Updating DSP Firmware with Composer

Part I. Initiate Firmware Update

  1. Ensure your Symetrix Digital Signal Processor (DSP) is connected to your PC’s subnet. This can be accomplished one of two ways:


    Option A. Direct Connection: plugging your PC directly into the DSPs Control (Ethernet) Port.

    Option B. Network Switch: with both the host Computer (running Composer) and DSP connected to a Network switch.Set your PC’s Network Interface Card (NIC) to automatically obtain IP addresses. 

    1. To change your IP configuration in Windows OS: type “ncpa.cpl” in the Start Menu search bar which should query a Control Panel Item: Network Connections.

    2. Right click on the “Ethernet” NIC, select “Properties”. Once in the Ethernet Properties, select “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)” from the connection list, and then click the “Properties” box beneath it.

    3. Select “Obtain an IP address automatically” which utilizes Dynamic Host Control Protocol if that is available on your network. In specific cases, you must set a Static IP address in the same subnet as the DSP. The DSP’s IP address can be found on the front panel display by navigating through the menus with the arrow buttons.

  2. Locate the DSP in Composer. The unit in the site file will be successfully located when you see a green check mark on the bottom left corner of the unit module you have dragged in from Composer’s Toolkit (see Figure 1).


  3. Right click on the device module, select “Unit Properties…” (see Figure 2), and under the left middle section of the “[DSP Model] Properties” window (see Figure 3) labeled “Firmware”, select “Upgrade Firmware…”


  4. This should bring up the “Upgrade Firmware/Hardware Settings” window. (see Figure 4)


  5. Select the “Upgrade…” option (see Figure 4) under the “Composer Firmware File” option.


  6. An open file dialog box will appear and by default it should direct to this folder: C:\Program Files (x86)\Symetrix\Composer 8.3\Upgrade. Select the appropriate CFW file and click “Open”. The update will stall at 25% momentarily as this is when data is transferring over File Transport Protocol (FTP) Port 20. However, it should last no more than 15-20 seconds and continue. Once complete, a dialog box will appear confirming success.


  7. It is best practice to power-cycle the unit by unplugging/re-plugging the power cable on the back and re-pushing any site file programming to the DSP.

Part II. Upgrading Multiple Design Units Simultaneously

  1. From the “Upgrade Firmware/Hardware Settings” window(see Figure 4) , you can upgrade all the design units in the site file at once using the top button: “Auto Upgrade All Design Units…”

  2. It is recommended to upgrade one design unit at a time in the event of a failure. Otherwise, none of the units in the site file will upgrade and there will not be a dialog box to direct you to the unit that is unable to complete the upgrade.

Part III. Common Issues/Troubleshooting

  • Firmware update fails after reaching 25%: The issue is likely related to the network as the FTP requests are failing to reach the DSP:

Directly connect your PC into the DSP’s Control Port and attempt the upgrade without the presence of a network switch.

  • Any dialog box indicating the firmware update failed:

In rare cases, the error is due to Composer losing communication with the DSP when it is rebooting and taking longer to come online than the timeout period Composer is expecting. Close the properties window and re-open it to verify if the firmware updated. Otherwise, attempt to power cycle the device. The update may have been successful before and may show as “current” in the “[DSP Model] Properties” window (see Figure 3) after the device reboots.

If the version is not “Current”, check to see if the desired firmware upgrade is older than one generation of the Composer version. It is best practice to install an older version of Composer and slowly upgrade the firmware to match it versus upgrading to the most current version (this may fail or ‘brick’ the device).

If the update continues to fail, and you have a local back-up of the Composer site file, factory reset the DSP using the following steps and then re-push the site file:

    1. Pull power from unit.
    2. Find the recessed button on the back of unit – for Composer based DSPs it will be by the RS-232 or Ethernet Ports; for Jupiter or Zone Mix, it will be by the ARC port; for xIO Bluetooth, it is on the left side of the unit as you face it, the button is parallel to the face of the unit.
    3. Hold the button in with a pin or a pen.
    4. Re-apply the power plug while continuing to hold button.
    5. Count 20-25 seconds with the button pushed in while the unit boots up.
Jebraan Gowani

Jebraan Gowani

Symetrix Technical Support Engineer
October 2022

NOTE: Do not attempt to perform a Firmware Upgrade over WIFI, as this may ‘brick’ your DSP and require repair. It is also recommended to have your PC obtain IP addresses automatically.
Figure 1. A green check mark confirms that the DSP was located.
Figure 2. “Unit Properties” menu appears when you right click the DSP module.
Figure 3. DSP Unit Properties – where you can find “Upgrade Firmware…” which is highlighted below
Figure 4. Upgrade Firmware/Hardware Settings – Includes “Auto Upgrade All Design Units…” and “Upgrade…” option for a single DSP.
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