Official vs. Community Plugins and Pedalboard Sharing

@brummer brought this up in GxKnightFuzz and I’ve been thinking about it and I’m not sure these two categories are very clearly defined. I understand the process well now of how plugins get in one or the other, but especially with regards to pedalboard sharing, I think there’s a bit of an issue.

For example: brummer loves fuzz and has a bunch of fuzz pedals, I understand that we probably don’t want 200 fuzzes with only slightly different characters in the official plugins list just because its overwhelming to someone just looking for a distortion. But what happens when 3 good fuzzes are added to official? No more fuzz can ever be added to the official repository?

AFAICT its defined as
Official - plugins that every user will see, the cream of the crop
Community - everything else, buggy ones that crash your system, ok ones that are stable but not that exciting, gems that haven’t been promoted or already was a crowded category in the official repo

The real concern for me as a dev is that you cannot share pedalboards that use community repo plugins. This is a good idea because if some unstable plugin gets downloaded through a shared pedalboard and borks my MOD I’d be upset. But what about the 197 other good fuzzes? If someone makes a killer pedalboard using one they cannot share it, and then nobody will discover that this fuzz is pretty good.

As a dev this is demotivating to add things to the community repo, especially if something similar is already in the official repo. One could argue though that it will motivate developers to work hard to make the best fuzz, so it will get added to offical.

I think the best solution would be to add all the fuzzes (that qualify) to the official repo but have some sort of system that will show a short-list of them to a user, based on something like user likes, or ratings. This solution is not without problems, such as user bias making good, unrated plugins remain unnoticed, but I think it may work.

Alternatively allowing community plugins to be shared and adding a 3rd category of “untested” plugins that are new but disallowed from pedalboard sharing could work.

Maybe I’m just overly paranoid that my plugins will never be “discovered” but I would like to see what the community and MOD team thinks about this. Just some conversation would help.

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I’m definitely on the ‘consumer’ end of the pedalboard spectrum and am much more likely to try and use a plugin if I can Try Now with a shared pedalboard. Allowing community / unstable to be shared would help surface a lot of great work to the community. I feel like user experience problems can be mitigated with consistent messaging and context-appropriate warnings in the UI. For example, having clear visual distinctions and (settings configurable) warnings to clearly indicate pedalboards using non-official plugins. A popup warning could be shown each time “Something could go wrong!” (with option to disable in settings); I’m guessing most users who have committed to purchasing a Duo are comfortable deciding what level of risk they want to operate it at.

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As a consumer i also think, it’d be wiser to limit the “try now” for “community/untested” plugins. When you limit the amount of plugins that get the “official/stable” stamp, developers might get frustrated.

Also for me 200+ fuzzes is too much (i might need one perhaps) but if all 200+ are good, they should be in the list. To not be owerwhelmed, suggestions, tags, filters would be helpful.

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Here are my two cents…

I think the solution is to update the pedalboard sharing so that you can share pedalboards with “community” or “unstable” plugins but those plugins would show greyed out or as some other kind of shape with a message that this is an unstable plugin. The user can then click on down load to get it or delete or replace it with something they already have.

For example:
I may listen to a pedalboard I like on the site. It has a delay sound that I really like. The pedalboard has an overdrive that are “unstable” but I can still download the pedalboard. The unstable plugin shows greyed out and I can either drop in another plugin I have on my Duo or delete it. If I decide I want that unstable plugin I would click on download.

Is this too complicated?
I have no idea how the programming works but I think it’s a good way to let people share pedalboards with unstable plugins.

I like this idea and I think it may be the least amount of work.

I agree, though I think there’s a fair bit of infrastructure to add and the MOD team doesn’t have much in the way of developers right now.

This is similar to unbracketed’s solution but probably better since you can try the good parts of a pedalboard without needing to enable community plugins. However…

I think adding that functionality is probably the most work of all the suggestions. Since falkTX left they haven’t really had progress on any features. So I think in the interest of trying to pick the best experience with the lowest amount of work needed I’d say just an indicator on pedalboards when you browse them online as suggested by unbracketed would be best.

Once you allow community plugins to be shared then I think there’s much less need for putting all 200 fuzzes into the official repo, we can focus on just putting the best of the best in there so everyone who gets a mod loves all the plugins they first try.

I appreciate the discussion and the good suggestions, guys. I’m totally open to other ideas too. Really though, this is up to the MOD team so I hope they’re talking about it internally and will make a decision and give us a roadmap.

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falkTx is not part of the team anymore ?!?!?

I noticed a few weeks ago that he is no longer listed in the Github members. There hasn’t been any new test releases for several months and there’s no (public) indication of any new feature developments.

He left for a new job about 6 months ago, just after the last release. I was keeping quiet about it, waiting for some official announcement, but its been long enough I forgot that not everybody knows.

They do now. :grimacing:

Hi @ssj71

I don’t think you’ve let the cat out of the bag, my guess is there was not a planned announcement, there have been other MOD team personnel changes without announcements (remember Migle…?). I think enough time has passed that you needn’t feel worried about it (in my opinion anyway).

Interesting thoughts, @ssj71! I would like to rank plugins by their usage. Don’t you think install numbers could be evaluated from the download/update/usage numbers from us users? It should be fairly simple to implement, but then again I faintly remember that some plugins are organised and updated in groups/packages… in that case it would be harder.

Also, thanks for the news about falkTX! I just noticed that he updated some of his own projects… sorry to see him go and slightly sad for not seeing a farewell post from the MOD team.

So who is left in the MOD dev team now ?

As a consumer I think that in general the plugins need better descriptions and documentation. I tend to go for the ones that have at least some kind of info. I don´t mind being overwhelmed by 200 plugins of the same kind (I might even like) if they have a description that will help me pick the one that I might need and try.

About the come and go of professionals inside the MOD Team I think that this is normal part of any healthy business so I don’t worry to much about it.

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I feel the same way. Gianfranco has been very methodical in his growth and has dealt with setbacks by sticking to his principles and vision while still being flexible with new ideas.

Did falkTX really leave? He is still listed as a team member here: http://moddevices.com/people

@falkTX - Are you still at MOD Devices?

I feel the same. Having no experience and little familiarity with the history of effects pedals, I most likely to use plugins that have a little bit of introduction about what it does and a few presets with brief descriptions. Something that would be immensely helpful for a user like me would be demo pedalboards that compare and contrast different plugins. For example, a switchbox leading to four different fuzz pedals and 10 - 20 pedalboard presets that toggle between the various fuzz plugins, each with a few presets. A few lines of explanation about what I’m listening for in each preset. These kinds of pedalboards would serve as both tutorials and live labs. Plugin authors and collaborators could link to these pedalboards in their plugin descriptions and IMO this would be a great to promote your work and get users to try it out.

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In that case, we may be left speculating why:

  • He is no longer listed in the Github team, though others remain and have made recent commits
  • Close to zero commit activity in the primary repos for several months
  • A once vibrant test release group that was receiving regular new features to test has seen no activity for several months and no communication

EDIT:

I wouldn’t mind some more MOD gossip in another thread, but I would like to keep this one on topic. Don’t get me wrong, I’m always leading off-topic, but I realized I’m undermining my own goal for this thread. :slight_smile:

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Regarding the general questions about the MOD team, Gianfranco has addressed them on this recent thread: MOD Devices is growing (up)!

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I know that I’d love to be able to upload pedalboards with community plugins - almost all of my boards now have the Calf Multiband limiter last in the chain and won’t work without it :slight_smile:

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Hi all,

Getting back to the initial topic in this discussion, there have been some important remarks and interesting suggestions here regarding the pedalboard sharing feature. You all have valid points regarding the UX and most of them have already been the topic of some conversations here at MOD HQ. As you can see, there isn’t exactly a consensus on what to do with all the community plugins because it depends on each user’s workflow and needs.

I’ll let @acunha provide his two cents on what’s feasible in the near future and what’s still going to have to wait a bit.

“Our roadmap is long and full of features”

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beautiful. :heart_eyes:

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