A new MOD competitor

This thing is very very similar… ARM Linux based, jack2 powered, lv2 plugins, even Python as UI backend :slightly_smiling_face:
But not fully open source (yet?) and officially not open for 3rd party developers. (Even though you can get root in a minute I guess since the updates are debian packages :innocent: )
The GUI is QT based and the middleware is based on ingen.

I guess MOD Devices should just buy them! :joy:

Cool concept.
But… they run the UI (and graphics/display server) on the same system as the audio? That is usually asking for trouble when it comes to ARM.
Ingen is also not marked as stable release, and both its API and session format are known to change from time to time. I think the regular changes in Ingen is what drove ams-lv2 developer away from development, since that happened around the time of Ingen getting a big overhaul in its session format.
We were going to use Ingen instead of our custom mod-host at some point, but changing/adapting the code proved difficult and at the time (5 years ago) mod-host had much better performance compared to Ingen.

How do you know this uses Ingen?
btw, depending on how they use it, because Ingen is AGPL, they could be obligated by law to show their custom code.

They actually have a GitHub organization where they have some sources available: https://github.com/polyeffects/

There you can see the Ingen fork as a first clue. And when you have a look at the firmware updates, you’ll find Debian packages which give a nice glimpse of the used software: https://www.polyeffects.com/pages/firmware

I don’t know the details about the architecture but yeah I suspect that they do it on one CPU. The available sources indicate that as well. Still not sure about the exact CPU, it’s some ARM 64 and they seem to run Armbian. I think this eliminates the RPI CM as a possible candidate.

This sounds interesting. Looks like the head developer of Ingen is located in Berlin as well, maybe he could help out with this?

Their use of QML is also interesting because QML can also be used to build web applications AFAIK.

Oh, I know him personally. He has since optimized Ingen a lot, but we (at MOD) did not try to use it again.

Yes indeed. Qt also allows QML applications to render over a websocket, so one could run the UI remotely via browser. I do not see a gadget/peripheral-type USB plug on the box though, so usb-ethernet like MOD uses is out of the question.

by the way, it is great that the project has an opensource base.
It means we can reuse some of the resources.
they have started porting some VCVRack Instruments to LV2, lovely :sunglasses:

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There is one USB port located on the back. It’s made for firmware updates and to provide files. There you can see how it’s used for loading impulse responses from a USB storage:

Indeed! I think that there’s a lot of potential hidden with FOSS non LV2 effects. But I’d be happy with some professional vendors on the MOD platform as well :slight_smile:

Yes, but this is a USB host, not gadget.
The MOD units feature both, allowing it to host other usb devices, and act as a usb device as well.

USB type-c could probably be able to provide both in a single port, but we did not investigate this yet.

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Oh yeah got it. I only thought of connecting a WiFi or Ethernet dongle.

I checked this out at NAMM in January. Was cool, but not even close to the power or maleability of the MOD Devices.

For me it looks like the MOD is superior as well. But there are definitely some charming points:

  • Twice as much audio ports
  • Stand-alone solution without the need of a PC
  • A nicer and cleaner interface (for my taste)
  • A rather consistent selection of effects (Sometimes it feels like that there are some effects with little value available on the MOD platform)
  • Some good effects like clouds
  • Working system for loading IR files

Some time ago, I’d have preferred the Poly over the MOD just because I wouldn’t need a PC for the sound design.

In my case I’d actually prefer 2 :slight_smile:

I understood this is going to be addressed with the MOD Dwarf as well, am I right? Though without a touchscreen display. I wouldn’t be against a more stylish design such as this one or the one from Zynthia, Fractal FM3, etc… Actually you can also connect the MOD to a tablet or phone via Bluetooth, but still of course you need an external device.

What is this?

I also think this is coming in an update soon with the file handling.

Yeah I think it’s hard to find the right amount because the use cases differ a lot… But in the guitar context, 4 is a pretty good choice since you can use the two as send/return. Many folks still have their one favorite effect which they might want to keep. My use case would be at least 8 inputs and outputs but fortunately this is already possible via USB audio :smiley:

Mutable Instruments Clouds, an open source Eurorack effect: https://youtu.be/g_Gue_MZ-Dk?t=82

Good question but I don’t know. Would be nice. But it’s not there yet. See below.

Yup. But in these times it is hard to rely on things which a vendor promises. Many people had bad experiences in the past (so do I) so they are explicitly looking for things which are already there and working. MOD devices earned my trust with the way how they are doing things but many other people will see it different. And maybe they’re right, even when it’s not the fault of MOD. There’s always the chance that Eventide announces the H9 MAX which does something similar but with Eventide algorithms. This would have quite some impact on the MOD sales I guess.

But I’m still confident that MOD will rock them all :smiley:

That is correct, you will be able to build pedalboards from just the device itself without needing a PC (or tablet or anything).
The screen shows the current status while you control stuff / navigate with the knobs and buttons.

they have started porting some VCVRack Instruments to LV2, lovely

Don’t you think integrating an LV2 build target into the Rack SDK would make "our market"™ more accessible to the huge and active existing Rack community? LV2 supports CV and the Rack plugin UIs are mainly generated from SVG so mod-gui integration should be more straightforward :wink:

Yeah I think lowering the barrier to port existing code to LV2 would be very beneficial for the MOD ecosystem.
Related: VCV Rack + MOD =?
Kinda related: Spin Semi FV-1 emulator to attract plugin developers from the hardware world

I think I was one of the first four people in the world to get a Poly Digit since Loki the designer stayed at my house during last summer NAMM. We programmed a ton of presets for it. It’s super cool but “feels” differently than the Mod Duo if that makes sense? The convolution reverbs are insanely good and it has a ton of other amazing functions like super long delays, modulation (in Beebo), granular (Clouds…yeah Clouds is in there), poweramp sims, cabs, IR loading, etc., etc. but they don’t work as the same device to me in practice. I can easily have an entire pedal board controlled by the two footswitches and my Morninstar MC6II with Mod Duo and while I can do that with Digit it’s not as simple to control individual bypass–yet. And it’s all in your hands to design precisely what you want with features and connections which can take some time. And you may run out of CPU if you match the same rig on Digit. Depending of course on what you’re running. But still Digit sounds amazing and is a very useful tool. Hope that helps give some context.

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I find it amazing that you can directly compare the Mod to the Digit as an early first hand user with in-depth knowledge… this community is so tight-knit!

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I have had my Digit for about a week now. I can say that as a guitar effects box, it’s pretty amazing. I have not plugged it in to any keys yet. One of the things that I can mention at this point is that the Digit, structurally, is very light and “hollow” feeling (I hate to say the term “cheap”, but that’s what it feels like). Pedals live on the floor and need to have some substantial heft in their construction, as they get kicked, stomped and beaten in general. This unit will stay on my desktop, which makes it’s usefulness limited for me.

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It’s working on MODEP after a minor patch in the includes :open_mouth:

The lower ports are for CV but there’s no CV support on MODEP right now.

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According to the latest kernel update, the device is based on an Allwinner ARM Cortex A53, the SOPINE A64 compute module by Pine64 to be exact. The current MOD devices are way more powerful.

Some of the Poly plugins causing high CPU usage with MODEP on the RPI4, I’m curious if this will be the same on my Duo X.

I’m also lurking when they will release the source of the rest of their plugins. It seems like that they’re all base on FOSS projects.

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I have two units from PolyEffects. I run Digit on one of them, Beebo on the other.
I believe Beebo is officially released tomorrow but I’ve been running with it since… February I think.
I have yet to run into any memory/processing power issues with either firmware.
Loki has ported some Mutable Instruments Eurorack module software to Beebo. Those ports include Warps, Plaits and Grids. There maybe more.
It’s early days for both firmwares and Loki appears to be a one man operation. He is very open to suggestions and constructive criticism and updated for both firmwares happen on a very regular basis.
I’ve had a Mod Duo with footswitch for years now and I’m looking forward to the arrival of the Mod Dwarf.
I also have the Empress Effects Zoia (for the second time). The Zoia is in no way as approachable as the Poly Effects Digit/Beebo unit or the Mod Duo. I may sell the Zoia shortly (for the second time) as I do not have the time nor the inclination, to go deep with the thing.

At this point I’ll admit to being stupid.
I’ll probably purchase the Zoia Eurorack version when it is finally released…

Cheers All.

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