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Chase Bliss Automatone First Look

Chase Bliss | Effect Pedals

Chase Bliss Effects

Eric Lapp • Posted on 07/15/2020 • 6 min read

Chase Bliss Audio gives a peak into the future with a uniquely designed, extensively equipped pedal that is all business and a dream for the most avid guitar players and tone hunters.

The Chase Bliss Audio Automatone is a preamp and EQ pedal made for accessing tonal control that has never before been seen.

Chase Bliss and the Benson Preamp

Part of a continued collaboration between Chase Bliss Audio and the Portland, Oregon based Benson Amps, the Automatone started to come to form first through the Benson Preamp. Benson Amps originally crafted a pedal using circuitry based on their Chimera thirty-watt guitar amplifier to replicate its unique tone. The versatile tones of the Benson Preamp pedal were a hit and laid down the foundation for the team at Chase Bliss to start their own preamp pedal with the crisp and clear Benson tones at its heart.

On first sight alone, the Automatone is a marvel. The presentation and the interface are striking as six control sliders take center stage. Accompanied by five buttons and two footswitches, Chase Bliss takes a nontraditional route in both design and utility. The interface is one of a kind, and with it, the magic of Chase Bliss shines through.

Automatone: More than a Preamp

The Automatone functions primarily as a preamp pedal with a number of overdrive tones available. Starting off easy, the Automatone creates a refined boosted baseline. From there, the avenues of experimentation branch off exponentially. Chase Bliss presents a blank slate with a palette of expressive tone controls to color any canvas with different voices of boost, overdrive, and fuzz. This is where the faders, one of the most attractive features of the Automatone, make a grand entrance.

The physical faders of the Automatone play a large role in the overall experience. Easily accessible and satisfying to operate, the faders work to finely tune the tones of the Automatone with pinpoint accuracy. Extensive experimentation is welcomed and encouraged with a tonal range that is dynamic and varied. Along with buttons to engage silicon and germanium style overdriven tones and a fuzz tone reminiscent of silicon Fuzz Face circuits, the Automatone's faders react responsively for authentic driven voices.

Save Everything.

The Automatone would not be the impressive pedal it is without one of its finest features. While adventurously exploring the tones the pedal produces, the savvy music maker need not worry about getting lost in experimentation due to three internal banks of ten preset slots. An incredibly intuitive interface allows players to store up to thirty tone settings to be accessed easily at any time.

This feature is enhanced by the motorized faders that will automatically align into the place of the active preset. Swapping from one preset to the next will automatically activate the faders to slide into the position at the time of capturing the preset, effectively allowing players to pick up exactly where they left off. This function doubles as both a charming party trick and an extensively useful tool in tonal experimentation.

The interface of the Automatone streamlines navigation through the internal banks and presets. Easy operation via the two footswitches is ensured as saving and cycling through presets is cleanly optimized. Other features of the Automatone include expression pedal compatibility and MIDI control. Utilizing the motorized faders, an expression pedal allows players hands-free control over the tone at hand for on-the-fly adjustments.

Final Thoughts

Deeply interactive and highly responsive, the Chase Bliss Audio Automatone is an impressive addition to the Chase Bliss line. The Automatone is certain to stand out to the studio experimenters of the world due to its utility in carefully crafting unique tones. The Automatone encourages players to take time with its extensive tonal capabilities to produce and capture tones that otherwise would not be accessible in any similar pedal. While it is definitely one of the more expensive pedals on the market today, the combination of the preamp, EQ, and drive effects all add up to a pedal that covers many bases for a large variety of scenarios in the studio or on stage. The Chase Bliss Audio Automatone makes a stunning first impression. With the introduction of new methods to create diverse tones all housed within one pedal-sized device, there is a great journey for preamp aficionados to embark on. The Automatone takes a deep look into the future of effect pedals and encourages players to do the same.