My review of Mod Dwarf

I recently purchased MOD DWARF.
Please allow me to share my impressions.
If there are a few things you don’t like and would like to see improvements, let me know your thoughts.
First off, this device is great. I plan on using this device as my main device for a while longer.

What I like about it.

  1. by utilizing the SWITCH BOX, I can control multiple effectors at the same time.
  2. high performance of IR.
  3. weg-gui is easy to read. 3.
  4. you can assign your favorite controls to the knobs and switches on the dwarf.

The following are some examples.
This device is really great.
However, at the same time, there is a part that I feel “regrettable”.

The following are some of the areas of dissatisfaction.

  1. When using the snapshot switching, it takes a long time to load the AIDA-X model. This causes 300~400msec of silence.
    There is a solution to start up multiple AIDA-X and switch by SWITCHBOX, but it is CPU intensive.

  2. only 2 SWITCH BOXes are supported. I want a SWITCH BOX that branches to 3~4. I want to switch the reverb used with it.

  3. When I use DWARF alone, I cannot see the WEB-GUI, so I cannot understand the change of control of the effector using MIDI. For example, let’s say I assigned a reverb ON/OFF via MIDI. In this case, even if the reverb is actually turned ON via MIDI, there is no way to know this visually.
    This is very unsettling.

  4. Multiple controls cannot be assigned to a single switch. I want to control multiple effectors On Off with one switch, but this is not possible. I want to control multiple effectors with one switch like BOSS GT-1000.

  5. it takes a little time to connect to the web-gui when Bluetooth is disconnected during a live performance. This is critical in live performance. Therefore, you should not use the web-gui in live performance.
    Therefore, my dwarf has a simple configuration.

In my opinion, this hardware is too small for the performance of mod dwarf.
Using an ipad would factory convenience, but I dread the thought of losing the bluetooth connection.
For this reason I have given up on utilizing it with rock band.
However, it is very useful for acoustic guitar.
I have decided to use dwarf in acoustic live.
I also use looper.
The visibility of the looper is very important. So I will use BOSS RC-5 as looper. dwarf’s display is inconvenient to use as looper.
Furthermore, I don’t want to use a web-gui in a live situation, considering the possibility of losing blutooth with the ipad.
So I will not be using the web-gui (live).

Please let me know your thoughts.

1 Like

Hi Simone,

I do not use AIDA-X, or indeed snapshots, so I cannot comment on point 1 but here are some thoughts for points 2 - 5:

You might want to check out @zwabbo’s Ztoggle4 - MOD Audio (beta) plugin; it supports up to 4 outputs. I am using a couple of these plugins to select between different delay and reverb options.

I use a KMI Softstep (v1) MIDI controller with my Dwarf, and when using it to toggle plugins on/off I configure it to turn the footpedal LED on when it sends the MIDI command to enable the plugin, and off when it sends the MIDI command to disable the plugin. If your MIDI controller has LED’s or a display of some kind, perhaps you can do something similar. I have not yet found a suitable solution for showing the status of a ztoggle plugin (i.e. which of the four signal paths is currently enabled) but this has not proved a big issue for me so far.

If you are using a controller without LED’s or a display, you might want to check out @SrMouraSilva’s Gossiper - Plugin to say what is happening when you are looking it

There has been some discussion around this point on this forum e.g. No Device and MIDI control at the same time? , Two-way Midi Mapping, Assigning a pedal to be on/off through both footswitch and MIDI

It is sometimes possible to construct a workaround using CV plugins and/or the infamous mindi

I have never done this myself, but it should in theory be possible to use a Control to CV - MOD Audio controlled by a Dwarf Footswitch, another Control 2 CV driven by a MIDI and then sending the outputs of both to an XOR CV plugin to produce the final CV output to be used to control the desired effect plugin.

The Bluetooth connection is just about usable for minor changes on a tablet/PC but I don’t think it was really intended to be used for real-time live use.

I have used my Dwarf live on several occasions now, but (at least in the way I use it and think about it) there is a clear separation between the “configuration” of the pedalboard(s) using a PC connected via USB when I am setting things up and making changes like adding/removing plugins, and the “live” use, when I select the desired pedalboard and control it via the Dwarf footswitches and dials and MIDI (only).

I think it makes sense to be able to use a tablet via Bluetooth to make minor changes to an existing board during a rehearsal. I could imagine experimenting with a new song and wanting to add a Phaser plugin (say) to a board in order to try out some new sounds, but personally, I would not want to do this on stage.

I have not yet used a looper live but I have used the Looperlative LP3 in rehearsal and it is part of my default pedalboard. I know @solobasssteve uses a Looperlative on his MOD DuoX, if it’s good enough for him, then it is likely more than I will ever need. I will say that for now, I keep the looper controls on the Dwarf, since the LED and Display feedback are important parts of it’s usability.

You also write something I am not sure I understand:

Do you mean that the CPU is not powerful enough (in particular for use with AI-based simulators)? Or that it is physically too small ? Or something else?

1 Like

I think many of your issues can be addressed.(as others also try to help you with)

I use the MOD Dwarf for my metal band
I use a filled pedal board featuring an AIDA-X, a regular amp sim for a different guitar channel, IR, reverbs, a complete vocal chain with 6 effects, a recorder, an audio player, EQ, … and Still I’m still at 82% load when idling.

Did you use the Portal plugin?
It is CRUCIAL for complex board because, when used correctly, it takes load of the processor.

Introducing Portal

also; I never switch AIDA-X profiles live.
I switch chains with the switcher.


The idea of using the portal is great.
I will try this.

I don’t really use snapshots, but if you create a bunch of user presets with your different Aida models/settings, then assign the presets to a dial/switch it may lead to easier transitions–

This is the first time I have heard of the approach of switching presets. I will give this a try

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Ztoggle4 is just what I was looking for.
Thank you.

Gossiper is great. I will give this a try.

In my opinion loopers need colorful displays.
A monochrome LCD alone is unsettling to me.
The looperlative itself is great.
But it is not enough to represent it.

There is an argument that the CPU is lacking, but I find the display poorer than that.
I would like to see a color LCD and a more readable interface.