What do you wish you had known?


#1

Hey guys,

In the spirit of crowdsourcing, I have a question for you. What do you wish you had known when you first opened your MOD DUO?

I’m working on a series of videos, mostly centred around bass as the primary instrument (sorry guitarists, but you get covered by default elsewhere) but also a little midi/keyboard and such.

So far I’ve just posted the unboxing video (like and subscribe?) but I’ve been working offline on a pedal board build, a manual “violin/slow gear” sound for bass.

What I’m asking for is:

  • wow moments: what you found hidden that saved you time? For me, one was increasing buffer for more processing power.
  • cool tips and tricks: anything you invented yourself (I’ll give credit) using the pedals which makes a cool sound OR a sound that you would hear elsewhere
  • ways to unlock creativity on the mod
  • ways to unlock the mod’s potential (we all know how amazing the pedal routing is in terms of flexibility, for example)

Anything that can help new users to get acquainted, and older users to improve? Sometimes it’s hard for me to explain to my big band why the MOD is better than a standard multi-effects, or better than BIAS FX which I was using previously…

Hit me!


#2

Anyone?


#3

I can’t say I’ve had a lot of these sort of things. TBH I think the mod has done a fairly good job of having easily discoverable features. One thing I’ve seen users not realize at first is that you can connect multiple cables in one jack, which isn’t typical of a physical pedalboard. This makes it easy to work around things like a plugin that doesn’t have a wet/dry function or connecting a mono plugin to a stereo one.


#4

Wait, you can increase buffer size so you get more CPU?!! Please teach me how to do this! (I’m not joking at all)

What I wished I had known most is that I was going to use the Mod Duo mostly as a single pedalboard at a time. I mainly use it as an ambient pedalboard (think BigSky, etc), but in the beginning I tried swapping between pedalboards. Had I known about the delay from switching pedalboards, I probably would’ve been turned off. Fortunately, I didn’t know about the delay, so I was forced to find creative solutions (like presets).

But overall, I couldn’t be happier with the Mod Duo - it’s such a versatile and powerful tool. Look at my latest pedalboard and you can get an idea of how powerful it is:

Just a note that it’s not a perfect pedalboard. While it has the typical ambient shimmer/swell characteristic, it also has a freeze pedal and a looper in it to complete the package. One thing I did after I shared the pedalboard was that I increased the gain on the compressor to make the sound bigger and also mapped the knob.

Another thing I didn’t realize was that I didn’t know that I’d want to use more buttons, so I eventually got the extension pedal to add more buttons.


#5

Okay, so the buffer works by going to the settings on your mod (using the graphical interface) and activating the advance mode, then shifting that property.

Doubling buffer doubles latency. For me it’s not noticeable but it depends what you’re using your mod for…

As for your other issue, it’s loading a whole new set of plugins and connections, so it’s instantaneous ever (unless you somehow loaded all your pedal boards into ram, but that would be unwanted strain on processing power). I view it as I would an analog pedal board. Switching a complete pedal board midsong makes no sense. You’re better off with a hugely complex pedal board with multiple signal paths and assigning presets.

In fact, one of my beginner tips is “start by assigning presets to your first dial, until you’re super sure of what your pedal board is and how you want to control it.” I’ve run out the door on more than one occasion to get to rehearsal and find that my favourite pedal board is running through some crazy slow attack effect I’m working on and I haven’t assigned a way to turn it on and off yet.

From then on, at the very least, I have my presets on the first dial with a simple, clean preset as the first default option. (my last preset is one which sends out ONLY a 500hz 0db test signal, to both outputs, which i use to set my amp gain at rehearsals, and mixer gain on shows)


#6

Great tip, I’ve started doing similar and making sure I have a clean preset so I can get back to a known good state. I like your idea for the sound test preset.

As for your other issue, it’s loading a whole new set of plugins and connections, so it’s instantaneous ever (unless you somehow loaded all your pedal boards into ram, but that would be unwanted strain on processing power). I view it as I would an analog pedal board. Switching a complete pedal board midsong makes no sense. You’re better off with a hugely complex pedal board with multiple signal paths and assigning presets.

I think some of this is more a debate in semantics. I’ve seen physical boards that have several different signal pathways controlled by switches. Yes, you can build arbitrarily complex boards in the Duo but the practicality of that in live use drops off quickly because there aren’t enough hardware controls available. Presets can help some but requires a lot of creativity and patience (editing is frustrating and overall usability is pretty limited).

People tend to be influenced by what they know. Before purchasing a Duo I was using Apple Mainstage a bit where a central idea is that you organize your entire show, set lists, and songs as a series of patches that you can then cycle through. From a usability standpoint (and given the very limited amount of hardware controls) it makes a lot of sense to me to optimize for cases where users can construct pedalboards that have one specific purpose and then switch between them easily. I’m hopeful that the updated Presets functionality (soon to be Snapshots) will bring the improvements that make these ideas more manageable.


#7

I came to the Duo without much prior experience with electric guitar or effects and it has pushed me to learn a lot of DSP basics:

  1. Effects ordering in signal chains, what filtering and dynamics and modulation all do. Using band filters, parametric EQs, compressors, etc. to shape the tone. I’ve learned a lot from trying the community pedalboards.
  2. Gain staging, keeping levels consistent, maximizing headroom, per-plugin behaviors, sources of noise and noise reduction. There have been a couple forum threads where people described their approaches in detail and that has helped me understand and troubleshoot. There’s some good high-level articles on mixing and using EQ/filters around the internets. In this matter, the recent release of the Level Meter plugin (might be still be in Beta) helps me a lot. I often add Level Meter in between most or all of the connections on the board so I can roughly track what the levels are at at each step. Some plugins might output differently depending on the input level, or you might not realize that your pre-amp sim at the beginning is throwing a signal too hot for the rest of your chain and try to solve it bluntly by trimming final gain.
  3. Tangentially, in related efforts to both a) have clean sound (reduce buzz/interference) and b) be more portable, I’ve learned a bit about power adapters and regulators, different types of external batteries, airline security allowances, power draw, etc. A lot of guitar-related equipment seems to favor 9v center negative, but the Duo with its requirement of 12v center positive adds some more research :slight_smile: (and I don’t want to power up with a flaky battery

#8

Some users don’t know that the knobs can be assigned to multiple plugin parameters, which can be cycled through via knob presses.