The kind folks over at Montreal Assembly (I think it’s just Scott?) posted up a beta build of their new firmware titled 0.900 beta. This places an already interesting pedal into a wild alternative universe where all of the functionality is different.
Very conveniently for me, I happen to own 2 of these magical little pedals so switching the firmware over on one of them wasn’t really a sacrifice at all. I had to jump through some hoops to get this to work on a Mac computer but it wasn’t too terribly difficult and it didn’t brick my pedal so that’s nice! You can check out the build page over on the mtl.asm site for more information. I’ll do up a quick guide on making the firmware update on a Mac as well which will be linked in once it’s completed.
The gist of this update is to create 3 entirely new modes and place the Count to 5 into a parallel universe. This feels apt as the world around us is starting to feel more and more unfamiliar so why not start from scratch with a pedal I’ve been obsessed with for a couple of years.
There’s some irony behind this mode as I worked with Steve from Demedash Effects to build a custom loop switcher to allow me to get both of my Count to 5 pedals to feed into each other almost exactly how this new mode behaves. The main idea here is that you’ve got 2 pedals in traditional CT5 mode 1 and can manipulate how they feed into each other. This is much easier to do within one pedal than with my kind of ridiculous dual pedal + switcher setup.
From the audio example below – this thing still has some of the characteristics of the traditional firmware but definitely expands on it. This one feels the most familiar out of the new modes.
Here we’re getting into completely new territory for the Count to 5. This new mode builds from the sample functionality and allows you to build glitchy stutter effects by microsampling small sections of whatever you play and then repeating them. This mode allows you to have 3 sample banks going at the same time with varying lengths. This opens up a basically endless supply of new sounds for me. I’m head over heels with this mode immediately.
One of the main reasons that I ended up with 2 of these pedals is that I really loved the way it worked with synthesizers but didn’t want to rip apart my pedalboard every time I was recording and wanted to put some synth on the track. The second pedal is part of my rack’s patch bay and always connected to the synths.
I openly admit that I use this pedal in a far less “experimental” way than most people who get into these types of things. A lot of the music I’m trying to make is still rooted in traditional melody and structure and some of the more wild applications don’t really work out so well for me. This mode seemed at first like it would be the most troublesome to work within this context. However, I figured out pretty quickly that there’s some interesting subtle effects that can come out of this. This sound sample is built around this mode but also features some extra love from within Helix with some stereo reverbs after the fact to get that full ambient soundscape vibe.
Unsurprisingly I find this new firmware to be incredibly inspiring (as with the old firmware) and love that Scott is releasing this type of thing. Shoot him some cash at paypal.me/mtlasm if you want to support this type of thing directly! I’m sure these sounds will be all over the next few recordings I do so thanks for that! For more information on the existing firmware available for the Count to 5 check out this page on the mtl.asm site.