The BLOOM from Jackson Audio is a comprehensive dynamic engine that is
designed to give guitarists maximum dynamic tonal control in ways never
before possible. The BLOOM v2 – MIDI takes everything people love about
our original BLOOM and updates it with MIDI!
The BLOOM v2 –
MIDI now offers MIDI control over all 6 compression settings, circuit
ON/OFF (COMP, EQ, BLOOM) and bloom level; the bloom level can also be
expressed via MIDI!
A three-fold device, the Bloom
manipulates the dynamics of the instrument by way of precisely tuned
optical compression, equalization, boost and sustain circuits which can
be activated separately or in tandem with each other.
Keep reading below to learn how the BLOOM has become a modern classic on countless pedalboards!
As a compressor, the Bloom features an optical limiting circuit that
takes its inspiration from compressors designed during the golden age of
vacuum tube circuits. Optical compressors as they are called, are known
for their transparency and subtlety. While the Bloom can provide a very
aggressive response at more extreme compression settings, its real
strength lies in its ability to add a gentle sweetening and roundness to
the tone as the optical circuit works to polish off any rough edges in
Because of its natural and touch responsive bloom, the Bloom is ideal
for players who typically don’t use compression but want the ‘mastered’
response that optical compression gives a guitarists tone.
The frequency response of the compressor section is flat as a board
and does not boost or cut any of your highs or lows. In fact for the
demo videos we recorded, Dow Tomlin (Bass Player for Wynonna Judd) used
the Bloom on his bass the entire time and loved it! Just like a
well-designed compressor should, the Bloom alters the dynamics of the
guitar signal and not the tone. A good compressor should be felt and not
DUAL COMPRESSION – AKA SLIDE MODE
During the design phase of the Bloom we consulted with slide master
Joey Landreth, of The Brothers Landreth fame, on what an ideal
compressor for guitarists as well as slide players would be. After going
back and forth with him it soon became clear that to build the ultimate
compressor for guitarists we would have to include the option to run
two compressors in series with each other to provide the legendary
Lowell George slide tone. Lowell George, the
bandleader/singer/songwriter/guitarist for the band Little Feat was
famous for using two Urei 1176 compressors in series with each other to
give his guitar near-infinite sustain while still remaining crystal
When set to compression preset 5 or “Slide Mode” the aux compressor
circuit is activated and placed in series ahead of the primary
compressor. The tonal result of using two compressors in series is that
notes will sustain almost endlessly and oftentimes break out into
harmonic feedback while still remaining clear and clean! It ‘feels’ like
you have an overdrive pedal on but the tone is still clean with endless
Hidden inside the Bloom, is an auxiliary compressor circuit that is
identical to the main compressor circuit however without externally
mounted controls. This aux compressor, which is set with a fast attack
of 7.5ms, has two trimmers mounted on the right side of the pedal and
are accessible when the cover is removed. These trimmers allow you to
adjust the COMP and VOLUME settings of the aux compressor when using
compression presets 5 and 6. More on compression presets later.
When more subtlety is desired from the compression circuit, we have
included a BLEND control that allows the player to blend in their clean,
unaffected signal back in with the compressed signal. One of the best
features of the Blend control is that it allows the player to dial in a
really aggressive compression setting and then blend some of their clean
signal back in with it. This produces the effect of giving the note a
very natural attack while slowly fading in the sustain that comes from
running a high compression setting.
If you’re not a studio engineer, many of the more fully-featured
compressors on the market can be really intimidating and overwhelming
with knobs for everything including attack, release, ratio, knee, etc.
As a guitar player, I typically like to keep things as simple as
possible and prefer to
think in terms of which settings would be the most appropriate for the style of music I’m about to play.
Not all players are the same and not all songs require the same
compression settings, that’s why we have designed the Bloom to have six
compression presets that give the player six distinct options for their
attack and release settings. These settings run the gamut from subtle to
extreme and allow the player to quickly dial in the perfect compression
setting for the next song.
- Preset 1 – WHITE: Limit Mode. Ultra-fast attack (2.5ms) that clamps any signal and acts as a limiter.
- Preset 2 – GREEN: Country Mode. Fast attack (7.5ms) that is perfectly tailored for chicken picking or modern country.
- Preset 3 – MAGENTA: R&B Mode. Medium attack (50ms) that works well for staccato rhythmic parts.
- Preset 4 – BLUE: Ballad Mode. Slow attack (120ms) that is perfect for adding a gentle lift to the end of a phrase.
- Preset 5 – AQUA: Slide Mode aka ‘Joey’ Mode. Adds an additional
internal compression stage in series before the primary compressor and
allows for nearly endless sustain on clean guitar parts ala Lowell
George from Little Feat.
- Preset 6 – ORANGE: Aux Compressor. The aux compressor is the
internal compressor circuit that is used in Preset 5. There are two
trimmers located on the side of the pedal that allow the user to adjust
the COMP and VOLUME for this additional compression stage.
Note that each compression preset has its own color setting on the
COMP led. This led color will change as you play and will change more
dramatically the harder you play and especially when higher settings on
the COMP control are used. If you see the color change, that means that
the compressor is ducking the level of what you are playing.
MIDI – NEW FOR 2019!
Since the BLOOM first came out, we have received many requests from
our players saying that adding MIDI to the BLOOM would make it the
perfect compressor and we completely agree! We always take player
feedback as a primary driver of product development and we are very
proud to announce that the most flexible compressor on the just got
better with the addition of MIDI! NOTE: In order to accommodate this new
feature, for space reasons, we were required to eliminate the SIDECHAIN
that the original BLOOM featured.
CABLE INFORMATION: In order to use MIDI on the BLOOM v2, you will
need a cable that converts a MIDI (DIN-5) connector to a TRS cable. This
is the cable that we have used with great success and can't recommend
For those building their own cables, the BLOOM v2 receives MIDI
information via the RING connection on a TRS (Tip, Ring, and Sleeve)
Check out this link for some detailed wiring:
By default, the BLOOM v2 – MIDI ships with MIDI Channel 1 being the
selected channel. This can be changed by pressing and holding both the
COMP and BLOOM footswitches while applying power to the BLOOM. While
holding these footswitches down adjust the BLOOM knob. All the way down
is MIDI Channel 1…all the way up is MIDI Channel 16 with channels 2-15
being located evenly between those two points as you rotate the BLOOM
You’ll notice that as you rotate the BLOOM knob, the BLOOM LED will
flash to indicate which MIDI channel you have selected. IE – 7 flashes =
MIDI Channel 7. After the LED flashes, we inserted a 2-second pause so
you could tell when the LED was finished flashing. The LED will continue
flashing as long as you are holding down the two footswitches. Once you
have selected the MIDI channel you want and have verified it by
counting the flashes, simply release the two footswitches and the pedal
will save this MIDI Channel to the internal EEPROM on the microprocessor
Accessing the new MIDI features of the BLOOM is done by a combination
of Program Changes as well as Control Changes. Below is a list of the
features of the BLOOM that can be accessed via MIDI and how to access
PROGRAM CHANGE #1 – LIMITER MODE
PROGRAM CHANGE #2 – COUNTRY MODE
PROGRAM CHANGE #3 – R&B MODE
PROGRAM CHANGE #4 – BALLAD MODE
PROGRAM CHANGE #5 – JOEY (SLIDE) MODE
PROGRAM CHANGE #6 – AUX MODE
CC #1 – COMP ON/OFF (value of 127 = ON /value of 0 = OFF)
COMPRESSION CIRCUIT FEATURES:
CC #2 – EQ ON/OFF (value of 127 = ON /value of 0 = OFF)
CC #3 – BOOST ON/OFF (value of 127 = ON /value of 0 = OFF)
CC #4 – midiBoost ON/OFF (value of 127 = ON /value of 0 = OFF)
– midiBoost determines what has control over the boost level; midi or the bloom knob on the pedal.
CC #5 – midiBoost expression (value of 0-127)
midiBoost expression determines the boost level. This can be either a
set value or can be expressed via a MIDI expression pedal.
3 BAND EQUALIZER OVERVIEW
- Transparent Optical (LA-2A style) limiting circuit with huge dynamic range.
- Dual Compressors for the ultimate slide tone.
- Blend control that allows the player to blend in their clean (uncompressed) tone with their compressed tone.
- Six instant access presets with the following settings:
- Preset 1: Limit Mode. Ultra-fast attack (2.5ms) that clamps any signal and acts as a limiter.
- Preset 2: Country Mode. Fast attack (7.5ms) that is perfectly timed for chicken picking or modern country.
- Preset 3: R&B Mode. Medium attack (50ms)
- Preset 4: Ballad Mode. Slow attack (120ms) setting
- Preset 5: Slide Mode aka ‘Joey’ Mode. Adds an additional internal
compression stage in series before the primary compressor. Allows for
nearly endless sustain on clean guitar parts ala Lowell George from
- Preset 6: Aux Compressor. The aux compressor is the internal
compressor circuit that is used in Preset 5. There are two trimmers
located on the side of the pedal that allow the user to adjust the COMP
and VOLUME for this additional compression stage.
- Side Chain jack/loop that allows an external source (click track
etc) to trigger compression. Side Chain loop can also be used with an
external effect (an EQ for example) to tailor the response of the
The EQ circuit features a studio-grade EQ that gives
tremendous tonal flexibility to the BLOOM. Based on the legendary
Baxandall EQ that is featured in countless studio EQ’s, the Bloom EQ
takes this circuit and tailors it for guitarists! We spent tons of time
on this EQ dialing it in so it would hit all the frequencies that
guitarists need to adjust and then sweetened it by removing the ear
fatiguing highs and lows that can appear at extreme settings.
EQUALIZER CIRCUIT FEATURES:
- Studio-grade EQ with High Bandwidth and Flat Response at 12:00
- +/- 12dB Boost/Cut per control
- Center Detents on the pots that make it easier to get back to a neutral or flat response.
The Bloom circuit is one of the most exciting parts of
the Bloom! Designed as both a level booster and sustainer, the Bloom
can work as a set boost by quickly pressing and releasing the Bloom
footswitch, or by pressing and holding the Bloom footswitch, the Bloom
circuit will slowly ramp up the level to the level set by the boost.
This ramp-up time, which is programmable, can be used to increase
sustain on held notes or to match the dynamics in a song. Once the
ramp-up is complete, pressing and holding the Bloom footswitch again
will fade the level back down to unity.
BLOOM CIRCUIT FEATURES:
EXTRA BLOOM FEATURES:
- 0-20dB Boost Available (quick press on Bloom footswitch)
- 0-20dB Bloom Available (long press on Bloom footswitch)
- True Boost Circuit. Fully counter-clockwise position is unity level.
- Totally flat EQ down to sub-audio frequencies.
- Programmable Ramp Up/Down Time.
- Programmable True Bypass or Buffered Bypass
Acts as a master volume for the primary compressor
section. Changes to the COMP and BLEND knob will typically necessitate a
change to the Volume control to keep the overall level the same.
– When using high levels of compression, keep the VOLUME control at
3:00 or lower to avoid any unwanted clipping in the compressor circuit.
Allows you to blend in your clean uncompressed signal with the
compressed signal. Full counter clockwise is full compression. Fully
clockwise is full clean signal. TIP! Try running your COMP knob full up
and use the BLEND control to adjust the intensity of the compression.
Doing this will allow the attack of your note to feel normal while
adding sustain to the back end of the note.
Turn clockwise for more compression. Balance this with the BLEND and VOLUME control.
The 12:00 position is totally flat with +/-12dB boost/cut on either side of center.
The 12:00 position is totally flat with +/-12dB boost/cut on either side of center. The mid frequency is centered around 660hz.
The 12:00 position is totally flat with +/-12dB boost/cut on either side of center.
Sets the amount of boost when the BLOOM footswitch is engaged. Also
is used to set the Bloom fade time when in Program Fade mode. When the
Bloom is activated, turning the BLOOM control will change the BLOOM led
to indicate the amount of boost present.
To activate/deactivate the compressor circuit simply press the COMP
footswitch. To select a compression preset, press and hold the COMP
footswitch for more than 1 second and compression program mode will
become active. When in this mode, the COMP led will flash to indicate
that you are in program mode. A quick tap on the COMP footswitch will
cycle the compression presets and you’ll be able to hear these preset
changes as you cycle through them assuming that the compression circuit
was active when compression program mode was entered. Once you arrive at
a compression preset that you want to use, press and hold the COMP
footswitch for more than 1 second and compression program mode will
Note. When compression mode is exited, the selected compression
preset is written to the internal EEPROM on the microprocessor and that
will become your default compression setting when the compressor is
To activate the Boost feature of the Bloom simply press the BLOOM
footswitch. To activate the Bloom feature (slow fade up to boost level)
press and hold the BLOOM footswitch for more than 1 second. The inverse
is also true. To fade down from a boost setting, press and hold the
BLOOM footswitch for more than 1 second.
To set the period of time that it takes the Bloom feature to reach
the set level of boost, press and hold both the COMP and BLOOM
footswitches simultaneously for more than 1 second and ramp program mode
will become active. When in this mode, the BLOOM led will slowly fade
from off to full brightness at a regular interval with the BLOOM knob
setting the duration of that interval. The fade time is as quick as 1
second at the full counter clockwise position of the BLOOM knob to as
much as 5 seconds at the full clockwise position of the BLOOM knob. To
save this setting, press and hold both the COMP and BLOOM footswitches
simultaneously for more than 1 second and ramp program mode will exit.
To activate the EQ, press and release the COMP and BLOOM footswitches simultaneously.
- Input Impedance: 1M
- Output Impedance: 100k
- Power Supply: DC
- Voltage Input: 9V MAX
- Polarity: Center Negative
- Min Current Required: 300mA
- Dimensions: 2.7” x 4.875′