUT OF a string...... almost like it's vibrating TOO MUCH, then as it calms down the fretboard is no longer interfering with the string's vibration, therefore the guitar operates as designed, and the note actually gets louder.
  20. devnulljp

    devnulljp Tele-Meister

    Apr 28, 2008
    Except in the world of fuzz pedals and boutique PAF humbuckers.
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