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Disaster Area Designs


The DPC-8EZ Gen3 is our updated compact pedalboard control system with eight effects loops and MIDI.

A bypass looper can streamline your rig in ways you never thought possible – imagine being able to tap one footswitch to go from verse to chorus to bridge of a song, while changing up to eight different effects plus two MIDI devices!

If you already have a MIDI controller, the DPC-8EZ can act as a MIDI “slave” on any available channel. You can even connect two or more DPC-8EZ to control more pedals.

The DPC-8EZ is fully compatible with the Disaster Area Gen3 pedal controllers – connect it to add eight effects loops under MIDI control. The DPC-8EZ can also function as a standalone MIDI controller for up to two devices.

What’s new in Gen3?

The switching system at the heart of the DPC-8EZ is so robust and transparent that we didn’t dare to change it! We did add a few nice new features, though!

  • Faster, more powerful 32-bit processor
  • Improved USB MIDI capabilities
  • User-definable LED brightness (10 levels)
  • New MIDI mode controls up to two MIDI devices with program select and tap tempo
  • Preset mode now controls MIDI and loops
  • Tuner output jack doubles as a MultiJack
  • MultiJack functions as MIDI input & output OR double MIDI output
  • MultiJack is directly compatible with Chase Bliss, Empress, or Meris pedals

Standard Features:

  • Compact size – 10″ x 2.6″ x 2″ excluding switch caps and jacks.
  • No special power supply required – uses less than 120mA, 9V from a Pedal Power 2 or similar.
  • 5 footswitches for preset selection or manual effects loop control.
  • 48 presets accessible by foot, arranged in four folders with three banks of four presets each.
  • 128 presets accessible using an external MIDI controller
  • Full MIDI control of presets and effects loops
  • 8 effects loops with a custom-designed switching matrix
  • MIDI mode controls up to two MIDI devices
  • Dedicated insert connection may be assigned to any position in the effects loop section.
  • Always-on tuner out with tuner mute, doubles as second MIDI interface
  • Status LEDs with user-definable brightness work in any situation from an orchestra pit to full sun.
  • Exclusive Z-MODE buffer allows you to tailor the impedance to work with fuzz, vibe, wah, and other impedance-sensitive pedals
  • USB connector for MIDI connection and future firmware upgrades (PC and Mac firmware update tools available.)

Modes of Operation:

Preset Mode:

Button A-D: Select a preset. Tap the current preset for bypass.
Bank Button: Change preset banks. Hold to enter Manual mode.

Special Functions:

Button A: Hold for tuner mute

Button B-C: Hold to select preset folder 1-4

Button D: Hold to save the current settings to a preset

Manual Mode:

Button A-D: Select loops 1-4 (blue bank) or loops 5-8 (green bank.)

Bank Button: Change loop banks (1-4 or 5-8.) Hold to enter preset or MIDI mode.

Special Functions:

Button A: Hold for Tuner Mute

Button D: Hold to save the current loop settings to a preset

MIDI Mode:

Buttons A-B: Select program for MIDI device A. Hold to fast-scroll device A.

Buttons B-D: Select program for MIDI device B Hold to fast-scroll device B.

Bank Button: Tap for tap tempo. Hold to enter Preset mode

DPC-8EZ Insert Connector

The DPC-8EZ Insert allows the controller to function as two separate switching systems with separate audio paths
  • Split the paths to place loops 1-4 in the preamp of your amp, 5-8 in the effects loop
  • Split the paths to switch effects in two separate amplifiers or signal chains
  • Place a volume pedal after your drive pedals / before your modulation and time-based effects
  • Use the Stereo Link feature to have the left stereo channel use loops 1-4 and the right stereo channel use loops 5-8

MIDI Functions

The DPC-8EZ features a limited but powerful MIDI implementation. Selecting a preset on the DPC-8EZ will send a MIDI program change message to any other connected MIDI devices (MERGE mode.) This program sending is user-definable using the MIDI mode.

Each loop on the DPC-8EZ may also be controlled by a MIDI CC (continuous controller) message.

Any Disaster Area Gen3 device can control the DPC-8EZ as a slave device. This allows the DMC or DPC to select saved presets on the DPC-8EZ and still pass MIDI control data to any other MIDI pedals on your board.

Cables and Connections

Please note that in order to pack the maximum connectivity into the DPC-8EZ, the jack spacing is very tight. We have tested several different brands and types of patch cables and have found DisasterPlugs to be the best solution for cabling up a DPC-8EZ. 36 plugs (3 kits) are required to cable 8 effects and one volume pedal into a DPC-8EZ. Other options include George L’s and Lava solderless kits, including Mini-ELC and Tightrope kits. Customers wishing to use soldered connections may use Switchcraft 380 straight plugs.

We also offer several cable options for the MultiJack.

TRS Insert Cable: Connects two device TIPs to the MultiJack. Works for Empress and Meris devices.

TRS Insert RP1: Connects one device TIP and one RING to the MultiJack. Works for one Empress / Meris device and one Chase Bliss device

TRS Insert RP2: Connects two device RINGs to the MultiJack. Works for two Chase Bliss devices.