A new MOD competitor

For me it looks like the MOD is superior as well. But there are definitely some charming points:

  • Twice as much audio ports
  • Stand-alone solution without the need of a PC
  • A nicer and cleaner interface (for my taste)
  • A rather consistent selection of effects (Sometimes it feels like that there are some effects with little value available on the MOD platform)
  • Some good effects like clouds
  • Working system for loading IR files

Some time ago, I’d have preferred the Poly over the MOD just because I wouldn’t need a PC for the sound design.

In my case I’d actually prefer 2 :slight_smile:

I understood this is going to be addressed with the MOD Dwarf as well, am I right? Though without a touchscreen display. I wouldn’t be against a more stylish design such as this one or the one from Zynthia, Fractal FM3, etc… Actually you can also connect the MOD to a tablet or phone via Bluetooth, but still of course you need an external device.

What is this?

I also think this is coming in an update soon with the file handling.

Yeah I think it’s hard to find the right amount because the use cases differ a lot… But in the guitar context, 4 is a pretty good choice since you can use the two as send/return. Many folks still have their one favorite effect which they might want to keep. My use case would be at least 8 inputs and outputs but fortunately this is already possible via USB audio :smiley:

Mutable Instruments Clouds, an open source Eurorack effect: https://youtu.be/g_Gue_MZ-Dk?t=82

Good question but I don’t know. Would be nice. But it’s not there yet. See below.

Yup. But in these times it is hard to rely on things which a vendor promises. Many people had bad experiences in the past (so do I) so they are explicitly looking for things which are already there and working. MOD devices earned my trust with the way how they are doing things but many other people will see it different. And maybe they’re right, even when it’s not the fault of MOD. There’s always the chance that Eventide announces the H9 MAX which does something similar but with Eventide algorithms. This would have quite some impact on the MOD sales I guess.

But I’m still confident that MOD will rock them all :smiley:

That is correct, you will be able to build pedalboards from just the device itself without needing a PC (or tablet or anything).
The screen shows the current status while you control stuff / navigate with the knobs and buttons.

1 Like

they have started porting some VCVRack Instruments to LV2, lovely

Don’t you think integrating an LV2 build target into the Rack SDK would make "our market"™ more accessible to the huge and active existing Rack community? LV2 supports CV and the Rack plugin UIs are mainly generated from SVG so mod-gui integration should be more straightforward :wink:

Yeah I think lowering the barrier to port existing code to LV2 would be very beneficial for the MOD ecosystem.
Related: VCV Rack + MOD =?
Kinda related: Spin Semi FV-1 emulator to attract plugin developers from the hardware world

I think I was one of the first four people in the world to get a Poly Digit since Loki the designer stayed at my house during last summer NAMM. We programmed a ton of presets for it. It’s super cool but “feels” differently than the Mod Duo if that makes sense? The convolution reverbs are insanely good and it has a ton of other amazing functions like super long delays, modulation (in Beebo), granular (Clouds…yeah Clouds is in there), poweramp sims, cabs, IR loading, etc., etc. but they don’t work as the same device to me in practice. I can easily have an entire pedal board controlled by the two footswitches and my Morninstar MC6II with Mod Duo and while I can do that with Digit it’s not as simple to control individual bypass–yet. And it’s all in your hands to design precisely what you want with features and connections which can take some time. And you may run out of CPU if you match the same rig on Digit. Depending of course on what you’re running. But still Digit sounds amazing and is a very useful tool. Hope that helps give some context.


I find it amazing that you can directly compare the Mod to the Digit as an early first hand user with in-depth knowledge… this community is so tight-knit!


I have had my Digit for about a week now. I can say that as a guitar effects box, it’s pretty amazing. I have not plugged it in to any keys yet. One of the things that I can mention at this point is that the Digit, structurally, is very light and “hollow” feeling (I hate to say the term “cheap”, but that’s what it feels like). Pedals live on the floor and need to have some substantial heft in their construction, as they get kicked, stomped and beaten in general. This unit will stay on my desktop, which makes it’s usefulness limited for me.



It’s working on MODEP after a minor patch in the includes :open_mouth:

The lower ports are for CV but there’s no CV support on MODEP right now.


According to the latest kernel update, the device is based on an Allwinner ARM Cortex A53, the SOPINE A64 compute module by Pine64 to be exact. The current MOD devices are way more powerful.

Some of the Poly plugins causing high CPU usage with MODEP on the RPI4, I’m curious if this will be the same on my Duo X.

I’m also lurking when they will release the source of the rest of their plugins. It seems like that they’re all base on FOSS projects.

1 Like

I have two units from PolyEffects. I run Digit on one of them, Beebo on the other.
I believe Beebo is officially released tomorrow but I’ve been running with it since… February I think.
I have yet to run into any memory/processing power issues with either firmware.
Loki has ported some Mutable Instruments Eurorack module software to Beebo. Those ports include Warps, Plaits and Grids. There maybe more.
It’s early days for both firmwares and Loki appears to be a one man operation. He is very open to suggestions and constructive criticism and updated for both firmwares happen on a very regular basis.
I’ve had a Mod Duo with footswitch for years now and I’m looking forward to the arrival of the Mod Dwarf.
I also have the Empress Effects Zoia (for the second time). The Zoia is in no way as approachable as the Poly Effects Digit/Beebo unit or the Mod Duo. I may sell the Zoia shortly (for the second time) as I do not have the time nor the inclination, to go deep with the thing.

At this point I’ll admit to being stupid.
I’ll probably purchase the Zoia Eurorack version when it is finally released…

Cheers All.


Dear all,

I’m not an expert in this field but i would like to know if there is a way to build myself the Poly Digit pedal (a kind of DIY project). The firmware is available (.deb), I don’t know which single board computer is used (It is mentioned Orange Pi in the gitHub/Linux folder…). I am a student and I have no money to buy this pedal, but motivated to build it myself (if it’s possible…).

Did someone open the box to see what’s inside ? Which ref is the ADC ? Is there some DSP/FPGA inside for signal processing?

In other word, can I build this pedal myself by using a raspi (or other), an appropriate shield for In/Out and some piece of hardware (footswitch/rotary encoders/screen,…) ? Which information is missing to do this ?

Thank you in advance for your answers.

This Debian packages are only certain parts of it. There’s definitely some data missing when I was exploring the firmware.

I have to quote myself…

This hardware is freely available here: https://store.pine64.org/product-category/sopine/

There must be some kind of DAC/ADC chip built it.I highly doubt that there’s any other chip involved since this project seems to be a one-man-show and the price is pretty low. I’m sure that you will find some clues about the audio I/O if you examine the firmware.

The easiest way for experimenting would be buying the compute module + base board or the ROCKPro64: https://store.pine64.org/product/rockpro64-2gb-single-board-computer/
Plus some kind of touch screen and a class compliant USB audio interface. I wouldn’t go further than that until most things are working with this setup. Happy hacking :wink:


Thank you a lot for all your answers ! :slight_smile:

Hi there !

Hum, this big colorfull touch screen ! Has something like this never been an option on the upcoming Dwarf unit ?


1 Like

Even if the display is nice and big, I don’t think that creating boards on that size is fun. Even with the Line6 Helix I preferred to use the computer to get the settings. You also have to remember that such a big display also has its disadvantages.

  1. the power consumption is skyrocketing. Stupid, if you want to use the Dwarf on a multi power supply on the pedalboard.
  2. the bigger the display the faster it is broken. Once you step on it during a gig and you have broken glass.
  3. a reasonable GUI draws processor power. I prefer that for more effects.

Btw. when they introduced the Poly, I had seen a video where patch-switching took forever. Is that still the case?

Maybe it’s also the question how to use it. On the desk it will look good, but you can also use a computer to adjust it, which is probably already on the desk. On the pedalboard on the floor the touchscreen won’t do you much good unless you want to kneel down all the time (as long as you don’t have very long arms and very good eyes).

Hi there.
Your points are all good and completlty justify the choice of the actual screen !

I still fancy a pretty interface though, even if its not sensible :smiley:
My reference is the headrush gigboard that seems (I never tested it) very user friendly thanks to its large touchscreen.
The usecase question also depends on the unit interface. If it’s not too practical, you will use tablets or PC. If it’s practical (like in large screen and smart knobs) you will be more inclined to edit on the fly directly from the unit.
When it’s time to choose the unit, it’s all a matter of taste. In my case, as I spend my days on computer screens, I am happy not to need a PC to edit the multi-effects (mooer ge300 in my case).

But your points (especially 1 and 3) make real sense.

I agree with your points - it’s all about tradeoffs right? At least, if you’re like me, there’s probably no perfect device. Recently my Duo unit of a few years has become too unstable for use and with the Dwarf delivery out on some horizon, I was faced with some choices about how to continue my creative work and what might best serve my needs. A few things that stood out for me:

  • For a while I’ve longed for more of an all-in-one device - with any non-trivial pedalboard you run out of actuators quickly.

  • I have been able to use external USB controllers successfully, but the all-around experience for managing device mappings could use a lot of improvement IMO. A few examples:

    • There’s no way to know what’s mapped to what when you load an arbitrary pedalboard.
    • I’ve always wanted to depend heavily on the idea of managing state through patches/presets/snapshots but these features are still clunky and unstable. I’ve spent a lot of time re-checking Duo and controller settings to make sure the channels are correct etc., restarting devices, to get the snapshot and pedalboard MIDI navigation to work.
    • Displaying current pedalboard and snapshot name still not working consistently, etc.
    • MIDI use is a black box - no logs or monitors available yet.
    • Due to underlying tech / spec details passing state back-and-forth between plugins is difficult to implement, meaning things like coordinating hardware LEDs with toggles is usually non-existent. Other systems offer much more in terms of custom coding LEDs / visual indicators to reflect changes in state. If you rely on MIDI controllers, you lose a lot of potential visual cue feedback since the LEDs are effectively meaningless (and often technically wrong) when switching between pedal states or snapshots.
  • Computer/browser-based editing hasn’t been an important feature for me. It’s nitpicking but I’ve never loved the web interface from a productivity perspective. For 95% of my needs a grid and panel approach would likely be a smoother and faster experience. With young boys running around, I’m always cautious that the music space is one accidental bump or cord trip away from a laptop disaster. (As you point out, the large screen will also be a liability in this manner). Beyond my own judgements of the browser-based editing though is the question of how editable things are without the computer. As of today, on a Duo, you basically need to map every possible parameter you might need to an actuator in case an on-site adjustment is needed. I’ve had a few times of taking the Duo out for jams or gigging and having gain or EQ problems that I couldn’t do anything about.

    • I know at least one series of devices has a “hands-free” editing mode which lets you change parameters and values using the footswitches and exp. pedal
    • The main system of organization Banks has a slow and less-than-elegant interface for organizing and managing pedalboards. You cannot go directly to a pedalboard that you see in the Banks view to that pedalboard (For example, by being able to click on a pedalboard or “open this” button)
  • I’ve always hoped for more progress related to file-system integration and related features. When I first got my Duo I hoped there would be a way to load up samples or backing tracks and trigger them with the device. Similarly, be able to capture looper recordings, record live audio and access these files at a minimum. Other market devices offer these capabilities as well as features like audio interfacing / DAW integration / re-amping tracks. I know that these things are coming to the MOD devices in various forms but it has been a long wait

  • The all-in-one nature of the MOD system can be both a blessing and a drawback. How cool is it that I can setup a guitar, vocal effects, and MIDI synth all on the same device? However there are some scenarios for axe-players where some important details can make a big difference that haven’t been addressed like:

    • On-the-fly ability to change the pedalboard’s amp/cab setup - critical if you move between spaces or venues and might be playing into any of PA or amp / cab available.
    • Reverb tails - switching between snapshots that are using different reverb or modulation states leads to nasty artifacts unless those are specifically handled
  • The diversity and quantity of plugins available is neat and offers lots of opportunity for the curious and patient. Still, I find myself a little frustrated sifting through dozens of plugins with no descriptions or information about what the params do. For me the “wild west” nature of the store is a little distracting and I’d enjoy more of a catered experience. I don’t mind shopping at the second-hand store if I’m not looking for anything in particular, but if have a goal in mind I’d rather go to the department store where I know they’ll have something good enough for my needs


Hi Unbracketed

Please excuse my lack of knowledge of the platform, but is there no way to reinstall the OS on the Duo (or other Mod unit) to start again from scratch, and have a stable system again (like in computer OS reinstall) ? I thought the Mods devices were some kind of HW for an effect/music oriented OS that you could upgrade or reinstall at will.

Regarding this part of your post, I too agree that (among other thing) being able to twick a device live is kind of critical. That implies easy reading of the current state of the pedalboard, easy access to controls, patches etc. As I own none of the Mods device so far, I can’t really speak first hand but you description show some important flows.

This leads me to another question (sorry again, I really don’t know how the Mods ecosystem works): what is the development roadmap , what are the priority, how are features defined and chosen from the plethora of possibilities etc ?

Thanks in advance if someone have 5 mins to answer :wink:

1 Like