Last year, Gianfranco wrote a post about the international events MOD Devices has attended and because there's been a lot of activity recently and a lot more to come in the near future, we're doing a Part Deux, with all the latest events recaps and news. Enjoy!
Ok, so we're a music technology startup and these are three of the greatest words you can say whenever someone asks you "- and what do YOU do?" at an event. But we're also part of the free/libre/open source software community, which is what makes us a bit of an exotic fish in certain environments. Yet this is what gives us our edge and the ability to try to change the game and provide a creative platform that empowers its users.
In every event we go, we're constantly pitching and demonstrating the Duo (and, as of April, its new peripherals) to everyone we meet, and it's interesting to see that each event has its own specificity, each crowd its expectations, each musician his or her own particular needs. As we have these conversations, we get some wonderful feedback, broaden the community and make some friends in the process. It's both exhausting and really fascinating!
Last April, we went back to Frankfurt and took part in the Musikmesse again. This time, we weren't accompanied by the musical mastermind who thought of a world without musical instruments, but we had a great team composed of Pjotr, Jesse, Gian and myself. We were located in the electric guitar and relied on our beautiful Pedalboard Builder interface to lure the attendants to our booth. Also, Pjotr and Jesse's trumpet and Circuit MOD jams were bound to get us some attention. At one point, they caught the eye of a French podcast crew and I ended up being interviewed for the great Les Sondiers channel (you can check it out below).
We made friends all around us but a special nod must go to luthier Jean-Luc Moscato and bass virtuoso Jeff Corallini who were right next to us. With his 7-string bass, he was always impressing everyone who walked by. Someone filmed a nice impromptu jam that happened at some point. Our own Pjotr Lasschuit got some trumpet action there as well:
With music booming everywhere, we were happy to explore some of the other (quieter) halls and check out the latest gear. I was particularly impressed by this super versatile MIDI wind instrument.
All in all, we got another great feeling of our place in this impressive and innovative industry and, like during NAMM earlier this year, we took another step forward in gathering momentum, creating some buzz and starting collaborations.
The Linux Audio Conference has been THE community event for us since our first time there in 2013. This year, it was held in Saint Etienne, co-organized by the GRAME from Lyon and the CIEREC from Saint Etienne's Jean Monnet University. It's always a great opportunity to meet, chat and have a drink or two with our community's developers, enthusiasts and supporters.
This year, we held a workshop on the "Origins, features and roadmap of the MOD Duo" and were really thrilled with the dialogue it sparked.
There was also a very insightful keynote speech by Paul Davis, developer of JACK and Ardour among some other great achievements. He presented his view on the state of Linux Audio, open-source development in general and he even mentioned MOD Devices as an example of an open-source-based company striving to get proper marketing promotion (indeed we are!). I was also super excited about the music tutor developed by Marc Groenewegen from the Utrecht School of Music and Technology. We talked a little bit after his session and along with Robin Gareus we imagined how we could soon have a music tutor plugin for the Duo. You can check out these (and others') talks on the Youtube channel of Université Jean Monnet here.
The evenings were filled with musical performances and our own Jeremy Jongepier, AKA AutoStatic, closed off the second night with a MOD-fueled concert. He totally owned the stage with his Duo, guitar and MIDI controllers, all the while downing a nice cold beer: very RocknRoll! The video for that is here and starts at around 2:40:00.
From attending these events we've come to realize that we're really reconciling these two aspects - the investor-friendly and the idealistic FLOSS developer -, which isn't always easy, but they're actually two sides of the same coin. We're looking to take the best from both worlds: bring some much needed investment and new business model to the FLOSS world and provide evolving and innovative devices based on FLOSS to the music market.
The next events we'll attend are a perfect place to continue to position ourselves as a company with a different outlook and mindset on the musical effects game.
Next week, we will be in Barcelona for a very exciting event. It will be our second participation at the Sónar+D after being selected as a finalist for the 2015 Startup Competition. We will have a booth at the MarketLab this time, which is, as the organizers put it, "a space where the creators of the year's most outstanding technology initiatives present the projects that they have developed in creative labs, media labs, universities and businesses. A place for trying out innovations that explore new forms of creation, production and marketing, and which in turn fosters relationships between professionals in the creative industries and the general public". Who knows, maybe Björk will come and test the Duo out...
Les Ardentes Start-up Garden
In early July, we are headed to Liège, in Belgium, to be one of 30 startup at the Living Lab of the Wallifornia MusicTech that will be held during the Les Ardentes Music Festival. This will be another great opportunity to show the Duo to a broad audience, from musicians to investors. Good music and great conversations on the horizon, what more could we ask for?
That's it for now, but there'll be more on the next semester, for sure! And if any of you will be around in Spain or Belgium for our next two rendezvous, we'd love to see you, so drop us a line :)