The DMC-8 Gen3 is Disaster Area's most powerful next generation compact MIDI controller. The DMC-8D was the biggest, baddest Gen2 controller from Disaster Area, and it really pushed the boundaries by adding additional presets, control modes, device support, and connectivity. They first offered the DMC-8D way back in 2013, and now the time has come for us to give it the Gen3 treatment.
— What’s New in Gen3 —
More MIDI Control – Control up to SIX MIDI devices plus any combination of Disaster Area pedalboard switching systems.
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 – Disaster Area added five LEDs to the display cluster, putting all of the info you need in one place. The LEDs now show the bypass / engage status of the individual MIDI devices, the looper state, and the clock or tap tempo rate. The display has also been upgraded, and now features full alphanumeric capability. Both display and LEDs may be dimmed in the setup menu to suit indoor or outdoor venues.
Built-in SMARTClock – The DMC-8 Gen3 adds in support for sending MIDI Clock or tap tempo to your connected devices, without any additional hardware. The three MultiJack connectors can operate as an expression pedal inputs, tap tempo footswitch inputs, MIDI outputs, or isolated tap tempo outputs. The DMC-8 Gen3 can send either a global tempo / BPM for all presets, or a new tempo / BPM for each preset.
User-Definable Access Mode (coming soon) – Define up to 12 pages of 4 MIDI messages each in this unique mode. Send one-shot, momentary, or toggle CC messages, MIDI notes, or change banks on your Strymon devices in this handy mode. The state of these messages may be saved in your presets or remain as global controls.
MultiJacks – Disaster Area brought the MultiJack over from the SMARTClock, but they’ve taught it some new tricks! Now each of the three MultiJacks 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. MultiJack 2 also supports the Disaster Area Expander Switch for dual footswitch operation. You can use their TRS Control Cable for Chase Bliss Audio to connect your Tonal Recall, Warped Vinyl or other Chase Bliss pedal for full MIDI control of up to THREE simultaneous devices. Want more? Flip the DIP switches inside the pedal and the MultiJacks 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 MultiJacks. MultiJack C (blue) also supports selectable tap tempo subdivisions.
MIDI Input and Output – the 5-pin MIDI jack on the DMC-8 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 DMC-8 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 DMC, 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.
— What can the DMC-8 Gen3 do for me? —
We’re glad you asked! If you have one MIDI device, the DMC-8 Gen3 can simplify selecting programs, send it expression or tap tempo, or even keep it locked in to a MIDI clock. They 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 DMC-8 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 DMC-8 Gen3 can control up to six separate devices.
If you want to change your non-MIDI pedals along with your presets, you can add in one of Disaster Area's DPC-8EZ switching systems. The DMC-8 Gen3 will seamlessly control the DPC-8EZ, so that one tap will reconfigure your entire pedalboard in milliseconds.
And by adding Disaster Area's 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 DMC-8 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.
— Why should I choose the DMC-8 vs. DMC-6 / DMC-4 / DMC-3XL Gen3? —
The DMC-8 Gen3 shares a lot of DNA with the smaller controllers, but it builds upon this backbone in its own way. The biggest difference is that the DMC-8 allows faster access to the various control modes and options. Each alternate mode is accessed simply by holding down one of the footswitches for 1 second. You can easily switch from mode to mode quickly without having to cycle through all the other options. In addition, preset and looper modes are easier to use on the DMC-8 due to having multiple buttons available on the same page. Each preset bank allows access to four presets instantly, while all of the necessary looper controls are on the same page for instant access. The DMC-8 Gen3 also has dedicated global tap tempo and Favorite footswitches, allowing you to have instant access to a special preset or to your tempo controls at any time.
— What do I need to hook all this stuff up? —
You’ll need one MIDI cable for each device you want to connect to the DMC-8 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 DMC) 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 do 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 DMC-8 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 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. Empress use a standard mono cable, Chase Bliss need the TRS Control Cable for Chase Bliss Audio. We can control up to three Chase Bliss or Empress devices from the MultiJacks, 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 (control up to 4 with a MIDIBox, control up to three pedal with their TRS Control Cable for Chase Bliss Audio and the MultiJacks)
Boss: DD-500, RV-500, MD-500, SY-300 (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 MultiJacks)
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 DMC Gen3!
Source Audio Nemesis Delay (MIDI direct)
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.
— 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, 80mA max (up to 500mA if powering a USB device as host)
- USB port with USB-MIDI functionality or optional USB Host compatibility
- 1/4″ jack for expression pedal or tap tempo switch
- MultiJacks function 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 appropriate cable.
- Optional side roller assignable to expression or looper level, or user-defined MIDI CC message