MOD is at a crossroads - and needs your input

This seems palatable, and preferable to an access model.


yes; i like it too!

it has the side benefit of incentivizing engaged ongoing usage of the device, since each update encourages you to reassess your dedication to the device itself, as well as to the particular benefits of its current (new) state.


It’s a reasonable reaction but I’ll offer that in my experience in the Headrush world, users will often purchase additional IR or rig (pedalboard) packs on top of their multi-hundred dollar device. The devices are platforms intended to give you a nice starting point. For some users the base model might be all they ever need and more. But most people who consider themselves more than hobbyist musicians tend to be opinionated and want have some appearance of uniqueness or personal style. They are willing to spend amounts that are a small percentage of the base price to customize their devices, much in the same way people will opt for various options in their car purchase.

From my own experience, I’ve purchased a handful of add-ons for my Pedalboard. I purchased some blues pedalboards that give a nice range of sounds out-of-the-box. I purchased a set of pedalboards to emulate the sound of a favorite artist and I found the default presets to be very recognizable and work without any fiddling for a range of songs. I’ve purchased a few IRs and other pedalboards that I liked the sound of in demos. I’m pretty sure I would have paid for similar offerings in the MOD world if the quality was decent. I’m one of the users who understands and loves the power under the hood, but as a working dad, kids coach, etc, I don’t have the time or motivation to figure out dialing in target tones as much as the geek in me would love to. So I’m pretty firmly in the “let me throw my money at the curated solutions” camp.


Got to admit this isn’t for me really. I own a Helix and ALL updates have been free and give more fx and features. Sure there are paid presets and IR’s that people love but most of us don’t buy them, well not enough to keep a hardware company afloat.

And surely the whole point of the MOD system is to be flexible beyond anything hardware out there. Not to be a HELIX or GT1000.

I have already paid for the dwarf, then paid import duty, then new power supply, di box , isolator I don’t think I want to be paying €50 euros for an update and a couple of blues presets. Or subscribe to ongoing content. Its good pedal but it’s just not that high on my agenda to keep throwing money at.

I’m sure I’m not the only one to feel this way and I’m sorry that I can’t help much more.

I do worry that even with 1600 enclosures waiting to go it’s just delaying the end. Pelton like teams etc had a huge subscription / sales due to Covid far above and beyond what was expected enabling them to growth and become stable. Mod on the other hand was battered by problems due to covid. The fan base, fanatical as it is not as strong.


Hello @unbracketed Brian,

so you didn’t have time inventing preferable presets and buying presets for a specific genre or sounding like (insert your favorite hero here) was the way to go for you.

Guys, we are looking forward to the future. What different genres of pedalboards do you want mod devices come with? What sounds did you expect to come with that weren’t there in the first place? How many different presets per genre would you expect to be in a preset pack and what would you pay for?

I once had a Line6 HD500 and I paid ca. 75€ for 3 packs… in times of Helix I assume preset packs might be free but the hardware is even more expensive.
They had dreated the financial sweet spot between creating presets (and what they paid their creators for) and what users wanted to give them for.
But this is what @gianfranco already asked for in the survey.

Greetings and God bless, Marius


This is perfectly ok as long as you are satisfied with what the Dwarf brings out of the box.
Paying once means getting what’s available with/in the Dwarf at this point in time.

Regarding free updates forever: this might still work as long as there are enough people paying for updates and stuff, so there might be some hope for that, but I would not count on that in the current situation.

Most people just hate subscriptions, but for a company this makes income and hence funding for development a bit more planable.
Personally, I wouldn’t mind either paying for updates as they come (or even crowd-fund certain features) or a subscriptions as long as I get to keep using whatever I had at the time I might decide to stop the subscription (with the option to restart it whenever I want to get new/additional stuff).

I would guess that a big chunk of users fall into this category. And that is what would be again possible right after the current funding round closes and (assuming the goal is reached) the new company gets access to everything again and can re-open the store, pedalboard site and downloads.

I’m actually quite happy with the Dwarf - missing a lot of things I need but most things do. I have managed to squeeze what I can out of it and added it to the arsenal.

I quite like the look on friends faces when I play synth and drums on it and loop stuff, whilst playing guitar!

I bought it for shiroverb and the midi stuff which I very happy with.

My concerns are that of a more human thing. Just don’t want Mod to reboot and then end up going the same way. It’s too much to ask everyone involved in my mind. But I do genuinely hope it does succeed.


Maybe for the subscription could work some kind of patreon thing where you can vote what do you want that month/week/etc? maybe thematically? something that adds to the experience, not cutting corners and selling them again? I mean, I don’t know how viable would be develop or porting a plugin monthly (and free for the subscriptors, ofc), but I think that wouldn’t be detrimental for the non subscriptors

edit: thematically, I mean, pedalboard of x artist because the band released something recently or its been x years since a famous release, designed by x artist, whatever


@unbracketed Sure, I’m a Helix user. I have a bunch of premium IRs but I didn’t pay Line6 for them, and I can use them with other modelers, or inside my DAW.

As for the premium presets, they are largely the reason why so many people still make semi-regular videos about devices that are almost a decade old (Helix/Kemper) because that drives the preset sales. So Line6/Kemper enjoys a ton of free marketing that users selling the presets generate. Now, Line6 has a marketplace for those and I guess MOD could have too but I’m not sure how much revenue that would really generate for such a niche device. It will probably have to be a part of a larger monetization strategy.

Quick disclaimer - presets are extremely overrated. Multi FX boxes may seem self-contained but they aren’t. There’s the rest of your rig to consider (your guitar, your interface/monitors, your ability to gain stage into the output) which can make good presets sound bad or at least different than intended.

@jetztgradnet @Austin73 and others - I realize that MOD is kinda in a tight spot. I also know that it’s much easier to deconstruct than to construct and I hate when people do that without offering alternatives, but I feel like this needs to be stated:

No one else (that matters) in the hardware space does paid updates. No one. Even if we disregard the competition that doesn’t force users to pay for anything other than the device (in order of relevance Helix, FM3, Zoia, Poly Digit/Beebo, any number of multi-fx units by Boss/Nux/Hotone/Valeton, etc., etc.) and go straight to Akai which sells additional content for their MPC devices, you’ll find that they also do free updates (the most recent ones including for example - amp sims, gained them a bunch of community goodwill).

So I guess the question is simple, is your device so superior to the above-mentioned ones that you can get away with being pretty much the only hardware company charging for the software updates?

Totally agree with the paid updates . I think the idea is not in the best interest of the product. People will quickly move away to something newer, better and cheaper or keep with what they have already and not dip into the MOD realm.

For something that costs over £400 or even 500 to the unlucky ones that haven’t received their ‘gift’ it’s a bit cheeky to expect we relentlessly dip in to support.

Sorry just my thoughts. I’m stepping away from the thread as I feel my negativity dragging both me and the room down.


I think you’ve summarised things perfectly…

What I’d like to add is one of my biggest frustrations with the whole lack of clarity on how to get the best out of both DUO and DWARF was MOD did fairly limited user guides - yes the community stepped up and solved many issues but when I first got my DUO the few official YouTube videos didn’t go into enough detail re signal chains/gain staging etc. it involved a lot of trial and error, which left me feeling a bit sore after buying something with very little help available (without spending hours and hours searching online) to get the best out of it.

While this may seem trivial it was symptomatic of a lack of accessibility to users who don’t want to go in too deeply or even care about open source etc - and while I have big issues with Teenage Engineering’s move to being an over priced slightly gimmicky company (IMO) they have always smashed it on the marketing and communication side of things - that doesn’t make their products better but it does open up the idea of buying them to a huge audience…

I hope there is a reboot and that MOD survives as I’ve loved using the DWARF so far as they are unique and powerful - however I do feel that its long term survival will require a much more welcoming - fun! - and smarter approach to singing the praises and opening up the huge possibilities of these products - an in-depth how to / set-up / trouble shooting section on the website - richer audio/video content / more pro users showing off inspiring pedal boards and or midi / synth setups etc - it’s something other companies have done and it’s both educational and inspiring - and makes you want to try and dig deeper into the device. Giving real world examples - how do you set it up best for guitar, bass, vocals, keyboards - beat making etc - would make a big difference

I really hope this isn’t the end but when the restart happens it needs to factor in a comprehensive communication strategy



Hi @Austin73
Your comments are pretty helpful to me as I have been waiting for some sort of resolution with the company troubles before buying a dwarf, but I’ve still been very tempted regardless.
Did you ever get chance to download anything from the website before it went down?
I’m still finding it hard to know that there’s enough in the box to start with, in case the website never returned?

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Hi Mark, I think I got most things down plugin wise before the demise.

I don’t have the latest firmware beta but don’t need it to function happily.

Feel free to message me direct with any questions or ideas you might have and will be happy to go through it with you.

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The company I work for has turned two last month and we develop HW and SW for customers in different fields (automotive, displays, medical…), often for prototyping. This is actually not what we want to do :smiley: – we want to develop our own products but lack the $$$. So we do client work and then use the money to develop our own stuff. I am not saying that this is the way for moddevices… but despite the supply chain troubles (which hit us hard), we were able to keep the boat afloat and things start looking better. But yeah. Product development is hard. Really hard.

Also, what helped us a lot is participating in publicly funded research projects. Two of our applications were declined but one got through. We get 80% of the wages back and the work to be done is manageable and even helps us to improve our own stuff. If you need help with forms or communication, I’ll gladly lend you a hand… I happen to know a little German.

re: paid updates, I would buy them if they were reasonably priced and included for lets say 1y after the purchase (two major updates). Those not willing to go that route should be able to compile the SW from the latest branch on Github.



I’ve got the feeling the MOD project needs to exist as a hobby, at least for a while.

feeling. gut feeling.
Allowing it some time to detox from al factors that eat energy and gently allowing some room for things that create motivation and energy.

Family first. Don’t jeopardize their future and by that I mean having a healthy dad in both financial AND psychological matter.

Gut feeling:
Grant yourself the time to take a step back and look at the big picture and let it sink and settle.

Is there a way to
1: create a MVP (minimum viable product) that helps the MOD idea, the seed, the core SURVIVE? (continuity). Things like an alternative platform for firmware and plugins, things that keep some core people tied to the project etc. but
2: While these people might have other dayjobs, there is a gentle way to consolidate and keep going what there is and perhaps make something new and focused grow out of it, smartened by past experiences.

I think that everything that has to do with money is burnt right now and the credibility is below zero, in both a literal and figurative way.

Everything you need to fix costs money. Step away from business, production, logistics…
I’m afraid the crowfunding people must be disappointed and the future of MOD is one without money for a while.

There are some skilled people here in various fields.
We’ve got specialists and generlists.
If you want MOD to live, make it about PEOPLE and SOFTWARE.
That is where the authenticity is and where you still have a chance to grow again in short notice.

I repeat


Regarding paid updates, I think it’s a bit of a risky road, because if you are withholding updates that fix bugs then you are basically holding devices hostage (at least for users effected by those issues). Ok, so we separate and provide free bugfix updates but charge for new feature updates. Suddenly you are going to have to start maintaining many different software versions and backporting and testing changes to many different software configurations. This quickly can make development crawl to a halt with a small team.
Maybe it could work, but you have to be careful not to dig yourself into a maintenance nightmare. I’ve been in that situation at my work and it sucks the life out of you.

I actually like this idea because it wouldn’t need any additional development and is FAR from anyone thinking that they have to subscribe to make their device useable. Just maybe a private forum for members with the “backstage pass” (or maybe even just use patreon?) and they can vote on which features get worked on first (out of reasonable ones the company suggests), or what curated pedalboards get built next, etc.

I also really like the idea of crowdfunded features as an alternative to subscriptions or pay for features after they’re complete. This is probably further out since feature adds are going to cost development money, but this way they are paid for (at least partially) before development even begins. Maybe there isn’t a big enough group of users though who would participate since non MOD owners wouldn’t have any reason to buy in. AND you have to make sure people don’t feel like you are trying to crowdfund “features” that are really just bug-fixes. That can be tough too.


Thanks, I appreciate that!

I don’t like to the upgrades paid idea. At my sense, make most more sense for a user delay the almost of possible to buy the equipment because at this way you will have the most of features when you buy it. I think that Jetbrains’ IDEs have the same problem. Also, some Patreon users have too, like Listening Time Podcast, where when a user subscribe, they have access all the previous paid episodes.

Also there is the problem that @ssj71 pointed. It makes much more sense that the features are sold individually, just like DLCs. This model is commonly used in games.

Thinking about development, when a DLC requires a structural update, the game is updated to a new version, but the DLC things will only been applied for users that buy it. If a user would like to have a feature (i.e. play the DLC things), they need first to update the game.
Translating to MOD ecosystem, if a user would buy a specific feature, it’s necessary to them have at least the last required OS version.

It’s just like Android and iOS phones, some apps only can be used (or some functionalities) if a user have at least the minimum required OS system .

At last, I like the Cities Skylines business: they offers a lot of DLCs, but the big DLCs (the non cosmetic DLCs) have also a free update, so they make happy all the entire public (I think). The game have 7 years and the base game (without DLCs) is soo evolved compared with the version published at seven years ago.


I would like to ask to the MOD team (@gianfranco, @falkTX) if there any plans to the next version of mod-ui (or its replacement) have an REST/WS API: A lot of people talk that the mod-ui frontend software doesn’t assist them as them expect, but currently it isn’t easy to contribute or develop a customized frontend.

Actually I think that the MOD team feels that open sourced mod-ui was a problem, because facilitates some “cheap copies” and they had a minimum of contribution by the community. Buy, at my point of view as a software developer, the source quality is the problem (it is most hard to contribute than expected).

I know that is expensive to refactoring the source code (paid someone a lot of time to remake the things that already working apparently is nonsense) and the is no guarantees that at midterm you will have a payback made by open source contribution.

I don’t have no one idea how can solve the “code state” cheaply. So my contributions at this brainstorming thread is:

If you are decided to close the mod-ui source or create it’s replacement, think about to make a minimum documentation of the backend endpoints. So it would be easier to the community contribute with custom frontend. It can be done integrating some REST/Swagger plugin to Tornado server, I think.


@SrMouraSilva, I second that it would be very nice to have a formal API. There actually is an API in MOD-UI, it’s just not complete. You can see the endpoints here. At some point, they started using websockets for their MOD-UI to Hardware communication. But the webserver endpoints were nearly enough for my needs in the pi-Stomp project (one of the “cheap copies” you refer to). I can obtain the list of pedalboards, then use the bundle, effect, snapshot, etc. API endpoints to piece together all the details of a pedalboard, display them on an LCD, then allow the user to make changes: Load/save a pedalboard, change the preset/snapshot, edit plugin parameters, etc. I did need to shoehorn in a small handful of endpoints/implementations (eg. to get/set parameters), but you can do quite a bit with what is there. To my knowledge, none of it is really documented and it took a lot of experimenting and code groking to form my queries, but if anyone is interested, I can share what I learned. I believe FalkTX has said somewhere in the forum to not rely on any of the endpoints, since they aren’t a formal API and will likely change or go away someday… well, at least on their fork.