You probably already know that I adore anything broken and lo-fi sounding if you’ve read any of my reviews of music equipment on Engadget. You may also be aware that Chase Bliss is among the best at making your instruments sound as though they have just emerged from a decades-long hibernation and are coughing up digital dust. Lossy, the company’s newest pedal, was created in collaboration with Goodhertz, a renowned plugin manufacturer with illustrious lo-fi heritage. In actuality, it is based on the same-named company’s VST effect.
Lossy transforms whatever you feed it into a subpar late 1990s MP3 sound. It’s a real-time digital degradation device that introduces artifacts, resonance, and crunch to evoke cozy memories ( or chilly nightmares ) of Napster downloads taking hours to complete.
The Loss control, which has three different modes and controls the sound’s overall tone, is the pedal’d core. It can play only the frequencies that have been compressed for an especially tinny tone ( Inverse ), spit out washes of out-of-steady glitches ( Phase Jitter ), or deliver the well-known sound of a low bit-rate MP3 ( Standard ).
Depending on how high the Loss and Global knobs are turned, there is obviously a lot of variety in those three modes. Global is a macro that controls the effect’s intensity, whereas Loss controls its overall magnitude. The core sound is formed by these two factors working together, but the Packet switch is also crucial. When turned off, all that is left is the core Lossy sound, but you can also change it to Packet Repeat, which fills those gaps with frozen audio to resemble a skipping CD, or to turn it on for dropouts reminiscent of poor cellular connections. How frequently the effect stops you from playing is controlled by the Speed knob.
Additionally, there is a unique Freeze feature on the pedal that I have never seen before. It actually develops over time rather than just grabbing the last second of audio and repeating it endlessly. To create ethereal pads, drones, and shifting soundscapes as you play, it extends notes and changes.
A lowpass filter and reverb section are used to round out Lossy to help connect the dots. Additionally, there is a hidden limiter and auto gain feature that highlights all the subtleties of your play and makes sure that the Loss effect’s minute details are n’t, well, lost.
Since Chase Bliss switched to a direct-to-consumer model last year, you can only purchase Lossies directly from the company’s website. However, it is currently$ 399, and purchasing a pedal saves you 50 % off the normally$ 79 Goodhertz Lossy plugin that served as its inspiration.