Disaster Area Designs DPC-5 Gen3 MIDI Pedalboard Controller & Loop Switcher Pedal

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DPC-5 Gen3 - MIDI Pedalboard Controller & Loop Switcher

Yes. It’s back. Their original pedalboard controller, now with way more cool stuff.

The DPC-5 was their 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

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. They’ve 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

They’ve changed over the older mechanical relay bypass on the original DPC-5 to the quiet and reliable solid-state relay system from their 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 their 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.


They’ve 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 their 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!


• 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