DPC-5 Gen3 MIDI Pedalboard Controller & Loop Switcher
DPC-5 Gen3 MIDI Pedalboard Controller & Loop Switcher
Yes. It’s back. Disaster Area Design's original pedalboard controller, now with way more cool stuff.
The DPC-5 was DAD's first foray into the loop-switching field way back in 2012. They discontinued it in early 2016 when some of the parts required to build them became too expensive. They've been hard at work bringing the DMC Gen3 series to life, but they never forgot about the DPC-5!
What does it do? The DPC-5 is a compact MIDI controller and loop switcher. It’s designed to control a mix of MIDI and non-MIDI pedals in your rig, allowing you to craft presets that you can engage instantly when you need them. A single tap on your DPC-5 can turn up to five non-MIDI pedals on or off, send tap tempo to a delay or other device, change the channel on your amplifier, and switch programs on up to four MIDI devices. That’s a lot of power in a small footprint!
— What’s New in Gen3 —
New Custom Colors – DAD added some new finishes to our standard Black Texture and Ghost White: Red Clay Texture, Illusion Orange Sparkle, Illusion Green Sparkle, Illusion Blue Sparkle, and the limited edition Infra Red and Ultra Violet finishes!
More MIDI Control – Control up to four MIDI devices plus any combination of Disaster Area pedalboard switching systems. Connect a DPC-8EZ as a MIDI slave for a 13-loop controller!
Preset Naming Capability – Each user bank and preset may be named. This allows you to name a bank with a song title, and each preset with a section name (verse, chorus, solo, etc.)
Improved LED Indication and Display – The original DPC-5 had LEDs for each preset plus a multi-function cluster of LEDs to indicate various functions. DAD has changed those LEDs to indicate the status of each loop, the control outputs, and the buffer / mute status. They've also added their trademark blue LED display, with full alphanumeric capabilities! Both display and LEDs may be dimmed or brightened in the setup menu to suit indoor or outdoor venues.
Silent Loop Switching – DAD changed over the older mechanical relay bypass on the original DPC-5 to the quiet and reliable solid-state relay system from our popular DPC-8EZ. The DPC-5 now uses less power and switches with even less noise than before. They’ve added the user-selectable Automatic Noise Reduction from the 8EZ as well, allowing you to mute the controller briefly during switching to silence troublesome pedals.
Improved Audio Path and Buffers – They now run the audio path on its own power supply to improve headroom and reduce noise.
Built-in SMARTClock – The DPC-5 Gen3 adds in support for sending MIDI Clock or tap tempo to your connected devices, without any additional hardware. The MultiJack connector can operate as an expression pedal inputs, tap tempo footswitch inputs, MIDI outputs, or isolated tap tempo outputs. The DPC-5 Gen3 can send either a global tempo / BPM for all presets, or a new tempo / BPM for each preset.
Built-in SMARTSwitch – The DPC-5 has an isolated TRS (tip-ring-sleeve) jack that may be used for amplifier channel, tremolo, reverb, or other switching functions. Connect it to your Red Remote compatible JHS pedals to have preset control over their switching functions, or control the Favorite settings on your Strymon pedald (requires the MJ-STT MultiJack TRS Tap Tempo Cable for Strymon.) Or just use this jack to add TWO separate tap tempo outputs to the built-in SMARTClock!
Optional gHOST Compatiblity – The DPC-5 Gen3 can control an external USB-MIDI device including the popular Zoom MS-50G, MS-60B, and MS-70CDR using its native USB port. Connect your USB-MIDI device to theDPC-5 Gen3 USB port through our gHOST adaptor, enable the USB Host mode in the firmware and you’re all set! TheDPC-5 Gen3 can power most USB-MIDI devices, but please note that the power supply you’re using must be sufficient to power the DPC plus the connected device. Powering a USB device may require as much as 500mA, so be sure your power supply can handle the load.
Separate Expression and Roller Configuration – hundreds of players all over the world are in love with the expression rollers on their DMC and DPC Gen2 controllers. It’s a great way to add expression control without giving up valuable pedalboard real estate. The DPC-5 Gen3 allows you to map the roller to a variety of destinations.
MultiJack – DAD brought the MultiJack over from the SMARTClock, but they’ve taught it some new tricks! The MultiJack can function as an expression pedal input, tap tempo footswitch input, or additional MIDI output by connecting the Disaster Area TRS to MIDI Adaptor Cable. You can use our TRS Control Cable for Chase Bliss Audio to connect your Tonal Recall, Warped Vinyl or other Chase Bliss pedal for full MIDI control. Want more? Flip the DIP switches inside the pedal and the MultiJack can act as an isolated tap tempo output to your non-MIDI gear. Any of the pedals listed over on the TNT or SMARTClock pages can be controlled by the MultiJack. The MultiJack also supports selectable tap tempo subdivisions, so you can tap in quarter notes and have your delay set to dotted eighths.
MIDI Input and Output – the 5-pin MIDI jack on theDPC-5 operates as a MIDI output, of course, but if you connect the Disaster Area MIDI Y-Cable, you can also send MIDI in to the DPC-5 Gen3. Want to connect your old DMC Gen2 to your brand new Gen3? No problem! How about sending MIDI clock into your chain from a drum machine? Sure, that’ll work.
Easy Firmware Update – no more driver installation, app downloads, or weird Windows errors! Simply hold the bank up / save button and plug in your DPC, and it shows up on your desktop as a flash drive. Drag and drop the new firmware over and you’re all set! (Mac folks will have to type three keystrokes, but you can handle that!) And their new 32-bit processor has more than eight times the available power of the Gen2 family. They’ll be adding support for more devices and more features as you request them!
— What can the DPC-5 Gen3 do for me? —
If you have one MIDI device, the DPC-5 Gen3 can simplify selecting programs, send it expression or tap tempo, or even keep it locked in to a MIDI clock. We can also control the loop recorder / looper on several popular devices such as the Strymon Timeline, Eventide H9, and Line 6 M9 / M13. Unlike the DMC-3XL and DMC-4 Gen3, the looper mode doesn’t occupy one of the device slots, so you can still get full control even with the looper mode enabled.
As helpful as the DPC-5 Gen3 is for single device users, it really shines when used with multiple pedals. Instead of scrolling around on each device to select a program for your next song, the DMC can send simultaneous commands to all of your pedals to select the exact patches you want with a single tap! Using our Preset Mode, changing sounds on all of your MIDI pedals is as easy as changing the channel on your TV remote. The DPC-5Gen3 can control up to four separate devices.
And by adding their new Clock Mode, they’ve taken pedalboard control to a new level! You can select your tempo by BPM, or tap in a new tempo any time. The DPC-5 Gen3 allows for a global tempo that you can tap in at any time, or preset tempos that change along with your MIDI programs. You can even configure the MultiJack to send taps to your non-MIDI devices with tap tempo inputs.
— What do I need to hook all this stuff up? —
Wiring up your rig with a loop switcher like the DPC-5 Gen3 is a bit different than a traditional setup. Instead of connecting the output of your first pedal to the input of your second pedal, you have to connect each pedal in your chain to its own loop on the DPC-5 Gen3. You’ll need two cables per pedal that you want to connect, so that means ten cables to connect five pedals to the DPC-5. We recommend DisasterPlug cable kits due the tight spacing on the jack panel, but George L’s and Lava solderless plugs also work. If you prefer to use soldered plugs, we recommend Switchcraft 280 short-handle straight plugs.
You’ll also need one MIDI cable for each device you want to connect to the DPC-5 Gen3. MIDI is a communication protocol, and a single MIDI cable is capable of sending data to up to 16 different places on separate MIDI channels. If you want to connect multiple MIDI devices together, you can generally hook the output of the first device (like the DPC) into the input of the second device, then the output of the second device runs into the input of the third device and so on.
Exceptions to this rule include any device that does not have a MIDI output or thru connector (dead-end device)
- Alexander Super Radical and Oblivion
- Digitech Whammy 4, 5, DT, Bass Whammy
- Pigtronix Infinity
- EHX 8-Step Program
Also, some devices that have a MIDI output do not pass incoming MIDI to it – the big offenders here are the Line 6 M5, M9, and M13.
Some devices have a MIDI output / thru but may not reliably pass incoming MIDI data – The Eventide Factor series and H9 are like this.
If you have these problematic devices, you can either place them LAST in your MIDI chain, or you can use a MIDI Thru box such as the Disaster Area PBA-MS which will send full MIDI to three separate devices without daisy-chaining them.
The DPC-5 Gen3 also provides an additional option, by using the Disaster Area TRS to MIDI Adaptor Cable in its MultiJacks. If you’re not using the MultiJacks for another purpose, this can get you one additional MIDI output per jack for a dead-end device, and it supports an additional daisy-chain. In this way, you can have four dead-end devices in your setup, each at the end of its own chain.
You can use a MIDIBox to connect up to 4 Chase Bliss Audio, Meris, or Empress devices. Chase Bliss pedals use the ring terminal on their jack, so you’ll need to make sure that your MIDIBox is set to the CBA mode. If you prefer not to use the MIDIBox, you can just connect directly to the MultiJacks with the appropriate cables. Meris and Empress use a standard mono cable, Chase Bliss need the TRS Control Cable for Chase Bliss Audio. We can control one Chase Bliss or Empress devices from the MultiJack, plus another using a Control Cable for Chase Bliss Audio (5-pin to Chase Bliss version).
— Supported MIDI Devices —
Full MIDI Control Support for the following devices:
Strymon: Timeline, Mobius, BigSky
Eventide: H9, Space, Timefactor, Modfactor, Pitchfactor
Line 6: M5, M9, M13
Chase Bliss: Brothers, Warped Vinyl, Wombtone, Gravitas, Spectre, Tonal Recall, Ayahuasca (control up to 4 with an MIDIBox, control up to three pedal with our TRS Control Cable for Chase Bliss Audio and the MultiJacks)
Boss: DD-500 (full support,) SL-20 (clock only)
Pigtronix Echolution 2 / Deluxe / Ultra
Alexander: Super Radical, Oblivion
Panda Audio Future Impact I
Empress: Echosystem, Reverb, Tremolo 2 (control up to four Empress devices using MIDIBox, control a single pedal with a mono cable connected to the MultiJack)
Free The Tone: Flight Time Delay FT-1Y
Meris: Mercury7, Ottobit Jr(control up to four Meris devices using MIDIBox, control a single pedal with a mono cable connected to the MultiJack)
Source Audio Neuro Hub / Soundblox Hub: control up to five One Series or Soundblox 2 series pedals from a single MIDI channel. Control up to 30 (yes, thirty!) Source Audio pedals with a single DPC-5 Gen3!
Source Audio Nemesis Delay (MIDI direct, no Hub required)
DigiTech: Whammy V, Bass Whammy (newest version) – works with Classic or Chords modes.
General MIDI: Supports most MIDI devices, sends program changes 0-127 and MIDI CC for tap tempo, expression, and performance switch controls.
MIDI Notes: Control Ableton Live or other DAW software by sending MIDI note messages
— Features and Specs —
- Sturdy cast aluminum enclosure
- Enclosure Dimensions 10″ x 2.5″ x 2.0″
- Soft-touch footswitches
- Blue LED display with 10 brightness levels
- 5-pin MIDI port, doubles as MIDI input using the Disaster Area MIDI Y-Cable
- 9vDC power jack, 100mA max (up to 500mA if powering a USB device as host)
- USB port with USB-MIDI functionality or USB Host compatibility
- Five effects loops with optional noise-cancelling mute circuitry
- High-quality bypassable buffer allows Loop 1 to be used even for impedance-sensitive devices like vintage fuzzes
- Isolated TRS ouputs for amplifier or remote switching
- Always-on tuner output jack with mute capability
- 1/4″ jack for expression pedal or tap tempo switch
- MultiJack functions as expression pedal input, tap tempo input, tap tempo output, or MIDI output with Disaster Area TRS to MIDI Adaptor Cable, control an Empress or Chase Bliss device with the MultiJack Cable for Chase Bliss Audio
- Optional side roller assignable to expression or looper level, or user-defined MIDI CC message
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