The DMC-4 Gen3 is the next generation compact MIDI controller from Disaster Area. We’ve added lots of features, connectivity, and capability, making the DMC-4 Gen3 a next-level upgrade for your pedalboard control needs.
— What’s New in Gen3 —
New Custom Colors – We’ve added some new finishes to our standard Black Texture and Ghost White: Red Clay Texture, Illusion Orange Sparkle, Illusion Green Sparkle, and Illusion Blue Sparkle.
More MIDI Control – Control up to four MIDI devices plus any combination of Disaster Area pedalboard switching systems. Note that enabling any of the looper modes will disable control for the fourth MIDI device.
Improved LED Indication and Display – We’ve moved the LEDs to the center of the pedal, 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. Each user preset may be assigned a unique 8-character name, which will scroll on the display when the preset is loaded.
Built-in SMARTClock – The DMC-4 Gen3 adds in support for sending MIDI Clock or tap tempo to your connected devices, without any additional hardware. Our innovative MultiJack connector can operate as an expression pedal input, tap tempo footswitch input, MIDI output, or isolated tap tempo output. The DMC-4 Gen2 can send either a global tempo / BPM for all presets, or a new tempo / BPM for each preset.
User-Definable CC Command Mode – Based on customer requests, we’ve added the CC mode that allows the user to define any two commands for the left and right footswitches. Send one-shot, momentary, or toggle CC messages, MIDI notes, or change banks on your Strymon devices in this handy mode. (requires firmware v1.01 or higher!)
Optional gHOST Compatiblity – The DMC-4 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 the DMC-4 Gen3 USB port through our gHOST adaptor, set the USB mode, and you’re all set! The DMC-4 Gen3 can power most USB-MIDI devices, but please note that the power supply you’re using must be sufficient to power the DMC 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-4 Gen2 controllers. It’s a great way to add expression control without giving up valuable pedalboard real estate, but in the Gen2 the roller and expression input are connected so that you can only use one at a time. In the Gen3, we’ve given the roller its own input channel, so that you can assign it independently from the expression input.
MultiJack – we’ve brought the MultiJack over from the SMARTClock, but we’ve taught it some new tricks! Now it can function as an expression pedal input, tap tempo footswitch input, or a second 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.
MIDI Input and Output – the 5-pin MIDI jack on the DMC-4 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-4 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 mode 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 our new 32-bit processor has more than eight times the available power of the Gen2 family. We’ll be adding support for more devices and more features as you request them!
— What can the DMC-4 Gen3 do for me? —
We’re glad you asked! If you have one MIDI device, the DMC-4 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.
As helpful as the DMC-4 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-4 Gen3 can control up to four separate devices, or three devices plus a looper.
If you want to change your non-MIDI pedals along with your presets, you can add in one of our DPC-8EZ switching systems. The DMC-4 Gen3 will seamlessly control the DPC-8EZ, so that one tap will reconfigure your entire pedalboard in milliseconds.
And by adding our new Clock Mode, we’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-4 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-4 vs. the DMC-3XL? —
The DMC-4 Gen3 shares a lot of DNA with the 3XL – they even run the same firmware code. But the DMC-4 has an important added feature – the Hot Switch. The upper-left button on the DMC-4 may be configured by the user to send tap tempo, control the MIDI clock, activate a Favorite preset, turn on the tuner in your MIDI pedals, or even enable latching “freeze” on your reverb pedal. You can change the assignment of this button easily, and you’ve even got control over which devices it sends messages to. Want to only send taps to your delay and not your modulation pedals? No sweat.
— 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-4 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-4 Gen3 also provides an additional option, by using the Disaster Area TRS to MIDI Adaptor Cable in the MultiJack. If you’re not using the MultiJack for another purpose, this can get you one additional MIDI output for a dead-end device, and it supports an additional daisy-chain. In this way, you can have two dead-end devices in your setup, each at the end of its own chain.
Want MORE MIDI outputs? Connect a supported USB MIDI interface to the DMC-4 Gen3’s USB port using the gHOST Adaptor and you can connect a third dead-end device or device chain. We definitely recommend the PBA-MS rather than a USB interface, but the capability is there.
You can use an Empress 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 either purchase your MIDIBox modified to work with Chase Bliss, or you can get our inexpensive TRS Control Cable for Chase Bliss Audio. If you only have one Chase Bliss or Empress device, you can just connect directly to the MultiJack with the appropriate cable. Empress use a standard mono cable, Chase Bliss need the TRS Control Cable for Chase Bliss Audio
— 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: Warped Vinyl, Wombtone, Gravitas, Spectre, Tonal Recall (control up to 4 with an Empress MIDIBox, control a single pedal with our TRS Control Cable for Chase Bliss Audio)
Boss: DD-500 (full support,) SL-20 (clock only)
Pigtronix Echolution 2 / Deluxe / Ultra
Alexander: Super Radical, Oblivion
Panda Audio Future Impact I
Empress: Reverb, Tremolo 2 (control up to four Empress devices using Empress MIDIBox, control a single pedal with a mono cable connected to the MultiJack)Free The Tone: Flight Time Delay FT-1Y
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 20 (yes, twenty!) Source Audio pedals with a single DMC Gen3!
DigiTech: Whammy V, Bass Whammy (newest version) – works with Classic or Chords modes.
Zoom MS-50G, MS-60B, MS-70CDR using gHOST Adaptor Cable. MS-100BT not supported due to lack of USB port.
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 4.7″ x 3.7″ x 1.4″
- 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
- USB port with USB-MIDI functionality or optional USB Host compatibility
- 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 a single Empress or Chase Bliss device with the appropriate cable.
- Assignable “Hot Switch,” functions as tap tempo, freeze, tuner, favorite and more.
- Optional side roller assignable to expression or looper level