Count to 5 manual (0.963 firmware)

This manual corresponds to firmware version 0.963 for rev k and l boards (the latest). If you have a rev h/i or j unit please see the old manual which covers operation of older firmware for these models.

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


Facing the pedal with the text the right way up, the input jack is the one slightly more too the right, output slightly more to the left on the top side of the unit. The expression pedal input is the jack on the right side of the unit.

Power requirements are 9VDC negative tip for all versions. Pcb versions k and l require less than 150mA.

How to use:

The pedal has three main modes. The mode is selected with the switch labelled "M". In all modes the "MIX" knob functions the same, and simply blends the wet and dry signal of the effect. On rev j/k/l fully CW is fully wet, fully CCW is fully dry.

Mode 1 ("M" toggle up):

In this mode a buffer of fixed length is constantly written to at a fixed speed. It is simultaneously read back at a variable speed with possibility of feedback to the write head.

The DIR 1 knob controls the direction and speed of the read head.

The LEN B knob selects the length of the buffer.

The FBK knob controls the amount of feedback from the read head to the write head.

Also note the LEN B knob has discrete settings. The buffer length will jump as you move the knob between about 10 lengths. Each length is half/double the next/previous setting. You will see the LED change color when you change the length. If transcendence is disabled the buffer will be erased at each length change. If transcendence is enabled teh buffer will not be cleared in between length changes.

The "E" switch acts as an expression pedal selection switch. If you have an expression pedal plugged in you can assign it to either the DIR 1, LEN B or FBK function using the 3 way switch. Up is DIR 1, middle LEN B, down is FBK.

In mode 1 some additional parameters are available and can be accessed by holding the Q switch either 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.

The DIR 1 knob controls the direction and speed of the read head.

The LEN S knob controls the length of the resampled slices.

The RAND knob effects how randomly the slices are selected. CCW sets it to no randomness at all, the sample is always played from the beginning. CW allows the start of the slices to be chosen from anywhere in the original recording.

The soft switch is used to record a sample. Hold it down to record. If you record for more than 4 seconds it will simply wrap around and layer on top of the first four seconds. Once you release the soft switch the sample begins playing according to the setting of the knobs.

While the sample is playing you can 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):

In this mode up to 8 seconds can be recorded and played back by up to three read heads simultaneously.

The DIR 1 knob controls the direction and speed of the first  read head.

The DIR 2 knob controls the direction and speed of the second read head.

The DIR 3 knob controls the direction and speed of the third read head.

The soft switch is used to record a sample. Hold it down to record. If you record for more than 8 seconds it will simply wrap around and layer on top of the first 8 seconds. Once you release the soft switch the sample begins playing according to the setting of the knobs.
While the sample is playing you can layer on top of the original recording by holding down the 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.

In mode 3, the E/EXP switch controls how many read heads are active. When E is up only DIR 1 will have an effect since only 1 read head is playing. E in the middle enables 2 read heads, controlled by DIR 1 and DIR 2 knobs. E down enables all three read heads and DIR 1,2,3 will all have an effect. If you plug in an expression pedal in mode 3, it will always control DIR 1.

In mode 3 there are some additional parameters that can be accessed by holding "Q" up or down and turning DIR 1/2/3.

Holding Q up you can step modulate DIR 1, 2, 3. The steps are random, but 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.

Holding Q down you can adjust the volume of each read head by turning DIR 1/2/3.


Under normal operating conditions 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. Based on user feedback 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.

To enable transcendence simply bypass the pedal and then hold down the soft footswitch. You will see that the LED alternates blue/green/blue/green about every .5 seconds. If you release the footswitch while the LED is green you will 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.


Unknown said...

Can you explain the quantization more? It seems to act pretty randomly. I can be playing with a standard delay sound in mode 1 and change the quantization - and sometimes it shifts the notes and sometimes it seems uneffected as i cycle through all quant modes.

Also - my DIR 1 knob - when its a full noon it lowers my tone an octave. If i move it to 2 o'clock position - it then goes to normal. I read that noon is supposed to be uneffected pitch/time? Is that normal.


Unknown said...

I use mine on desktop, with switching used by hands.

Is there any way that I can push Q button once to start record, and next to stop recording, instead of push and hold while recording?

Do you think this would be a good function to install? as I would think that a lot of people would like to tweak nobs on desktop while using this.

Thank you.

Unknown said...

Two simple yet related questions:

1. When making the additional changes via holding the Q up/down while turning knobs, will they be reset back to factory default after power is removed from the pedal?

2. Is there a way to instantly "reset" the pedal and those additional functions on the fly? If not, consider it a request for the future..

Sam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sam said...

My pedal (rev l) seems to be acting strangely in mode 1. When the direction is not at unity speed (forward or reverse), the repeats do several weird things. First off, if slower than unity speed, the repeats continuously get slower and slower/lower and lower in pitch; if faster than unity they speed up/get higher in pitch. Secondly, the pedal seems to choose its own delay time each time it receives a signal - sometimes it will start fast, sometimes slow, but its never predictable, no matter what i have the length knob on. Thirdly, sometimes the pedal doesn't repeat my signal at all, or will cut off suddenly after a repeat or two. Finally, sometimes it just seems to freak out - the LED blinks randomly between blue/green and red, and there seems to be no pattern in the repeats. I am powering it with 500ma. Am i missing something or is this unpredictable behavior normal?

As a side note, a suggestion for a further update would be to add Major/Minor scale quantization, or better yet, to allow the user to input his own quantization scales via the USB. Also, perhaps a way to allow the user to change pitch without speed or speed without pitch for interesting harmonies or polyrhythms. All in all, still an awesome pedal - I love how it is an instrument in itself and not just an effect.

Unknown said...

My 2016 ct5 produces no sound when engaged. It act as a thru, but there's no sound when activated. Suggestions?

brakophonic said...

The LFO has a slow movement and not very wide.
Is that how it's supposed to be ?
I was hoping for some automatic control over dir

Matt said...

Quantization details from the user-generated cheat-sheet card:

Click up & down to cycle through pitch interval settings:
1. None
2. Chromatic scale
3. Whole tone scale
4. Diminished Triad
5. Augmented Triad
6. Fifths & octaves

Setting persists while unit is powered; reverts to 'None' when power is cycled.

Greg Sinibaldi said...

What are the differences between the the rev j and the rev k/l models?

Tiago.Mendes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tiago.Mendes said...

I just got the pedal in the mail yesterday, so I'm relatively new to it and probably just a bit confused, but I can't seem to switch transcendence between on and off. Bypassing the pedal and holding the soft switch appears to do nothing to the LED. Yesterday the pedal was showing blue and red, and today it's green and red, but I haven't been able to switch it back all day no matter how short or long i hold the soft switch while bypassed.

charlie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
drivetime said...

Trying to change firmware but having a pproblem

1. attached USB cable to pedal and computer
2. attached power cable
3. Pedal is not recognized.

Two different computers - two different(tested and working)cables, many different USB ports.

I bought this second hand, did I buy a faulty pedal?

Unknown said...

I have exactly the same issue. Tried a few things on Windows 10 but nothing seems to get it recognised

haricots said...

Fantastic device and not as hard to comprehend as I thought it would be.

Choo45 said...

Not only do the updates not work, but support is non existent. Company is going bankrupt.

Thomas said...

Has anyone experience refering a damaged effect unit (count to 5) after wrong powering
(polarity)? My count to 5 is dead and there´s no service adress in Germany.