The Device I Really Wanted

I’ve often daydreamed of what future MOD devices might evolve to, for example a “rack” style unit with many I/O ports. The release of the desktop app got me thinking about a different kind of device that would focus purely on audio processing while leaving the DAC to be handled entirely by external (third-party) hardware. This device would be not much more than a small, sturdy, pedal-sized case with a beefy CPU inside, a USB port, and WiFi/Bluetooth. You would pair this with whatever off-the-shelf audio interface and MIDI controllers you prefer Don’t even bother with screens, buttons, or knobs - all interface can be done via an app / web. Include a little stand for smartphones or tablets. Maybe not everyone’s cup of tea, but the advantages I see:

  • Much cheaper and easier to design, develop, manufacture, and maintain.
  • Offload all the signal I/O handling to hardware designed to work well in a competitive market
  • Flexibility for users to choose on number of ports and other features suited to their setup, plus upgrade or downgrade as needed
  • A greatly simplified hardware unit leaves significantly more time to develop audio and user experience features
7 Likes

I’m using a mini pc with a Ryzen 5800h, presonus 26c audio interface, a 15.6” touch monitor and a midi custom controller. All fit in a metal briefcase. The OS is Linux with the mod software compiled for x86. I can’t put pictures yet, but it’s really portable and perfect! And it sounds awesome with Neural Amp Modeler.

6 Likes

I’d love to see this setup!

1 Like

It’s on Facebook in the neural amp modeler official group, I can’t post links or images here…

I don’t have Facebook :smiling_face_with_tear:

you should be able to do both now. I raised your permissions by one. Also, if you’ll be showing your gear, be sure to post photos here for all of us to drool over :grinning:

1 Like

Let’s see if I can post pictures now…
Well… here’s my lethal combo, Ryzen 5800h mini pc, Debian 12 realtime kernel, MOD software compiled and running in docker. Presonus 26c and a custom midi pedal based on PedalinoMini project. I did some “fixes” at the Mod Ui to manage the change of pedalboards via midi while the ui is open. It’s killer. I mainly use Neural Amp Modeler with standard profiles, plus IR cab loader and convolution reverbs.


5 Likes

Amazing! Thank you!!

2 Likes

Thank you for sharing @raidolo, inspiring! Right now I’m using the desktop app on my Mac M2 with a similar chain and it’s working very well for me. I’ve added an additional channel for vocals that includes multiple harmonizers and it sounds great already. There’s plenty of room for adding effects for dynamics and spatial modulation per voice, so I’m eager for the possibilities.

I don’t have the time or patience for the custom MIDI controller build, but I love how modular this system is. Each piece has its purpose, and can be swapped with other other components depending on needs of flexibility vs. portability, and each component can be supplied from sources ranging from professional, high-end to low cost, to DIY.

4 Likes

Yes that’s my main goal, if the pc fails, I can use another one, if the audio card fails I can replace it, I can have different pedals for different needs, I can run it headless or with a smaller monitor. Possibilities are endless. I could never thank enough MOD Devices to have released their software open-source and also for developing the desktop apps to increase their audience. If in the future they will ask for a license fee to run the software on the desktop I’ll be happy to pay for it. It’s a really great piece of software. Cheers.

5 Likes

@raidolo, do you run anything else on the PC at times, like a DAW?
What sort of roundtrip latency do you get with this setup?

I’m in the process of exploring something sililar, but using a Raspberry Pi 5 and a MOTU M4.

Sam x

I believe the RPI5 is still not enough to run standard NAM models without any worries, I got 30% Dsp usage with two standard NAM models in the same chain on a single input channel. You can run 4 NAM instances at least 2 on each channel, because JACK uses a different cpu Core for different channels. But this cpu goes up to 2k points in single core geekbench. The rpi5 in single core scores like 750-800points. The RTL is about 7ms with 64 samples and 2 periods. (I also replied to this in the other thread)

2 Likes

Again, amazing setup @raidolo . I’m curious about your music influences and production. Also, could you point at some of your favorite NAM models? :pray: Still in the hunt here!

1 Like

I’m not a professional, I just like technology and good tones coming from this software. I’m a guitar student really :joy: regarding NAM Models, I may suggest HelgaB captures, for high gain stuff like peavy 6534+ and fuzzes, the Fender Deville (search for it), for cleans, the magical AC-10 capture, which is another clean/breakout capture, especially the Jangle settings…

3 Likes

Thanks! I’m no pro at all either. I was just curious about the kind of stuff you like to listen/play.

1 Like

I had recently downloaded several “Vox” related models from ToneHunt, including the AC-10 package, but after reading your post realized I hadn’t copied them over to the NAM folder. I tried them last night, and these are ones I was looking for! I like to do a lot of classic rock and jangly pop and these pair nicely with some York Audio IRs. Thank you!

4 Likes

I just tried the AC-10 and it’s really good! Loved the cleans/break up tones. :heart_eyes:

3 Likes

As I said, one of the best captures out there. What device are you using to play with NAM?

I’m currently using my Mac M2 but I’m targeting something more “expendable” like your setup.

Duo X here.