Gianfranco Ceccolini, founder of MOD Devices, shares a few insights on how it came to be.
2018, so far, has been an exciting year for MOD Devices. We launched our Commercial Plugin Shop, we opened the MOD Labs, and we introduced two new products: the MOD Footswitch and the MOD Duo X, due later on this year, on which we just published an in-depth update.
Our team is growing, and so is our ecosystem: progressively, we are finding our place within the realms of music technology.
Since our kickstarter campaign in 2014, we have been on the quest to make musicians’ lives easier. Gianfranco Ceccolini, founder of MOD Devices, tells us a bit more about the journey. With a lot of exciting things coming up, we thought that a bit of background and context would help understand the initial thought process behind MOD.
How did you initially come up with the idea for the Duo? Was it the fruit of a long thought process, or did you have an “Aha!” moment?
It was the fruit of a long process. The very initial idea was a "pedal where I can install new effects" and, as we moved into the community thing, with multiple plugin options and also the free routing between them, the platform started to take shape and it clearly was much more than the initial concept. This evolvement led us to the MOD Quadra - which was a bit of a heavy unit. The experience with the Quadra led me to thinking about the "minimal device that would give the user the most of the platform experience", and that became the MOD Duo.
When did you know that you actually wanted to take it further and MOD should become an actual company?
In 2010 I'd quit my job to focus mostly on MOD but it was only in 2013, after the release of the MOD Quadra and the perspective of going abroad with the Kickstarter, that I actually dove in and worked towards consolidating a company around it.
People often highlight the MOD Duo's aesthetical characteristics: The minimalist design, the rugged feeling. For you, what are the highlights of the MOD Duo or of your product design in general?
Form defined by function and "good design is no design" ;-)
I always considered our products to be tools for the creative mind. In that sense, I believe that anything that gets in the way or distracts the artist is undesired. Everything that you see on the Duo has a practical purpose.
The MOD Duo X is launching later on this year. What sparked the idea of creating a product specifically tailored for electronic musicians?
Being a guitar player, the design of the Duo has always taken into account that the user will have his hands busy with an instrument. But ever since the Kickstarter campaign, when we had other types of musicians purchasing the Duo without the aim of using it on the floor, I've been continuously thinking about where could we stretch to. With the arrival of Ronny as our CEO and his long expertise within the Electronic Music circles, making a redesign of the original Duo, but with a focus on desktop use - where the musicians are actually "playing" the effects, became quite the opportunity.
Where is MOD Devices heading? Any predictions?
We're working towards establishing a platform. This is a tough job because many elements must be developed at the same time so that the organism is actually growing - and not only one particular branch. In the near future we'll be, at the same time, launching new peripherals, growing the plugin ecosystem and also stretching even more into different form factors. In parallel, a lot is coming in terms of community growth, from a consolidation of the MOD Labs, as well as providing a better platform for exchange of creations and ideas by musicians.
Stay tuned and follow our journey. Lots of exciting things coming up soon!