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 MOD DUO 
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Post MOD DUO
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I'm starting a new topic for the MOD DUO.
Check out their website at http://www.moddevices.com.

This is essentially a small computer specifically designed for musicians. You can use it just like an effects processor but it's so much more. On the surface it's a two in/two out effects unit but it's also a midi sound device when you connect a midi controller, or connect a mic for picking up sounds like vocals, brass, wind, acoustic instruments.

Out of the box it really doesn't do anything...
Plug in the USB into your computer and open a browser, plug in the address and you get an amazing web based GUI that is super simple to use. Pick the effects/tools you want and route them however you want from the input to the output. It's that easy! It comes loaded with a bunch of effects but through the GUI you connect to the "Plugin Store" and browse and download even more. Currently there are 168 different plugins which include everything from dynamics, distortions, Delays, Filters, Modulators, Reverbs, Simulators and More... Currently everything in the store is free and developers are continuously updating and adding to the list. https://pedalboards.moddevices.com/plugins Create and save all kinds of pedalboards you create. Share your pedalboard with others and check out what others have created. https://pedalboards.moddevices.com/

But wait! There even more!
If you are a programmer you can create your own effects and sounds and whatever tools you may want for your music. You can find even more plugins designed by others and make them into plugins for the DUO. (I'm not a programmer so I don't know how this all works... but you can get amazing support through the forum)

Oh yes... the MOD devices forum! https://forum.moddevices.com/
On the forum you not only get connected with other users but with the folks at MOD and the plugin developers. Ask questions and give feedback and you are sure to get responses. The MOD team has been amazing at receiving feedback and implementing the suggestions.

You can read my initial impressions here: http://stickist.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=7952&start=50... but I will be writing an update below very soon... I need to go now...

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Dean Kobayashi
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Fri Sep 02, 2016 8:45 am
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Post Re: MOD DUO
Hey bud, this looks very cool. Any info on whether or not it could be used with various tablets? Ipad/Ipod/Iphone?

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Fri Sep 02, 2016 12:04 pm
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Post Re: MOD DUO
Here is my opinion of the unit so far...

This thing is Awesome! Two inputs and two outputs makes this ideal for the Stick.
Three weeks ago, when I received the unit, my suggestion was to wait a bit and see how things turn out... In just three weeks they have made significant improvements and continue to update and add new functions. There are still improvements which need to be implemented (all software updates) but the MOD team has proven to me that they are able and will get it done.

I'm getting amazing sounds and I'm hoping to get the feedback from some Stickists tomorrow at the Bay Area Stick Circle meeting.

Like the stick community, they have a great forum where users are giving feedback and the MOD team is responding. They come back with more questions for clarification or let you know it will be on the next firmware update. I've personally made several suggestions and observations and I received responses very promptly (sometimes within minutes...).

There are still some bugs but nothing that effects the sound or performance. It's small things like the screen not showing properly when you first turn it on or the GUI showing something different... They are nuisances and not anything catastrophic and can be worked around. The MOD team is aware of these and making the necessary updates.

There are some plugins that I wish were available such as a good gate. The compressors are okay but I wish there is one with more adjust-ability. Also a couple specialized effects like a whammy are not available yet... but they are working on one and I hope it sounds as good. Effects that require pitch tracking is difficult since it uses a lot of processing and the good ones are hardware based. I am thinking of getting a Sonuus G2M (maybe two) and use it for triggering key sounds and get some gnarly bass synth or nice top end to kick up the melody side...
Still no delays based on BPM. The team is working on a global BPM (midi sync, tap, or manual set). Also a scene setting is being worked on where you have the same "pedalboard" but be able to scroll through different on/off configurations as if you are using a switching system. I think they are also implementing the scenes so that it will change to whatever setting you want on the plugins for that "scene"...
Can't wait for all these to come through!

The routing is amazing. In the GUI you just drag the cable to where you want it to go. You can even pull multiple cables out of an output and run it to several locations. For example I run three lines out of the amp/cab sim so I have parallel lines going to reverb, delay, and direct out. I split my bass side and process in parallel and blend them together for an amazing bass sound.

You have to watch for CPU usage. In the beginning I was blending different amp simulators and maxed out the CPU very quickly. Simulators use a lot of CPU so I had to re-think how I want to blend things. I now blend different effects which don't use much CPU but then run them through a cabinet simulator so that I still get a cabinet sound and that "air" which makes the difference between a DI sound and a mic'd cabinet sound.

You may have to re-think some things about how you were getting your sounds in the past but it's pretty simple. Exploring new ideas is super easy since you have access to soooo many effects and easy to route.

I'd say that the unit is about 95% to being retail ready. There are some bugs and functions which need to be smoothed out but if you are okay with being a little annoyed and have $500 and looking for the next great thing then I would recommend getting one of these. I waited almost 2 years and almost gave up on them but happy that I stuck it out.

I believe Karma has a unit and Tim de Martino has ordered one. It would be great to hear their experiences with the unit.

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Dean Kobayashi
NS/Stick - Prototype #2
Started 11/24/2012

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Fri Sep 02, 2016 12:33 pm
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Post Re: MOD DUO
Jayesskerr wrote:
Hey bud, this looks very cool. Any info on whether or not it could be used with various tablets? Ipad/Ipod/Iphone?


Great question!
Currently No... but it's on a list of things they are working on. I believe Bluetooth functionality is going to be implemented on the next major firmware update. It will require a Bluetooth dongle which you can buy for super cheap online. The app is still being worked on but they say it will be out soon.

I've been on the cusp selling my desktop to buy a laptop. I have a Mac Mini for my music but have been wanting to be mobile so I can make adjustments on the DUO when away from home. But with the app and Bluetooth capabilities coming up, I may just get an iPad...

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Dean Kobayashi
NS/Stick - Prototype #2
Started 11/24/2012

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Fri Sep 02, 2016 12:37 pm
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Post Re: MOD DUO
Great to see this thread started. The MOD Duo is indeed a fantastic piece of gear. For me, these are the key points;

- Two independent inputs for the Stick
- Two outputs can be either either a combined signal (stereo or mono) or individual mono signals for each side of the Stick.
- Store and recall multiple pedalboards that can be completely and utterly different from each other.
- Processes each side of the Stick independently with EQ, FX, etc.
- Routing of the signals is completely flexible. Run anything into anything, combine signals anywhere at any point, etc. Split the signal at any point... whatever. If you imagine it, it can probably be done.
- Pretty darn powerful. My "go to" Stick preset uses two 8 band EQs, 2 compressors, 1 multitap delay, 2 reverbs and a stereo gain boost. Total CPU use is around 29%.
- FX quality is very good overall.
- Makes very good and flexible use of two knobs and two switches. You can assign one or multiple parms to each.
- Very flexible midi processing.
- Solidly built.

Can't say enough good about this box for use with the Stick. It's fantastic.

Karma


Fri Sep 02, 2016 2:29 pm
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Post Re: MOD DUO
I seem to recall that the creators of this device started a thread here years ago.


Fri Sep 02, 2016 5:24 pm
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Post Re: MOD DUO
Robstafarian wrote:
I seem to recall that the creators of this device started a thread here years ago.


That's right. The link to that thread is at the bottom of the first post on this one. That was when they were starting the Kickstarter campaign. It took almost two years to get my unit... I was worried that someone else would come out with a product like it before the DUO comes out... but this is so much more than just an effect processor since it's a platform for developers and a community (starting) to build around it. Super happy I finally have mine.

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Sun Sep 04, 2016 9:23 am
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Post Re: MOD DUO
I don't know why it's not emphasized more but: MOD DUO is a GNU/Linux system and built entirely with Free/Libre/Open software!

It's not about the proprietary silo systems like iOS (even if they make a client for that at some point), and it's way way better ethically than all previous systems. It's not *just* neat gear.

The majority of all the plugins are actually standard audio plugins on GNU/Linux such as Guitarix. All these are available to run freely on a GNU/Linux system (I use KXStudio). The MOD DUO is a project that combines excellent hardware with a new GUI for setting up the plugins.

I've already been using the same plugins in JACK (which allows all sorts of arbitrary arrangements of effects) with dual inputs and outputs etc. all with a standard Focusrite audio interface and my GNU/Linux laptop. The MOD DUO would be ideal just to make things easier and provide better foot control and independent processing from relying on my laptop.

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Tue Sep 06, 2016 7:56 am
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Post Re: MOD DUO
Aaron wrote:
I don't know why it's not emphasized more but: MOD DUO is a GNU/Linux system and built entirely with Free/Libre/Open software!


Excellent!!
This is a point that is hard for me to make because I'm not a programmer... I can make the observations from the point of view of a player. I can touch on the sounds and routing and usability.

I'd like to learn how to tap into all the other plugins that are out there.
Where do I start? Where do I find these plugins? then... how do I get them into the DUO?

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Dean Kobayashi
NS/Stick - Prototype #2
Started 11/24/2012

Music Gear Dealer - GREEN ELEPHANT STUDIO - Let me quote you on anything you are looking for.

Subscribe to the NS/Stick YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/NSSTICK


Tue Sep 06, 2016 10:47 am
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Post Re: MOD DUO
Software freedom is most palpable to programmers but it is not an issue for programmers, it's a downstream issue. When software is proprietary, you are absolutely reliant on and controlled by whoever holds power over the software. When software is free-as-in-freedom, you have the four freedoms (0) to use as you wish, (1) alter it (including by getting friends or hiring others to adapt it for you), and (3 and 4) *share* it (as is or modified) with anyone else! See https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.en.html

Broadly, free/libre/open (FLO) software means bringing back the balance of power where end-users like us aren't as limited, even though programming ability practically helps. However, you or I may not be able to write any of these programs, but we can surely change one number to another in a program and *tweak* the existing program (and share our tweaks!). That is not possible with proprietary software.

Anyway, I haven't explored how the MOD DUO itself uses the various plugins, but I installed the entire KXStudio system on my laptop, so I have all this stuff (and the MOD software too, although I have alternate options there) all collected and kept up to date by falktx, one of the MOD developers who started out himself by creating the KXStudio system, which is really an entire operating system based on Ubuntu GNU/Linux just tweaked for audio and including lots of plugins and stuff. Being underfunded and lots of volunteer work, these things aren't perfect, but they are remarkable for what they are. The vast majority of the plugins in this case (and all the Guitarix stuff) are GNU/Linux only, so you can't use them on MacOS or Windows.

I got into all this because I care about the ethical issues and came to deeply appreciate the community feel and the value of technology being in the hands of the people and not a few proprietary corporations. MOD DUO is basically consistent with all of this, they just don't seem to recognize that promoting this aspect is worth doing, so you and others didn't realize what a stand-out project this is.

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Tue Sep 06, 2016 11:01 am
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