MOD Duo X/Dwarf Guitar Synth

Started by Dalai_llama, May 10, 2022, 03:13:02 PM

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Dalai_llama

MOD Duo X and MOD Dwarf users now have an "Audio to CV Pitch" plugin that opens the door to monophonic guitar synthesis.

Whereas it was already possible to input either 5-pin or USB Midi into the MOD, it has now acquired the capabilities of pedals such as Boss SY-1, Source Audio C4, Future Impact, Meris Enzo and others.

It is a relatively new feature, so they are showcasing it on their website and in the videos below.

https://moddevices.com/guitar-synth/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9fq8FhH3Ho

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5yBgIs5MUk

A Boss-like demo song:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yillr6hbw5A (Boss-like demo song)

pasha811

Are MOD devices based on Raspberry 4? When testing Zynthian I got access to MOD pedalboard as well so it might be the same, right?In that case the ARM inside Raspberry 4 is very powerful. 499 Euro looks a big price, considering the SY1, Y200 and used SY300 you can find but worth a try. Good if the software becomes open source and you can install it on your Raspi 4 as for Zynthian or maybe ZYnthian will upgrade their image then you add a supported Audio Card (Behringer UMC Series is supported ) and then you'll have a MOD on the Cheap! Unfortunately Raspi 4 are up in price. I was lucky to get one for 100 Euros before the chip crunch. I got the 8GB RAM Model. It's now my Ubuntu little computer, booting from an old SSD I got. Fast and reliable for mundane tasks. When going Zynthian you can appreciate a lot of things and capabilities.   
Listen to my music at :  http://alonetone.com/pasha/

Dalai_llama

#2
Quote from: pasha811
Are MOD devices based on Raspberry 4?

No.

Quote
When testing Zynthian I got access to MOD pedalboard as well so it might be the same, right?

No. (see below).

Quote
Good if the software becomes open source and you can install it on your Raspi 4 as for Zynthian...

It is. MODEP is a version of the MOD environment for ARM-based systems, but it does not offer the same functionalities and plugin options as the native OS in their proprietary hardware.

What is used in PiSound and Zynthian is MODEP, not the full MOD environment.

Quote
499 Euro looks a big price, considering the SY1, Y200 and used SY300 you can find but worth a try.

It is not a cheap device, much less the Duo X at € 750. Chip shortages do not help either.

An 8GB RPi 4 is currently ~200 Euro in Europe. The Zynthian kit without Raspberry Pi is currently € 329.

True, Boss SY units are good for the money and absolutely worth trying. To my taste, the SY-1 is already a killer. And the Electro-Harmonix Microsynth, the Future Impact (I own one, love it.)

That being said, the MOD has a number of features that don't often come bundled together, such as sequencers, loopers, synths, a number of MIDI and CV utilities, physical CV ports (Duo X), 5-pin and USB midi, and even a RJ-45 connector with a published SDK for others to design hardware. Furthermore, MAX users can export a ~gen object and install it into the MOD via some software/procedure they offer, free of charge. There are a large number of plugins -- instruments, effects and utilities -- available and some among them are very good. In a way, it is pretty much a dedicated portable computer for musicians.

It has its share of shortcomings too: UI is cumbersome when you have large pedalboards, it only runs LV2 plugins (and they have to be "optimised"/adapted for MOD), development is going slowly due to staff shortage, etc. Also, there's a hippie-ish, "open source rules" and 'let's make the world a better place by sharing code' side of the company that at times is detrimental to their business, specially if their hardware is at a high price tier. They still haven't fully delivered on their last 2 crowdfunding campaigns -- tough obviously one needs to factor the pandemic and its effects.

Like I said in the earlier post, the "synth" capability is recent and they're putting some advertising effort into it. I haven't tested it to say it's good or not (still recovering from a recent health scare), but if it works well it might be a replacement for a C4 or Future Impact, and that's $300-350 right there. And some pedals alone are $400-500, such as Strymon timeline. (Excellent pedal, no question about it.)

DISCLAIMER: I am not affiliated with MOD Devices. I've shared these news only because there was another thread on MOD Duo and I thought it would be of interest to forum members -- even if only to make them feel better about their other choices.

pasha811

Thanks Dalai_llama very useful information. I am happy thanks to you I was able to fix my misunderstandings on Zynthian / MOD - I stand corrected!  8)

In he current situation all electronics is going up to crazy prices... bad for all t7he world, even worse for us Guitar Gear lovers :-(
Let's hope it'll improve...
Listen to my music at :  http://alonetone.com/pasha/

Dalai_llama

#4
Not a problem, Paolo. Glad to be of help. I myself have learnt a lot from other members in the past, so all I can do is take their generosity and pay it forward.

MOD Devices is pretty much a 'startup' company, so to speak. In spite of selling high-priced gear, they operate with a small staff and basically do everything themselves. At times they lack PR skills and even a bit of a corporate-minded guidance.

Quote
In he current situation all electronics is going up to crazy prices...

Sadly, the outlook is not good, until at least the end of 2023... KPMG released a somewhat optimistic report, but it was before the war and current lockdowns in China.

https://advisory.kpmg.us/articles/2022/global-semiconductor-industry-outlook-2022.html

chrish

Quote from: pasha811 on May 11, 2022, 04:19:15 AM
Thanks Dalai_llama very useful information. I am happy thanks to you I was able to fix my misunderstandings on Zynthian / MOD - I stand corrected!  8)

In he current situation all electronics is going up to crazy prices... bad for all t7he world, even worse for us Guitar Gear lovers :-(
Let's hope it'll improve...
buy on sale and save. For example, Moog is closing out their Dark panel edition of the Matriarch at $300 off regular price.

The Dreadbox Nymphes that I just purchased from Thomann music in the UK shipped to US was $100 less than purchased in the U.S.

When buying a product out of country, check the power supply compatibility with the electric grid in your area and make sure you are willing to ship the product back for warranty service.

paganskins

I tried these new patches out last night, they work but the pitch to vco module seems very susceptible to handling and string noise – ie you need to play extremely cleanly, mute unplayed strings and even then I was getting a lot unwanted stuff. A hairband/mute below the nut would probably help but even then potentially problematic I think.

It's not going to replace the mono guitar synths I have in various devices (C4, Fractal, Zoom, Helix) or SY1K's normal input (polyphonic obvs).

Reminded me that I still haven't tried the Zoia pitch to midi patch Brockstar was enthusing about some time ago, that feeding midi into the Mod Dwarf might be worth pursuing as it would give normal guitar to the various synth modules in the Dwarf which are PCM, sound font and emulations of analog synths etc.

I'll report back when I get a chance to try it.

gumtown

Sad to hear, but at the moment, it is survival of the fittest. The more fortunate will eat up the less fortunate.
Free "GR-55 FloorBoard" editor software from https://sourceforge.net/projects/grfloorboard/

admin

#8
But since they were open source -I expect Github will continue hosting content for existing MOD Devices Hardware owners

https://github.com/moddevices

But dont post about Github here
https://forum.moddevices.com/t/mod-insolvency-and-reboot/8210/268

They just blocked my account

Digital Larry

MOD Devices appears to have raised 200K Euros from regular people in order to keep the ecosystem afloat.  That's slightly amazing in and of itself.  I did not buy into the Mod Dwarf (the most recent hardware variant) even though I am interested in DIY DSP for guitar, I'm not sure I am aligned with their target demographic.  It's not my intention to kick them while they are struggling, but it really just boils down to UI/UX concerns.  While they say over and over that you don't NEED a PC to use it on stage, it seems like you'd really have to spend a lot of time to organize exactly what you wanted the 3 available buttons/footswitches to do.  I had the same issue with the HX Effects and "snapshots" - not being a live performer, I can't get into that headspace.  I just want it to be easy to use "somehow".  When I was messing with some ESP32 stuff a year or two back, I accomplished the control using OSC via the TouchOSC Android app. 

I wish them the best of luck.

DL

noceguitars

#10
Hi Digital Larry,

I have a short experience with MOD devices. You absolutely need a computer or tablet to program it, download effects and pedalboards (or patches, if you prefer), buy plugins, and organise your libraries. You can connect to the MOD via USB or Bluetooth. (setting up input and output gains, volume, etc can be done directly in the unit.)

To play live however, there's absolutely NO NEED need for a computer. It is possible to switch 'patches', activate effects, apply filters, all through the footswitches, buttons, and rotary encoders. And also via MIDI controllers. And though it's not officially implemented, some users control it via TouchOSC, there are tutorials in their forum for that.

I find the Dwarf design to be kind of "middle of the way", because if it's on the floor you can't easily use controls other than the footswitches. Their other product (Mod Duo X) with a nice midi pedalboard is far more usable to my taste, like a desktop controller. Has more switches and buttons, and dual screens. This one's been discontinued, unfortunately.

@admin: there's just one part of the entire MOD system that's proprietary, which is the hardware control layer. Everything else is open source.

Full disclaimer: I was actually was one of the 'regular people' investing in their continued operation. I have no hope of recouping that money to be honest, but thought they deserved a shot. Things really played out badly for them. Not to say that Mod's management isn't faultless. In fact, they made some poor choices, the company is run like a hippie joint.


Elantric


Digital Larry

I did try out the Mod Desktop application a couple times.  Seemed like it works OK.  I also have a couple Neural DSP Plugins and got Two Notes Genome for free, having "once" owned a Captor-X.  So I'm pretty much swimming in options.  The end result being that I tend to keep things fairly straightforward.  I don't really even like heavy modulation on my guitar. Weird huh!