Connecting Ribbons to FaderFox UC4

Hi, Ive been trying to set up midi with Ribbons.

Not having much luck.

I am using a FaderFox UC4 as my midi controller. I have everything on that set correctly as I know it well and use it daily with many other instruments.

So far I have tried both Type A & Type B positions with the internal jumpers.

I have tried direct from FaderFox via midi out straight into Ribbons. I have tried Faderfox into an Empress Midi Box then TRS out into ribbons. I have tried various cables. I have tried changing midi channels on both the FaderFox and Ribbons. No Luck! No Midi.

I know midi is being transmitted as the Empress Midi Box is lighting up with a signal but to no effect on Ribbons.

Are there any further settings in Ribbons yo enable midi?
Am I missing something really obvious here?

Thanks in advance.

Hey @focalsounds ! So sorry you’re having trouble getting Ribbons talking with your FaderFox. Let’s get this sorted out.

One of our beta testers did a lot of testing with the FaderFox EC4, so I’m pretty confident it should work when connected directly to Ribbons.

I don’t think Ribbons will work with the Empress MIDI Box control ports. I don’t believe they follow the MIDI standard type A or type B connections and the one non-conventional option we offer (CBA) is “ring active” instead “tip active” like Empress.

Troubleshooting Tips:

Did you move both jumpers to the Type B position? I believe that’s the correct configuration for the EC4 and I’m sure it’s the same for the UC4. See below.

Are you using a TRS to TRS cable to connect the FaderFox to Ribbons? That’s what you should be using.

Here is what I would try one more time:

  • Set Ribbons and the FaderFox to MIDI Channel 1
    • Make sure to press the Touch footswitch when in the MIDI bootup menu to select the MIDI channel
    • The menu doesn’t show your currently selected/last used MIDI channel. The menu always boots up with Channel 1 highlighted so that you can easily toggle to the MIDI channel you want to use.
  • Connect the FaderFox to Ribbons MIDI input using a TRS to TRS cable:
  • Send MIDI CC 0, Value 0-127 and see if Ribbons responds. You should see the high pass filter LED (first LED on the left on the green page) responding to the MIDI data if Ribbons is successfully receiving MIDI CC 0.
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One more thought - if you’re using an 1/8 inch TRS to 1/4 inch TRS adapter… sometimes these things can be a little finicky and not mate together perfectly. Make sure they’re making a solid connection or maybe try a different one (if you have another on-hand).


Hi Jaak

Thanks for quick reply.

I have the Midi Box V2 that has one tip/ring out included.

This works with many other pedals I have so I assume it should work. But maybe not. If it was to work - would jumper position 1 or 2 be more likely to work?

I will try position 2 with the UC4 again.
I did try this and they were correctly placed.
I also cycled through the midi channels until it arrived back at channel 1 and pressed touch.

I believe the problem will be with the adaptors.
I had originally tried a Midi Din to Trs cable along with a midi cable. Assumed that might be the problem so I then tried a trs to trs (with adaptor) which still did not work.
I will eventually either make some cables or buy one that perfectly suits - No adaptors.

Problem is. My set up heavily relies on using the Empress Midi Box.

I’ll do some more troubleshooting tomorrow and report back.

Thanks again

If you look at the arrows on that far right control port, it sends data out on the tip and can receive data from the ring but it can’t send data out on the ring. If it could send data out on the ring, it would work with the CBA MIDI configuration that Ribbons has.


I know it works with Meris, Empress, Alexander and some others but I don’t think it will work with Kinotone or Chase Bliss without a special adapter or cable. The guitar pedal industry unfortunately uses a number of different approaches to MIDI communication that differ from the MIDI standard. The only MIDI box I know of that’s compatible with all of the different configurations is this one:

If you really want to use the Empress MIDI box to communicate with Ribbons, you have two options:

Option 1: Use the MIDI Thru Port + an adapter

Unless you’re using the MIDI thru port for something else, this would be my recommendation. You will need to use a DIN MIDI to TRS Type A or Type B adapter cable and connect that directly to Ribbons. We recommend a number of options that are available in the USA on this page but I’m not sure which of these is available in the UK.

Option 2: Use Ribbons' CBA Jumper option + an adapter

Use the CBA option (both jumpers in the lowest position) AND:

  • Use a TRS cable where the tip and ring are swapped on one side of the cables. If the tip and ring are swapped on one of the TRS connectors, it should (in-theory) work with any of the control ports on the Empress MIDI box. We recommend using a short cable for this that is less than 3 feet in length.
  • Modfiy your Empress MIDI box. This requires soldering but Empress provides schematics on their website and I can guide you through the process to make one of the control ports “Ring Active”. We also recommend using a TRS cable that is less than 3 feet in length for this option.

Yes, please let me know! I am happy to help with troubleshooting and will be around tomorrow for quick responses via the forum. We test all the MIDI configurations during end of line testing so I’d be surprised if it was faulty but I won’t totally rule it out.

Thanks for your patience with this @focalsounds

Thank you

Just tried this. It works but unfortunately it prevents the rest of my setup from operating as it normally would.
The midi thru was being used for other means.

I will look at the mod. Does it effect the Midi Box from working as intended with the empress effects?

The fader fox works directly into ribbons with a good screw on headphone adaptor but again - without a thru it cant be used with other gear.

Midi … Cant live with it - Cant live without it.

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Did the mod on the empress Midi Box 2 and it worked a treat.

Thanks for the suggestion.
I did see this mod years ago when exploring CB pedals.

I just need to test it with the whole set up now and i’ll report back later.

Thanks again

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