- Adam @ MOD HQ
Greetings, music lovers! Things have been getting exciting at MOD headquarters in Berlin lately - we’ve been hard at work getting MOD Duos into the hands of musicians all around the world, and also hard at work implementing new features, fixes & effects for the musicians who are jamming on their MOD Duos already. In amongst all that we got to meet with some of you at our first MODx user community meetup, right here in Berlin! Hosted at Neukölln’s amazing music tech co-working, studio & event space Noize Fabrik and organised/promoted with our friends Musik Hackspace Berlin, we held a free workshop on creative effects processing with over 30 musicians from a range of different backgrounds - from the cellists & guitarists to the MPC beat producers & Max MSP nerds, it seemed like there was a little bit of everything, so some very interesting jam sessions ensued. Since we were experimenting with stuff like re-ordering effects & processors, trying the same effects at different points in a signal chain, and sidechaining or otherwise combining different sound sources or using one sound to modulate another, the Duo’s web browser GUI made it super easy to demonstrate the principals we were implementing and hear the changes immediately, and it was great to see all of the different effects setups being dreamed up & implemented by such a varied group of musicians. I have a background in organising & hosting music technology hackathons, and seeing the stuff that happens when a group of artists, musicians & technologists are gathered in a room together with the right technology in their hands never ceases to amaze me, and I had a realisation while surrounded by a group of people creating amazing sounds with the Duo: Much like with the Arduino and Raspberry Pi, the most powerful part of the MOD Duo is not the hardware or the software - it is the community of people who use and develop for it. Open source devices for producing or processing sounds are now in the hands of more musicians than ever before, and by sharing our creations, learning and collaborating with each other we become part of an ecosystem that fosters creativity and equips each of us with more tools to realise our musical ideas. Anyone who knows me outside of what I’ve been up to at MOD may know already that I am a huge nerd for Cycling74’s Max/MSP, and one thing we’ve been working on at MOD lately is the ability to compile Gen~ code from inside Max into LV2 plugins that can be used on the Duo! The exciting possibilities offered by this integration encouraged me to develop my own skills, and saw me delving further into DSP design than I’ve ever gone before, resulting in the creation of my first LV2 plugin. I can’t wait to see where this new rabbit-hole goes… We’ll be looking at how to make our own plugins from Max MSP Gen~ code in a workshop at our next MODx meetup, when MOD’s in-house Linux audio guru FalkTX will show us the ropes. For anyone with a bit of existing knowledge on Max MSP it’ll be a great way to see how you can expand your existing skillset with the ability to create VST and LV2 plugins without having to learn a whole new development platform, and if you’re a MOD Duo user it’ll equip you with the knowledge you need to take the creative freedom you’ve found in Max and put it under your feet with the Duo. I envisage some mind-bending Max-infused guitar effects featuring at my next gig… So stay tuned for more info about the next MODx meetup in Berlin, we would love to see you there! If you can’t make it, never fear - The MOD community is everywhere! Why not come and say hi on our forum or join the MOD Duo user group on Facebook? The conversations we have with our community at events as well as via the forum or social media shape the way we work at MOD. If you have dream features or ideas, requests for future development, or need some help with something you’ve developed yourself then we would love to hear from you or see you at one of our future events. Oh and finally, if you’ve not joined us yet, what are you waiting for? This is the stomp box revolution. Musicians of all kinds, empowering ourselves with open source technology to change the way we play and perform music. Buy a MOD Duo at moddevices.com and join the revolution today. That’s all from me. Happy holidays from the team at MOD, you’ll hear more from us after Christmas and in the meantime keep making music, keep loving live & keep enjoying your MOD Duo!