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In September 2018 we got to check out the Mod Duo, an all in one effects unit, with a simple and easy to navigate software controller that was editable through a browser. Now comes the Mod Duo X, adding in some extra real time control.
First off, it works like the Mod Duo — connect it to a computer via USB, and start up a browser, and with a couple of quick directions from their website, it’s ready to go. A virtual pedalboard appears and a bank of pedals and effects for the analog signals are available to make a signal chain to whatever the user may need: overdrives, modulations, delays, reverbs, cab simulators. Everything to make a super serious guitar/bass rig that sounds fantastically realistic. There are a ton of MIDI related utility functions for synth/keyboard applications as well as DJ’s with practical items like sequencers and filters. So truly, something for everybody.
Like the previous Mod Duo there are two large display screens, but now the addition of 10 control knobs that can be assigned to parameters of the effects via the browser software. Want one knob to control a delay time, and another to control the EQ on a distortion? OK, done with a click. The four soft touch buttons can also engage or disengage effects, as well. The display screens tell the user which control is assigned to which parameter, and respond in real time. If it’s connected to the browser, the corresponding knob will also respond visually.▼ Article continues below ▼
The browser format has one quirk though, on real pedals the inputs are usually on the right, and outputs are on the left. Somehow in the software they do it the opposite way, so it can take some getting used to when planning out a virtual pedalboard. But that’s just a minor quibble.
Sound-wise the effects are beyond excellent, and are fantastic for generating guitar sounds that might not be possible in the real world without a pedalboard the size of a surfboard, and enough patch cables to re-configure a mainframe computer from the 1960s. The reverbs and delays were super rich and offered up plenty of ambient textures that swirled while maintaining clarity. All of the pedalboards that are created can be saved to the pedalboard, and on its own, not connected to the computer, can be recalled, and their respective parameter editing knobs are right where you need them.
It’s a stereo unit, with headphone outs as well as CV/expression pedal connectivity for real time foot control and synth hookups. While it does work and behave like a pedal, the soft buttons really don’t function like actual footswitches. MOD does make a controller (not included) that will connect to the unit via a CAT 5 Cable, and offer up that functionality. Kind of a bummer though as a guitar pedal board related device, however a keyboard player or DJ that might use it on a desktop should have no issues without a foot controller.
We did have a couple of issues; the included USB drive was supposed to have a manual on it, ours arrived blank, but we were able to access info on the manufacturer’s website. There seems to be some small glitches too; for example, we assigned a knob to a parameter on a virtual pedal, and one worked, and another one didn’t in the browser, but did on the device, which was slightly annoying.
Overall the sounds are fantastic, and the ability to create, save and recall pedalboards is very easy to do, and delivers excellent sound quality.
excellent sounding effects, plenty of virtual effects and instrument controls
needs external footswitch for stompbox use