Humble request: input level meter

Pie-in-the-sky wish: a mode utilizing the LEDs as an input level meter. I drive the Ribbons input pretty hard and find it kind of exhausting to listen for distortion to adjust levels. The LEDs already have the ability to display multiple colors, so it’d be nice if they could be used for visual indication of signal strength going into the unit.

This is something I’ve thought about for awhile but I couldn’t decide on the best way to do it.

Couple ideas:

  • If the user doesn’t press any buttons or knobs for 15 seconds then the 4 page LEDs display a VU meter
    • Maybe this could be enabled via MIDI CC and persistent between power cycles?
  • If the input signal clips then the Bypass LED could flicker to indicate the level is too hot

Any other ideas?


Those are interesting ideas. Displaying it after a certain time occurred to me, but I feel like it should be optional since the color coding of the pages is so integral to the UI. I also really like the idea of having an LED flicker when overloaded.

One thing I considered was a really long press of the button next to the LED bank, perhaps in combination with another switch.

My biggest question is if it’s even worthwhile to dedicate the entire bank to it? Like how much value would a user get from seeing the levels turn from green to yellow to red? Is it more than enough to just flash “HOT” when it happens? This isn’t a mixer, after all. There’s no gain staging here.

What about a hybrid approach? If someone wanted a full VU meter have a dedicated mode that can be switched to temporarily via CC or whatever, but have a simpler approach active all the time. Like what if the entire LED bank lights up bright, blinking red when the signal is too hot? There’d be no ambiguity there. And just have it turn off as the signal drops low enough.

I’m just happy that it’s at least feasible. I think it would add a lot to make the experience smoother.

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I like that! We’ll need some time to investigate, test, and then update our documentation but I should be able to include at least one of those options (or something like them) in the next firmware update.

Thanks so much for the feedback and appreciate your patience while I work on the next update.


Hi Jaak,

Just curious if this is something that might be implemented in the next update. I was just using my Red Panda Bitmap which uses the LEDs as UV meters and it reminded me of this.


Yup! Thanks for your patience on this. There is a big Ribbons 2.0 firmware update coming. The development blog has been updated with features we’re investigating.


Just checked that blog post, the update looks epic. I can’t wait!

Wow, some of the features that are being considered are so :fire: it would invigorate the pedal so much for my use cases (especially the new touch modes, the double buffering to magnetic dance and it being a macro looper with fading, and the possibility of switching RPO to ROP footswitch behavior on the loopers).

On the other hand, and pardon if it’s not the right thread, but can you please explain what these 2 items would mean and/or how these changes would compare to the current implementation of the mix control (low-level detail is welcome but not necessary)?

  • Add all pass compensation to mix control.
  • Investigate equal power curve taper instead of linear taper for mix control.

I won’t get too technical but all pass compensation will make the MIX control sound more “lush/full” when used at settings less than 100%. It’s subtle but something I always wanted to add and we just didn’t have the processing power for it until recently.

The equal power curve basically sets the volume of dry and wet to 70/70 instead of 50/50 at noon. It can be a nice thing to have on a chorus/vibrato pedal. Not 100% sure about it yet though - we have to do some volume and listening tests and make sure it doesn’t result in an undesirable volume boost.

I see, thanks for the explanation. I cannot give any strong opinion on this since I use the pedal with the mix at full for most of the time, since there are level controls on most of its features. I was wondering about this from a general perspective since I have the Soma Cosmos and as much as I love the pedal, the mix control is very hard to use since it will boost volume when going from noon to any of the extremes. Going from full dry to noon to full wet sounds very unpolished since it sounds like it drops in volume first when going from full dry to reaching noon, and then gets to full volume again when reaching full wet. I don’t know what curve that is, but it doesn’t sound good.

Promise it won’t be anything like that! :slightly_smiling_face:

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