The final steps.
In June, we announced perhaps the biggest and most exciting step so far for MOD Devices: the Duo X. We are expanding our horizons in our everlasting quest to make musicians’ lives easier, and we thought it would be unfair not to include electronic musicians into our crazy journey.
In our announcement post, we unveiled many exciting features of the Duo X, and how it came to be. A couple of months later, we are extremely eager to tell you that we are in the final steps of development, and that the Duo X is getting pretty darn real. In this post, we will share some updates about some new product features, as well as some hints of what to expect from the Duo X’s finish.
First, we’ve got a bit of news. Due to our, perhaps slightly excessive, need for constant improvement and desire to excel in what we do, the official launch date was changed to the end of October. This is all for a good cause, and the wait will most definitely pay off.
The main reason behind the delay is that we decided to go for a different cutting-edge processor from compulab.com, and due to their high demand, the delivery is taking longer than initially expected. We are doing everything we can to have all the rest sorted in parallel, and the Duo X ready as soon as possible.
Trust us, we also can’t wait!
Open view of the MOD Duo X
Now let’s get to the good stuff, cause there’s plenty of it.
The Duo X, more suited to you
Throughout the development of the Duo X, we always knew that we wanted to make a device that would add great value to any kind of setup. Therefore, the Duo X is our most controllable, customizable product so far. Here are a few example features reflecting that.
A Plug & Play experience in many scenarios. We thrive for that!
The idea behind the User Profiles was to provide with that, always.
It enables you to create up to four different profiles with number of device settings, which include input and output gains & stereo link, headphone level, Expression/CV settings, clock source and more.
This is pretty much like setting up your own different scenarios to fit your needs. Different places have different requirements: your home studio, the venue where you perform on Fridays... Different setups imply different adjustments. We want to make sure that you're 100% prepared for the scenarios you encounter the most.
The Duo X will feature several customizable User Profiles
New menu, display and system organization: accessibility is king
We really wanted to increase accessibility from the device itself. For a more hands-on approach, so to speak. We have been focusing on making the usability of the Duo X smooth and intuitive. Therefore, we have spent several hours organizing the menus in the most logical, natural manner.
The system that we came up with is meant to be quick and straightforward. You will be able to not only monitor and manipulate the main parameters of your performance, such as assigned knobs and buttons, but also change presets, BPM and very quickly access secondary elements such as other pedalboards, bypass switch, mute/unmute with tuner, and MIDI options for setting up navigations. This is a big leap from our current usability scenario and we are looking forward to seeing it in action.
Yes, navigation via MIDI is now possible. Many of our current users have been longing for that and now the pedalboard presets (re-named "Snapshots") can be changed via MIDI and MIDI Program change. Navigating through pedalboards inside banks has become a device setting and not a bank setting. That means that you don't need to alter it bank by bank, but only once. We had so many requests on this matter and it just suited perfectly to the whole new arrangement. "Oh! But what if I DO want a different navigation in different scenarios?".
Fear not! User Profiles are now here to help you.
Truth is we've learned a lot about the better use of our two displays during this project, and those learnings are likely to be applied not only in the next product developments but also in system updates.
The new Pagination function
As you've seen in the project images, there are three buttons in between the Duo X encoders. This is the first time that we work with system buttons, as in the MOD Duo everything was accessed by the knobs. In our previous blogpost on the subject, you got to know what two of them stand for: the Instant Recall function.
But wait a minute! There is one more button on that top panel. Well, that's for Pagination.
This feature allows you to quickly switch the whole knobs and buttons assignments at once. You'll have three blank pages to tailor to your needs. But this time, differently from the Instant Recall, your pages are saved in the Duo X until you decide to change them up.
I can’t deny it... it’s pretty cool.
The Duo X will feature a new Pagination function to quickly switch between different configurations
Can we now stop splitting the music-making world between analog and digital? Yay!
As an analog/digital hybrid, the Duo X can be a powerful tool on its own, but definitely adds great value within more complex setups. Its high connectivity make it the ideal team player, as it can interact with pretty much any type of device out there.
Two Control Voltage inputs, one TRS jack
We previously mentioned that we added a Control Voltage input to the Duo X. It turned out, along the way, that it was clearly possible to use this very TRS input for two CV inputs rather than only one. The efforts involved were minimum and the benefits pretty massive, so we decided to go for it.
Two Control Voltage inputs in one TRS jack
New plugins that allow CV
Our technical team has been working hard on developing more plugins that work with Control Voltage. You can already expect an envelope generator, a VCA, a VCF, a couple of VCOs, some CV sequencers, utilities and LFOs. There’s a lot to play with and more to come later down the line.
The finishing touches: quality in the details
At MOD, we are firm believers that the true proof of quality lays in the details. Not only do we care about what’s inside the box, but we also want to deliver a product that looks and feels good, and perhaps most importantly, that will stand the test of time.
We needed the enclosure of the Duo X to reflect the quality of what lays inside. Made of resistant monolithic aluminium, it is elegant looking yet ultra-robust. Stage ready. We've tried different finishes and the one that stands for robustness and makes it more resistant to scratches is powder coating. The MOD Duo X will therefore have that matte look that is so greatly admired about the MOD Duo. One family, one look and feel.
We have been talking A LOT about knobs. Testing dozens and dozens of them. In the end we've concluded that the only way to get what we consider the perfect knob would be to create it ourselves, from scratch.
The Duo X knobs were carefully designed to offer the best tactile and usability experience possible. Every single detail was thoroughly thought out: a slight angle for a stable grip, a skirt shape at the base to ease the rotation and a carve under the knob for more water resistance. As musicians ourselves, we know that things can get sweaty during performance, so we made sure that the knobs would have the right material to avoid any unwanted slip-outs. Aluminium also gives them a sleek, elegant look that won’t deteriorate over time.
An indication of what to expect from the Duo X knobs, which were carefully designed from scratch
A fine-tuned layout
The actual layout of the knobs and buttons also matters more than one may think. There’s probably nothing more uncomfortable and irritating than not having the proper space to push and turn. Therefore, we made sure that everything is in the right place, with the right relations and proportions. These were sometimes fractions of millimeters in between the potentiometers, or the implications of the knob-skirts in the free area available in between the knobs and encoders. After several models, we are now sure that things are millimetrically in the best layout possible.
The push buttons
The Duo X’s four push buttons have coloured LED lights which respond to their different assignments, adding a bit of a lively touch to the sober look of the Duo X. We have also decided to add a rubber surface to ensure more resistance and durability while making the touch more comfortable.
The Duo X will have, for the first time in MOD history, 4 push buttons
Who follows MOD closely knows that this whole project has been such an important one for the team, happening at such an important moment for the company. We really wanted to infuse this feeling into the experience of receiving and carrying your Duo X around. Therefore, instead of a simple box, the Duo X will get to you inside a really cool MOD case, designed to ensure the good protection and transportation of the little beasts (of course, everything will be inside a proper shipping box, just in case you wondered).
To wrap up...
Although slightly delayed, the Duo X is exceeding our expectations in terms of functionalities and possibilities. We cannot thank you enough for your support, for believing in our products, our brand and our team. We promise that patience will be well rewarded, and we can’t wait to hear what you’ll create with the Duo X!
Stay tuned for more info coming soon, and if you want to ensure your very own Duo X limited edition, simply follow that link for pre-order.