Hello and thank you in advance for your desperately needed help! I recently decided to jump into the world of MIDI so that loops, drums and effects can be perfectly synced up. To that end, I purchased the Disaster Area DPC-5 MIDI Controller and upgraded my looper to the Boomerang III (ordered - has not arrived yet). I also have 3 Strymons with MIDI (Mobius, Timeline and Big Sky). As a total newbie to MIDI, I would love any and all help/advice on the best, most efficient and easy to use configuration of these six devices.
Specifically, I’m not sure what would work best - to have the Beat Buddy as the Master for tempo and send the tempo messages out to the looper and the DPC-5 (and thus the Strymons), or to have the DPC-5 as the master (it has MIDI clock) and send the tempo out to all devices. In order for the Beat Buddy to sync perfectly with the Boomerang III, does the Beat Buddy HAVE to be the master - so that the looper knows when to start recording? In either scenario, how exactly would I make all the connections (I have purchased the MIDI sync cable for the Beat Buddy) and what MIDI setting do I need to make on each device?
Again, my aim is to be able to create loops on the Boomerang III that are synced up with the Beat Buddy as well as modulation, delay and reverb from the Strymons - in the most efficient and easy to use way. Thank you very, very much in advance for any and all help - I’m drifting through dense fog in the middle of the MIDI technical Pacific Ocean…
It all depends on how you want your signal flow to work. For someone who is a “total newbie to MIDI,” you would have been hard pressed to create a more complicated set-up. The Strymons are probably the most straightforward part of the chain. I would assume you want your time based effects to be able to pick up the master beat clock. That being the case, I recommend that the Strymon part of the chain go Chorus>Delay>Reverb, or Mobius>Timeline>Big Sky. Your clock source will go from the out of it, to the in of the Mobius, out of the Mobius to the in of the Timeline, and out of the Timeline to the in of the Big Sky.
Do you want to loop the effected signal or the dry signal? That will determine whether you place the Boomerang before or after the Strymons.
Why would you not want the BB to be the clock? It does not have to be the clock, but if this were my set-up, it would be the clock. So, it goes first.
Now, the Disaster Area is probably appropriately named. What is you intention with that? How you envision the use of the Disaster, is going to determine your need for Midi splitter box(es), and is going to determine how you code your devices.
Nice setup and as Phil Flood mentions—you will have a lot of variables to sort through when things don’t work as expected. A couple of other things to consider:
make sure you have the firmware updated on all of your pedals
get the BeatBuddy MIDI sync adaptor cable if you haven’t done so yet
[*]have you checked with Matt at Disaster Area to make sure that the DPC-5 will work with the BeatBuddy and the Boomerang as well as the rest of your gear? Reason I ask is that when I was building out my MIDI kit, there were certain pedals that were not supported.
Hello Phil and thank you so very much for your input! I know I’ve taken on a lot with this set up, but I began trying to loop with the Beat Buddy and an EHX 720 and had a very difficult time creating loops that we’re in sync. I then discovered that the Boomerang III will sync up with Beat Buddy and in addition, the Boomerang has many amazing features that are really appealing. I then saw a demo of the Disaster Area and thought, wow, this could help sync up the Strymons with the looper and Beat Buddy, and perhaps more importantly, it does many awesome things such as 5 loops for non MIDI pedals and 128 presets that can be combinations of all non-MIDI looped pedals as well as presets from each of the Strymons - that’s awesome! I find the Strymon pedals very difficult to scroll through presets. The Disaster Area DPC-5 should make this much, much easier (there’s many modulation presets I’d like to create with the Mobius alone). With the DPC-5 you can easily scroll through presets that will control many pedals simultaneously and hopefully keep the modulations and delays in time, too! In addition, it has really cool functionality for looping with the timeline which is close to the functionality of the Line 6 DL-4, so I’ll probably use it at times for looping. Also, the DPC-5 has a built-in expression rotator which will be very cool. It’s really one amazing device! Although I currently have no idea how to use it…
Phew, all of this is making my brain want to explode… What you suggested in kind of what I am thinking, but I’m still mostly lost. I’ve reached out to Disaster Area, too, for their advice and help. So, I’m thinking Beat Buddy as master to set the tempo and the Boomerang will know when to start recording and sync, then on to the DPC-5 and Strymons (Mobius>Timeline> Big Sky) which would hopefully stay in time sync with the loop. I definitely want the Boomerang to record and loop the effected signal. How would you suggest doing this?
Again, my desire is to, in the easiest way possible, record effected loops in sync with the Beat Buddy. However, here’a a possible wrinkle - I won’t always want drums, so I want to be able to sync Boomerang with just Strymons in this scenario. Does this change anything about the setup? In this scenario, without drums, I guess the DPC-5 would be the master clock and control tempo for all devices??? So, that’s why I thought maybe it should just be the master… But really, I have no idea - that’s why I’m looking for direction as to what should work best.
Once I have a loop started, I can then with the help of the DPC-5 easily maneuver between various MIDI and non-MIDI effects (like synths, phaser, envelope filter, etc) to use when jamming over the loops. I hope this makes sense and I truly hope you’ll continue to attempt to help me because I feel like I could spend days and days trying to configure this beast and never know if I’ve landed on the best, easiest to use configuration. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
Hello Persist! Thank you very much for taking the time to help me!!! It’s appreciated tremendously. I have purchased the BeatBuddy sync cable. Good advice on the firmware - I will do this first and ASAP. I’ve reached out to Matt and Disaster Area, but thus far they’ve only given me very vague, general answers to my questions - like, “It should be able to do what you want.” I really thought they would be more helpful. That’s one of the reasons a went with the DPC-5 because I heard they were so helpful in support of their product. Anyway, I’ve sent them another email and hope to hear more. I’m so happy to get some help here!!! I know the DPC-5 will work fine with the Strymons and the Boomerang is so popular and widespread now that I would think that should be fine too. It mostly gets confusing throwing the BeatBuddy into the mix - trying to determine what should be the master clock and then how the Boomerang will relate and sync up to it. I know I’ve taken on a lot here, but my hope is that some time soon, I will have a rig that enables me to easily create loops that are in sync with drums, modulation and delay and with the DPC-5, be able to navigate effects presets easily. That’s my vision and hope! Any continued help/advice/support you can offer me would be greatly, greatly appreciated! Thank you!
The BB can send clock when the drums are not running. You should be able to put the DPC first and have each of your downstream devices on a separate midi channel. That way the DPC can send commands to each device without the need for splitters. So the midi chain would be DPC>B.B.>Strymon devices>Rang.
Ok, cool. I will give this a shot! I jus got notification that my Boomerang III has shipped, so I’m getting closer to having this all together! I’m so completely excited and hope that it will be everything that I want it to be! We’ll see… Will you please check back? I may likely have more questions or run into issues and your help is incredibly valuable to me. Thank you very much for your time and continued support!!!
Hey Phil, I’ve been thinking a bit more about your suggested midi chain. If possible, could you elaborate a bit more on specifically how that would work (remember, I understand next to nothing about all of this)? Specifically, I began wondering, if the DPC-5 is first and the BeatBuddy comes next, how would the BeatBuddy be the master clock for all devices? Wouldn’t this chain have the DPC-5 as the master clock? I’m confused about how this would work in practice and how it would be programmed. The DPC-5 can control up to 4 MIDI devices. Thanks again for your help! I feel like I’m learning a great deal getting closer to realizing my vision…
I had a rang and I had an external line 6- m9 and all delays on my M9 were in auto sync with my BB. My midi chain was BB (master)>Quadra Thru (QT)> 1 QT out to M9 ; 1 QT out to Rang3 in. Everything was in sync. I sent a 3rd QT signal out to my DUO interface in and Duo Interface out to my BB midi in completing the chain so I could pass Midi commands from my IPAD to the BB to change songs in ONSong. But you do not need to complete the chain if you do not need this. I am sure there are other ways to chain your system without the QT- I think I had to use the QT in that rig because my M9 did not have a midi out only midi in. The good news is I know everything will sync once you get the in/outs and settings to pass midi through all figured out. On the rang make sure that firmware is updated or it will not stay in sync.
The DPC shouldn’t need clock, so on your settings, just don’t have the DPC sending clock. Your using the DPC as a Switch, and using it to send patch commands to the Strymons. The rang and strymons can both get clock from the B.B., since it’s upstream of them.