Question about Crushed Cassette and True Bypass

Hello - my name is David, in another life I played in a band full-time, now I run a bike shop here in Scotland and spend my evenings noodling away on guitar and writing bits of songs I’ll probably never complete…
I got my pedal a couple of weeks ago and have been enjoying exploring it very much - it’s tape-tastic and can do everything my Dad’s old Grundig reel-to-reel did to enhance my guitar sound!
Not sure if this is the best place, but I do have a couple of tech questions:
Crushed Cassette - I would like to have 100% effect but the most I can get is about 20% unless I play really softly
True Bypass - guitar sounds really horrible when sort of hollow and middle-y - it’s fine in tails mode which I actually prefer at the moment.
Thanks again Jaak for creating such a wonderful pedal and this environment to discuss it!

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Hi David and welcome to the Kinotone forum! :slightly_smiling_face:

I have converted your post from the “Kintone Forum Introductions” into its own topic. In future please start a new topic or find a related topic to post on for any technical comments / questions about Ribbons as this allows others to more easily find the information.

I’m assuming you are playing with the T2 (bit crusher) knob because you mentioned that your playing dynamics / volume impact the sound. If T2 is fully counterclockwise, it reduces the bit depth down to 4 bits with mu-law companding. You can read more about how bit crushing with mu-law companding works here. I’m guessing you are enjoying some of the crispy/fizzly sounds that are accessible when T2 is set to 4 bits and your volume is right on the threshold of the first bit “step”.

When working on this feature, pushing the bit crusher to further extremes (1-3 bits) created technical questions from people like “What happened to my sound? It completely cuts out” or “I have to play hard to get any sound at all”. I found that 4 bits had a lot of great character without creating any confusion.

Using Crushed Cassette in combination with other effects like the reverb (pre-effects), or the compression / saturation knob might help you bring out more of that crispy/fizzly character. Sometime in the future when I have more time I can play around with the companding curves to see if there is a way to get a little more of those sounds at normal volumes without creating other issues. I’m a little hesitant though because then it wouldn’t follow the the G.711 standard, which this effect is very precisely modeled after.

I’m not sure I fully understand what you’re describing here. That said, in True Bypass mode your instrument does not go through any of Ribbons electronics when disengaged. It’s as if you physically plugged your instrument cable straight into the next pedal or amp/DI in the chain. So if your guitar sounds “hollow and middle-y” it probably isn’t because of Ribbons being in True Bypass mode.

With Buffered Bypass with Trails (option 3 which you mentioned), your instrument still goes through Ribbons electronics and also continues to be a sound source so you will still hear certain effects (noise, reverb tails, audio that is frozen or looped, etc) come through when the pedal is bypassed.

I hope that helps!