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    Manual: Montreal Assembly Count To Five 0963

    by Jane is K.O.

    Fnd a stripped down version of the original CT5 manual below, only for firmware version 0963.

    Count to 5 manual (0.963 firmware)
    for rev k and l (spells L) boards.
    For a rev h/i or j unit please see the old manual.

    • input jack on top right, slightly more to corner
    • output jack slightly more to center
    • expression pedal input on the right side of the unit.
    • power jack wants 9VDC negative tip, requires up to 150mA.

    How to use
    3 main modes, access via switch “M”.
    “MIX” knob blends wet/dry signal, fully CW means fully wet.

    MODE 1 (“M” toggle up)
    A buffer of fixed length is constantly written at fixed speed.
    It is simultaneously read back, at variable speed (pitch), with adjustable feedback (FBK).

    DIR 1: Direction + speed of read head (pitch, according to Q)
    LEN B: Selects buffer length (delay)
    FBK: Amount of feedback.

    LEN B knob controls 10 discrete length settings. LED changes color when you change length. Each length is half/double the next/previous setting. If transcendence is disabled the buffer will be erased at each length change. If transcendence is enabled the buffer will not be cleared in between length changes.

    • “E” switch selects expression pedal, which you can assign to either the DIR 1, LEN B or FBK function. Up is DIR 1, middle LEN B, down is FBK.

    • additional parameters are available by holding the Q switch up or down.

    Holding Q down you can activate a sinusoidal LFO to modulate DIR 1. The frequency can be adjusted by turning LEN B and the depth can be adjusted with FBK. To disable the LFO simply turn FBK fully CCW with Q held down (depth of zero = no effect).

    With Q down you can also apply a low pass filter to the feedback loop buy turning DIR 1. This filter only acts in Mode 1.

    Holding Q up you can adjust 2 parameters of a trigger which causes the read head to move a certain distance away from the write head when the amplitude of the input signal breaks a certain threshold. DIR 1 adjusts the sensitivity/threshold level of the trigger, CCW makes it more sensitive (lower amplitude required to break the threshold). Fully CW turns off the trigger. LEN B will adjust the relative distance the read head is placed after a trigger event (in the positive direction). When a trigger event occurs the LED will flash white briefly, this should help you adjust the sensitivity level. The LED will stay white while input is above threshold. The trigger is generated at the moment the LED turns white. No further triggers are generated while the LED is white. At power up the trigger is disabled, the distance is one half LEN B.

    Regardless of Q position or sensitivity level, tapping the soft footswitch can also be used to generate a trigger and move the read head the specified distance away. This way you do not actually have to play to cause a trigger or if you want to trigger on a softer note than the trigger level requires, you can tap and play at the same moment.

    Tapping the Q switch up or down will change the quantization mode accordingly. In mode 1 only DIR 1 is quantized.

    Holding the soft footswitch mutes the write head so the data in the buffer stops changing. Effectively it will just keep looping what is in the buffer while you hold down the soft footswitch. When you release the footswitch the mode behaves as it previously did.

    Mode 2 (“M” toggle middle)

    In this mode up to four seconds of sound can be recorded, and then played back in shorter segments randomly.

    DIR 1 controls read direction + speed.
    LEN S controls resampled slices length.
    RAND controls random slices selectn.
    All random turned fully CW, CCW plays sample from the beginning.

    Record a sample by holding down soft switch. More than 4 seconds of recording will simply wrap around and layer on top of the first four seconds. Release soft switch to begin playing sample according to the knob settings.

    Record a new sample while the old one is still playing. Simply hold down the soft switch again and when you release the new sample will play.
    To stop and cancel the sample, tap the soft switch quickly.
    Initially the LED will be flashing blue in this mode, before recording anything. While recording it will be red, and while playing back it will be blue. After a tap to cancel it will also be flashing blue.
    The E switch functions as in Mode 1, but instead assigns to DIR 1, LEN S and RAND.

    Tapping the Q switch up or down will change the quantization mode accordingly. In mode 2 only DIR 1 is quantized.

    Mode 3 (“M” toggle down)
    Record up to 8 seconds, 3-head playback.
    DIR 1: direction + speed of 1st read head.
    DIR 2: direction + speed of 2nd read head.
    DIR 3: direction + speed of 3rd read head.
    • Soft switch: Hold down to record.

    More than 8 seconds will wrap around and layer on top of the first 8 seconds.
    Release soft switch to begin playing as set by knobs.
    Record layer on top of original recording by holding down soft switch again.

    To stop and cancel the sample, tap the soft switch quickly.
    Initially the LED will be flashing blue in this mode, before recording anything. While recording it will be red, and while playing back it will be blue. After a tap to cancel it will also be flashing blue.

    • E/EXP switch controls how many read heads are active.
    - E up: DIR 1 active,1 read head playing.
    - E in the middle: DIR 1, 2 active, 2 read heads playing.
    - E down: DIR 1,2,3 actice, 3 read heads playing.
    - expression pedal in mode 3 always controls DIR 1.

    Additional parameters can be accessed by holding “Q” up or down and turning DIR 1/2/3.

    Hold up Q to step random-modulate DIR 1, 2, 3. Steps are also affected by the quantizer.
    So for example if you are in the whole tone quantization then you will get only random whole tone settings. DIR 1 will control the tempo, DIR 2 the variance and DIR 3 sets how many of the playback heads are affected by the step sequencer. From fully CCW to ~1/4 of the range no heads are affected (sequencer is off), from 1/4 to noon only DIR 3 is affected, noon to 3/4 DIR 2 and 3, and past 3/4 DIR 1, 2, 3 are stepped. At power up the sequencer is disabled. To enable it hold Q up and rotate FBK CW.

    The loops are not reset when a step occurs so this tends to make things somewhat rhythmically incoherent, but can be interesting with more droney or vocal loops. For best results try to play something in a key similar to the quantization style.

    Hold down Q to adjust volume of each read head – by turning DIR 1/2/3.


    Normally the sample buffer is cleared when
    • either LEN B in mode 1 is adjusted or
    • the mode switch position is changed.
    Essentially all modes start with an empty buffer.
    Some people would prefer this did not happen, so I added a new global modifier called transcendence, since the data in the buffer “transcends” mode switches.

    Enable transcendence by bypassing the pedal, then hold down soft switch. You’ll see the LED alternating blue/green/blue/green about every .5 seconds.
    Release the footswitch while the LED is green to enable transcendence.
    If you release when the LED is blue you will disable transcendence.

    When the pedal is re engaged all blue led indicators will change to green, and all green to blue if transcendence is active. SO for example in mode 1 where normally the LED alternated blue or red depending on th LEN B setting, it will alternate green or red. And when you hold down the soft switch to adjust the filter it will turn blue instead of green etc. Similar logic applies to the LED in mods 2 and 3.

    When flipping between modes the audio buffer will no longer wipe clean, instead it will keep what was written in the previous mode(s). An example would be that you could record a loop in Mode 3, then flip to mode 2 and have that exact loop played randomly, or flip again up to mode 1 and get the echoes added etc. There are a few caveats and subtleties to this though which are outlined in the rest of this section.

    In Mode 1, while transcendence is active the buffer is not wiped when LEN B is changed.

    In mode 2 there are no longer 2 swapping 4 second buffers. There is only one 8 second buffer. If you record a sample and release the soft footswitch it will start to play back, similarly to how mode 2 would work without transcendence. However, when you record again it will write over the current playback buffer, instead of a second unheard one. So an interesting effect of this is that you can hold down the soft switch while recording and have the audio be randomized more in “real time” instead of having to record a loop, then release the footswitch to start playing that loop.

    If you record a loop from stop (ie you tapped he soft switch and had a blinking green led) in either mode 2 or 3, the length of that loop will transcend when changing modes as the loop length and will not be changed until you stop playback again in either mode 2 or 3. For example, you freshly record a loop in mode 2 that is 3 seconds long. When you move to mode 3 it will play this loop right away and any layers added will loop around this 3 second base. But then if you tap the soft switch to stop playback and record a new loop of 4 seconds, when you flip to mode 2 now it will randomize over a 4 second sample etc.

    Mode 1 follows this theme somewhat, but is a bit more complicated depending on what is happening before entering mode 1. If a loop has been recorded in mode 2 or 3 and you flip to mode 1 the maximum LEN B setting will correspond to the length of the loop, not 8 seconds. However if no loop was recorded or transcendence was enabled while in Mode 1,  the max length achieved  by LEN B is 8 seconds as usual.

    When you leave mode 1 in transcendence, mode 2 or 3 will automatically start playing. The length of the original recorded sample is maintained if your journey was something like: record in mode2/3 flip to mode 1, flip back to mode 2/3. However if no loop was recorded when entering mode 1, or transcendence was enabled in mode 1, then the length of the sample played in mode 2/3 is determined by the setting of LEN B at the time of exiting Mode 1.

    Firmware Updates and Instructions
    Identifying different versions
    Quick printable 1 page reference card pdf (special thanks to Nick Gill for this contribution)

    Jane is K.O. aka jayrope is a Berlin-based composer, producer and musician.
    More info: jayrope.com