Desperately seeking distortion

Hello Everyone!

I’ve been using my Mod Duo for a few weeks now that João helped me through a dead footswitch issue. I’m loving some of these plug ins. I am, however, finding it incredibly difficult to find a solid distortion. I’ve been trying all manner of the classic emulators and even some of the head simulators but can’t find one that either offers a creamy distortion. Right now I’ve gone back to using the DS1 emulator but it’s compression is tough on the ears.

Right now, I"m running a Jazzmaster with Novak PUPs into a Deluxe Reverb, which with my analog pedals, sounds pretty good (I use a DOD 202 and a TS and recently added the Friedman OD, which kind of blows my mind). Anyone find a good combo of pedals in the mod that doesn’t sound harsh in the mid-highs or compressed?

BTW, much respect to the develops of these Plug Ins.

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Hi @dbiddle, happy that your footswitch is up and running :slight_smile:
Regarding your question, you have a setup quite bright as far as I know (Jazzmaster tends to have a lot mid/highs).
I would try to use a tiny gain before the distortion and experiment with the input level before the distortion to understand which works better. The plugins have different developers so they drive them differently. Your issue sounds like the distortions are being drive too much and sounds too compressed.
Another option could be also trying some EQ plugin (or just a lowpass filter). I would experiment first after the distortion, but if that doesn’t make you happy try also before.

Let me know the results of your attempts

João :grin:


My absolute favourite distortion at the moment is the Supersonic preamp with the gain up full. It’s super-low gain already so that’s still very dynamic. I always run it with the vintage cab sim, most recently on the Peavey 4x10 I think…


My long-time favourite is the GxBoobTube. I often use it just as is or in line with the Veja Onyx. Plenty of different tones to be had.


I’m also finding it hard to get a really good “heavy” sound. I have some pretty sweet tones that I am happy with, but whenever I’m looking for heavier distortion I struggle…


Of course, tastes differ, but what I do for distortion that goes to eleven, is put pedals in series. That’s expensive and a bit work to pull off on a physical pedalboard but on a MOD device it is really easy. Have you tried this already?


I’ve been putting plug-ins in parallel, and then mixing them back in to taste.


I got my dwarf recently so I haven’t experimented much, but I wasn’t fully happy with what I managed to achieve using 1/2 distortion pedals + onyx + modern cab. It’s either too fizzy or not distorted enough.

If anyone figured something they’re happy with sharing would be appreciated :slight_smile:

Also the abgate noisegate has an annoying delay before it kicks which doesn’t help. Is that configurable somehow?

you mean the attack? there are extra controls on the settings, reducing the attack time should reduce how long it takes to make effect.
but perhaps you mean something else entirely…

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Thanks for the tip, I didn’t know about those settings there. I think decay is the parameter that was annoying me.

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This is the biggest and most frustrating gap in what’s available currently in my opinion as well, now that I’ve had a few months to go down the rabbit hole with this thing.

I mean, how many fuzz pedals do we really need? Jeez there are just a billion of them in the store, plus a bunch of basic seen-it before overdrives. So many. And as-mentioned they are just about all pretty shockingly low gain when compared to their real world counterparts. The Guv’nor clone barely breaks up at all as an example.

Where are Metal Zones, the Super Distortions, the Angry Charlies, the RATs, the Wampler Wrecks, the Randall Rreds, etc etc etc?

Where are the amp emulations for modded Marshalls, JCM2000s, newer Boogies that aren’t a joke, the Soldanos, the Dumbles, the Friedmans?

Just seems like hard rock and metal guys are a bit ignored. And the few cool options that ARE in there like the OD-1 and the Titan? DEAR GOD they are NOISY! Easily three times as noisy as their real world counterparts. Curious why that is?

Mad respect to the developers and no browbeating intended. Just wondering when all this will come to pass. Was hoping my Dwarf would be a great all in one solution for home recording as well as a world class backup rig for live playing if my real gear went down, but we’re not there yet.

I personally understand and we internally acknowledge some of those lacks. Time and “man power” don’t really play in our side to get it solved.
Anyway, as MOD is an open platform, if you (or anyone reading this post) find some good emulations of all of those effects, amps, etc. in LV2 please share it with us. It may make the work of getting such things available way easier.

A personal note here, I use the Titan in a few pedalboards for a project of mine and I don’t really find a lot of issues with its noise. Aren’t you perhaps having other noise issues?

@jon I’m not really a high gain enthusiast, but I dabble on occasion, and by far the best high gain amp sims available for free, that I’ve ever encountered were made by NaLex:

I can see that he does offer a Linux version of his signature plugin called Multiamp, but I don’t believe it’s in LV2 format. I’m not a programmer, and I assume there would be hurdles to jump through, and the willingness from the author to port his creations would be necessary, but if you’d manage to get his plugins in your store you’d make the high gain enthusiast among your users extremely happy. All of the other guitar players too for that matter.

I’ve been meaning to write a post about the amp and drive selection available inside the Dwarf, but I’m still trying to figure out how to make it useful to the MOD team, with your small team and limited resources in mind. In general, I do agree that the amp selection has… let’s just say that it displays all the good and bad aspects of the open-source platform. Streamlined, high-quality options (Onyx and to a lesser extent Supersonic) are mixed with quirky and less polished (though fortunately still able to produce quality tones - just in a far less intuitive manner, and requiring more work from the user) offerings.

I knew what I was getting into with the Dwarf, and for me, it offers so much more than HX Stomp or Quad Cortex, etc. ever could but at the same time, despite being a giant Dwarf fan, I’d actually discourage my friend’s who exclusively play guitar from getting it. I couldn’t with good conscious compare the Dwarf favourably against the guitar-centric competition. The dwarf can produce very good guitar tones but it can also produce a lot of bad ones which is something I’ll address in that aforementioned post once I get around to actually writing it.


First of all thanks a lot for this concern. It’s really kind of you to keep this in mind.

You have really fair points here and they are easily acknowledged. Especially on the more guitar-centric part of the platform.

On this part (first to last), I took a quick listen and it sounds quite interesting. Maybe @falkTX and @jesse can take a look here and put a bit more thought into it. I will ping them (again) :slight_smile:


I took the liberty to email the creator of NaLex amps, and unfortunately, they have a different plan for their plugins (possible commercial release). Sorry for giving you a fruitless lead, and you’re welcome for the time I took to reach out to him :stuck_out_tongue:

Anyway, I’m gathering some other leads for good amp sims that could find their way to Dwarf. I’ll create a separate topic for that soon-ish.


I see…it would be a nice addition anyway. Who knows in the future when the MOD platform becomes a standard :slight_smile:

Suggestions are always welcome :slight_smile:

I also find that distortion is one of the few weaknesses in the mod system. There are quite a few of them, but actually all of them are not on par. Most of them buzz unpleasantly. Some are too bright or too dull, but especially the buzz is a real problem. From my point of view, too, the DS-1 is the only usable one, but then unfortunately only HighGain.

With the Dwarf, Mod has gone strongly in the direction of guitarists; in my view, it is now necessary to provide for the most important of all effects: distortion. A gap should be filled here.

But!!! The mod platform is so great with its possibilities that you just have to live with or compensate for a disadvantage sometimes. I got myself a midi-enabled distortion pedal and no longer use distortion in the Dwarf itself. I control the distortion pedal via the Dwarf (Midi). The mod platform is always worth taking a little extra pedal with you, I don’t see any problem there.

And who knows what will come? The beauty of open source is that many people are involved. That can always bring surprises. Maybe tomorrow someone will come up with a distortion plug-in that will blow us all away.
And @Jon, the Titan really makes a lot of noise.


You may try the new CollisionDrive:

Note that you need to enable testing plugins in the store in order to see it.
It is a clone of the Horizon Devices Precision Drive.

As well I’ve a HarmonicExciter pedal in the pipe which allow, when placed before, to drive Distortion/Fuzz pedals harder without increasing the gain/noise ratio. I hope that will coming soon into the testing area.


ok, sounds cool! I will test it this evening! The HarmonicExciter sounds good as well. Looking forward to that! Thanks for the post!
…and as already mentioned… the Mod platform is alway fine for surprises…


@brummer @dbiddle

This is a good one! I can seriously recommend the CollisionDrive! It has good sustain and warm sound. You can use it for light to heavy distortion (not really HighGain but enough for rockers). There is one thing that could be improved (I am now complaining on a high niveau, the distortion is really good already): If you let a sound decay, the distortion should have less influence on the sound. At the moment it remains too linear, the sound gets quieter, the distortion remains at a similar level, at least that’s my opinion. But as I said: I find this distortion plug-in is the best of all up to now.

What I particularly like is the idea of the knobs. They can be operated very intuitively, you can produce the sound very easily, although the assignment of the knobs is somewhat unusual for me (all the more amazing that I find it so easy to produce a good sound). It is very nice how the plug-in reacts to the knobs. That is very realistic

  • The Drive control not only increases the distortion, it also makes the sound louder (nothing new so far).
  • The Attack control: If you turn it down, you not only get a softer attack. The sustain becomes clearly longer the further you turn it down. You have the feeling that the power is not put into the attack which means less power in the sustain, but goes “wider” into the sustain. I find this more than optimal and it feels very realistic! You shouldn’t change this any more when it goes into the alpha. This is the best attack control I know.
  • With the Bright control you can create a buzzing sound, you can also remove the buzzing that I found so annoying in the other plug-ins! That’s really cool!

I’m glad I put my two cents in on this forum post, because I learned about a great plug-in today. @brummer I don’t know exactly how you did it, but that’s really good work! I have to sell a distortion pedal now and replace it by that plugin…

Also fine is the combination of that CollisionDrive with Sigmoid Booster or DS-1 (in series or parallel). Nice sounds!
I also have one wish: It would be amazing to have a HighGain unit, based on this CollisionDrive. :grinning: