This week sees an exciting new addition to the hardware device support with Gen code export. MOD Devices, makers of the ultra-flexible Duo effects pedal, have collaborated with us to create a way to export code from a gen~ object as effects for their robust hardware system.
So… what is the MOD Duo?
On the surface, the MOD Duo is pretty easy to describe: It’s a pedal-like device that has a couple of switches, a couple of knobs, a couple of screens and some I/O. But the reality of this device is that it is the hub for the design and execution of an amazing effects layout - including effects that you can build yourself with using the gen~ object.
The whole thing begins in a surprising place: the web browser on your computer. Bring up a browser and point it toward the pedal (which has a built-in server) and you get an amazing user interface. This is old school guitar-style patching; you can select virtual effect pedals, wire them together in a variety of ways and design presets with your favorite settings. Right off the bat, it seems magical.
But things get even better when you fire up Max and start producing your own code using Gen and the MOD Duo Package (available from the Package Manager - see our companion article). There is a default pedal implementation that is provided to your device which conforms to most of the functional standards of the rest of the MOD Devices’ tools.
All of this is live and nearly real-time, so you get a chance to check out the results of your labors as you patch and create presets. In additional, you can save the results onto the pedal; once you disengage the browser from the pedal, you are flying on a standalone hardware-only system. And, given the beefy processor and huge chunk of memory found in the Duo, you can implement completely improbable processing chains. For example, my looper obsession got the best of me one day, and I was able to patch together a custom-waveshaper and 8-looper extravaganza - and I was still using only about 20% of the processor and 25% of the memory!
What is even more interesting is the amount of control you can apply to these virtual pedalboards. The MOD Duo includes USB hosting functions, meaning that you can plug in a control surface directly into the pedal and use it to control the devices. Once the connection is made, there is a “MIDI Learn” system that helps you quickly assign both switches and continuous controllers to any parameter - including parameters for your Gen-based effects.
Rolling Your Own...
In order to get the gen~ object’s code export working, you need to work with the MOD Duo Package. Using the MOD Duo package’s Launch patch gives you access to a background ‘watcher’ patch that connects Max to your MOD Duo and interacts with the device compiler hosted by MOD Devices’ cloud-based support system. You’ll need to come up to speed with working with the gen~ object (standard Max patches won’t work…), but this is one of the cleanest hardware/software integrations available for music systems.
The MOD Duo is a battle-ready piece of gear with an incredible amount of power that puts you in a position to create amazing, idiosyncratic performance effects. Their beautiful built-in effects patching/routing system means that you don’t have to build everything into your Gen patch; you can focus on the piece you want to create while taking advantage of the other great effects that other users have produced.
Check it out at the MOD Devices website take a look at the companion article on the MOD Duo content package for more details. And, as part of this Gen-based rollout of the MOD Duo integrations, MOD Devices has provided a discount code - MODMaxFuryCode - that will give you a 100 Euro discount (good through September 30, 2017) as a Max master who wants to try your hand at on-hardware development.