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Lo-Fi Emulation

  • Tape modulation effects (Wow, Flutter, Crinkle, Dropouts) carefully modeled after spectral and waveform data collected from all kinds of tape players, ranging from perfectly functioning to completely broken.
  • Dedicated dry/wet mix knob to dial in complex vibrato and chorus sounds.
  • 24dB/octave four-pole virtual analog low-pass and high-pass filters, modeled after the filter of a classic 1970s synthesizer.
  • Compression inspired by a vinyl simulator found in a famous sampler from the early 2000s.
    • Option to swap Compression parameter for Tape Saturation.
  • Static hiss and clicks & pops.

Reverb

  • A beautiful stereo reverb designed from scratch, with controls for dry/wet mix, decay time, and where the reverb goes in your signal chain.
  • Capable of infinite sustain.

Touch Modes

6 immersive modes that you can activate momentarily or latch, and interact with all of the different effects:

  • Magnetic Dance — Creates a drone of sound using a micro-loop. Tune it to chords; play it forward or backwards.
  • Tape Stop — Slows down and bends the pitch of your audio in real-time, then picks it back up, with separate controls for stop and start times up to 10 seconds.
  • Broken Machine — Makes a garbled mess of your incoming audio. Use it subtly for some added tape modulation or at extreme settings for rewind effects.
  • Repeater — Endlessly repeats a tiny slice of audio that you can subdivide for glitchy beat repeat effects. Synchronizable via MIDI clock. Includes a re-sampling option that detects transients, like a snare hit or a pick attack.
  • Crushed Cassette — Provides continuously-variable sample rate reduction as well as bit depth reduction down to 4 bits with µ-law companding. Dial in haunting distortion and artifacts to taste.
  • Disintegration Loop — A sound-on-sound style looper with controls for decay, speed, and direction. Each time your loop repeats the effects are re-applied, degrading into abstraction over time.

Four-Track Looper

  • Record up to 4 separate stereo loops that run through your effects.
  • Length per loop: 40 seconds at 0.5x speed, 20 seconds at 1x speed, 10 seconds at 2x speed.
  • Each track has discrete controls for: volume, direction, speed (continuously variable from 0.5x to 2x), and speed scale (quantization).
  • Overdub infinitely on any track.
  • Overdub at any speed.
  • Loops can be synchronized via MIDI clock.

Four-Voice Sine Wave Synthesizer

  • Play Ribbons as your instrument using a MIDI keyboard.
  • +/- 5 semitone pitch bending.
  • Includes controls for attack and release.
  • Synth voices can be modified by the effects and used with the Touch Modes or four-track looper.

Presets, MIDI Control, CV

  • Explore 8 factory presets that showcase patches, or use the slots to save your own settings.
  • All parameters are fully controllable via MIDI, CV, or an expression pedal.
  • Directly compatible with your favorite MIDI controllers — no external MIDI box required.
  • Internal jumpers available to switch between TRS MIDI Type A (default), B, or CBA.
  • CV control up to 500Hz.
  • Free Max for Live devices to control Ribbons with MIDI in Ableton.

Specs

  • Input/Output: TRS stereo
  • DSP: 480Mhz ARM processor
  • Processing: 32-bit floating point
  • Ultra-low-noise audio codec: 24-bit, 48kHz, >110dB dynamic range
  • Max Input Level: +2dBu
  • Max Output Level: +5dBu
  • Latency: 1 msec
  • Power: +9VDC, 2.1 mm, negative tip PSU
  • Power Supply Protection:
    • Reverse polarity protection down to -20VDC
    • Over voltage protection up to +20VDC
  • Current Draw: 160 mA
  • Frequency Response: 24Hz – 20kHz

  • Input Impedance: 400kΩ
  • Output Impedance: 1.5kΩ
  • PCB: 6-layer PCB with 2 ground planes
  • Bypass Options:
    • Stereo true bypass (using relay)
    • Stereo buffered bypass
    • Stereo buffered bypass with trails
  • Dimensions: 12.1 cm x 6.6 cm x 6.2 cm
  • Manufacturing:
    • 100% lead-free
    • Circuit boards fabricated in China
    • Circuit boards assembled in Minneapolis, MN
    • Enclosures drilled, painted, and printed in the USA
    • Final assembly and testing performed in Minneapolis, MN

User Manual

Firmware Updates

Firmware update files can be found on the Ribbons Development Blog. The current firmware for Ribbons is version 1.3, which we released in April 2023.

If you are on an earlier version please update to the latest and greatest.

Extras

Download our Max for Live devices to control Ribbons with MIDI using Ableton.

Tape Effects and Touch Mode Controller:

Four-Track Looper Controller: