Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

What is note bloom?

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

  1. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

    Jun 21, 2011
    Thank you very much, I now know that bloom is quite dangerous if it falls into the wrong feets.
  2. Jimclarke100

    Jimclarke100 Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 8, 2009
    Horsham, UK
    Actually I’ll see your world of distortion and overdrive pedals and raise you the world of top end hi-fi.
    That’s where you’ll find a power cable for over a thousand bucks with accompanying snake oil....
  3. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Mar 16, 2003
    Arlington, VA
    Any note has an attack/decay envelope. There's an initial attack and a decay, and they vary with how you strike the string, the specific guitar and pickups etc. With a guitar the loudest moment is usually right after the pluck.

    "bloom" refers to a note that seems to intensify after the initial attack, so it gets louder, changes timbre, or stays at the same level when it should be decaying.

    Things that produce that would generally be tube amp "sag," where the power supply in some tube amps shows a slight delay in reaching full power, or compression, where the compressor is set to let the initial attack of the note through and then grab it as it starts to decay, and keep the level up
    moosie likes this.
  4. JD0x0

    JD0x0 Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 22, 2009
    New York
    People mention 'sag' a lot but there's a ton of amps that don't really 'sag' at all and get really really good bloom.
    Trainwreck and Dumbles are examples. Dumbles specifically have VERY tight power sections, IME, and solid state rectifier, very minimal to no sag, but those amps will bloom more than anything.

    Here's another example of an amp that doesn't sag, but blooms very nicely, and with relatively clean signal and no pedals..

    or this

    The amps 'bloom' into harmonic feedback rather nicely.
  5. Bob Womack

    Bob Womack Tele-Holic

    "Note bloom" is a natural phenomenon in acoustic instruments and their derivatives (electrified instruments) that is caused by the creation of the note. It consists of the generation of a wide series of overtones that are a byproduct of the creation of the attack of the note by the onset of whatever stimulus is used to begin the note, ie. plucking, hammering, the first passage of air through a wind instrument, etc. As the initial stimulation and attack passes, the note begins to simplify to the stable fundamental and characteristic overtones of the body sound of the instrument. The initial bloom corresponds with the loudness peak of the note.

    Overtone bloom is part of how we tell instruments apart, along with the loudness envelope. Those two characteristics are how we tell a Tele from a Les Paul, for instance. The Tele has an overtone bloom that contains a whole octave of overtones not reproduced by the Les Paul's humbucker pickups. It also has a more dynamic initial loudness peak and a wider distance between its loudest peak and the onset of the sustain phase of the note. The Les Paul has an octave less of overtone bloom, a less dynamic peak, and, due to the maple cap, a relatively louder onset of the sustain phase.

    The same sort of phenomenon occurs in amplifier circuits and specifically tube circuits and their analogs. As the front end of a preamp or amp is pushed up it yields more overtones at a note's peak loudness as a result of being pushed further into distortion.

    william tele and highwaycat like this.
  6. highwaycat

    highwaycat Tele-Meister

    Jun 15, 2017
    That was a cool description, can you do a description of a strat like that?
  7. alnicopu

    alnicopu Friend of Leo's

    Oct 3, 2009
    The city
    BOWWoooooooWAHHH!! Sounds like that.
    a_pidgeon likes this.
  8. oyobass

    oyobass Tele-Meister

    Feb 26, 2011
    SpanaGrahm, WA
    My new Ibanez JSM10 semi-hollow blooms amazingly well unamped. Lowering the action (and this thing will go incredibly low) accentuates this, since the closeness of the frets limits the initial attack of the note from ringing out. Once the arc of the vibrating string is no longer limited by the frets, the overtones come into play, (or maybe "out to play").
    I raised the action and the effect went away somewhat, but is still there. None of my other guitars will allow for action that low without fretting out, so I haven't heard it so much with them...
  9. Bob Womack

    Bob Womack Tele-Holic

    From a standpoint of loudness envelope and overtone bloom, the Strat and Tele are pretty close. The Strat has a slightly slower attack and a different set of overtones that are emphasized but the single coils open up about the same amount of overtones. Best I can tell the Strat has a lower onset of its sustain phase than the Tele as well. Incidentally, they say that good late '50s -1960 Les Pauls can sound remarkably close to a Tele when played through a clean amp because of the under-wound PAF pickups and light woods.

  10. jrblue

    jrblue Tele-Holic

    Nov 14, 2010
    Santa Barbara
    I would love to know how an acoustic guitar can possibly increase the amplitude of the sound it is producing a second or more after the energy has been introduced into the system by picking or plucking a string. As Ralph Wiggum would say, "that's unpossible." As for an electric guitar, posters are talking about both amplitude and "harmonic content" as being characteristic of "bloom." (That is, it's an increase in the real, or perceived -- or both? -- volume of the note.) There are lots of places in the signal path where this can happen, though the pickup is not one of them (unless you're playing so loud that you're introducing feedback into the system). Various pedals can jack the signal up after the initial hit; various amp components can do so -- bringing up the signal strength, or changing the harmonic content to suggest a kind of second wind. Personally, I have a trained monkey who operates the master volume control on my amp, giving it a little twist whenever I hold a note, so we can all enjoy the bloom.
  11. schmee

    schmee Friend of Leo's

    Jun 2, 2003
    The only thing I can use is once a note is played; it gets louder, or fuller. Minor feedback or sustain might be an example. When something blooms it is growing or expanding...
  12. highwaycat

    highwaycat Tele-Meister

    Jun 15, 2017
    I noticed some kind of bloom when I was playing my old acoustic, the overtones kept going and blooming. It's a 48 year old guitar.
    I once had a fender prosonic. They say it blooms, it kinda does, whatever that means.
    But due to lots of sag, it lacked a ton of articulation, I sold it because it was useless for how I played. Like playing fast was just a blur. It also ran super hot, you could cook an egg on top of the amp.
  13. soulgeezer

    soulgeezer Poster Extraordinaire

    Nov 5, 2006
    Sinatra's World
    Turn your palm up and close your hand. Now, open it slowly. Imagine the note you just struck is the closed hand and the opening of the hand is how the note develops harmonics as it sustains. That’s note bloom.
  14. william tele

    william tele Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Nov 7, 2009
    Kansas City, MO
    If you talk about bloom in an acoustic guitar it's not necessarily controllable. It's built in. Acoustic guitars have a harder time with latitude and producing a dynamic consistency. Most typically in my experience is the balance in a large dred or jumbo. They sound good and boom sweetly but I've come to love the perfect balance across the strings on my OM 18 sized, rebuilt Harmony... and I can drive it hard.

    My interpretation of bloom happens quicker than what it sounds like other people might be envisioning so I could be full of crap...
  15. Jack S

    Jack S Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

    Sep 25, 2008
    Berwyn, IL
    If you watch the wave pattern on a plucked string you see the initial attack , but a split second after the attack the string comes to full resonance for the gauge of string and pitch it is tuned to before tapering down so some acoustic guitars do have a marginal bloom-like effect, but all plucked strings behave this way. It happens very quickly after the string is plucked. However playing chords on an acoustic I suspect will not give you this effect in any noticeable way.
    william tele likes this.
  16. soulgeezer

    soulgeezer Poster Extraordinaire

    Nov 5, 2006
    Sinatra's World
    I believe Note Bloom is Leopold Bloom's little brother. But, I could be wrong... ;) :D

    ETA: Boris beat me to it! You bastadge! :D
    boris bubbanov likes this.
  17. william tele

    william tele Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Nov 7, 2009
    Kansas City, MO
    This is NOT the thread for ridiculous depictions of Hyundai owners...
    Bill likes this.
  18. Old Tele man

    Old Tele man Friend of Leo's

    May 10, 2017
    Tucson, AZ
    NOTE BLOOM is the musical equivalent of WATER COLOR paint SPREAD, without the water.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
  19. Backbeat8

    Backbeat8 Tele-Holic

    Jun 21, 2018
    Notes refer to music theory and music . Bloom refers to Sound and the natural limiting/squishing of harmonic distortion from valve amps

    "Note bloom" is a marketing buzz word.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.