Today we cover one of the finest and most coveted analog delays of our generation, the Tonal Recall by Chase Bliss Audio. When we first laid hands (and ears) on it, we were complete enamoured by how great it sounded and how much hands-on control it offered. Chase Bliss really places huge emphasis on the MIDI capabilities of its pedals. The Tonal Recall is no exception, and the MC6 midi controller unleashes its full potential by giving you instant, hands-free access to all its presets and parameters. You may refer to the Tonal Recall MIDI Manual for all the information you need. Here is the most important table from it:
Connecting the Tonal Recall to the MC6
Chase Bliss Audio pedals do not have 5-pin MIDI ports but 1/4" ones instead. As such you will need a Midibox to connect them to the MC6. Attach a Chase Bliss Audio Modified Empress Midibox “Ring Active” port using a standard ¼” TRS patch cable to the TAP/MIDI jack on your Tonal Recall. The Midibox is not included with the Tonal Recall. If you do not have a modified Empress Midibox, but a standard one from Empress, you need to use a custom TRS cable that flips the tip and the ring. The Tonal Recall is set to MIDI channel 2 by default, but it is easy to change if you need to (refer to the Tonal Recall MIDI Manual for more info. Ensure that all MIDI messages sent to it are on the same channel.
Saving presets on the the Tonal Recall is easy. Once you've achieved your desired tone, simply hold down both the 'Tap' and 'Bypass' switches, and send a Program Change (PC) message from the MC6 to the Tonal Recall. Your current settings will be saved to the preset slot corresponding to the PC number sent. For example, sending PC number 5 saves your current Tonal Recall settings to preset slot 5. In future sending PC number 5 to the Tonal Recall, will recall preset 5. There a total of 122 preset slots on the Tonal Recall at your disposal.
Controlling Delay Parameters Repeat Brightness
With the MC6, you can also control the Tonal Recall's parameters with your feet. In this first example, we control the brightness level of the repeats. To save switches, we will use the toggle function on the MC6 to toggle between BIGHT and DARK repeats. The 'Tone' parameter on the Tonal Recall corresponds to CC number 14. For the BRIGHT setting, we use a value of 127 to completely open up the filter. For the DARK setting, we use a value of 30 to close the filter, keeping repeats warmer. Remember to set 'Toggle On' on the MC6, and set the 2 different MIDI messages to toggle positions 1 and 2. Also give two different switch names, 'BRIGHT' and 'DARK' for each toggle position. Settings shown here:
You can also control delay modulation rate and depth with the MC6. In this example, we control modulation depth the same way we controlled brightness in the previous example. The 'Depth' parameter corresponds to CC number 19. For the MOD ON setting, we use a value of 30 to create just a nice touch of modulation, such that it is musically audible but not overpowering. For the MOD OFF setting, we use a value of 0 to completely turn off modulation for completely on-pitch repeats. Remember to set 'Toggle On' on the MC6, and set the 2 different MIDI messages to toggle positions 1 and 2. Also give two different names to the switch, 'MOD ON' and 'MOD OFF' for each toggle position. Settings shown here:
Controlling Tempo by Tapping or MIDI Clock
You can effortlessly change delay tempo on the fly with the MC6. Chase Bliss has made it really easy for you to control tap tempo via MIDI, by specially assigning CC number 93 to 'Tap Tempo'. All you need to do is program one of your MC6 switches to send CC message number 93 (any value will do) to the Tonal Recall. Then simply, tap away to change the Tonal Recall's tempo. We find 5 taps to be optimal for getting it to register tempo change.
Alternatively, you may also control the Tonal Recall's tempo via tap tempo MIDI clock from the MC6. This will allow you to sync the Tonal Recall's tempo with other pedals as well. To do this, simply select the MIDI Clock message type on the MC6. Set 'Show Tap Menu' to "Yes" if you would like to be able to tap tempo on the fly. When you step on the MC6 switch assigned to the MIDI clock function, you will enter MIDI clock mode and be able to tap and change the tempo of the Tonal Recall (together with other pedals) on the fly.
Chase Bliss Audio pedals + MC6 midi controller is such a powerful combo. Truly an Analog Heart with a Digital Brain. That's all for today! Till next time. Keep making awesome music.