I’ve been working with a Poly Hector and thinkin: where’s the Mod Euro?
Almost got a Raspberry Pi euro “adapter” just to maybe try to hack it up but not really sure it could handle it, or at least what I’d throw at it.
But yeah, it’s a great idea
I’ve been working with a Poly Hector and thinkin: where’s the Mod Euro?
Haha I totally suggested this a while back, I would love to have a eurorack mod device designed for modular inputs.
Multiple audio I/O with several CV/gate options, and a metal case like the euroburo from empress.
Fingers crossed that can be developed once the global supply is up and running and everyone has received their crowd funded devices
I’ve had many ideas for future devices and this is also one of them. I could be very cool indeed. There are many other ideas however and many other things that need to be finished before considering any new devices. The Expression pedal for example
But for sure it would be good to gauge interest in a device like that as well as many others. If you have more ideas then please let us know. There are some other ideas that could make more sense to go for first but there could be possible intermediate solutions like CV to CC adapters for example. Not sure if that would scratch the itch for a while
What is a Euro module?
It’s a module designed for eurorack/modular synthesizer systems.
Right now a couple of companies (Poly Effects, and Empress) have released multieffect modules for modular systems.
This is the modular version of the zoia. All 3.5mm I/O
And this is the Poly Hector, which is also designed for modular racks.
The euroburo from empress also sells a metal case so you can use it on a desktop with semi modular gear.
I’d love to have one, as I’ve slowly slipped away from east coast synths and generally only play with semi modular gear.
I spend a lot on buying cables to convert from 3.5mm to 6.3mm. I’d love to have a unit that I can use with my standard 3.5mm patch cables.
+1 for a Eurorack module
I’d love to make one
Mechanically they are a lot easier to design and produce than standalone devices but it is a bit of an endeavour in electrical hardware and software. It would also require a decent amount of work in terms of designing the user interface and deciding on what kinds of controls, io and display set-up would be best. I’ve heard a lot of people say they were disappointed by the lack of physical controls on the Hector and that the Euroburo, like the zoia, is quite complex with only a small display which makes the learning curve a bit steep. Both really cool devices though! Interested to hear your thoughts
It is a hardware format specifically made to fit a special rack called Eurorack, vertically spaced at 128.5mm (~5 inches). Modules can have any width, though usually a multiple of 5.08mm (0.2 inches). This unified format was set forth by Doepfer from Germany. Thanks @Elk_wrath for the examples.
Whereas a MOD euro would be awesome, I have a feeling – other than @James’ own words – that, after shipping all Dwarf units and the expression pedal, MOD would probably benefit from a good 2-year hiatus in product development. During this time, they could solidify the platform and OS, add more plugins, fix a few longstanding issues (like the crosstalk on the Duo X), sell more of the units they already have in stock and grow the user base as much as possible.
Why am I saying this?
The environment for developing a new product right now – specially if microprocessor-dependent – is just bleak, to put it gently.
I myself am a DYI analog electronics guy – no microchips on my bench! Still, one seller the other day asked me 48 Euros for a micro push-on push-off potentiometer at 250K – it used to be 17-18 in the worst of cases, and about 22 from those rip-off, opportunistic sellers.
If you’re using NXP items (and the MOD does), you’ll be lucky to sign up for a January 2023 shipment at at least twice the current prices. If you need them now, be ready to pay at least 4-5 times.
I bought a Raspberry Pi4 with 8GB at 95 Euro not a year ago. They have hit 170 Euros here in Italy. So, you get the idea.
(I heard from a engineer of a major carmaker a while back that they are not able to implement a new rain sensor in their vehicles and are using the 2002 circuit still, because the new one would increase the car price by 120 Euros. Yes, that’s not my bro’s joint, that’s a major carmaker.)
Therefore, much as I’d like to see a new creation from MOD, I guess for the next couple of years at least (if not more) we’ll need to enjoy our units and, if possible, contribute with new plugins and ideas for software development. Going for a new product and fundraising for it right now, from a business standpoint, is a no-no-no (this is the business consultant in me talking!). MOD is still struggling to get and ship enough Dwarf units, not to mention the expression pedal – if you read through their thread, you’ll see the complete supplier disaster that it’s been, and it’s MOD who gets the tomatoes from the enraged crowd. I guess they would love a break from that right now.
If I were in the position where I can solidify my customer base, I could use one of two options: improve my current lineup and make it more and more indispensable for my users, then add more functionalities and paid options (which is a fair source of revenue), get more and more units on the street and increase in popularity while maintaining a healthy revenue and working towards longer term sustainability. The other option is come up with some crazy-cool new gadget, crowdfund it with a lot of hype, price my items at a dangerously low price-point, then go through the sea of uncertainty of supplies, development roadblocks (they ALWAYS happen), shipment delays, and etc. The latter option comes at the expense of maintaining your current users, unless you have enough cash and manpower to work at your highest at both fronts.
Now, tell me: which company you know of has both right now? Even bigger ones? Except for the extremely lucky ones that thrived during the pandemic – Amazon, food deliveries, pharma and a few others – every other company is now short-staffed and low in cash.
You don’t simply reactivate an industry by turning on the lights and hiring people. You need materials, transportation, electricity, training, equipment maintenance, and the list goes. Entire industries were shut down during the pandemic, and firing them up takes a lot of time. Airlines for one: planes are stored on a desert in Australia. They need to be reactivated and tested for about 30 days before being considered airworthy. Then they are test flown a few times, before they can be sent back. Then you need pilots. Even those who were furloughed and were practical just a few months ago have to undergo a lot of recurring training, simulator time and other things, until they are ready to fly.
I can see from other posts that MOD is currently short-staffed and everyone is dancing to 5 different tunes at any given time. And they cannot simply dish $50 for a processor that used to cost $10 months ago at any time. Buying parts today require a lot of tactic, patience, and luck too. Eventually some NOS pops up and it is reasonably priced – say, only twice the value! – so you jump and make an acquisition. This is time consuming, risky, and in the end bites precious time you could be at the bench boxing Dwarf units.
I might be wrong, but my guess is that MOD could do without this nightmare for a period of time. If they produce/release, more top class plugins like the ShiroVerb, improve their loopers (or build new ones altogether), create new samplers and so on (even if all of these are paid items), it’s much more doable on their end than setting sail on the new crazy product that will make them not sleep for the next two years.
(This post is my opinion only, MOD folks are welcome to correct me here.)
Quit making sense, Marc.
How am I supposed to fill this dad shaped hole in my heart without a niche MOD device to buy?
For real though, the hardware is pretty powerful on the units we currently have, and updates to the platform should take priority.
I’ll still think about the design of a euro module. James was right about the lack of controls. I sold off my zoia because I did not like the work flow.
I do want my “MOD Encoder” request as a real device, but I think that would appeal to the larger music market rather than just us synth players.
Their control chain port is a major major major hit with their products. They are thus able to produce far more accurate controllers for the MOD than any midi ones.
Your 16-knob, 8 CV, 8 gate ins and outs device is coming Elk!
Why stop at just the CV/Gate with encoders/faders?
We can throw in a midi to CV converter, as well as a CV to midi converter, with 4 assignable CV/gate outs, and since I’m greedy, two 3.5mm audio I/O.
Use control chain or USB to essentially integrate it as a CV expander for MOD devices. That way all MOD users could have access to the CV capabilities of the platform, even if their hardware isn’t a duoX.
The added encoders would offer a lot extra tactile control and eliminate menu diving for pedal boards/CV plugins.
They could call it the “MOD Elation” like modulation.
I’d imagine in the MOD Gui they could put a screen to assign voltages and such for different gear styles. -5v to +5v, 0v-10v, flat 5v, or even 8v.
That would eliminate my need for a euro module, and offer a massive feature set for synthesizers of all styles.
You’re quite right Marc. Indeed we don’t intend to start any new hardware projects in the near future. We are finishing the Expression pedal while also improving the manufacturing of the Duo X and Dwarf so that we can get these 3 devices into more peoples hands, improve the platform and the plugins.
That is our main priority!
But I am always keen to hear people’s ideas for what kinds of devices they would like to see. I won’t make any promises that we will make any of them, even in a few years time. It is still useful information though. It informs us better where people would like to use their devices, what kinds of benefits they are looking for. It can inform us of certain areas of the platform and plugin offerings that are lacking, it can inform us on things that we could document better or explain with a nice video and it can prompt us to add support for some gear that might eliminate the need for a new device.
We keep documents with all the good ideas so that we understand better what you guys want.
So yeah basically, we won’t be making a Euro module any time soon but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to know what you think it could look like
Great song title hahaha
I must have missed this one. Can you link me?
These kinds of things are quite nice as intermediate steps to be honest. They could be double at some point in the next years and could be handled by a CM so as not to take so much of our attention. Obviously no promises but keep the ideas flowing
I personally think the MOD Elation would be a unique piece of kit, and would replace several pieces of gear in my personal set up.
But the MOD Encoder request is here https://forum.moddevices.com/t/midi-encoder-controller
I think this would appeal to a larger music crowd.
Honestly though, why not just be 8x8 assignable I/O?
The Tesseract Modular 16n mk2 is a wonderful piece of kit with huge amounts of I/O, as an example.
I think that eventually the MOD Platform will be at a well developed enough point that it will be much easier to “port” from one hardware to another. It does seem “simple” to my brain to just put the web GUI on a screen next to 12 3.5mm jacks with some MIDI and USB and make it a really good product, but I am blessed with an uncomplicated brain
I imagined that somebody, maybe myself, might attempt to hack the available linux into a rack. Seems like a fun project BUT I truly have no idea if a Pi4 (or any linux capable chip) would compete with the “RockChip” and MOD’s optimizations, including running a responsive GUI. My brain thinks you’d be better off with some co-processing like maybe, IDK, several RP2040 chips or IDK WTF because I’m going to do my best to push the platform annnnnnd there we go off the rails into severely complicating hardware development and forking multiple software branches.
So, I get it and understand why it doesn’t exist. MOD is better off (for now for sure) not thinking about it at all.
It would however kick off a nice round of synthesizer plugins though, which I would love to see more of. The Duo X is still trying to find it’s proper place in my live rig and that would help.
I’ll stick to the Daisy based Eurorack modules for now, which I am enjoying immensely, while I also enjoy the Duo X’s CV i/o. I was just “wondering out loud” or “stirring the pot” for the sake of seeing what’s out there. I should probably dig deeper into the forums
I’ll 100% tell you that the recommendations I’m putting out are selfish in nature lol
I will absolutely buy anything from MOD that expands CV capability for the Duox, and adds CV capability to the dwarf.
I’m too poor to afford modular, so I look for desktop units lol
Right now I use a CV.OCD from six4pix to get my gear to communicate. It’s an added power cable for an already tight squeeze in my power set up.
If an expander can be made, and the MOD software can handle the Midi to CV conversion, then that eliminates something off my desk.
A CV to midi converter would also be insanely useful, especially in a hybrid set up like mine.
CV inputs would be amazing, particularly to run mults like a CV bus.
I particularly want 2 mono 3.5mm audio inputs/outputs. With the amount of power that the DuoX has, it would be nice to have added audio inputs for more complex pedal chains.
That and I believe I read something from Falk yesterday that mentioned VCV rack potentially being ported and implemented down the road.
If that is true, I believe that having a CV expander in whatever form would be a huge boon.
The aspect of processing power would potentially be an issue, but I’ve also made a feature request (and it sounds possible, but difficult) to allow MOD pedals to link together with control chain and share processing resources.
That being said, I think it would be wise to have the encoder bank, and CV expander be individual, and standalone products that can be integrated into any set up through USB or midi, as well as the proprietary control chain.
Just a follow up,
In this video you will see the MOD environment running on a raspberry pi Eurorack thing
Too bad they only use audio. Would’ve been great if they’d added CV ports.
(using https://github.com/moddevices/mod-spi2jack I believe)
I suppose one could extend it to do so, but not me. Maybe connecting an Expert Sleepers es-8 to the usb might get you there, but you’d have to trick the MOD software into using it fully somehow.
My guess is that there’s no readily available Pi hat/interface for that. I only know one from Elk Audio and it’s been in backorder for almost 2 years now.
I should absolutely do that. I’ll take your advice for life. Thanks, @Elk_wrath!