Author Topic: ZPI: Overview / FAQ  (Read 1310 times)

Dave (drdashdot)

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ZPI: Overview / FAQ
« on: June 26, 2018, 08:54:42 PM »
This is the latest Zoom Pedal Interface information sheet (last updated 25 July 2018)

The ZPI is a MIDI floor controller able to control any MIDI capable pedal, but optimised for control of the following Zoom multi-effects pedals:

G5   G3   G3X    B3
MS-70CDR      MS-50G   MS-60B
G1on     G1Xon   B1on     B1Xon

Video demos:

Click here for up to date overview videos.

(Click here for older videos.)

How does it work?
The ZPI uses MIDI commands via the USB port for all control.  No Zoom pedal modifications are needed.  The built-in footswitches can be programmed to perform any combination of control commands.  Expression pedal inputs can be assigned to control any continuous (dial or slider) parameters (not just those that Zoom decided could be controlled!) allowing some interesting effect variations.

How many switches/LEDs/expression pedals?
The ZPI base unit provides a 4+4 configuration (4 footswitches + 4 LEDs,) and 4 expression pedal inputs.  Each expression pedal input can be assigned to any number of effect parameter dial or slider controls.
An expansion unit adds another 4 footswitches + 4 LEDs.  Two expansion units can be added to make a total of 12 footswitches + 12 LEDs,

What can be controlled?
Almost everything on the Zoom pedals listed above can be controlled via USB: 
    • patch changes,
    • effect type for each position,
    • effect on/off setting,
    • effect parameter settings,
    • tuner control (except G3, G3X, G5),
    • tempo setting (except as below) which allows master tempo control,
    • signal direction (G3/5, B3 pedals)
Any of these (or combination of these) can be assigned to a footswitch.

What can not be controlled with the ZPI?
The following can’t be controlled because the Zoom pedals don’t allow it:
    • Tempo setting for series 1 pedals – G1on, G1Xon, B1on, B1Xon.  (For these pedals, tempo is read only – note though that they can act as master tempo source.)
    • Tuner control for G5, G3X and G3 (v2) pedals
    • Looper control
    • Master (or Global) settings such as battery type, display contrast, power management, tuner/tap selection for MS pedals, auto save setting, master volume for some pedals.  (On some pedals, these can be read but are not displayed by the ZPI at present.)
    • Signal flow direction on MS and 1 series pedals.  (The ZPI display changes but the direction on the Zoom pedals does not change.)
The following can be controlled but are not as yet by the ZPI:
    • Display scroll position (for pedals with more effect slots than displays).  The ZPI shows which effects appear on the Zoom display(s)  (Controlling this is possible and could be a future enhancement.)
    • Assignment of the Zoom “Control in” pedal/switch (or inbuilt expression pedal.)  This is possible to show and control and could be a future enhancement.  (Note: this includes the G5 “Custom” Z-pedal effect assignments.)
    • Deleting or inserting effects, changing effect position in the effects chain.  (Future.)

In addition, please note that some changes can be made only by reloading the entire patch information.  Any such change thus has the same effect as changing a patch – eg, loss of tails.  (This also makes these changes unsuitable for assignment to an expression pedal, as rapid changes will overload the USB channel and/or the Zoom pedal’s processor.)
These changes are:
    • MS series pedals: tempo change; any change to effects in slots 4, 5 or 6
    • 1 series pedals: volume change, effect type change

How does the display work?
The ZPI uses standard  VNC (Virtual Network Computing) technology to provide a remote display on your Android, iOS, MacOS, Windows or Linux device.  This requires a VNC client program on your device.  There are many of these available at low or no cost:  TightVNC, RealVNC, AndroidVNC have been tested and work with the ZPI.   The ZPI interface has 3 different “dial” modes to work best with different VNC clients and input devices (touchscreen, mouse.)
The ZPI provides a wireless Access Point to connect your device (and also an ethernet port which can be connected to a router for VNC connection via your local area network.)
Note that the ZPI also can connect by cable to a standard HDMI display or television, with a standard USB mouse (and keyboard) for input.

Does the ZPI have other MIDI capabilities?
Yes it does. 
    • The ZPI will accept MIDI via the USB port (using a MIDI to USB converter if a standard 5 pin MIDI interface is needed) and can translate PC, CC and note on/off messages to control pedals attached to the ZPI. 
    • The micro-USB OTG port provides a class-compliant MIDI controller interface which can connect to a DAW (eg: Ableton Lite), allowing the DAW to control the Zoom pedal(s). 
    • MIDI real-time clock input can be used to set master tempo.
    • The ZPI can use MIDI controller input to vary effect parameters in the same way as expression pedal inputs.
    • ZPI footswitches can be programmed to send (/receive) MIDI commands to (/from) a DAW or any MIDI capable pedal (using a MIDI to USB converter if a standard 5 pin MIDI interface is needed).

Basic unit:       US$187
Expansion units:    US$49
Shipping:  varies – typically $19 to $28 for the basic unit - please contact for exact costs. 
(Shipping is from Brisbane, Australia via Australia Post.)

How to order?
Please contact Dave via Facebook message:
or email:

Any questions?  Please ask in the 'Questions' topic!
« Last Edit: July 14, 2018, 01:55:33 AM by Dave (drdashdot) »