Expression pedal update

Ah, but you didn’t say which Christmas you’re waiting for!

While you’re right that the pedal accessory has grown in scope and that we early backers have been repeatedly assured that we’ll be ultimately rewarded for the wait with the improved product, some of us have been waiting for six Christmases, Dave. (That’s 5 years, 3 months since paying at the conclusion of the Mod Duo Kickstarter; 4 years, 8 months since the delivery estimate then put forth; 3 years 8 months since the Mod Duo itself was actually delivered.)

Over the five years, progress on the expression pedal has been extremely slow and communication regarding that progress very poor. In this time we’ve seen MOD put resources into other new products like MOD Duo X and MOD Dwarf, triumphantly announce sixteen months ago that the pedal is “finally here” and accept yet more pre-orders, and even solicit us to invest in the company (250€ minimum).

That said, around July of last year, the updates in this thread regarding progress have been more regular (last 40 days notwithstanding) and transparent than they’ve ever been. And Gianfranco made a really quite great October 2019 post to the community fully acknowledging the pain of the expression pedal and committing to seeing it through. Certainly the largest failing of the company needed to be addressed as part of his request for investment but his words rang true and visible progress has been made so bravo.

While I can understand reluctance to put forth delivery estimates given historical ahem inaccuracies, Kickstarter backers liken themselves to actual investors. They want their stuff, sure, but they also have (a small amount of) skin in the game and so they want to know what’s going on, they want to know when you think they’re going to get their stuff and they want to know why you think that. When did you get on the schedule for the metallurgy and how long does that take? What’s the transport and Customs clearance time like from China to MOD? Are the German-manufactured parts completed and received? How long to assemble? What’s QA time like for the parts individually and assembled? We’re along for the ride; if you don’t let us look out the windows we’ll have nothing to do but repeatedly ask you “Are we there yet?”


Tru dat (been listening to a lot of Nevilles and Meters and watching ‘Treme’ for the 3rd or 4th time).

I couldn’t agree more. It’s been a real comedy of errors. The coronavirus thing is of the “OMG, what’s gonna happen next” variety.

I’m frustrated as hell, but I’m sure the moddevices crew is more frustrated than we are. We’ve put money on the table for sure, but they’ve put their reputations on the line. In my opinion that’s a much bigger investment.

I’d love more communication and I’m sure they’re putting more resources into that, but I want the engineering people do the engineering work, the project managers to do project manager stuff, etc.

I’ve spent a huge part of my life capitalizing on my weakness and that’s really not very productive.

It’ll get there.


You guys are so mature. It’s a pleasure reading your comments.

I am not particularly happy with the whole situation, but I was a shitty guitar player when they announced it and I will be when it arrives.

What I don’t get why the communication is so poor. Nobody stops you from writing more frequently, @gianfranco! It is a bit like defending your final thesis at university: the examiner wants to let you pass. But you just have to give them something to work with.



I feel the same as many here, I admire and respect the efforts of the MOD team and realize much of this is beyond their control and as @Dave_Parker said they are also frustrated. When I’ve had other problems with my MOD they have responded and sent parts very quickly and having met some of the MOD team in the past I know they are good people with good intent…

For me sadly, as excited as I am about the new MOD Dwarf product I have decided for myself to not get involved with the new Kickstarter campaign until such time as the commitments to the existing backers of the first campaign have been fulfilled. It’s not my intention to be difficult but if this was not a “music business” thing and if I didn’t know the team etc. I would certainly not have had this much patience with any other company and if the tables were turned I could not in good conscience expect my customers to wait this long for something that had been paid in full literally years ago…

Patience has it’s limits and I think this expression pedal needs to move up the priority list and soon!


I agree about waiting for the original project fulfillment to complete. I’ve got enough stuff on my plate now that I’ll be plenty busy until the expression pedal gets here, and even busier after it does. I haven’t utilized my current setup (duo, footswitch extension, wah pedal) to its fullest extent, and I’ve got a Morningstar MC-6 that I’ve yet to really dig into.

Dear MOD users

I am writing to inform on the status of the Expression Pedal.

It has not been possible at all to place an order with our current supplier of Control Chain devices, Eastwin Trading. The communication for the last 12 months has been extremely problematic, to the point of preventing an overseas production. We are thus, discontinuing our cooperation with Eastwin Trading.

We are already on the production quoting process with a new supplier, but due to the Coronavirus hazard, the process is currently on standby. It’s the same as with the Duo X, right now.

This hazard is affecting all manufacturing in China. Because it is an infectious disease, the Chinese New Year - also called Spring Festival - has been extended and factories now must apply for a license to resume work by presenting their plan to help prevent the spread of the virus. Any production date forecast will only be given when they resume working and re-organize regarding the delays of production.

From our side, we are positioning the Expression production between the Duo X current batch - which is now running as I speak - and the MOD Dwarf, which shall enter the first stages of production around June, provided the Coronavirus situation does not reveal itself to be an even bigger crisis than it has been.

I understand the frustration regarding the Expression Pedal and also how such frustration is enhanced with such news.

If you have pre-ordered one and desire a refund, please contact us and we will promptly do it.

For those looking for hope, please let me share some additional words to brighten your mood.

Our solution for the Expression Pedal is part of a broader plan that involves our other products too.

Historically, We have mixed two different production models:
For the processors (Duo / Duo X) - Electronics manufacturing + Assembly + QA in Germany, with most enclosure elements made in China.
For peripherals: Turnkey production in China.

This has proven to be very problematic. As a start-up we have limited resources and not focussing on a single model prevents us from properly streamlining neither of both. We are thus sticking to the first model for the time being with the final assembly and QA in Germany.

Due to the nature of our products and also, the on-going development of the platform, this model gives us the flexibility and agility that we need at the moment.

The production of parts actually made in China is also being tackled. We are concentrating most of the mechanical production in a new single bigger supplier. Having all our products generating orders continuously helps to minimize many of the China-related issues. There is a nice portfolio ahead and starting fresh with such a forecast makes the supplier way happier and willing to cooperate more.

We have been working with this new supplier for almost a year and it has been moving well. They are currently producing the first batch of Duo X enclosures and it has been quite smooth, despite the Coronavirus incident.

Apart from the supplier matter, I have other very important news that is much related to the Expression Pedal.

In January MOD Devices has hired a Product Design Engineer. After 10 years of sitting as the sole mechanical designer of the company, we have now hired the talented James Debono. You can all meet him at our forum and say “hi”. Please be friendly as he is not to be blamed on the current situation :wink:

For those following my company updates, there is a transformation happening at MOD Devices since mid 2019 and it includes structuring the team in way that we can scale up. One of the pillars of such a structure is that I, as the CEO, should not be direct involved in any operational aspect.

One cannot drive the car and be a part of the engine at the same time.

As a CEO, I feel myself as a sort of impromptu juggler. Acting in such a position and, at the same time, needing to sit and concentrate on the design of our products has proven not to work as soon as the workload reaches a threshold. As I mentioned on a previous update, the Expression Pedal is much more of a mechanical challenge than any other of our products and thus, has suffered the most with this problem. With the new structure I aim at being capable to commit to our proposed objectives on time.

I hope I have managed to explain the status of the Expression in a clarifying way. I am open for any questions you might have.

Best regards


Thanks, @gianfranco… i’m not worried and am a patient person. Still, this sort of information is both interesting and reassuring!

One of the things about being a user of equipment from a company like MOD is that there is a real engagement with the entire process, and an ongoing interest in how it’s all going. So, even though I’m not concerned, I am still very much interested in your progress and plans.

In short, your model engenders commitment and curiousity — these are great things, which are strengthened by this sort of communication!


I was afraid the coronavirus (COVID-19 per WHO) situation was going to get really nasty. Looks like it could get much worse. Now health workers are dying from it.

When I first became aware of this project and decided to become a kickstarter supporter, I saw it as much more than a chance to get some good stuff at a good price. I also saw it as investing in a promising new company that supported not only open-source software but open hardware platforms as well. Most of us individual kickstarter supporters contributed a few hundred (dollars, euros, pounds, whatever…), but there were a lot of us. There were some who invested much more. Once the project got off the ground more money and personnel were required. Anyone involved in a startup knows this.

I’m impressed with the products, but at this point in the game I’m even more impressed with the agility of the project/company. There have been some challenges - as any startup would expect. Now we have COVID-19. This is a HUGE challenge that very few (if any) saw coming. I fear all of us may soon have much more serious things to be concerned with. The team is (and has been) plowing through all these challenges quite admirably, in my opinion.


+1 @Dave_Parker


+1 @Dave_Parker and @plutek

And unlike @Dave_Parker, I solely backed Mod Duo on Kickstarter because it seemed like a lot of kit for a good price! But, as I have backed many projects on KS, I would say that Mod has been the company I have followed the most and had the most communication with. The very nature of the product is engagement and that is apparent at all levels - sharing pedalboards, forum questions, update emails… heck, I even met @gianfranco and the team twice at NAMM. It’s exciting to see a company like them grow, and you guys are right about how they approach challenges. I’ve spent more money than I wanted to on nearly every product… I actually had to force myself NOT to order the X out of loyalty to the company, but solely because I didn’t need the added functionality. But I’m not blindly loyal, I get real added value out of the Mod products, and I am not worried at all about the expression pedal. I know it’s coming and I trust Mod to do right by their customers, no, their community.

Anyway, keep up the good work and thanks so much for the continued interaction!


I’m pretty much in agreement with everything you’ve said.


I’m sure they will do it right and it will be one of the best models!


How are you getting on with the Morningstar, Dave?
Is it straightforward connecting with the CAT-5 or USB socket?
Yet to use midi, but want to get set up ready for the Q4 Dwarf arrival.
Surely a midi expression pedal could go in the MC-6 and solve the issue of this stream?

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I haven’t really had a chance to dig into it yet.

The connections are 7-pin DIN, 1/4" TRS and USB-B. I connected a MeloAudio EXP-001 expression pedal to the MC-6 with one of the 1/4" TRS cables and connected to the ModDuo with the DIN cables. You can also connect the MC-6 with the ModDuo with the USB ports, but I haven’t done that yet - other than to see that it works - because I use the USB to connect to my computer to use the Morningstar software.

It’s a really versatile setup, but I’m going to have to learn more about midi and the MC-6 before I really make full use of it.


What’s the latest on the expression pedal?


Off topic: is it possible to enable the Mod Duo ( X ) tuner using one of the actuators? Since I am using my MD X behind me where the amp is, I am missing a direct and easy way to tune my guitar.

On topic: I have found a volume pedal online which has a tuner built into it (not going to reference it here). It would be a tremendous solution for me, if the Mod Exp pedal could also display a tuner. Can we expect that?


The duo has a tuner, and at this stage of the game I’m hoping the team will not be making any changes to the expression pedal.

Well I hope they are competitive and are aware of other big brands adding such functionality to their pedals. Although maybe it would entirely not be possible at all, since no sound goes through the control chain (I think)?

Is there a complete list of specifications for the exp pedal? (They might already have thought of this :wink: ).

Any updates on the status?


Oh, how right you were…