Chase Bliss Audio Habit Echo Collector Review

A true musical memory machine

It’s not often you come across a pedal that is so experimentally inspirational.

The Chase Bliss Audio Habit Echo Collector is not a traditional delay pedal, in fact, very little about it is traditional! Use Habit for a plethora of musical endeavors, from jamming alone to sitting in contemplation with your musical ideas. Fair warning, Habit is not your traditional looper, either. It’s many things at once, actually – musical, functional, experimental...let’s break it down.

An Automated Musical Canvas

Like an audible notebook, clicking on Habit is like opening a fresh, blank piece of paper. Strum a chord and put it down on the page. Pick a couple of notes to add to it.

Using this paper analogy, you can imagine a traditional delay pedal as writing a sentence, turning the page, writing the same sentence on the next page more faintly, and continuing on until the sentence is gone. You can imagine a traditional looper as writing a sentence, turning a page, rewriting it identically, and so on. In either case, you’re turning a page in your musical notebook and you’re progressing in a traditional way. Habit does not follow the same linear progression.

Like this musical book image, Habit borrows delay and looper functions, but executes them differently. Playing Habit is like starting with a blank page, writing a sentence, having it fade out, and then return exactly as it was first written multiple pages later – essentially, automatic movement of musical phrases with manual recall capabilities.

These capabilities can summon a whole host of delay tones and looping setups. For those seeking out a delay for experimentation, unpredictable yet inspiring compositions, ambience, or anything involving pushing the proverbial envelope, Habit hits its mark.

Let’s take another step.

A Real-Time Digital Tape Reel

When engaged, Habit is always on and always listening. Where other delay pedals wait and listen for a signal to repeat and loopers wait for designated footswitch activation, Habit has no activation start and stop. Instead of waiting for you to activate its delay and looping at an exact moment in time, Habit clicks on and begins listening for three minutes. During those first three minutes, whatever you play is stored in Habit and repeats to your parameter settings. Once the three-minute mark hits, Habit continues on, cutting out the beginning of the recording and recording new signal input in its place in real time. From there, you can have a three-minute internal memory track always playing, being built upon and cycled out for new signal input.

Classic Chase Bliss dipswitches play a large part in Habit’s sounds and operations. Among the many switches on Habit, the Scan dipswitch can be used to swap between manual and automatic memory recall. On the manual setting, rolling through your three-minute memory track will allow you to select the section of memory you want to modify or repeat.

The automatic dipswitch setting will let the Habit scan backwards into its internal memory to bring up older parts of the internal memory recording on its own. Scan lets you delve into your past playing to adjust sections of memory. As a reminder, the Habit will still be listening and playing delayed repeats all while you adjust Scan’s parameters.

Another important dipswitch control changes the Habit experience massively. Collect is a control that engages an overdub function within Habit. Where Habit’s usual function is to discard memory past three minutes to make room for new input, with Collect switched on, Habit will build up and layer by recollecting and replaying what you play every three minutes. This recall quickly builds up as what you played three minutes before compounding onto what you are currently playing. Use Collect to put Habit’s memory functions on display in full force.

With many other functions and ways to play Habit, the pedal is open to exploration and experimentation in completely new ways. These two examples are not limits of what Habit is capable of. An included fifty-page manual features intuitive instructions for working the smallest functions of Habit along with jumping off points for players picking it up for the first time.

Chase Bliss Audio Habit Echo Collector Final Thoughts

In stunning fashion, the Chase Bliss Habit Echo Collector expands the typical sonic spectrum exponentially for fans of delay and looping, studio tinkerers, ambient musicians, and anyone willing to take it for a spin. Habit is a simply mind-boggling pedal that helps to compose music in new ways that are best described as experimental. It’s a perfect pick for players looking to step back and examine their musical compositions from a massive number of angles.

An awesome mix of functions crafted to inspire musical ideas and stumble upon new sounds, Habit’s playing experience is certainly unlike any before it.

Click Habit on and get new perspectives on your own memory. It’s an experience neither you nor Habit will forget anytime soon.