Which gear do you use with your DUO?

In our video, we show the DUO hooked up to a Boss DS-1 distortion pedal and a Korg Volca Sample for beats. Behind the scenes, we love jamming with the DUO with a little bit of delay (a Korg Monotron Delay or an Ibanez Echo Shifter) and any drum computer we can find to add some rhythm.

Which gear do you like to use along with your DUO? How do you hook it up, and what sort of sounds come out?

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funny you should ask! I first heard about the KORG VOLCA from your kickstarter page. after getting the DUO, I quickly realized (thanks to the RANDOM button) that having a drum machine to lock in the 1 would be helpful. Enter VOLCA BEATS :sunglasses:

Since then, I’ve added VOLCA BASS and more will follow… starting to think about effects. a little reverb would be nice. Thinking about Electro-Harmonix EPITOME because multi-effects means fewer cables and I’ve already got a lot happening

That EPITOME looks really nice – there are lots of great options for multi-effects and/or reverbs. I tend to bring along a small Zoom MS 70-CDR chorus/reverb when I need a little reverb. I’ve also seen artists pair the DUO with Boss loopers and multi-fx pedalboards (the ones with the multiple foot switches).

A couple weeks ago I started using my DUO along with two Pocket Operators - PO-12 and PO-14 - which has been a lot of fun.

Last week I came across a steal of a deal on a used Korg MS20 Mini analog synth and got it. So far I’ve connected the Korg into the DUO and have had an awesome time playing the DUO while tweaking the sounds using the Korg…

I’m curious if it is also possible to go the other way with the configuration and route the Korg into the DUO? The Korg has a standard midi IN but USB-Midi and CV OUT’s:

_Signal In: Amplifier Out, _
_ Band pass filter Out, _
_ CV Out (0 - +8.4V), _
_ ENV Out (0 - +5V), _
_ Trig Out (+5V–>GND), _

_Signal out: Signal output (mono 1/8" mini phone jack, 2Vp-p output impedance 3.5k Ω) _

_Head phones: Head phones output (Stereo 1/8" mini phone jack, 33 Ω 48mW), _

_USB: Type B, USB-MIDI Input/Output _
_*Only note messages (velocity is not used) can be transmitted and received. _

_MIDI: MIDI Input _
*Only note messages (velocity is not used) can be transmitted and received.

Can anyone tell me if / how I could connect my Korg going into the DUO so that I could play notes on the Korg into the DUO’s sequencer?

Also with my current configuration it seems that certain functions will work like shifting up/down octaves, increasing/decreasing length and speed, but others like Wave / Frequency / Release, Crush, etc. don’t do anything when I have the two devices connected… anything I can do to fix this or is this normal?

Many thanks!


I began to use it with a guitar pedal chain: Boss distortion - Boss delay- boss Loop rc3…

and i tried to sync to softwares like ableton live ( it’s only work like slave mode - Duo like the master tempo, but the tempo it’s not very stable, it’s increase some mseg before to fixed)

I have a very good syncro with Native Instruments Traktor (traktor master tempo and Duo like the slave) and i loved this!

i post a little video in my instagram today @diyeipituto

greetings from Namur-BE

Happy Holidays. Got my kids the Duo from Santa. I cannot figure out how to hook my guitar pedals to it. Can someone explain?


Nevermind. Got it figured out, I just have to line out going to the pedal and then the pedal into a powered speaker. I was trying to get the pedal hooked up to use the internal speaker.

Good stuff.

Exactly, that is how it works. It’s not possible to use the internal speaker with external sources.

I missed your post earlier. The MS20 mini is a great instrument in itself but not a suitable MIDI keyboard. It has no MIDI out, so you can’t use it to enter notes into the DUO’s sequencer. The other way around does work: using the DUO’s sequencer to play notes on the MS20.

With some creative patching you should be able to clock the DUO’s sync input from the MS20’s modulation generator.

I finally got my jam setup in order! :yum:
I’ve mostly used my Duo either standalone together with my son or connected to my DAW. But it has became clear to me that the DAW is really effective when it comes to killing the kind of creativity that these small gear gives. So, I wanted something standalone and “fairly static”. Because of that I’ve mounted the Duo together with some other small gear on what’s actually an IKEA metal shelf. Really good as it has lots of holes in it where I’ve used plastic strips to keep the gear in place, just as is common to do on guitar pedal boards.

To begin with, I clearly need a bigger table! :woozy_face:

And i suppose some of you might be interested in how it’s all connected. Because I don’t have a “normal” mixer that’s of the right size, also I might want to record what I’m playing, and also for creative reasons I’m using my Zoom R16 digital porta studio instead. Along with that I’ve got an M-Audio Axiom 25 MIDI controller to get a normal keyboard (well honestly two octaves is not enough, but it’s OK). The Axiom is connected to my Roland JU-06’s MIDI In and is also controlling some parameters on it to make it easier to play.

The JU-06 is running the master clock in my setup and it connects from its MIDI Out/Thru to MIDI In on my beloved Dato Duo. :wink: To the Duo’s Sync Out I’ve connected my Pocket Operator PO-12 Drum machine. When I start the JU-06 sequencer, the Duo will start also, as intended. The PO-12 obviously only have sync in and because of that it doesn’t start automatically. Annoying fact: If I try to start the PO-12 after the JU-06 and the Duo, it always starts offbeat. It’s correct in tempo, but never sync with the other gear. Might be some delay from the clock being converted from MIDI to Sync going through the Duo? Anyone else having this problem? If I start the Po-12 first I can then start the other gear on beat, but I have to hit it by myself, no sync is helping me to get exactly on the beat.

Unfortunately, because the Dato cannot forward incoming MIDI data to its MIDI out, the Alesis SamplePad Pro aren’t connected to the MIDI chain. As it’s capable of handling more sounds than its number of physical pads I’ve got those sounds mapped to the small pads on the Axiom, but to be able to play them I have to unplug the Duo and plug in the SamplePad instead. (Duo firmware update please?) :grinning:

That’s the MIDI part. Now the audio part:
As the Duo is “two channel mono” (it has a stereo out but sends the same signal on both channels) I’ve connected it with a cable with a mini tele stereo plug in one end and two separate fullsize mono tele in the other. In that way I can connect one channel directly to my mixer (Ch 1) and the other one through the distortion pedal, then to the mixer (Ch 2). In that way I get dry signal on channel one and wet on channel two and can blend them as I wish. The R16 doesn’t have any Aux sends or returns so this is a way around it. Also, I find it handy, still a bit limiting but in a quite creative way. The JU-06 has both line out and phones and I use both of those similar to the Duo connections. As the JU-06 has real stereo outs I’ve plugged the dry signal in at mixer channel 3-4 and the wet (going through a Zoom B2.1u bass effects pedal) to channel 5 (I’m quite certain the B2.1u has a stereo out, but I don’t have a cable for that right now so the wet signal is still in mono). Channel 8 is for drums. The PO-12 connects through Aux in on the SamplePad, I didn’t really feel the need for having them on separate channels.

So, guess that’s about it. Trying to find out where to put my Alesis QuadraVerb in the setup. Have to think about that a bit…

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Thanks for sharing that! I really like your pegboard organisation method. What is the yellow power strip you are using?

You are correct in that there is a delay between the sync clock and clock on the DUO’s MIDI input. The only workaround for this is to have the Dato DUO be sync master for both MIDI and sync.

The power strip is an “IKEA Lörby” USB Charger (around $10). It gives enough power to feed the two synthesizers and the MIDI keyboard.

Ah! Good to know! In that case I can stop trying to make it work the way I’ve connected it then. :grinning: The problem is once again the lack of MIDI Thru on the Duo, which would be necessary if the Duo should handle the sync and still be able to plug in an external keyboard for the whole MIDI chain. Another workaround is to plug it all to a computer just to handle the MIDI and use the Duo as sync for all of it. But it feels a bit overkill to have a computer running just to get some USB connectivity. :roll_eyes::slightly_smiling_face:

At the moment, I’m using the DUO with two pieces of gear :

  • the OP1 Field
  • the Helix Floor

And it’s a joy to work with it.
The MIDI config, via USB-C is easy enough between the DUO and the OP1 Field
And the Helix’s Shuffle Looper (think Chase Bliss MOOD mk2, sort of) is a perfect companion to create textures out of the DUO.