Using MOD units as educational tools

Hey there,

Had an idea just a bit ago while driving down the road and it made sense to me. Wanted to run it by others to see if they can see it too.

I found out about MOD on YouTube when loopop made a video about the dwarf.

I was enamored by the concept as it gave me a big step up in terms of my previous effects solutions.

The more I dug into the platform, the more I realized this wasn’t a regular multieffects company, it’s got way more going on than I ever considered. It’s more like a hardware VST host.

I’m on my second unit and “upgraded” from the dwarf to the MDX. I say upgraded because my gear needs the MDX rather than the dwarf, but the dwarf confirmed what I needed was the MDX.

I don’t talk a lot about my situation, but in my personal life; I have access to almost every educational institution in the US due to family engineering robotics and coding.

As I’m sure you’ve surmised from my hillbilly approach to tech (I’m burnt out as a tech guy and am no longer interested aka I don’t own computers anymore), I work with my hands and people. However, in my opinion, there is a lot of opportunity for this platform if they want to break into the education system.

First and foremost, I believe the platform/devices would be a great thing to introduce into schools due to the fact that it’s mostly centered around programming.

Computer science, audio engineering, music theory, etc…

CompSci: You have the entire platform to work with. From the GUI, plugins, midi, CV, to the actual control software of the platform itself. As long as it isn’t proprietary, it would be a good opportunity to build programming skills in a linux environment. Also, may help with tailoring ported plugins to the actual devices themselves instead of what’s currently going on; as well as curate plugins for the device. Quality>quantity. This will largely be college oriented, but High schools offer programming.

Audio Engineering: effects chains and sound design are a big part of audio in my limited knowledge. Whether is is learning about specific effects and how they affect a signal, gain staging, limiting, compressing, sidechaining, EQ or mastering. These units will give a lot of experience in terms of fighting for a noiseless recording/playing atmosphere. High school and colleges would be a good target

Music theory: this one needs development. What I’d love to see are plugins created that help build music theory concepts. Intelligent chord generators that show acceptable chord progressions for a scale with the played notes, scale quantization for CV, optional forced scales in a composition, pattern generators, as well as a plugin that provides a general template for composition (intro, bridge, chorus, outro, etc…). This would be helpful at entry levels for music programs, think middle/high schools.

This is obviously a long term idea for further growth, but seeing as this platform is so open and free, it would be cool to get into the hands of the future generation of audio enthusiasts.

That being said, I’m just some dude that uses the product. Guarantee there are a lot of hurdles required to even attempt this, but I thought it would be worth bringing up just in case there was a desire to reach people.

3200 robotics kits sent out to low income students across the country due to a government grant, it’s an attempt to bring STEM education into the lives of people who otherwise wouldn’t get a chance.

Would be cool to see MOD do this down the road for aspiring programmers/audio engineers/musicians.

I believe that entertaining these ideas and implementing them over time, while making educational outreach, will ultimately set the MOD platform apart from any other competition, as well as bring the MOD name into the leader category.

Edit 5 (2-4 were spelling):

To expound a bit more, you could even have graphic design programs involved for artwork/gui.

Programming students could be challenged to help with critical kernel/feature/firmware updates.

The most CRITICAL THING would be getting into the position to grant scholarships (in the US, of course :roll_eyes:) or internships to individuals who excel on a MOD requested end term project. That would add a lot of incentive, as long as the scholarship is of proportional value to the value added to the platform.


The MOD software is opensource so anyone can run it on a computer.
There is even the (so you don’t have to install anything) and there are builds for raspberry pi.

Considering the size and heft of the company I don’t find it reasonable to expect something like scholarships or thousands of free MOD units for such programs.

But I do think it’s a nice idea to introduce the software for schools and educational workshops! Since it’s free (and opensource) any school could already make use of this.


I appreciate your realism in the meantime. It’s why I mentioned long term goal.

The robotics company is also small, it’s why they petition for grants to cover the costs of the units from reception to delivery.


Do other countries have to apply for grants and stuff on the educational end?

I served in the military to afford college, and most people have to apply for grants/loans, so the US govt seems to dig grants for companies in an educational setting.


I’m personally a big fan of ideas like this one. Maybe looking a bit to my own background, where it was sometimes really hard to have practical access to everything that I was learning in theory.
I believe this type of initiative is a clear win-win situation, both for MOD and for students/educational institutions.
Although we must admit that this is an area full of bureaucratic barriers. Anyway, from my experience during the times that I was studying for my BA, if we manage to get the deal all done between parts, the bureaucracy tends to go along and get easier. Normally this type of deal is actually not so hard to get because the educational institutions tend to lack a lot on the budget for these types of tools (which tend to be fairly costly and with little interest). This is particularly true if we talk about public institutions, at least in the EU.

More on your comment @dreamer, you are correct. Yet, this normally is also used as some sort of funding. For example, grants are commonly available for this type of initiatives and an initiative like that (when well funded) will help any company by pumping up their production scale and therefore pushing down the production costs per unit.
Now the problem that I see here is that these type of process - as I wrote above - tends to be extremely bureaucratic and time consuming (MOD would most likely need a single person working on this pretty much full time for a couple of months).

On my experiences from my study times in a far from bigger city (Castelo Branco) in Portugal (also far from being a relevant country on these type of areas and not with tons of investment on them), We had access to a few pieces of gear that helped us learning certain concepts like modular syntheses (we had a A-100 Basic System 1 if I don’t mistake); we had a Capybara Music Computer (what honestly I can’t remember if I ever used) and I know that after I left they got some Moog. To not talk about microphones and overall studio gear (we didn’t have at the time a single “traditional” instrument like an electric guitar or a drum set, what was a huge lack in my point of view…ah! We had a little Roland Digital piano)
This was all with educational purposes, I believe that although they got them with some sort of discounts they paid for all of it and…well…they had a single unit of each. We could request it and spend a couple of hours digging with it and they were used on classes from the program like Composition, Introduction to Synthesis, Advanced Synthesis, Composition, DSP or Music Production.

For reference, I’m talking about a BA in Electronic Music and Music Production. Extremely focused on experimental music and music programming - I had a lot of classes working with Max MSP.

EDIT: I’m personally a fan because I remember how frustrating it was at the time to try to put in practice a lot of concepts that I was learning. Mainly this happened for 2 reasons: 1st obviously I didn’t have money to spend on gear lol; 2nd at the time the school was quite out of the city and it was a bit hard to get there (and get out of there) on hours after classes…although I spend a few full nights there!



I think it is amazing, to not only be a critical part of the MOD team, but also be able to promote and provide to others in your previous situation.

It’s an opportunity to work with a company that can provide the very things you lacked while educating yourself. You earned that 100%

I’d be proud just as a consumer of the mod platform, if you get the chance to pursue an idea like this. This company could provide an entire platform for students of many disciplines to grow into.


Thanks @Elk_wrath :slight_smile:
I always try to do my best (not always able, I must admit…but I try). I considered myself already privileged for being able to study that and also now to work with such a cool team in such a cool product/platform.
I would say that those limitations just fostered my curiosity, creativity and pushed me to get my hands dirty building things, thinking out of the box and trying new approaches :slight_smile:

Let’s see when we can do it.
I would say that this is a really nice idea to save overall. Although as you know we are quite overwhelmed at this point…maybe when all crowdfunding devices have been shipped you should push us back to this conversation :wink:


I really hope you get the opportunity to attempt this route, even on a small local level.

Let me know when I can double tap this topic again, and I appreciate you sharing your experiences with us!

Hope all is well with you and the family :slight_smile: