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Ribbons User Manual V1.2

Ribbons User Manual

A, B, C, D – Parameter control knobs
E – Page and Parameter LEDs
F – Push button
G – Touch LED
H – Bypass LED
I – Touch footswitch
J – Bypass footswitch
K – Power input
L – TRS MIDI input
M – Control Voltage/Expression pedal input
N – TRS stereo output
O – TRS stereo input

Ribbons is a stereo magnetic tape emulator. It can degrade, warp, and age your audio just like an old cassette player — but with lots of control to dial in a wide variety of unique lo-fi sounds. Additional features include a lush reverb, playful touch modes, a four-track looper, and a four-voice sine wave synth. All parameters are fully controllable via MIDI or CV.

The content in this manual reflects Ribbons' functionality as of firmware version 1.2

Table of Contents

Getting Started

Ribbons requires an isolated +9VDC 2.1mm negative tip power supply rated for at least 160 mA. We do not recommend using it with a daisy chain. We’d be happy to suggest some good power supply options if you contact us.

Take care to reduce the volume on your amplifier or audio playback system when applying power to the pedal. Like many devices, it may produce a subtle 'pop' sound. 

Ribbons passes a stereo signal by default via TRS input and output jacks. To use it in stereo, you will need to use TRS style cables. If you’d like to use Ribbons in mono to mono mode, or split a mono signal into stereo, check out the Bypass and Mixing Options.

Tape Settings

When you power on Ribbons, its default mode allows you to edit the tape settings. 4 knobs control parameters across 4 pages, and the front panel abbreviates the different functions of each knob.

Keep in mind that you don’t lose your settings when you move from one page to another — Ribbons is like an ecosystem with all of the different parameters coming through together, so dialing in your desired effect is a matter of adjusting the knobs on each page.

A diagram showing knob functions on each page
When you power the pedal off and on again, it will boot up to your last used settings. 

If you ever get lost exploring the 4 pages and just want to start over — not to worry. Check out the Init preset (preset 1), to reset all of your tape effects to a completely transparent state. 

Ribbons’ pages are color-coded and thematic, with the icons helping to convey functionality.

Page 1: Think of the spiral like a mixing pot. These are the settings that glue all of your sounds together.

Page 2: A pair of sine waves, for wow (slow) and flutter (fast) oscillation.

Page 3: A degraded, noisy signal, for more asynchronous and unpredictable effects.

Page 4: A hand representing touch. This page includes the reverb, as well as the touch modes.

Press the push button to cycle between pages.

The 4 page and parameter LEDs:

  • Track which page you’re on
  • Tell you the value of parameters when you arrive on that page.

The dotted lines draw a connection between each of the knobs and an LED. You’ll notice that as you turn a knob clockwise the color intensity changes, from its base color to glowing white, with some white introduced right at 12 noon. If you’re trying to discern a setting, this is your visual guide — left of noon you’ll just see the base color for that page, then at noon is a subtle transition to white, and all the way right glows white hot.

By both listening and monitoring the intensity of the LEDs, you can easily track how parameters are set when jumping from page to page.

When you switch pages, if the physical position of a knob and its parameter are momentarily misaligned, the setting becomes responsive in a relative way. Once they match up, the knob will start tracking again as you'd expect. 

Page 1 – Mix/Utility

High-pass Filter (HP) – A four-pole (24dB/octave) virtual analog high-pass filter. Rotating the knob clockwise will gradually raise the cutoff frequency and reduce the bass in your signal.

Low-pass Filter (LP) – A four-pole (24dB/octave) virtual analog low-pass filter. Rotating the knob counterclockwise will gradually lower the cutoff frequency and reduce the treble in your signal.

Ribbons' low-pass filter is modeled after a very musical transistor-ladder filter found in a classic 1970’s synthesizer. A high-pass filter isn't found on that original device, but we designed one from scratch that's an exact mirror of the low-pass one.

With Ribbons' synthesizer style filters, it's very easy to completely filter out your incoming audio. If you find that you've suddenly lost your effects and are unsure why, double-check your settings on page 1.

Mix (MX) – Controls the balance of dry/wet signal. Fully clockwise (100% mix) will give you a vibrato effect, while anything less will produce a chorus-like effect. At zero you’ll get no effects at all.

Compression (CP) – Controls the dynamic range of your incoming signal and attenuates the loudest sounds. As you increase the amount of compression, your audio will feel warmer and more balanced.

Ribbons' compressor is modeled after a vinyl simulation algorithm found in a famous sampler from the early 2000's.

If you’re using it with a guitar, you’ll notice the compression effect adds some amazing sustain to your notes.

Page 2 – Wow & Flutter

Wow Depth (WD) – Wow causes your audio’s pitch to randomly wobble and vary over time. As you increase depth, the intensity of the variation gets more dramatic.

Wow Frequency (WF) – Controls the maximum speed of the wow effect.

Flutter Depth (FD) – Flutter introduces more subtle, stuttery pitch variations into your signal. Increasing the depth will make it more dramatic.

Flutter Frequency (FF) – Controls the speed of the flutter effect.

Ribbons' wow and flutter parameters are modeled after spectral and waveform data collected from numerous functioning and non-functioning tape players (four-track cassette machines, reel-to-reels, dictaphones, mangled cassette loops, tape delays, and more). 

Page 3 – Degradation

Dropouts Depth (DD) – Dropouts emulate the effect of tape getting stuck momentarily and then catching up. This parameter controls the maximum depth of a dropout when it occurs.

Dropouts Frequency (DF) – Controls how often random dropouts occur.

Crinkle (CR) – As you increase the crinkle effect, your sounds will feel more erratic and worn out. Picture a crumpled ribbon of tape with lots of surface-level imperfections.

Noise (NO) – This knob gives you tape hiss to the left of noon, then to right you get clicks & pops reminiscent of a dusty, crackly record. As you turn the knob clockwise you can cross-fade between them.

Page 4 – Reverb/Touch

Reverb Mix & Placement (RM) – Controls the amount of reverb applied and its location in the signal chain. You can place the reverb before or after the tape effects.

Putting the reverb after the tape effects will allow it to ring out nice and clear. Putting it before will smear it out, creating a more haunting and aged sound.

Reverb Decay (RD) – Controls the decay time of the reverb setting. At its minimum, it sounds springy and fluttery. At its maximum, it rings out infinitely.

We once ran a test where we set the reverb decay time to infinite and strummed a chord. A week later it was still droning along ...

Touch Params 1 and 2 (T1, T2) – Used as controls for the touch modes. Functions for these knobs depend on which mode you select. Read on to learn more!

Touch Modes

Ribbons has four touch modes. These are a great way to inspire new ideas or enhance live performances, and of course you can use all of the different tape settings to affect your touch mode sounds.

To change between touch modes, hold down the push button and simultaneously tap the Touch footswitch. The Touch LED will turn one of four colors, indicating the mode selected:

  • Magnetic Dance (green LED)
  • Tape Stop (dark blue LED)
  • Broken Machine (light blue LED)
  • Repeater (flickering green LED)
Ribbons' touch modes can be activated momentarily or latched.

For momentary effects, hold down the Touch footswitch continuously. If you release it, the effect will stop.

For latched effects, tap briefly to engage, and again to disengage.

If you've activated a touch mode momentarily and then decide you'd like to latch it, simply tap Bypass while the Touch footswitch is being held down.

Touch Mode 1 – Magnetic Dance:

Use Magnetic Dance (green LED) to create stunning drones, chords, and ambient soundscapes.

In this mode, the pedal is constantly recording to a 1 second micro-loop in the background. When the Touch footswitch is pressed, numerous tape heads start dancing around the loop. When each head reaches the end of the loop, it resets and jumps to a random starting point.

An animation of the Magnetic Dance touch mode

T1 – Controls the rate at which the tape heads move. Rates are tuned to four note chords. 

T2 – Controls the playback direction and volume of the tape heads. From 12 noon, turning the knob clockwise will make the loop play forward, and counterclockwise will reverse it. The playback volume increases as the knob moves toward the 12 noon position.

Touch Mode 2 – Tape Stop

Tape Stop (dark blue LED) does exactly what you might expect – it allows you to slow down and drop the pitch of your incoming audio in real-time. It doesn’t just come to a complete stop in one go though; it can be slowed slightly and then picked back up mid-stop, allowing for some creative pitch bending effects.

An animation of the Tape Stop Touch mode

T1 – Controls the amount of time it takes to reach a complete stop, ranging from 100 msecs to 10 seconds.

T2 – Controls how long it takes to catch back up again, ranging from 100 msecs to 10 seconds.

Touch Mode 3 – Broken Machine

Broken Machine (light blue LED) makes a garbled mess of your incoming audio, and is fun for getting some wild rewind effects. When you activate the Touch footswitch, the machine loses control; the tape will sporadically speed up, slow down, and do totally unpredictable things.

T1 – Controls the depth (intensity) of the Broken Machine.

T2 – Controls the chaos of the Broken Machine (how often it does something random).

Touch Mode 4 – Repeater

Repeater (flickering green LED) can be used to capture a small slice of audio and divide it into tiny subdivisions for glitchy effects.

Ribbons has two Repeater modes: Standard Repeater and Resampling Repeater. The main difference is that with Standard mode, you control the start of the loop with the Touch footswitch, whereas Resampling mode uses transient detection (like a pick attack, a snare hit, etc). You can switch between Standard Repeater and Resampling Repeater with the T2 knob.

With either mode, set the maximum length of your recorded loop using the Touch footswitch as a tap tempo. Max loop length is 1.2 seconds and minimum loop length is 0.166 seconds.

Then, when you hold down the Touch footswitch Ribbons will start recording to the loop. When the next tempo downbeat is reached, the loop will automatically start playing back and endlessly repeat itself.

Hold down the Touch footswitch to maintain playback. If it's released, your Repeater loop will stop playing and be erased.

To latch the Repeater effect, tap Bypass while the Touch footswitch is being held down.

T1 – Controls the division of the loop length. Options are 1/1 (full loop), 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, or random. Use longer loop subdivisions to create rhythmic sounds and shorter ones for glitchy effects.

In Standard Repeater mode, the random option picks a random subdivision each time the Touch footswitch is pressed.

In Resampling Repeater mode, the random option picks a random subdivision each time new audio is sampled.

T2 – Controls the wet/dry mix of the repeated audio and changes the Repeater’s mode from Standard Repeater to Resampling Repeater.

There is some additional control over the random subdivision length within the small region of the knob allotted for the random option.

Within this region, as you turn the knob clockwise it increases the probability of smaller subdivisions being used. Sometimes the smaller subdivisions can sound a little abrasive, so by turning the knob slightly counterclockwise from 100% you can reduce the probability of them occurring.


To enter the presets menu, hold down the push button for 3 seconds. A single LED will light up, and now you can use the push button to toggle through 8 preset slots — 1, 2, 3, 4 are red, and 5, 6, 7, 8 are blue.

To load a preset, press the Touch footswitch. The LEDs will all begin to glow, and you should now be able to hear the sounds of the preset you’ve selected. Note that if you are jamming with a preset and want to load up a different one, you have to re-enter the presets menu.

Factory Presets:

  1. Init
    • Wish you could start over? No worries. Load up Init to reset all of your tape effects to a completely transparent state.
    • Touch Setting: Magnetic Dance
  2. Chaotic Vibrato
    • This preset sets wow & flutter depth and frequency to 50%. The dry/wet mix is set to 100% to get a vibrato effect.
    • Touch Setting: Magnetic Dance
  3. Chaotic Chorus
    • Same as Chaotic Vibrato but the dry/wet mix is set to 50%.
    • Touch Setting: Broken Machine
  4. A Bit Lo-Fi
    • Just some high and low pass filtering, dropouts, crinkle, and compression. Great for something subtle and musical.
    • Touch Setting: Tape Stop
  5. Crushed and Mangled
    • I think you really need to get your tape player fixed. A more extreme version of A Bit Lo-Fi.
    • Touch Setting: Broken Machine
  6. Really Nice Compression
    • Some compression and low pass filtering. Helps to control your dynamics and make things sound more balanced.
    • Touch Setting: Tape Stop
  7. Lo-Fi Ambient
    • Similar to A Bit Lo-Fi but this time with reverb. The reverb mix is set to 60% and reverb pre/post is set to pre. This adds some compression and lo-fi character to the reverb tail, which has a haunting quality to it.
    • Touch Setting: Magnetic Dance
  8. Endless Reverb
    • A simple patch showcasing the reverb parameter on its own with a very long decay time.
    • Touch Setting: Broken Machine

To overwrite a preset with new settings, from the presets menu, hover over the slot that you want to use and press Bypass. The LED for that slot will turn green. Press Bypass a second time to confirm and save.

To exit the presets menu without loading or saving, simply hold the push button again for 3 seconds.

You can play with Ribbons’ factory presets as is, or use them as starting points for exploring new sounds. To modify the tape settings of a preset you’ve just loaded, simply twist a knob or change the page.

If you find yourself ever wanting to restore factory presets, check out the factory reset option.

Presets can also be loaded using a MIDI controller or MIDI preset device (such as CBA's Faves). See the MIDI section for more information.

Additional Topics

Four-Track Looper

Ribbons features a four-track asynchronous looper that can record up to four separate stereo loops with a maximum recording time of 40 seconds per loop.

To access the looper mode, hold down the push button and simultaneously press the Bypass footswitch. The bypass LED will turn light blue.

The knobs are now used to control the speed, direction, and volume of the four tracks, with each track having its own settings. To change tracks, simply press the push button.

A diagram of the knob functions in looper mode

Recording and Overdubbing

To record a loop, hold down the Touch footswitch while playing audio into Ribbons. The first write to the loop sets the loop length. The Touch LED will ramp from 0 to 100% brightness as the loop plays from start to finish. You can overdub (add more audio) by holding the Touch footswitch while playing more.

If you exceed the maximum loop length during the first write, Ribbons will automatically switch from recording to overdubbing.

You can record multiple layers of sound by overdubbing OR recording to a new track. 

Overdubbing allows you to add new layers that stay synchronized with the original loop, but ... you can't undo any mistakes. 

Recording to a new track allows you to clear the loop if you make a mistake, but it may eventually drift out of sync.

Ribbons can also latch recording if you momentarily press the Touch footswitch. This is a convenient way to do endless overdubbing without having to press record again. Try latching the recording into a loop and gradually build it up over time by adding more and more sounds.

Track Speed

The speed of each track can vary from approximately 0.5x to 2x speed. The actual maximum and minimum speeds depend on the track’s speed scale setting (more on that soon). The track speed impacts the quality and max amount of time that can be recorded to a loop:

  • 0.5x speed = 40 second max loop time (lowest quality)
  • 1.0x speed = 20 second max loop time (normal quality)
  • 2.0x speed = 10 second max loop time (highest quality)

Immediately after recording to a loop, the sound will play back at the same pitch. If you increase the speed, the pitch will increase and the loop will become shorter. Likewise, if you decrease the speed, the pitch will decrease and the loop will become longer.

Track Direction

If you record a loop in the forward direction and then change to the reverse direction, your audio will play in reverse. This also applies to the reverse direction – if you record a loop in the reverse direction and then change to the forward direction, your audio will also play in reverse.

Try recording a loop at 1x speed, then change the direction, and then finally set the speed to 2x. You'll notice the sound is now playing in reverse and 1 octave up. 

Now, try overdubbing some new audio. Notice how the new audio you just added still plays forward and at normal speed? 

Try overdubbing loops at various speeds to create otherworldly soundscapes.

Track Volume

This one is easy. You get a volume control for each looper track.

Speed Scale

Sometimes when you’re adjusting the speed of a loop, you’ll want to quantize the speed setting so that the pitch changes are more musical. Ribbons’ looper is designed to give you a few different scale options that we tend to find musical. These are:

  • Continuous (+/- 12 semitones but not quantized)
  • Chromatic (+/- 12 semitones)
  • Fourths (+/- 2 fourths)
  • Fifths (+/- 2 fifths)
  • Octaves (+/- 1 octave)

Stop/Erase a Loop

To stop/erase a single loop, switch to the track you want to stop/erase, then hold down the push button and tap the Touch footswitch. This will stop playback and erase the loop on that track.

To stop/erase all four tracks, hold the push button for 3 seconds.

Changing Tape Settings While Using the Looper

To modify tape settings while using the looper, apply the same button combo you used to enter looper mode (hold the push button and press the Bypass footswitch). The looper will continue to play back your audio but now you can play with the filters, add reverb, or adjust any of the other effects.


Touch modes are disabled if even a single loop is playing back. We're sorry but there just isn't enough processing power to run them simultaneously. 

However, if you're editing tape settings while a loop is active and you press the Touch footswitch, this defaults to being a Tape Stop effect for your loop, with Touch Params 1 and 2 controlling the stop and start times.

To access the touch modes again, stop/erase all loops.

Syncing Ribbons’ Looper To MIDI Clock

Ribbons can take a jittery MIDI clock and generate a stable internal clock that will stay locked with the grid/beat. This clock can be used to quantize your loop lengths and synchronize the looper with your favorite drum machines, sequencers, or DAW.

When a clock is received, the fourth LED (hand icon) will start blinking on each of the looper tracks. This is Ribbons’ way of indicating where it thinks the downbeat is. If this doesn’t match your drum machine, sequencer, or DAW you’ll need to send Ribbons a MIDI START message to tell it where the downbeat is. Once received, Ribbons will be synchronized with your device(s).

To record, press the Touch footswitch slightly before the beat where you want your recording to start. Release the footswitch slightly before the end of the final bar you want to record to.

Ribbons ensures that the maximum loop time is some division of the grid so that if you exceed it your loop still stay within the grid. If you exceed the max loop time, Ribbons automatically switches from recording to overdubbing.

During loop playback, Ribbons applies micro timing adjustments to prevent loops from drifting out-of-sync with the grid.

The track speed scale knob is disabled when a MIDI clock is supplied. The speed knob defaults to three options: half speed (fully counterclockwise), normal speed (noon), and double speed (fully clockwise). The direction and volume knobs function as expected. Direction and speed changes go into effect when a loop wraps around to the start.

NOTE: We do not recommend sending MIDI clock tempo changes to Ribbons while loops are playing back. If a loop is recorded at one tempo and then changed to another tempo during playback, Ribbons will attempt to time stretch and pitch shift the loop to stay within the grid. However, it will likely lose the downbeat during re-synchronization and produce unexpected behavior.

Also, Ribbons expects a constant clock to be applied while using the looper. So if you're using Ribbons with a DAW and pressing Start and Stop while loops are playing back, you may also get unexpected behavior as your loops attempt to re-synchronize with the downbeat.

Finally, the looper's Tape Stop effect is disabled when MIDI clock is applied. This ensures that your loops stay synchronized with the grid.


MIDI Connections

Ribbons is directly compatible with all non-USB-style MIDI controllers. Use a TRS to DIN MIDI cable to connect to Ribbons’ MIDI input.

Ribbons can manage three different types of TRS MIDI connections: Type A (standard), Type B, and Type CBA (Chase Bliss Audio). To switch the hardware connection, move the jumpers on the inside of the pedal.

IMPORTANT: Take extreme care when performing this step. Electrostatic discharge (ESD) to internal components can easily damage Ribbons. 
A view of the MIDI jumpers inside Ribbons
  • TRS Type A (MIDI Standard, Korg, Make Noise)
    • MIDI 4 (Source) to TRS RING
    • MIDI 2 (Shield) to TRS SLEEVE
    • MIDI 5 (Sink) to TRS TIP
  • TRS Type B (Arturia, Novation, 1010music)
    • MIDI 4 (Source) to TRS TIP
    • MIDI 2 (Shield) to TRS SLEEVE
    • MIDI 5 (Sink) to TRS RING
  • TRS Type CBA
    • Connection commonly used by Chase Bliss Audio and some other pedal manufacturers
    • TRS to TRS (no crossed wires)

MIDI Channels

To change the MIDI channel, make sure nothing is connected to the CV/EXP input and hold down both footswitches while applying power to the unit. The footswitch LEDs will be blank and the first LED (spiral icon) will be illuminated. Use the push button to cycle between the 16 available MIDI channels.

  • To select a MIDI channel, press the Touch footswitch
  • To exit the mode without changing the MIDI channel, press the Bypass footswitch
  • After selecting or exiting, Ribbons will boot up normally

MIDI CC Messages

Ribbons’ controls can all be modified via various MIDI CC messages. It responds to the following:

Midi CC #:Destination:Range:
0High Pass Filter0-127
1Low Pass Filter 0-127
2Mix 0-127
3Compression 0-127
4Wow Frequency 0-127
5Wow Depth 0-127
6Flutter Depth 0-127
7Flutter Frequency 0-127
8Dropouts Probability 0-127
9Dropouts Depth 0-127
10Crinkle 0-127
11Noise 0-127
12Reverb Decay 0-127
13Reverb Mix & Placement 0-127
14Touch Param 1 0-127
15Touch Param 2 0-127
16Touch 0 = Off
>1 = On
17Bypass 0 = Off
>1 = On
18Touch Engine Select0 = Magnetic Dance
1 = Tape Stop
2 = Broken Machine
3 = Repeater
19Mode Select0 = Tape Settings
1 = Looper
20Change Current Looper Track0 = Track 1
1 = Track 2
2 = Track 3
3 = Track 4
21Clear Current Track 0 = False
>1 = True
22Clear All Tracks 0 = False
>1 = True
23Looper Track 1 Direction0-127
24Looper Track 1 Speed0-127
25Looper Track 1 Volume0-127
26Looper Track 1 Scale0-127
27Looper Track 2 Direction0-127
28Looper Track 2 Speed0-127
29Looper Track 2 Volume0-127
30Looper Track 2 Scale0-127
31Looper Track 3 Direction0-127
32Looper Track 3 Speed0-127
33Looper Track 3 Volume0-127
34Looper Track 3 Scale0-127
35Looper Track 4 Direction0-127
36Looper Track 4 Speed0-127
37Looper Track 4 Volume0-127
38Looper Track 4 Scale0-127
51Ignore MIDI Clock0 = Ignore
>0 = Listen

MIDI Presets

To load one of the 8 Presets using MIDI, send a Program Change message to Ribbons with a value 1-8. A Program Change of 1 will select Preset 1, a Program Change of 7 will select Preset 7, etc. A Program Change of 0 or greater than 9 will not select any Preset.

MIDI Sine Wave Synthesizer

To utilize Ribbons’ four-voice sine wave synthesizer, connect a MIDI controller and start sending MIDI Note On/Off data. You can send a Pitch Bend message to smoothly bend the pitch of notes +/- 5 semitones.

Try messing with the tape effects while playing the synth to dial in spooky mellotron-like synth sounds. The Mix knob can be used as a volume control for the synth.


You can use the CV/EXP input to control parameters using control voltage or an expression pedal.

The CV/Exp input has a range of 0-5 volts.

To map a parameter to CV, connect a cable to the CV/EXP input and hold down both footswitches while applying power to the unit. The footswitch LEDs will light up light blue.

  • Use the push button to cycle between 9 pages of parameters that can be mapped to CV. The map settings match how these parameters are laid out on Ribbons, so revisit the tape settings or looper sections of this manual if you need a refresher on what the individual controls are.
    • Pages 1-4: Tape Settings and Touch Params
    • Pages 5-8: Looper
    • Page 9: Touch footswitch
  • Use the upper-left knob (LP, WD, DD, RM) to scroll through the parameters on each page.
  • Press the Touch footswitch to toggle the parameter you wish to map/unmap.
  • When you’re done, press the Bypass footswitch to exit and Ribbons will boot up normally.

When a parameter is mapped to CV and a jack is inserted into the CV/EXP input, the pot sets the midpoint of the expression pedal (+2.5V). If you rock the expression pedal to the heel position (0V), it will set the parameter to its minimum value. Likewise, if you rock the expression pedal to the maximum position, it will set the parameter to its max value (+5V).

If the Touch footswitch is mapped to CV, it will activate when a CV > 2.5V is applied and deactivate when a CV < 2.5V is applied.

Bypass and Mixing Options

Changing the Bypass Option

Ribbons is capable of three bypass options: True Bypass (default setting), Buffered Bypass, and Buffered Bypass With Trails.

  • True Bypass uses a relay (a mechanical switch) to completely bypass all of Ribbons’ electronics when the pedal is bypassed.
  • With Buffered Bypass, bypassing the effects is click-free but your audio still runs through Ribbons’ electronics.
  • Buffered Bypass With Trails also offers click-free switching but the pedal still acts as a sound source (i.e. when the pedal is bypassed you can still hear reverb tails, loops, Magnetic Dance drones, Repeater audio, sine-wave synth, and noise, but your input signal is not processed).

To enter the bypass menu, hold down the Bypass footswitch while applying power to the unit. The footswitch LEDs will light up green and the 4 LEDs will display your current bypass setting.

  • Use the push button to choose between:
    • True Bypass (1)
    • Buffered Bypass (2)
    • Buffered Bypass With Trails (3)
  • To select your setting, press the Touch footswitch.
  • To exit without changing your setting, press the Bypass footswitch.
  • After selecting or exiting, the pedal will boot up normally.

Input/Output Mixing Options

Ribbons is capable of three mixing options:

A diagram showing the different mixing options

To enter the mixing menu, hold down the Touch footswitch while applying power to the unit. Both footswitch LEDs will light up dark blue and the 4 LEDs will display your current input/output setting.

  • Use the push button to choose between:
    • Stereo In/Stereo Out (1)
    • Mono In/Stereo Out (2)
    • Mono In/Mono Out (3)
  • To select your setting, press the Touch footswitch.
  • To exit without changing your setting, press the Bypass footswitch.
  • After selecting or exiting, the pedal will boot up normally.

Factory Reset

Ribbons has a factory reset option to fully restore factory presets and default bypass and mixing options.

NOTE: If you think that something is wrong with your unit, please don't hesitate to contact us and we'll help you troubleshoot. Performing a factory reset may not always be the right course of action.

To restore your unit to its factory settings, you first need to be in the presets menu. To enter the presets menu, hold down the push button for 3 seconds and release when a single LED lights up.

Now, hold the push button and simultaneously double tap Touch. After approximately 5 seconds, Ribbons will reboot on its own. Do not power cycle Ribbons during the reset process.

Updating the Firmware

Occasionally we may release updated firmware to address bugs or improve features.

If you believe you’ve discovered a firmware bug please contact support@kinotoneaudio.com or share your findings on the Kinotone forum.

The update process for Ribbons is simple:

  1. To start, we must warn you that the firmware update file for this product is not meant for listening and playing it back at loud volumes could potentially damage your hearing or other pieces of equipment. Do not connect Ribbons’ output to any other equipment until the update process is complete.
  2. Download the most recent .WAV file from the Ribbons Development Blog.
  3. Prepare your setup to play back the audio file (either from your PC, smartphone, tablet, or audio interface). Make sure your playback device is not set up to “normalize” or alter the volume of the audio file (e.g. turn off Sound Check if using iTunes/Apple Music).
  4. Set your audio output to ~75%.
  5. Confirm that your playback device will not emit any unexpected sounds or notifications during the update process.
  6. Connect a TRS or TS cable to the Ribbons’ input jack and connect the other end to your audio playback device.
  7. Power down Ribbons by disconnecting the power.
  8. While holding down the push button, reconnect power to enter bootloader mode.
  9. All of the LEDs on the device should now be glowing, indicating that the device is ready for a firmware update.
  10. Start playing the .WAV file into the device.
  11. After a few seconds both footswitch LEDs should start blinking green, indicating that packets of data are being received.
  12. Wait until the .WAV file has finished playing back. This takes about 2 minutes.
  13. If the update is successful, the 4 LEDs will briefly light up green and then the device will boot up as expected.
  14. If the update fails, then various LEDs may light up red or not at all. Feel free to try the update process again. Contact us if you continue to have issues.

Check out this video for a hands-on guide to updating Ribbons firmware.

Error Codes

When Ribbons boots up, you’ll notice that it goes through a little startup routine where the LEDs light up in a sequence. It runs tests to confirm the internal memories are working as expected.

If Ribbons ever fails a test when booting up it will throw an error code using the 4 LEDs.

3 Red LEDs

Signifies an error with flash memory relating to presets. To correct this, hold down the push button for 3-5 seconds until the LEDs turn green, then power-cycle your unit. If you ever experience this please report it by emailing support@kinotoneaudio.com.