Introducing the MOD Desktop - Beta release

Hi everyone

I bring something very exciting: the MOD App for desktop computers. Now you can download a package that installs our system and you can conveniently play with virtual boards using the browser, just like with the device, but all running locally on your desktop.

This is a beta release.
macOS and Windows installers can be direclty downloaded from here.

Back in October 2022 reboot we set a goal to find solutions for the “open sourceness” of MOD, so that the open source project has the means to sustain itself independently. That is not something we can do by simply flicking a switch and we need to find these boundaries inbetween the ecosystem. Having the desktop version of the software helps us a lot defining those boundaries.

Bringing the experience to the desktop was something already possible in Linux, but still with some setup needed. The new package aims at providing a simpler use and availability for Windows and Mac, making easy for every musician who wants to try out the platform without needing to purchase a device.

With the increased acceptance of digital processing in the guitarist community and the capacity of open source to deliver great performace at the key new technologies - most notably neural modelling and convolution - we see a great opportunity for the MOD comunity to embrace these new audiences and grow considerably.

Growth means not only more users, but also more developers. We’ve always suffered by seeing the wish of many members of the community to fiddle with the code and being put-off by the difficulties of working with an embedded device. The desktop version brings the platform to an accessible environment for all developers out there. Part of the system runs in Python, so one can literally change some text files and refresh a page to see the changes…

At the current state, the installer includes a subset of plugins from the official store. You can add new plugins manualy with some fiddling, but there is no Plugin Store (yet).

We trimmed out most features that needed any sort of extra effort and, before commiting to advances (apart from the Mac OS release), I would love to hear you out and also talk a bit about involvement.

Together with the release, we want also to make the efforts to accomodate those who wish to contribute to the OS initiative. I’d be happy to hear how we can organize in the best possible sense. @falkTX has already mentioned a lot of ideas and I’d like to use the opportunity to handover some hats :slight_smile:

I invite everyone who uses Windows to try out.

And I am eager for your thoughts about it.

Best regards

Gianfranco Ceccolini, aka The MOD Father


wow. that is a seriously large number of people. :wink:

great initiative, @gianfranco !


This is a regular Windows 64bit build, before anyone asks.
We are packaging the whole audio system so things can work as close to a MOD unit as possible, this means JACK2, mod-host, mod-ui and mod-midi-merger.
The startup of the JACK2 audio service is done from the tool, which expects it to not be started yet.

JACK has never received a lot of attention on Windows or macOS, so that is why initially we decided to just package it together. Still to be discussed how to best handle this, perhaps we use a custom server name so it does not conflict with any already running JACK server on the system (is that a common thing? not sure if really needed, suggestions welcome, maybe just using the regular/system JACK would be best…?)

The GUI acts more of a little starting panel tool, with as few options as possible as to not get in the way. You can close this GUI and it will go into the systray, happily sitting on the background until you need to change the sound device or close it altogether.

For reference, it will look something like this: (except colors, this screenshot is a quick one on Linux)

The actual MOD web GUI still goes through the browser, as done with the MOD units, so it will feel exactly the same kinda workflow as you are possibly used to already. Just without addressing options for Control Chain and “Device” (as there is no Dwarf or Duo/X involved of course).
You can still address plugin parameters to MIDI CC, though MIDI is not yet working correctly.
Oh and the file manager view is gone, there is no need for it as it runs locally on the computer. The panel GUI (and its systray) has an option to open the “user files” directory, where you can place your audio files, AIDA-X and NAM models, and other things as typical of the MOD platform.

Worth noting this is a pre-release, it is expected for a few things to still be broken or incomplete. I mention it on the GitHub page but to reiterate:

  • MIDI support is incomplete, likely to not work yet
  • Pedalboard save fails to create screenshot/thumbnail
  • Handling of Windows filepaths is not always correct (differences between POSIX vs Windows path separators)
  • jackd.exe (through mod-host) asks for public network permissions which are not needed
  • JACK is used “as-is”, which assumes it is not running yet. TBD if we use a custom server name or something else
  • When mod-host crashes it will stop the mod-ui process, instead of being automatically restarted like in MOD units

Let us know how your experience goes.


Wow, this comes as a (positive) surprise!
Looking forward to the Mac version.

Is there by chance some more information (or even a public repo) on how that packages fits together, I.e. how all the bits and pieces are built and running together?


Any possibility of this as a VST?


This is so nice! Thank you.

Let´s hope this changes and we can have the platform blooming. I always felt MOD platform has so much potential but needs more development time to do all the things…

Can we have this app in linux too? I don´t know if it´s already possible (I am not a power user, just chromebook user)


Is there a sign-up for alpha/beta testing the macOS version?


that is the first link on the first post, this is an opensource project so everything is available to see on how it is packaged.

but to put simply GitHub - DISTRHO/PawPaw: Cross-Platform build scripts for audio plugins is used for static builds of many libraries that plugins need, then that same build environment is setup to build jack2, mod-host, mod-ui, and other small bits.
python’s cxfreeze is used to turn the python related bits into something that can run standalone.
and finally all is packaged in a windows installer.

not for the moment. initially we go with standalone as that is easiest and fastest path to get things working, plus it matches the actual system that MOD uses on the units (since the standalone still relies on JACK for audio service capabilities).

after the standalone is working well, we can think of how to deal with a plugin version. though if you are experience with C/C++ programming I can already guide you on how to help to make a plugin version happen sooner, the whole point of this desktop tool is to eventually get the community involved more closely.

one thing we verified already though, is that it is possible to send and receive audio from MOD App into regular DAWs, assuming they support ASIO devices. but more on that later.

not for the moment, we will announce it when it is ready to be used, so just keep an eye on this forum thread.


+1 for a linux app. it should be easier to implement.


that can already be handled with mod-panel and building plugins with mod-plugin-builder

perhaps we can reuse the same system and get regular linux builds too. but macOS will be handled first in any case.



The easiest way for me to dry run models and setups at my home pc while leaving my MOD Dwarf upstairs in the “music room”!

This tool is a welcome addition to my workflow!
Grab a suitable DI and simulate myself playing guitar :smiley:

Since this isn’t a plugin or some sorts, please either attach this to the right forum post or start a “bugreport” one splitting it here?

Testing out pedalboards and setups, I’ll need to work with dry guitar recordings and thus the audio player

I can get it work with an audio player eventually but sometimes I have to ‘kickstart the sound with a direct connection’.

Let me show you what I mean;
Observe this setup.

no sound?

This made no sound.

But, as soon as I add a direct connection from the audio player straight to an output, I hear what I am supposed to hear: both a clean signal and amplified signal.

working as it should

Then I can remove the “direct” line and I hear what I am supposed to hear and was aiming for; just the amplified signal as it should behave in this setup.

Ah yes, now it works as i meant it to be working!


if you have a github account, such issues are better reported and discussed on the mod-app issues page, that being Issues · moddevices/mod-app · GitHub

that way we can have 1 thread/ticket per issue, which gets closed when the issue is fixed, decluttering the still open/visible bugs.

This is my fault, I believe. When trying to optimize some of the audio paths it seems a few things got wrong… weirdly it does not happen on Linux builds, only on Windows.
I will create a ticket to not forget to fix this on the next build.

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+1 for the Linux version


Just installed it and fired it up running wine on fedora 38. Didn’t try anything other than starting it and checking out the directory structure.

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I’m on Mac OS so can’t get my hands on this yet.

Will it allow you to configure a pedalboard in the browser and then connect it to the Dwarf and send it straight over? As someone else mentioned, this idea of ‘sofa sandbox and config’ is a really appealing one.

Will it effectively function fully in the browser as an effects chain? If so, have you considered (maybe once it’s matured) monetising it to non-Dwarf owners to help your business?

We’re working on this right now.

Not immediatelly, but this is indeed one of the desired uses.

Yes and sure. We have a couple of existing fesatures - sharing of boards, AI pedalboard assistant, online assembler, neural trainer - which are all valuable and today are all bottlenecked by the device. Going desktop allows us to flip the business around.


Sounds like a great direction, thanks for the quick update :+1:

Look forward to the Mac version.

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Very cool, also in the Mac camp so will have to wait or perhaps dust off my gaming pc to give it a try.

very cool.

When is the swap feature coming to the DWARF? @falkTX


plan was for getting it in v1.14, so yes?