MOD Duo X


#62

We have been promising you guys a new update on the status quo of the Duo X for earlier this year, so here’s a quick update on where we stand as of today.

Some of you might have seen some coverage of our presence at NAMM, the biggest annual music equipment showcase in the world. There, we presented a prototype of the Duo X as a world premiere. Of course, the prototype is not fully functional yet, especially in regards to the CV inputs and outputs, but visitors could experience the look and feel, as well as the usability of the device.

Here’s a quick video from Synth Anatomy showing the Duo X prototype: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sRAkITNGGc0

And here´s a video in French by Les Sondiers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57Oy8FEazAc

When artists like John Tejada, with a discography of well over 100 releases, and Daniel Rowland, known for his works with Nine Inch Nails, Seal, Lady Gaga, Santana, Jay Z, and countless others, say that the Duo X is the most exciting thing they have seen at all of NAMM, it’s ok to be proud for a moment. We can not rest on these laurels though, because we still have to complete the finishing touches on the Duo X software and finally ship the product to all of you.

As we reported last time, the manufacturer of our selected iMX8 processor had not delivered the promised drivers included in the board support package. We have been digging the market for developers of low-level drivers as an alternative solution. Many developers that we have reached out to are very eager to get their hands on the iMX8, but none have ever worked with one, so the outcome is still unclear at this point. Our most realistic possibility currently is still that the manufacturer completes the board support package. We are in constant conversation with them to solve this issue. Nevertheless, we still continue to work with external developers to see if we can solve the issue without the manufacturer.

In the meantime, we have created setups that will allow us to liberate the main board without the missing low-level drivers. We should have an update on the result within the next 2 weeks. If these tests are successful, we could be able to ship the Duo X in an almost completed stage, in which a software update will soon afterward activate the CV ports.

Once we have completed these tests starting later this week, we will send another update and present the outcome.

We are truly thankful for your ongoing patience and support during this process. Please bear with us while we are aiming to solve the last remaining bits of development as soon as we can.

Ronny Krieger (CEO)


#63

Do you mean drivers that are missing from the mainline kernel? What drivers are these? Did you talk to the people from Purism? They also use an i.MX8 for their Librem 5.


#64

I believe when they are talking about board support package, it means the drivers must be tweaked specifically to the board layout . So even other devices using the same processor won’t be exactly compatible. OTOH they’d make a good reference for whoever develops the drivers for MOD.


#65

What device do these drivers control? Who is the vendor of the NXP sbc? Maybe there is another way around.


#66

Boundary Devices has been great to work with their iMX8M SOMs. Their Nitrogen8M has been out for a while and was a very stable patform. Their upcoming iMX8M mini would be a great option for you. I am not sure how soon their SOM version will be available.

I tried a lot of the iMX8M vendors before settling on Boundary Devices and so far it has been a great platform.


#67

@MOD_Ronny any updates available regarding board support package from the manufacturer?

I could go without the CV for now. :wink:

Cheers Max


#68

Expect a new update of the Duo X production process next week. We´ll wrap up the board validation and production timelines until the weekend.


#69

Dear fellow MOD users

Here’s our latest update on the Duo X.

In the month of February, our technical team has been working full-force to test all the hardware parts and finally validate our boards for production. With some wiring up for "direct signal injection and retrieval" from the main chips, we managed to run the necessary tests.

"Wire Up" example

Our test bench

All MOD Duo X circuits and sub-systems are now physically validated and, as I write this message, the release candidates of both boards - Main and Controller - are in the making. YAY!!

The most important test is, of course, the Audio Circuitry. Final results are still to be obtained with the boards that are in the making, but preliminary results are super good.

Audio test result. General SNR is above the 100dB mark.

In the next week, we’ll have the entire product assembled at the office and then we’ll kick-off the production of the limited edition run.

By the end of March we will be assembling the first units for shipping and continue to do so until all pre-orders are assembled and shipped. We will ship the orders chronologically as they were placed.

Expect weekly/frequent updates during the month of March until the shipment kicks off.

Best regards from Berlin,

Gianfranco


#70

Guys, you are killing me.
20 days since the last promising update - but silence since then, although you wanted to give more frequent updates in March until delivery…
Hope all is well.
Marc


#71

Oui ca commence à faire long.
J’ai commandé le mien début novembre.
Et j’imagine que je n’étais pas le premier…


#72

As they say, sometimes silence can speak volumes… :frowning:
When the Duo X was first announced, I started getting worried. When they said they were targeting “September” launch I thought “yeah, but which year?”.

I’ve worked in software for a long time and know how hard it is to launch a stable product. I’ve dabbled in Arduino and basic EE enough to get a glimpse of how complex it is to get a hardware/electronics product to market. From what I can tell, dealing with material costs, manufacturing processes, legal regulations, design challenges, user QA, … it would make anyone pale. When I looked at the software requirements alone described in the feature specs it seemed like an unreasonably big jump to get done in a few months unless they had been doing some serious skunkworks development behind the scenes. I can’t speak much to the hardware side but would guess that design and logic are significantly more complex than the Duo just by virtue of having several new actuators and a new type of control port.

Taking a step back:

  • Many users on the forum have reported noise and stability problems with the Duo. In at least several cases users have had to deal with a non-operational device. This happened to me two hours before a gig last summer (stuck on boot screen, unusable)
  • Users have reported stability problems with the Footswitch (lost settings, device not found)
  • Some users have been waiting years for the Expression pedal. On more than one occasion the team has given an estimated time frame in terms of a few months. It seems that for some time now the holdup has been a pursuit of Ultimate Expression Precision with the pedal mechanics. I wonder if some users wouldn’t be happy at this point with an OK precision expression pedal like the one that I have on a USB footswitch extender I bought.
  • A repeating pattern of users trying to build their own Arduino / ControlChain devices, coming to the forum for help after getting stuck getting trivial examples to work, and no apparent resolution
  • One of the main developers left the team a while back. Change happens, but it must have been / will be challenging to replace a person with extensive Linux audio development knowledge and experience.

I admire what the MOD team is trying to do and I think the concepts are very exciting. I appreciate the dedication to open source software and the vision to build something unique. I fear that the team has taken on more than they can handle.


#73

What concern, I just ordered it :astonished:


#74

Haha I try to think this way about most initial product preordering actually. Arturia were taking preorders for the Audiofuse over 3 years prior, but it was very different with the Matrixbrute as it shipped within a matter of a couple months after announcement but required a lot of updates which were frustrating to the user base. At the end of the day I’m always more frustrated with a product when it doesn’t work as expected upon arrival than I am when it’s taking a little longer. From what I gather, the mod team seem to have a potentially working solution to their problems but it may not be the most scalable or ideal solution? It’s probably not worth speculating too much. I do wish the team the best of luck and hope for an update soon!


#75

last update 25days ago, guess its time for an update @gianfranco @MOD_Ronny


#76

No news? We are in April.
We need news, it is important to not lose hope.

Thank


#77

It is ok to spread good news in the social media. Still, I guess a first principle should be to treat an existing customer base with respect. Communication about the delivery of the Mod Duo X definitely is sub-optimal - to say the least …


#78

Yes I’m curious about the release too. I preordered because I was told it would be shipped by the end of March. Has anyone received theirs yet?


#79

I ordered mine in November, thinking I would receive it in December. I’m still waiting … I find it disrespectful the lack of clear communication


#80

I pre-ordered mine in October, and still am very excited about it. I personally would love more communication, absolutely, however at the same time I can easily see how certain situations may warrant a lack of communication (ie: they may not be able to give the clarity in the update they want to give). I think the mod team are dealing with a decent amount of ambiguity and possibly lack of communication themselves from 3rd party suppliers? In which case it’d be hard to update people that there are “just a lot of unknowns, hopefully we’ll know more next week” kinda thing. That being said, I do hope the mod team knows that hearing a status check about the ambiguity isn’t necessarily a bad thing to share here even if it’s not a full fledged multi-paragraph “update” so to speak.


#81

I’ve only recently pre-ordered so I haven’t been waiting for months like others have. But I think we should get an update when they miss their own deadlines. The confirmation email I received said it would be shipped in Q1 which, obviously, didn’t happen.

I assumed there would be further delays so it wasn’t a surprise to me but I thought we’d get an update acknowledging the delay and maybe even some details as to why.