Input, output, clipping, oh my

Hi folks,
So is there an optimum level setting?

No matter how I have my output level set, even if completely down at zero the red clipping lights come on.
It doesnt matter how i have the input level set 0 - 100 or anywhere in between The output still clips.

If I have both input and out put down at a very conservative level 20 each the headphones still seem to clip a little bit.

And the headphone volume seems to be really quite quiet even if maxed out at 100.

Thanks folks.

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If your input is clipping there is not much on the MOD unit side that can be done.
The signal already arrives in a bad way.

Note that the Duo X “master volume” (on the top of the right display) is not a digital one, it happens after all the audio plugin processing. So changing that will not affect clipping.

Does this happen with all pedalboards? or just one in particular?

Hi man,

it’s not on the input side. I can get that to be all green or to go into yellow or i can really push it into the red on the input side, but no matter what I do on the input side the output lights are always at the very least yellow going into red very quickly.And the headphones seem to clip a wee bit.

It’s on multiple pedal boards.


I guess then the interesting question is what is happening between input and output?

What kind of plugins do you have loaded?

Does the clipping also happen if you just connect the input to the output directly?


Doesn’t really matter what pedalboard or fx i’m running.

I should clarify as well that it’s not really all that audible, just a little bit of clipping on headphones but the out put lights are basically always red. that’s not normal right?

aside from all the other trouble shooting, I always put the Calf Limiter last in the chain on any board - it’s very transparent (just leave the default settings) and means I never clip the output… :slight_smile: The Multi-band limiter is astounding, but more prone to causing X-runs. If you’ve got a fairly lightweight board in terms of processing power, you might want to try the multiband too…

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To give some technical info here, @gianfranco posted a very nice overview of the audio path of the Mod Duo a while back, it can be found in this thread. This still holds mostly true for the MOD DuoX as well. (I do think we need to make this kinda info more easily findable for new users :slight_smile: )

As can be seen there, the output peak meters are monitoring the digital output going to the DAC, when this value becomes to big for the DAC (digital clipping) they will become blinking red. I would suggest lowering the output level of the pedalboard with for instance a gain plugin at the end or a limiter as @solobasssteve just suggested.

I hope this solves your issue!


I’ve collected a few threads related to this topic over time - perhaps some information in those will help: Volume levels input / output

I recommend using the Level Meter across your pedalboards to see what the levels are doing. In my experience plugins vary widely in terms of affecting gain as audio passes through. Some add or remove slightly as part of their processing, and some of course have explicit gain controls which might be way too high in their default setting for your incoming signal. As others have noted, many users place a gain or limiter plugin last in the signal chain to help ensure a consistent (maximum) level.

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Thanks everyone, so basically the best thing to do is just to put some kind of master vol/gain pedal at the end of the pedal board?

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Yeah, I put a gain pedal at the end of my virtual boards. It wasn’t getting in the red but it was close and more than if I bypassed the Mod Duo altogether. Simple enough to do. I have a gain pedal in the middle of my routing after fuzz, drive and EQ and one at the end in fact.

Interesting thing was I did a session where I had a pedal in the loop that went haywire and everything was clipping red but when I listened to the track it wasn’t too bad thank goodness.

I would say it is the easiest thing to do that should allow you keep your outputs out of the red. However it is probably still worth taking time to understand the levels across the board. Some plugins might react differently to different input levels, or the gain might be increasing across the board and then you’re just reducing a muddier tone at the end. I try to keep my levels around -12db to -18db all the way across which gives a little headroom and seems to help preserve the qualities I’m after. This sometimes means having additional gain controls along the signal path to even out what a plugin is doing. In my experience, with my electric guitar, I usually have to keep the gain levels in boost/distortion/fuzz/amp sim plugins pretty low or else I get a bunch of aliasing. YMMV