Fancy, Fancy!

Working on a new batch including some custom colors.  We’ve recently switched vendors on our powder coating, now we’re using the excellent Mammoth Electronics.  The quality is incredible and our customers have been very pleased with the results.  The results are on the Gallery page, and the pedals look super sweet.  Black Sparkle might be my new favorite finish…

HOT.

This batch will be shipped this week,  and the average backlog is running 10-15 business days.  It’s good to be busy, and we appreciate your patience.  For those interested in custom colors, we order the boxes from our supplier when you order so that we have them in stock when your build slot comes up.  Right now, custom colors don’t add any time to your order so pick a color you love and we’ll do it up for you!

We’ve also added some links and buttons to connect to our new Facebook page.  We’re VERY new at the whole social media thing, but we’re trying.

 

New DMC-3 Firmware Release

Version 1.20 is available on the Files Page.  This version allows the user to change a couple of parameters to customize the pedal to their tastes.

Blue Mode is now changed to allow either Bank Scrolling or Program Scrolling.  With Bank Scrolling, a press of the buttons increments or decrements the Timeline Bank display, then you press A or B on the Timeline itself to engage a preset.  With Program Scrolling, a press of the buttons goes directly from one program to the next, with the preset already activated.

In Green Mode, we now allow either Delayed Stop or Instant Stop on the right button.  With Delayed Stop, a press of the right button will play the loop, and a press+hold will stop.  In Instant Stop, pressing the right button plays the loop if you’re not currently stopped, and pressing it a second time stops the loop.  This is more similar to the Line6 looper implementation, and it means you lose the ability to repeatedly trigger a loop.  Instant Stop does let you stop the loop without retriggering it first, which a few folks requested.

Engaging the new modes:

  • Bank Mode + Delayed Stop:  Press Left SW at power up
  • Program Mode + Delayed Stop:  Press Right SW at power up
  • Bank Mode + Instant Stop:  Press Left and Center SW at power up
  • Program Mode + Instant Stop: Press Right and Center SW at power up
The DMC remembers the mode you were last in and doesn’t need to be reconfigured at every start.
To update your firmware, please review the instructions on the Files Page.  PC users can use the DisasterUploader, which also works in VMWare on a Mac or Linux.  Mac or Linux users may also use the Arduino IDE to update their pedals – full details on this will be coming soon.
Finally, thanks to crxshdxmmy we’ve got a nice video explaining the whole mess:

 


MIDI Bass Pedals with the DMC

I’ve always been fascinated by bass pedals.  No idea why, but the thought of being able to play a low pedal tone while I play over the top just intrigues me.  Since the DMC boards can read a whole bunch of switches and then send out MIDI, it seemed like a natural fit.  Connect the MIDI port to a synth or a laptop and you’ve got a set of faux-Taurus pedals for a fraction of the cost of the real thing.

I found a junked organ and removed the bass pedals.  Each pedal has its own switch and its own wire, and there’s a common wire.  On the original organ, closing a switch to the common triggers a bass tone.  The original design of the organ pedals gives “low note priority,” so the common contact is run in series to each switch.  When a lower pedal is pressed, the common to the upper switches is opened, and only the lowest pressed pedal makes contact.  Wiring all the switch common contacts together makes the pedals polyphonic when connected to the DMC.

The implementation is simple:  Wire one switch contact to each terminal of the DMC, and the common wire goes to ground.  That’s it.

The firmware is super-simple.  Watch a switch, and if the switch is pressed, send the MIDI note on for that note.  If the switch is released, send MIDI note off for that same note.  Repeat for the other twelve switches.

Future mods include transpose and octave shift buttons – press the transpose button, then step on the key you’d like to serve as the root note.  Octave switching works the same way, but I think I might use two buttons to shift up and down quickly.  I’ll probably also put a 1/4″ jack for an expression pedal to control the MIDI volume.

 

New Strymon Firmware Posted

Lots of stuff happening really quickly over here.  We’ve got new builds of firmware for the DMC-4 and -6.

The DMC-6 firmware is just full-time looper control.  The bottom / front row of the DMC mimics the Timeline switches:  Record / Play / Stop.  The top row adds access to the “hidden” looping functions:  Half / Reverse / Pre+Post.

The DMC-4 firmware is a little more involved.  The DMC-4 uses the upper-left switch to cycle between three modes, which are indicated by one color of an RGB LED.

Blue mode gives bank up + bank down + program 00 (Bank 1A.)  The bank switches auto-scroll if the buttons are held.

Green mode adds looper record + looper play (hold for stop.)

Red mode offers looper half speed and reverse.

Both firmwares are posted on the Files page.

Strymon Timeline Update!

Thanks to one of our customers, we’ve been able to do some serious testing with the Strymon Timeline.  The TL has some quirks with regards to MIDI, but it’s working great now.

The following video demonstrates bank switching, looper transport control (rec / dub / play / stop,) and looper mode control (half, reverse.)

It’s a little jerky due to the hand-held cam, but it’s a pretty good illustration regardless.

The pedal is a DMC-4 squeezed into a DMC-2 box the first DMC-3.   It’s similar to the DMC-4, but one of the switches is omitted, and the firmware is slightly altered to make it work.  For those interested, the controls function as follows:

Blue Mode:

Left switch:  Bank down (hold for bank scroll down)

Right switch:  Bank up (hold for bank scroll up)

Green Mode:

Left switch:  Record (overdub if playing or recording)

Right switch: Play (hold for Stop)

Red Mode:

Left switch:  Half Speed

Right switch:  Reverse

On the DMC-4, the controls are the same but with some extra stuff for the 3rd button.  The 3rd switch enables a “favorite” preset in blue mode, looper stop in green mode, and looper pre/post in red mode.  The “Favorite” preset just changes to program 00, Bank 00A.

I’m hoping to post some more video of the Timeline in action later this week.

DMC and the Strymon TimeLine

I’ve gotten quite a few questions regarding MIDI control for the Strymon TimeLine:

http://www.strymon.net/timeline/

I don’t have one to test with, but the MIDI spec is in the manual and the DMC series can handle all of the required commands with a firmware change.

TimeLine Looper Control:

The looper is pretty straightforward on the TL.  If the LPEXIT global parameter is set to “PLAY,” then sending MIDI looper commands (MLC) should allow independent looper control.

Continue reading

DMC v4 Board Details

I’m probably dooming myself at this point, but I’ve completed a layout for the v4 PCB.  The v4 has some new features to make the controller more universal, and some things to make it easier to incorporate in a project.

DMC-PCB v4

  • Onboard DC Power jack (center negative)
  • 8-pin MIDI Out jack, with AxeFX phantom power capability
  • LED driver chip, allows 8 LEDs in addition to standard I/O
  • 8 analog inputs, separate from the LED circuit
  • 8 digital pins, each configurable as either input or output. Continue reading

And now for something completely unrelated…

I bought an iPad a few weeks ago, and I’ve been using GarageBand on it to demo song ideas when I’m not around my normal home studio setup.  It’s a neat program but I was getting a little tired of using the “Smart Guitar” and “Smart Bass.”  I wanted to record some actual audio to the thing and to that end I bought an audio interface for the iPad. Continue reading

DMC in the wild!

One of our customers just shared this:

…And yes I’m using the DMC-6 Code with pins 3 and 6 omitted so it’s a direct clone of the 4 buttons on the left hand side of the M9 (undo/half/rec/play). That little stutter effect is pretty cool as well, overall I’m very impressed with this.

Good stuff!

On the horizon – working with the Fractal Audio AxeFX.  I hear it’s limited to only two expression pedals!!?!  We’ll soon fix that.

Files Page Added

I’ve added a “Files” page, with wiring diagrams and firmware (binary and source.)  Currently there is a “generic” wiring diagram for the DMC-PCB as well as the M9 DD-6 Hold Mode firmware and the “test” firmware that ships with new boards.  I will be posting the 6-button M9 looper control firmware this weekend once I do some more testing on it.  I think it will work with the DMC as-is but I would feel better if I made sure it worked before posting.

Files page is here.