Controlling Digitech PMC 10 via the Parallel Port

The Disclaimer

You're using these instructions and software at your own risk entirely. I am in no way whatsoever liable for whatever damage you might cause to your equipment including but not limited to PMC-10, Personal Computer, Laptop, soldering iron, cables, connectors, life, etc. .

The Why

You recently snatched a Digitech PMC 10 Programmable MIDI Controller off eBay.
It came without the programmer. Bummer.

But don't despair: a solution is right around the corner!

The How

The Cable

You need to connect it as follows:

The images below refer to the 5-pin male DIN connector, with the central orientation tab at the bottom and the pins facing you. The colors red, yellow, black, orange, green refer to Radio Shack 6-pin Mini-DIN PS/2 keyboard extender cable (26-149A). The colors red, brown, orange, green, black refer to Australian Jay Car variant of the keyboard extender cable. Beware that your cable may be using different colors, in which case you'd need to figure out the pin assignment using a continuity tester. Pin 1 needs to be broken off for the connector to fit into the PMC 10's "PROGRAM REMOTE" socket.

Pin 1will be broken off--
Pin 2blackorange18 GND
Pin 3orangegreen4 D2
Pin 4redred2 D0
Pin 5greenblack5 D3
Pin 6yellowbrown3 D1

After the breaking off pin 1, the keyboard plug should fit in the "PROGRAM REMOTE" socket.

The keyboard cable plug after breaking off pin 1

The parallel port plug after soldering the keyboard extension cable to it (numbers indicating pins).

The Software

The Windows software can be downloaded (340K zipped) and comes with 5 files:

It's probably the easiest to throw these files together into one directory.

Just for getting an idea how it looks, here are the command line (50K zipped) and GUI (270K zipped) versions for OS X.


After connecting the cable and extracting the open the folder named "pmc10programmer" and double click pmc10programmerGui.exe. This will start the GUI:

Since building the cable is error-prone, I recommend testing the keys by clicking them on the programmer photo, e.g. the sequence
will enter edit mode and return to performance mode.

Here's an entire sequence you can perform to compare with your results (please backup your PMC10 settings since this sequence will erase everything on the PMC10):

1. In the programmer choose "Compound Commands" > "Reset PMC10"
After this, your PMC-10 should display "- 1 SEND PRG CHANGE"
2. In the programmer press MENU
After this, your PMC-10 should display "EDIT PATCH"
3. In the programmer press SEND
After this, your PMC-10 should display "EXIT"
4. In the programmer press ENTER
After this, your PMC-10 should display "- 1 SEND PRG CHANGE"

Once you trust your cable, you can use the "compound" commands. These perform sequences of button presses to navigate within the configuration software of the pmc10. I have only implemented those parts that the Raymond software can't do because the PMC10 doesn't support them via MIDI:

Command Line

Should you prefer using the command line, here are some examples.

Example call:

E:\tmp\pmc10programmer> pmc10programmer.exe menu menu menu menu menu enter

This will cycle around the top level menus and then return to performance mode. But the program offers "compound" commands as well, e.g. to perform a midi dump:
E:\tmp\pmc10programmer> pmc10programmer.exe MIDIDATADUMPCOMPLETE

This will reset your pedal to factory defaults (please back up before testing!):
E:\tmp\pmc10programmer> pmc10programmer.exe RESETCOMPLETE

This will set your pedal's MIDI Channel to 12:
E:\tmp\pmc10programmer> pmc10programmer.exe r PMC10CHANNEL 1 2

The "r" will have the PMC-10 return to performance mode. Also Note that the 12 must be entered as 1 2, and not as 12!

I stopped further development since after configuring the PMC10 Channel I finally can use Raymond! I reduced the GUI to the few functions that cannot be performed with Raymond (readme) since the PMC10 doesn't allow setting these via MIDI.

Maybe I can talk Sean into integrating these buttons into Raymond. Then I only need to run one program to control the PMC10...

A simpler solution

A simpler, self-contained arduino solution. Undocumented so far, unfortunately.

Thank You

The Contact

© by Bernhard Wagner, February 2005, updated December 2006, October 2007, September 2008.