MOD Duo X


#82

Hello MOD community, friends and Duo X enthusiasts,

We owe you the slightly overdue update on the status of the Duo X. First, we had to figure out some crucial details and make some hard decisions, as we stumbled upon another unexpected roadblock a few days ago.

Personally, I am not only an enthusiast of music but also fitness and health. One of the most common phrases thrown at gyms around the world is “leave your ego at the door”. In the past couple of days, we had to remind ourselves of this helpful advice in the context of the Duo X.

We have been spending many weeks now aiming to solve one tiny particular problem - in the grand scheme of things - related to the hardware CV support, at the cost of keeping you guys waiting. We just really wanted to make it work and tried our best internally and with all the external help that we could find and afford.

We already had an amazing product with lots of cool new features, amazing processing power and tons of new hands-on control, but it was missing one thing - a particular element of the CV hardware support.

This week we have decided as a company that it is no longer justifiable to keep you waiting any longer, just to prove that we can get it done and solve the last 1%, when 99% is done and working. It is somewhat disappointing to us, but it’s the right thing to do.

Most of you have already mentioned to us that the CV support, in general, would be a nice feature to have, but you could very well live without it. The words have sunk in. A little late, but we heard you.

So the good news first.

We have functioning Duo Xs that we only need to assemble and get out to you guys. We can do that within the next 30 days. I know we said this before, but really, this time we can.

Now here is the not so good news. The CV capabilities of the Duo X will not be at the full extent of what we have been hoping for.

Control Voltage, when we move into the digital realm of our audio backend, is a type of control that works at audio sampling rates.

This means that the same way that the system is reading new audio samples at every 1/48000 seconds (for the 48kHz sampling frequency we use), the values for Control Voltage parameters are also being sampled.

This differs a lot from normal controls - the plugin parameters such as gain, distortion, EQ, etc - which are updated inside the system at a much slower speed.

The advantage of this characteristic of CV is that the state of the “system” is updated as fast as the actual audio and this yields a smooth and fluid behavior that is not possible with MIDI or other discrete controls. This is what enables CV to use signals similar to audio as controls to the effects and other plugins.

The support for CV in the Duo X happens both on software and hardware.

On the software side of things, the system is fully working and there are multiple great plugins that can handle CV signals. It works just like a physical modular synth, but as virtual units inside our GUI. This means that you can drag one or many of these plugins to your virtual board and patch them as you wish.

The CV hardware is the part of the device that reads the physical analog signals coming from CV equipment and digitalizes these signals translating them into a stream of “ones” and “zeroes”, in a very similar way that the audio CODEC does with the incoming and outgoing sound.

In our original specification, we wanted the hardware of the CVs to be working at audio rate, just like the audio section. This means that the AD and DA of the CV section would be sampling these analog signals at 48kHz.

As we put all the parts of the hardware and the software together and overcame all the lower level drivers necessary for all chips to work, having the three chips - Audio CODEC, CV Analog-to-Digital converter and CV Digital-to-analog converter - working in sync proved to be a much bigger undertaking than what we initially anticipated.

We even considered a redesign of the circuit to add an auxiliary chip and do the multiple sampling sync on hardware, but that would require even more waiting time.

That said, we will need to step back on our original specification of having the full audio + CV sub-system running at full 48kHz both on software and hardware and, instead, settle for a system where the audio section operates at full 48kHz and the CV section operates at much smaller sample rates, gradually optimizing it as we release new software updates.

Historically, a similar scenario happened with the MOD Duo, that had its initial release in February 2016 and received multiple upgrades in the subsequent months.

https://wiki.moddevices.com/wiki/Releases

All that said, here is what the Duo X can and can not do in regards to CV:

Software-wise, it is all set. The system is fully working. We have amazing CV capable plugins and even plugins that translate audio or MIDI to CV.

On the hardware side, the initial software release will have the CV ports disabled (the 3rd input jack will be completely disabled and the 3rd output jack will work only for the headphone out).

From there we will incrementally add hardware CV support, first at very small sampling frequencies and then increase it as we optimize the system. This procedure will continue until we get to a point that we consider optimum.

The EXP input feature - used to connect analog Expression Pedals - is a special type of CV and will be part of this roadmap early on.

In the following video you can see one example of a CV use case, that is already doable with the Duo X in its initial software status.

Watch on Youtube

If you have any remaining questions about the CV capabilities of the Duo X or any of its other features, please use the chance to talk to our Product Specialist Jesse Verhage and our Chief Product Officer and founder Gianfranco Ceccolini in our forthcoming live chat on Tuesday April 09 at 5pm CET at the following link: http://meet.google.com/wdw-yovt-fdi

Please do not spread this link as it is an exclusive chat for customers who have pre-ordered the Duo X so far.

If the impact of the final CV capabilities makes the Duo X no longer desirable for you, we will of course refund you entirely. Just send us an email to sales@moddevices.com and it will be taken care of swiftly.

We hope though, that most of you will still see the Duo X for the powerful instrument it really is.

All we are asking for is 30 more days and we will finally ship the products to you (including the extra transport case, limited edition T-Shirt, and the WOV plugin license).

If you did not yet let us know your preferred T-Shirt size, please send us your size within the next 10 days to duoxshirt@moddevices.com

Best regards from Berlin,
Ronny Krieger
(CEO MOD Devices)


#83

thanks @MOD_Ronny for the late update.
I know how hard software and hardware in practice is…
Skipping the CV Part for now is the right choice and no big problem for me.

Hopefully i will have my MOD-X in April :slight_smile:
All the best
Max


#84

many thanks for the update!

full CV implementation was one of the attractive features for me. i’m starting to work with analog synths which use CV in an ensemble with a friend; we were hoping to integrate the MOD fully in that “ecology”.

still, there are many other attractive features, and i’m content to see the CV side of the Duo X develop over time in updates.

do i understand correctly: CV hardware is all in place as the X ships, but we just need software updates to bring it to full functionality?

i’ll be joining that chat tomorrow – thanks very much for that opportunity!

cheers!
.pltk.


#85

that is correct @plutek

we still need to find out about the “sweet spot” in regards to the performance and which sample rate we will operate, but that is going to be an ongoing process.


#86

Thanks for sending news.
:grinning:
I have no idea about electronics and I do not know what a CV is.
I have an electro acoustic hurdy gurdy and an external synth, is there a problem to use them with the Mod DuoX and record with an audio signal at 48kHz?
Can I use Duo X in Cubase as an external instrument or an effects module?
Thank


#87

Thx for sending news.
I didn’t per-order the mod duo x but I like to hear news about your new projects.
Do you have any news regarding the Mod Duo ? It’s been a long time since the last big update.


#88

Thanks for this overdue update. Skipping CV for now is okay, but I really need the external CV functionality in a future update. Thanks for building this wonderful device!


#89

Sorry to hear about the hassle you’ve had - such, I guess, is the peril of being a leader not a follower - no-one else has found out the hard way for you :wink:

So excited to see what the X can do, and agree that getting it out now an updating the software as you optimise it is an excellent strategy.

Right, back to programming Duo sounds for my upcoming gigs!


#90

Appreciate the update. Looking forward to receiving mine next month.

Hope you make progress with the CV capabilities in future as it definitely factored into my decision to go with the Duo X.


#91

Once the Duo X is out we’re publishing the great 1.7 release. That’s gonna be a big one :wink:


#92

Will these goodies be included for all pre-orders within next 30 days?

I am still not sure how the X differs from the Duo in terms of audio capability.
The two specs on the website are not directly comparable.


#94

great little chat in the Google Meetup just now… i think this is a fantastic way of keeping in touch with us! i wonder if it’s worth considering a regular Meetup time, which users could drop into if they have questions about MOD products in general?


#95

were are you located @plutek?

I’d like to know if our choice of time is adequate for Pacific Time people


#96

i’m in Toronto, Ontario, Canada - EDT at the moment. i guess it would have been a bit early for folks on the west coast, but you’ve got users everywhere, so it’ll be tough to make everyone comfortable!


#97

sorry I missed the chat! :frowning:


#98

yeah… i couldn’t help wondering, “why isn’t @solobasssteve here!!!” :wink::thinking::face_with_raised_eyebrow::stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


#99

Hi @Lant,

When converted to analog signals the sample rates of the digital ends do not matter. In practice, there is no problem. For theory consider any book on digital signal processing.

And the Duo X can be integrated as external analog gear in Cubase. We don’t provide VST-Integration though.

Cheers!


#100

Thank