My Thoughts on the Mod Dwarf (pros and cons and wishes)

After some days of intense use of the Mod Dwarf I would like to share some thought about this unique device.

  • The possibilities are endless. I am a guitar-synth player and this unit when used with a fishman tripleplay or a gk13 pickup is impressive. You can have guitar effects and synth effects together with much more flexibility than using a gr-55
  • Midi capabilities are top (filtering, debugging messages, routing…)
  • The plugin system is awesome, and the UI is simply PERFECT


  • The input noise is unnaceptable. I am not 100% sure if this is a hardware or software defect, but even with no instrument connected, the output noise when using high gain amps and pedals makes this unusable. (Yes, I have the correct PSU and the unit when using SF2 instruments is completely noiseless).
  • The CPU is not enough. I get 100% cpu and cracking sounds too easy. My 7 years old ipad manages this much better (biasfx with midi sf2 instruments and it plays full songs perfectly). I can’t manage to play a full midi song or use a dual guitar chain with a couple of midi instruments at the same time.

I am not sure if I should keep the unit (to support the team) or just return it. I think the idea is genius, and the result is so close to be perfect that I am sad about not been able to use it at live.

Please build a new unit with silent inputs and horsepower cpu (and more ram) and you can take $1k from me at any time.

Thanks for reading! Cheers.


Have you considered using 256 samples as buffer size? Increases massively cpu “capacity”. I personally do not notice the latency change and I play live gigs (with a lot of looping) always at 256.

I notice difference in noise dependend on the guitar pickups I use. Humbuckers are totally silent, Singlecoils could range from quite noiseless (splitables of my ES339) to noisy ones (P90)

Yes I tried the 256 buffer size. The midi problem was still there. A song using 10 channels at the same time was consuming too much cpu and it was unplayable. Thanks

Regarding the noise, is still there even when no guitar is connected. I use EMG on most of my guitars, absolutely silent on my other equipment (roland, boss, mooer, line6, biasfx, etc…)

I cannot even use a single aida-x plugin with a cab, cpu is at 100%

that is on the cabinet consuming too much cpu, we will very soon update the IR engine used by those plugins to the same engine used in MOD Cabinet Loader that uses multi-threaded audio processing and thus it is much more CPU efficient.


…and you might have a better experience without the beta plugins.
The showcase is in testing now and still very much a work in progress. I don’t recommend it using it right now.

Try the premium models available - you can use them in trial mode and switch the between to a lighter model.

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Thanks for your help, very much appreciated. It was just an example. The CPU problem can be avoided with other plugins and using portals (very nice plugin btw).

I just need to figure out how to solve the noise issue :slight_smile:

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Just making sure you use the more cpu optimized Versions.

Are you using the PSU that came with the DWARF?
Are you connected via USB?

My suspicion for this is the use of balanced audio output going into a source that does not expect those.

Dealing with noise issues - MOD Wiki tries to explain a few details, though I think that page needs a bit more work still.

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@spunktsch Not using the PSU that came with the Dwarf, the noise was hugh and I also received a couple of electric shocks while pushing metal buttons. I replaced it with a high quality 12v 2A PSU and the unit became completely silent when using synths, midi generators, etc… Noise is only present with high gain amps and pedals.

@falkTX I have also tried that, using TRS-XLR cables into a zoom l12 mixer. The noise is also there. As I said, it is the same noise that I get in my BiasFX ipad plugin or mooer ge 300 if I deactivate the noise gate plugins on those devices. That is why I suspect we need some kind of noise reducer on the dwarf.


I am new here and would like to add to the hardware claim here.

The feat you guys reached with the available resources is astonishing. I am a proud owner and every one of my friends that get to see it in action feel like they would love to have one too. The thing is that many times experimenting with the device you reach the 100% mark.

I don’t fully agree with the OP that the device is not perfect. It is for what it currently has available as resources, but a more powerful version with built-in bluetooth, better ground control, noise reduction, maybe an expression pedal built-in, would make it a final pro version used anywhere from home studio to the stage and professional recording.

I have an extra nitpick that nobody has addressed before it seems: please, add a power on/off button. I mainly use it in my home studio where it lays on my desk and I have to plug/unplug the power. I would love to discover that I am really dumb and there is an easy way to switch it on/off on demand without plugging/unplugging but I’ve read the manual and it seems that if I am dumb, it is not because of missing any instruction here.

Keep up the goodt work :slight_smile:

Kind regards from :brazil:


There’s always noise with high gain setup, whatever the gear you use, isn’t there?
At least as far as I’m concerned, every OD pedals and preamp I own produce some kind of noise or hiss when switched on, even when nothing is plugged in their input socket…

I know it also partly with hardware devices.
But do you need the noise in a software plugin?
I would find it more useful if you could optionally switch the noise on or off.

@KuRi Use the Portal plugin between AidaX and cab. This will bring down the CPU consumption as well.



The improvement here has been HUGH. Somehow I thought the portal was only useful for stereo dual chain processing… THANKS!!!

I am just 2 steps away from using the MOD on my next gig!


@KuRi That’s cool! Happy to read that. I am a real fan of the Dwarf, I use even two of them, because I am playing mandoline, mandoguitar, guitar and at last I am singing. So I need two!


there are still new MOD DUO X out there to purchase from new -
as my setup is double of that a guitarist usually uses I went for that as an alternative. Look at my Processor Count:

…running on safe under 40% without spiking ever.

That said, agreed to wishing for a faster Dwarf-Version myself -
I love its footprint

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@Kopplog How is that even possible? LOL

As long as I insert a couple of plugins my cpu is over 40%…
My RAM is at 25% when the pedalboard is empty!!!

is the mod duo x more powerful than the dwarf?

Is there any test I can do to know if my unit is correctly working?

P.D: ahh, I see, the mod duo x has more cpu and ram! Damn… I need a mod duo x now!

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@KuRi :sweat_smile: :sweat_smile: :joy: Or two Dwarfs…

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@Kim Once I get 7 dwarfs can I be called SnowWhite? :smiley: