MOD Insolvency and Reboot

I think you mean “a full win” for those who got it :grinning:


It’s very sad that such good project could die. I wish you will solve problems and make same as cool projects in the future. Btw, for those who have units, are the cloud going to work? And just an idea from the post before (about live-usb image) - since all the software already written then why not use personal computers as the end device (just pack the software as some convenient executable), and sell the keys for the cloud with pedals. Then the guitar processor would be just a running service in the personal computer.


Similar to @ildus, for the last few years, I’ve dreamed of having MOD available within a VST/AU plugin. Similar to Amplitube, BiasFX, NeuralDSP, Helix Native, GuitarRig, etc. Having my MOD pedalboards available in my DAW, not as individual (DAW routed) LV2’s which I already can do, but the full MOD routed pedalboard in a single VST/AU. I realize that the MOD-UI would have to re-coded as a plugin UI, and I’m sure wrapping MOD-Host as a plugin is no small task. But think of the market opportunity there! And no supply chain issues! MOD is way more flexible, expandable and hackable than any of the commercial solutions. And for those of us who have MOD compatible hardware (Duo, Dwarf, pi-Stomp, Zynthian, etc.) to be able to use the same pedalboard for both live into an amp/PA, and for recording within our DAW of choice.


Something like this already exists, albeit without mod UI:

both can be used standalone or as a plugin within a daw.


Guys, thanks a lot for the ride so far! @gianfranco @falkTX @jon @James

I’m a kickstarter supporter of the MOD Duo, non-owner of the expression pedal and a tier-3-dwarf selector. I shared criticism of the communication and some decisions on quite a few occasions but the energy and community orientation of the team have been flawless. Some fights cannot be won but I am deeply grateful that you fought them anyway. You can therefore count me in on the investment.

Things will get better. Best wishes to all of you!


Sad news, I was not aware of the situation fully, being that I was so busy and I discovered just today this post from @redcloud. I hope you can find your way for the restart. I’m not a baker, I’m the developer of a Mod derivative product called Aida DSP OS. I can’t contribute with money at the moment, but

  • here you can find a yocto layer for a mod duo. It will builds you an os image where the duo software is running. This is currently the base layer that I use to build Aida DSP OS images. Still some help is needed to finish the recipes for the plugins, I think 20-30 recipes are missing more or less.

  • EDIT: one thing that cames “for free” with yocto is a full sdk that weights only 180MB and let me cross compile everything that needs to run on the device without the need to fire a build for cross-compiling only a plugin. This is really helpful for developers and wished Mod could have one similar one day. So that developers can test their plugins staying away from build complexity (and also a huge time saving).

I’ve always found difficult to match the product with competitors that focus a lot on amp sims. If we talk about synths, I think no original sample pack has been ever released specifically for the Duo or I am wrong?

I’m trying to contribute myself to both issues, also receiving feedback from my customers, or people I meet at local faires that share their views:

  1. I’m releasing an amp sim plugin for the Dwarf with the help of the community for testing. It is based on a novel technique (neural networks) and is promising. I would say incredible timing. I did it specifically for Mod and derivatives.

  2. the guide for training models for the above plugin

  3. I’ve did a lot of tests with samples by simply registering selected notes from my Kontakt library and rebuild the instrument in sfz or sf2. I’ve realized it’s an incredible hack, considering to play their library on a standalone device I have to spend 1k+eur for Maschine+. I find it hard to believe one could not start a collaboration with one of the dozens studios that produce and sell professional samples. Who knows maybe in future?

This is all I can do at the moment, hope it is useful somehow



Thanks again for your work on the neural plugin !


Just noticed that the HP (currently) works again.


I paid 300€ for the Dwarf in late 2020 on the Indiegogo campaign. At this time, the retail price indicated on the campaign was supposed to be 375€ if I remember correctly. So contrary to what you pretend, the bet wasn’t very rewarding. Now, you can buy the Dwarf at Thomann for 427€. Even in this case, what I paid is far from the half.

Once again, you’re embellishing the truth and it is what I reproach you for.

I really separate these communication problems from the financial situation MOD is facing. I’m sorry that your company suffered from the unpredictable problems of the world and that the MOD team had to work for no income for some time and is now unemployed.

But I would sympathize more if we didn’t have to deal with a bit of bullshit on the communication side. You know what the problem is now ? I don’t trust your optimistic words anymore. They have mostly been wrong. So it’s hard not to see the reboot story as a way to give us the time to swallow the pill before the final “it’s over”.

If the reboot is really a thing and if it works, I’d be really happy to apologize for my pessimism though.


Thanks for opening up this forum despite the likelihood of some very painful feedback.
I’m one of the lucky ones who got a tier 2 device last autumn and I have to say I am now using the Dwarf almost to the exclusion of my many other pedals (primarily for acoustic guitar, chapman stick and occasional bass guitar).
If I hadn’t received my Dwarf I’m sure I would be feeling very sore indeed, but for those who received units, many of us have made additional investments in terms of hundreds of hours setting-up, configuring, building controller pedals etc etc. I don’t regret this investment at all but I would dearly love to protect it by seeing the MOD ecosystem thrive.
I was one of a number (looking at earlier posts) who had started trying to build my own system using a Raspberry Pi with high quality audio board. As soon as I saw what Mod devices were doing I realized l’d do much better to get behind that project.
My view hasn’t changed - I still think it’s an amazing idea and the Dwarf is a really good product with the potential to be better still. It must be agonizing to be derailed when you already have the great product – you just can’t ship it.
Guitar players have many, many options to choose from for effects. Not so for stick players and for me the Dwarf is pretty much the perfect unit; not to mention the ethos and ecosystem that make it so special.
So I for one really really hope you’re able to rescue something from the ashes. I’m very hopeful that if you can find a way through your current financial issues with the right management in place, and if you’re realistic with your short term goals there’s a bright future ahead. I don’t have thousands to give away but would be willing to contribute financially as well as other ways (e.g. time testing etc) if it would help to keep this very special breed of music technology from extinction.
Finally my heart goes out to all those in the team whose jobs are on the line at this difficult time in world history. I do hope you’re able to find a way through.


I think that further development of this plugin + melmatcheq by @brummer alone would boost hype and morale @gianfranco @James


Dear MOD Team and all,

It is disheartening to hear (read) the news. I feel bad for those stretching well past their limits and compromising their livelihoods to keep MOD going and for those who believed, hoped, and waited for a long time but may end up without their Dwarf and Expression units. Having owned a Duo X since 2021, I believe the MOD environment has a lot to offer and surpasses the competition in many aspects, even if it also has a number of issues to be fixed/improved upon.

In the interest of fairness and balance – with the explicit understanding that these are personal my views and not any universal truth, I would like to ponder about the following.

A. Backers

I will not pretend to be the relatable guy and say that “I feel your pain and frustration” because I actually have a MOD in hand. But I can tell you this: I backed 2 other projects in the past that failed miserably, In one I never got what I was promised ($350), and the other – a documentary – cost me $40 to sponsor, but a whole year before I ever got my unit, it went for sale on Amazon for… $19!! When my DVD finally arrived, it was defective and not at all the “special” unit I was promised. I ended up buying it again from Amazon.

Much of the criticism @gianfranco and others are getting here relate to “promises” that were made and not fulfilled. Without trying to defend anyone or MOD as a whole, they had expectations too, but financing didn’t come and prices shot up. I firmly believe that, to the best of their ability, what they promised and offered was viable considering the conditions and cash availability of the time. I do not at all believe that they were hanging a carrot on a stick to make the donkey walk, like Nikola and Theranos have done (at a HUGE cost for investors). My sense is that they were genuinely trying to make it happen and believed it possible.

Therefore, in the below interaction

my belief is that @James is being straightforward in his answer.

I must say however that the stamina of the MOD team must have run really high. I would have filed for insolvency much earlier. The moment they had a convertible loan denied and bills started piling up, most people I know would have put an end to that right there. Therefore, loving or hating MOD, I believe it fair to say that they have stretched up until the very end of the line. I do believe they genuinely tried everything they could – but this is my opinion so please before blasting me on your next post, think that I have no say on their decisions.

Not defending Gianfranco’s actions and words, I believe he is relating to the fact that the earliest units were sold at €235 (see here), and Kickstarter fees chip away ~€18-22 of that, depending on payment processing fees.

EDIT: Gianfranco has clarified his statement in the post below.

I firmly believe the current production cost of the Dwarf is more than €350 per unit as of now (but I don’t work for MOD so I can’t tell for sure. This is an educated guess based on prices of other components I deal with).

Irrespective of that, we are all losing here – including those who dished 700 Euro for a Duo X. Right now, the €427 Dwarf at Thomann is an unsellable article, because a lot of its functionality (adding plugins, sharing pedalboards) is inoperative.

A successful wait out of this mess would benefit everyone. Which takes us to B.

B. MOD’s Reboot plans

As unlikely as it seems that a new company will be able to secure the necessary funding to make it happen, I guess we need to be hopeful. The collapse of the environment will make it much harder to use our MODs. To put and hope that future firmware development will be taken care of by the “community” is to hope and expect a lot. People in whatever community and in whatever capacity have other things to tend to, so a task this big, as diluted as it might be, may lag behind a proper development.

Therefore, the survival of MOD as a company is much preferable.

Now, in what fashion it will survive, remains a question.

To preserve the original vision and values in a commercial form seems to be the hardest to achieve. As I posted earlier – and @gianfranco explicitly said in his post, to pitch the idea of producing a large number of units to be delivered at zero revenue out of being honest and – to use his words – to demonstrate “the level of commitment” towards the community is just an argument nearly impossible to sell. Most investors would simply say no to that or, in the best case scenario, issue a partial refund to all backers and direct the entirety of the production to the market.

(I am not a capitalist shark, money-hungry evil-doer. But, investiment-wise, I believe this would be the case. But let’s hope some investor will think differently.)

That being said,

Ditto. I looked into that too, and it looks more like a SOS plea than a business plan. The transition team needs to pour some serious work into that. Whereas the survival or the MOD environment is appealing to us here in the community, for whomever is willing to invest in music technology, it has to have a better road to profitability. Ultimately, no profitability is what killed Mod Devices GmbH.

(And, in the spirit of fairness, there have been a number of bad decisions on MOD’s side – like the ambitious Expression pedal during non-pandemic times and a few other things.)

And I guess that, in any scenario, even if the kindest of all investors comes to the rescue, fulfilling the pledges would be extremely hard in the short term. Making that any kind of priority will be lethal to your goals. It can be part of the deal, but with a non-binding timeline at best.

So, let’s all hope for the best. I can offer my time for the specific purpose of crafting a business plan, please contact me in private.

All the best!


I am very sorry that you hear what I say as BS. I imagine that this makes your frustration with the situation even more bitter.

My reasoning is not related to your individual case nor based on past conditions. When I refer to numbers, I am talking about real Euros paid and spent by each party in this deal.

Let´s look at some global numbers.


783 Dwarf units were pre ordered. The retail value of them is the Dwarf retail price + 65€ on stretch goal plugins (I really do hope you do not think that the plugins are for free).


353 units were pre-ordered. The four Overtone plugins added to the Indiegogo pledge are shipping by default, so the Indiegogo current value is the Retail Price.

Retail Price

Let´s assume that the 427€ from Thomann remains indefinitely and everyone from Europe buys at Thomann. Everyone from outside Europe buys for $499 USD, which as of today´s currency exchange, equals 499€.

53% of the total backers are from Europe, so the weighted average retail price is 460,86€

That sets the values of the campaigns at 375.235€ for Kickstarter and 167.104€ for Indiegogo. The total retail value of both campaigns is 542.339€ if it was to be purchased today by the backers.

Add to that a total of 2.490€ in 15€ reward coupons given to T1 backers and 44.000€ in 50€ reward coupons given to T2 and T3 backers and you have a total retail value of 588.829€.

Now let’s go to the backer-paid side:

  • Kickstarter reached 212.667€ in funding but, between the credit card drop-offs and the partial refunds we did for original Duo users, we grossed 194.826€ of backer payments. The Kickstarter fees are further deducted from this amount, but will not be accounted for here.

With 783 pre-ordered units, we have an average unit price of 249€, including perks, for an average unit retail value of 526€ (Dwarf + included plugins). That is a 52,6% discount on retail value.

  • Indiegogo grossed 103.901€ of backer payments.

With 353 pre-ordered units, we have an average price of 294€ and an average retail value of 501€ (Dwarf + included plugins). That is a 36% discount on retail value.

Globally, we have collected a total of 298.727€ for a total retail value of 629.829€, which is a global discount of 52,57%.

So, as I mentioned earlier, your individual conditions do not make the case for a rightful argumentation. There are more than 1.000 backers and this needs examining at scale level.

If you try to look from outside of your individual situation and look at the global numbers, you might see that I am not bullshitting.

So you assume beforehand that, if it does not work out, it was actually bullshit?



Yep, I do not get the point of trying to tackle some additional hardware that is useless for non-mod users, when mod duo x was already capable of using expression pedals. For dwarf the problem could be solved by some dirt cheap expression-to-usb-midi module instead, that also could be sold to non-MOD users.


My understanding is that the Expression pedal came long before the Duo X and Dwarf (anyone correct me here if I’m wrong).

It was a very advanced pedal for the Mod Duo but from older posts I take it production has been plagued by factories who could not deliver the parts up to standards.

(This is not an excuse and I am not defending MOD Devices).


Hi Gianfranco,

I don’t know what you’re doing with all of these global numbers. I will try to summarize what I meant :

  1. rdomain said it seemed unfair that the most patient (Tier 3) backers were burnt.

  2. You replied that it would have been unfair if the retail price was the same as the price they paid. This alone is already questionable. And you added that the units were pre-sold half price, suggesting that it was an interesting bet, not “purely based on goodwill and belief”.

  3. I told you that the discount was indicated in the Indiegogo campaign and wasn’t so interesting (a little more than 20%). So when I (and obviously others from Tier 3) made this bet, the data we had said that we could save a little more than 20% which is not spectacular. So maybe there was a little more than just some expected bargain in our decision, like some kind of support in an open source project.

  4. You ended up trying to prove your point with a lot of global numbers that we ignored and obviously couldn’t take into consideration when we contributed.

I know that there are other cases than mine. But I don’t think I’m the only Tier 3 backer in this situation. So when you argue that the Tier 3 backers situation is not unfair, you’d better try to see it from their individual perspective rather than from some global statistics that don’t make sense for them. I don’t understand why you did this and I really hope that it comes from a misunderstanding.

What I meant is that the only way I know it’s not bullshit is it if succeeds. In this case, I will have to admit that I was wrong being negative. If it fails, that could be because of a lack of luck but allow me to keep skeptical about the realism of MOD’s communication.

As you seem to be upset about the word “bullshit”, let me apologize for the use of it if it feels aggressive and replace it with some rewording : “communication that is more focused on the expected effect on the reader than on the realism of the content”.

Feel free to answer but I don’t feel comfortable as it’s becoming personal. And I’m sorry that the whole MOD team witness this in their difficult situation.


Please do not accuse me without proper thinking, like you are doing above. There is no con going on here, nobody is embellishing anything and there is no bullshit on the communication.

That is all I ask.


The situation seems very bad. If there would be a problem with lack of demand, our community would be able to help to promote mod devices, but since there are problems with prduction what can we do? If MOD team can not handle production process why should we donate/invest in the company? I would love to pay a month fee for access to extra plugins, it would make MOD haveing constant money flow every month but at this point it will not cure the situation. If the costs of everything goes up (an we all know about it) why not to talk with backers that the price of dwarf/modx must goes up an they need to pay some extra money?

Sorry for being so negative but I love my modx, this is the core of my setup and I can not imagine to go back to standard hardware pedals that does not make me even 50% of the options that mod gives. Since modx is a small PC lack of updates will make it stop working in some time.


I don’t know how realistic this is, tbh.

I would have gladly increased my pledge if MOD wrote to us and said “look guys, we need more money to produce this and the original pledge is not enough since component and transport price has gone xx% up” , but dunno how feasible that is once the campaigns are over and what could MOD have offered in return to whoever refused to increase the pledge. Let’s also say that MOD decided this way and, for the sake of the exercise, let’s say they ask for 80€ from every Kickstarter backer to be able to make the project; Given that Kickstarter had 783 backers, and around 50% chose to stay in Tier 3; that’s around 400 backers; 400 x 80 is 32000€; which doesn’t seem like a really huge number and dunno if it would have made things any better given the amount of investment required according to gianfranco.


Hi Gianfranco,

I’m really disappointed. You ignored my last post where I tried to clarify the misunderstandings and even apologized for using the word “bullshit”. Instead, you chose to add fuel on the fire with bits of my previous post, the one you already replied, insisting on that same word I apologized for. I’m glad other people at MOD (like jon) I had the chance to talk to didn’t use this kind of methods and were able to discuss their possible mistakes with good faith.

Let me remind you one of your sentences again. It was written 2 months ago :

This is a big promise, there’s no ambiguity about it. I really hope you can keep it and prove your point. Until then, feel free to have the last word and make me look like the ugly guy of the discussion. This is becoming too personal.