Mobius Pedal for under £150
If you read through this and think its a bit too much work leave me a comment, I'm going to make some of the bits/complete pedals up (with a revised design and some proper PCBs etc) and putting a few on ebay if enough people want them.
This is not a full guide but more of a 'what I did'. I think it will take a bit more research to build it if you have o experience in electronics or scripting but the Arduino and Mobius forums are full of answers if you need them, or just leave me a comment.
Being a massive Ed Sheeran fan and a live performer in an acoustic duo I have been into loop stations and live looping for quite a while. After watching Ed performing his plus album live I decided that I needed to get a loop pedal for my own live performances. At the time he was still using the RC-20 but I decided that having 2 separate tracks would be better for what I wanted so I went out and bought an RC-30. I have used the RC-30 with the FS-5U for quite a while now both for recording and live performances and I have to say it is great. It really helps to add in extra dynamics to our performances and helps to liven things up in a pub gig.
After a while I decided that 2 tracks wasn’t enough and changing between each track can be a bit distracting as no matter how confident I got I still had to look and check I was on the right track before I stopped or played it. I spend a fair amount of time designing and building things anyway (it’s also part of my job) so my obvious next thought was ‘can I make one…’
I spent a lot of time researching and decided that to get decent latency and a good enough sound quality for recording and gigging probably wasn’t going to be possible without a massive time and money
investment. I had a look at the RC-300 but it’s a bit too expensive for me considering I would only use a few of its
features. So I decided to leave the idea and just carry on with my RC-30.
Then Ed release the multiply album and along with it came the Chewie Monsta. As soon as I saw it I wanted one so I started doing some research. It turns out that it is basically a MIDI controller that controls a software called Mobius running as a VSTwith Ableton as the host. This allows multiple inputs and outputs but best of all Mobius is totally customisable. WOW I could make one of these!! After a load of searching it turns out nobody had really come up with a way to make something like this. A few people have made similar things but they all wanted to include other bits in that I didn’t need. I also wanted to space out the pedals more like Eds.
So I spent A LOT of time watching as many videos of him using the pedal to try and work out what it was doing. This is what I came up with.
The board has 9 buttons:
Fairly simple I thought but watching him use it didn’t seem to make sense. I assumed the arm track buttons where just arming the track and then you would have to press Record/Play to start them but this wasn’t
happening. So I guessed that the Mode button switches from Record to Play. When you press the Track1, Track2
etc this is Record/Overdub/Play in record mode and Play/Stop in play mode. Watching a load of videos again
this seemed to make sense to what Ed was doing and seemed to make the whole loop pedal a lot easier to use. So I decided to go with that and got to work and here’s how I did my version of this pedal. See a video of it in action here: https://youtu.be/C4j8mC_f2eg
One thing to mention is that this is not an exact copy there are a couple of things that I have noticed are different in the working of the pedal. These are:
When Ed starts the first recording I think he records onto all channels but with the input level on all but the first channel turned down (I think this is done a lot which ever tracks are not being used to record have
the input level at 0). This will automatically give him 4 loops of exactly the same length synced up in one go.
I haven’t done this as I didn’t see the need. I like to see that if I haven’t recorded to a track it is still empty.
When all tracks are stopped the Track1, Track2 buttons become arm buttons so he can stop all and then select say 3 tracks and bring them all back in together. Again I only wanted 3 tracks so I didn’t see the need for this for me.
NEXT: What you’ll need (leave out anything you don’t want. This is what I used for mine):
Arduino IDE Software (https://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/Software)
Mobius 2.5 (http://www.circularlabs.com/download2/download.html) - FREE Nice to give them a donation though because this is the key to the whole thing).
DAW (if you want to host Mobius as a VST)
Audio Interface (I use https://www.soundonsound.com/sos/may08/articles/f...
not around anymore but as long as it has enough inputs and a MIDI In it will
MIDI Cable 3m (£3.99)
VGA Cable 3m (£5.28)
For the Pedal
(You could use an off the shelf MIDI controller like Behringer FCB1010)
Buttons (I used M-AUDIO SP-1 sustain pedals http://www.maplin.co.uk/p/m-audio-sp-1-sustain-pe...
MDF Sealer £5
MDF Primer £5
Spray Paint £7.50
ATmega328 (with UNO bootloader & Arduino if you don’t already have one) -
1kOhm Resistor £0.63 (for 100!!)
LED Bezel £0.37
7805 Voltage Regulator £0.37
100uF Capacitor £0.08
16mHz Crystal £0.21
22pF Capacitor £0.02
2.1mm DC Jack socket £0.62
9V 2A Power Supply with 2.1mm DC jack plug £9.85
180 Degree 5 Pin Din Socket - £0.35
Total Cost of Mine was: £142