Linux based MOD Duo Multi-Effects Pedal is Powered by an AllWinner A20 SoM (Crowdfunding)

If you are both a maker and a musician, MOD Duo multipurpose pedal may be a fun “toy” to play with. It’s an embedded computer comprised of a Hi-Fi soundcard (baseboard) powered by the same ITEAD Studio A20-CORE system on module found in ITEAD Studio IBOX, fitted into an enclosure with a pedalboard interface, and two graphics displays. You can create and share your own effects, or download the one made by the community using LV2 sound plugins, an open sound processing standard. A MOD Arduino Shield is also available to create new peripherals.

MOD Duo Prototype in Acrylic Enclosure (Left) - Enclosure for Final Product (Right)
MOD Duo Prototype in Acrylic Enclosure (Left) – Render of Die Cast Aluminum Enclosure for Final Product (Right)

Some technical specifications of the MOD Duo:

  • SoC – AllWinner A20 dual core Cortex A7 processor @ 1GHz (AllWinner A23 is part of stretch goals)
  • Two audio inputs
  • Two audio outputs
  • Stereo headphones output
  • Cirrus Audio Codec
  • USB – 1x USB Host for bluetooth, Wifi adapters and MIDI peripherals, 1x USB device to connect to your computer (and possibly to use the device as an USB sound card, if a stretch goal is reached)
MOD Duo Board with Hi-Fi Sound Card and A20 SoM (Click to Enlarge)
MOD Duo Board with Hi-Fi Sound Card and A20 SoM (Click to Enlarge)

Beside audio equipment connected via the audio interfaces of the MOD Duo, you can also connect peripherals using an open protocol called Control Chain. The company now provides three peripherals: the Expression Pedal, the Footswith Extensor and, the MOD Arduino Shield to let you control effects using weight sensor, light sensor, accelerometer, heart beat sensor, or other sensors you can thin of. Up to 8 connection pedals can be connected in series.


An web based user interface is provided to loading and installing a large library of plugins from MOD Social community. You can try the interface called Constructor in Google Chrome web browser, where you can drag and drop various equipments (amplifiers, filters, boosters, and so on) and connect them.

The company has shared various videos, but I’ve included the one where they show some of the things that can be done with done with their MOD Arduino Shield and sensors.

An SDK to create plugins will also be made available. You can learn more about it in that blog post.

Portmalmod has now launched a Kickstarter campaign to complete the design and fund mass-production for the project. You can pledge $299 to get DUO Mod (Beta or Early Bird pledge), with the optional Arduino shield, Expression Pedal, and Footswtich Extensor going for respectively $20, $84, and $86. Shipping is free to the US, and $40 to the rest of the world. You’ll have to be patient however, as the Beta version will expected to ship in April 2015, and other perks in June and July 2015, about 9 months from now.

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