Music school idea

Ok so wanted to ask the community about this.

I am starting a school of music, sound, video, and other creative arts. It’s a Christian based school. Think School of Rock for church.

So as we move into a facility I’m thinking about using a bunch of Mod Dwarfs for electric guitar and bass as we will have jam rooms and I’ll want to have a consistent platform that I can build consistent boards with but also train gain staging, pedal board building, etc. some benefits as I can save all the same boards to all the units.

Thoughts on this? Most of the music these students will be practicing will be Christian/church based ie Bethel, Maverick City, CCM, etc.

What are the thoughts on having multiple units for 3+ jam rooms and a concert hall?

Pros and cons vs doing physical amps, line 6 units, etc.


If you have enough budget, consider a little infrastructure for each room with Behringer X-Air XR18 + one P16-M per student-seat. Plus Dwarfs of course.
I’d never use real amps (for this). A headphones-only solution will get you much less noise and annoyance. Plus, it enables students to mute everyone else’s signals and practice for themselves.

Using Dwarfs will be great, because you can simply prepare pedalboards on one unit and easily share them to all others. I have no idea how easy/difficult this is for e.g. line6.

However, if you’re serious about teaching music, sound, video etc. why mix it up with religion? I don’t get that. Why won’t you just teach these things and leave personal beliefs out of the game… (no answer needed. I just had the urge to leave this here…)


Working with MOD units sure has its pro’s like @Jandalf pointed out; exchaning pedalboards, testing a variety of principles with all the built in stuff

practice routines with loopers and exchanging files, learning about EQ etc.

You can limit yourself to only letting them use the pedalboards you make available and bind everything you need to show to hardware buttons. That will keep them focused on what is going on and you’ll have less of a hassle. If you want to give more control, you need them to bring their own devices (laptop for easiest interfacing) and connect.

I’m not a religious person at all (to say the least), but it is a fact that religions and music have a super long history of interactions, with sometime astonishingly great music as a result. Think Bach, Gospel, Nusrat Fatah Ali Khan, Mahler second symphony, Reggae, Santeria etc… Let people do whatever they want with music. If religion is there thing, let them mix both and enjoy the result.

One good thing about music : when it hits you feel no pain.


I beg to differ.

This bridge kinda part in “Obvious Child” by Paul Simon hits me right in the feels every time because it reminds me losing one friend to suicide and another to pancreatic cancer while it reminds me of the unstoppable locomotive that is time

Sonny’s yearbook from high school
Is down from the shelf
And he idly thumbs through the pages
Some have died
Some have fled from themselves
Or struggled from here to get there
Sonny wanders beyond his interior walls
Runs his hand through his thinning brown hair

sorry, off topic :wink:


Well, yes you are right. Just need to listen to a bit of Joni Mitchell to feel pain too indeed. Or this

So I wrote too fast, I agree


Thanks everyone for the feedback.

I think I’ll reach out to Mod and see about a bulk order of some kind. I love the platform for its usability and to be able to train from it as well. I’ve got an incredible A/V team working with me on this project. We’ve found a place to move in and had a bunch of equipment donations.

Long term our school will have a full broadcast and recording studio.

If anyone is interested you can check out what we’re doing at


I have nothing to do with religion but I think you guys bundled it nicely.

Website graphics (and most of all , font type and color) could use a bit of touch up though :wink:

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CON: The only thing about Dwarf that might get in the way is when people are practicing and they want to make a slight change on the fly, the Dwarf has to be connected to a computer. So each unit definitely needs a dedicated computer/iPad on a stand. PRO1: The Dwarf can be used at a top level or the nerds can get way involved. PRO2: If you learned everything about guitar signal chain from a Dwarf without ever touching a physical pedal or amp, and someone dropped you infront of physical gear, I have a feeling you’d be ok.


@Ant I think your CON is actually a PRO :grin: when you look at it from a different angle.
With my Line6 Vetta, I easily got sidetracked into hours of searching for the right tone, when I originally just wanted to make “a slight change”.
That’s not so easily gonna happen with the Dwarf, making it easier to focus on playing the instrument :+1:


Hey Munverzagt
Good on you for wanting to start this idea - I’m a Christian musician teaching music at a Christian school: and I have a dwarf myself.
Contrary to others here: I would advise against a dwarf…. Don’t get me wrong - the dwarf is amazing, does some superior things to do many other products and I love it more than any pedal I’ve owned- but it requires a level of understanding, IT, pedal knoweldge and prior effects knowledge that I think is not Going to help young people with what they actually need.
What young musicians really need is “experience”. Time playing with others. Some simple tools that they can manipulate to achieve results based on musical knowledge and understanding. Cool tone and effects is just icing on the cake. I would strongly urge on the side of a few simple pedals they can patch and repatch with physical cables - so they can first hand see how delays interact with reverbs, and modulations interact with amps etc.

I set up a simple pedal board at my school. With a tuner, dual overdrive and a zoom mutli pedal and even that’s too complicated for most - as education environments are so often lost for enough time to really explore and craft tone - this is a personal endeavour not an educational one.

I would highly recommend duplicate versions of simple board setups with all the essential effect types


  • Tuner pedal
  • Dual overdrive of some sort (Nux Queen of tone
  • modulation pedal (joyo vision)
  • amp sim pedal (so many options)
  • delay and reverb (nux Atlantic)
  • small power supply

Yes it may actually cost a bit more, and offer less flexibility in usability, but for those new into the pedal game need instant results for quick understanding.

A hands on approach like this would allow fast feedback.
Yes a dwarf is superior in every way when compared to this, but if a user doesn’t own their own gear, the benefits of creating custom boards is completely lost - and I fear frustration will occur.
My 2c


In fact the “Nux Cerberus” would be the perfect music school pedalboard.

I recently bought a second hand Berhinger V-Amp2 from Ebay where you can find loads of them for cheap. I’m using it as a fixed setup in a different room of my house where I don’t want to transport my dwarf (and all the rest of my gear) everytime I want to practice something for my jazz guitar lessons.

Pretty straightforward to use and they provide everything for a basic guitar experience to the exception of a looper (Owning a dwarf and a duo makes me expect these things out of the box, but I know I’m being a bit too greedy here :slight_smile: )

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I agree. School of Rock teacher here. MODs are definitely too adv. for the kiddos. When teaching group rehearsals, the last thing you need is to hop on an iPad to make tweaks to a gain staging. I use JHS $99 pedals and no more than 2 per student. Very visual and I can easily see settings while walking around.

I have a couple MOD Duo’s that I was going to incorporate into a performance but it just got in the way. We also tried using a lunchbox style mixer but it even was a pain in a teaching environment. Old school analog mixer was the way to go. Most students don’t know how to strap on a guitar or wind a cable let alone remember what button to select when soloing. As a teacher, I need quick and easy access to volume and other basic setting.

I taught group CCM at a church for their volunteer band. There is a tendency for a lot of heavy reverb + modulation tones, thick pads and many instrumentalists. I kept it simple…only a reverb pedal. Forget about delay. Beginners can’t keep time as is and just throws off others timing. It’s hard enough to keep them in time with the drummer.

Don’t get me wrong, MODs are awesome. Dwarfs would be ok in 1:1 lessons but not a group format.

Good luck with your school. Teaching music is a blast.


I am a Christian and I’ve used my Mod Duo and now my Dwarf solely for P&W at church. I can totally understand why people think the Mod environment might be too advanced for kids to learn off of. BUT, I also see why it’s to their advantage. I don’t see the benefit of having physical pedals over Mod pedalboards… honestly, you can tweak a lot more in the Mod environment and get a ton more bang for your buck.

That being said, I don’t think it hurts to also have a basic pedalboard with standard pedals to get kids used to the basics and then use the Mod environment to take it to the next level. I totally get what you are saying about having a single platform that can be used in multiple jam rooms. Once you get kids used to the system, they will certainly flourish.

I would also suggest that you take some time to make some videos on the Mod environment that you can train your students with… and then make those videos available on YouTube as well! That would be a great way to pass on what you learn to help other who might also want to use the Mod environment. Good luck!!!


To zoom out from the question a little bit, normally when you play electric guitar in church (or a bar or most anyplace for that matter) the sound guy accommodates your guitar setup, and you as a guitar player tend to shape your gear around your playing style. So if you want to have a jam room for worship musicians, you might want to focus on providing guitar players a place to plug their existing gear in rather than trying to GIVE them a guitar, amp, pedals, etc. That’s more like what they will encounter in the real world, so this will give them practice with that. Plus, if you can learn your gear early on it helps free up mental energy to think about, you know, God and stuff.

If you do want to provide gear, I guess I’d provide really simple gear with clear controls. But I’d encourage your guitar players to get a setup together where they can provide a great sound direct-in, because most church sound guys can work with that the best, and then after a while the gear “gets out of the way”. In general I think it’s best for guitar players to own and control their own gear, unlike many drummers and keyboard players where it often makes more sense to use the church’s gear.

One more thought: you mentioned teaching gain staging and whatnot. Personally I’d probably teach this in a DAW. If your students can get past the fact that the effects are on a screen instead of physical things you can touch and hold, you can further illustrate the points you want to make by enabling/disabling effects, showing gain meters, oscilloscopes, spectrum analyzers, etc. I know you can also do these things in a Mod Dwarf, but it’s much easier in a DAW where you don’t have to worry about patch cables and things. DAWs mostly assume a linear effects chain on each track.

I would warn you against this idea, @Munverzagt.

I’m not a guitar or bass player, but what I can say is that MOD doesn’t make the life of experienced musicians easy, let alone of inexperienced people learning the basics of effects and how they interact with each other. My MOD mentor was a guitar player who was super knowledgeable about a number of things, yet his own setup was at times flaky and fallible, and eventually he gave up on MOD completely. Ok, MOD has “endless possibilities” and all, but to invest in this concept means a dive into a very specific workflow that doesn’t always resemble what you’ll find in real life. For instance, I never fully grasped how to make midi control surfaces interact with CV tools (again my friend helped me get that going), but the concept itself was too complex and at times abstract to make sense even for a seasoned musician.

Buy something more linear or sets of pedals. I think acquiring several units of a company that’s reduced to a single employee and is in dire financial situation might become a nightmare further down the road.

Greetings from Canada and its 15C/59F Summer… (thankfully I’m leaving in a week. Don’t want to see the winter!)

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