How To Build and Deploy LV2 Plugin to MOD Duo

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Revision as of 07:31, 25 May 2016 by Alercunha (talk | contribs)
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This is a quick start guide to get an LV2 plugin running in a MOD Duo device. Let's cut the chatter and get started.

LV2 Basics

This information is well described elsewhere.

Prepare build tools

In order to run a plugin in the MOD Duo we must compiled it for its specific architecture.

The Duo uses an ARMv7 processor running a very basic and stripped-down version of Linux. Several audio-related libraries are included (fftw, libsndfile, libresample, etc) as well as generic libraries (boost, eigen, qt5core, etc).

We currently provide a custom build system that gives developers a similar system to what's available inside the Duo. (Using a regular Linux system might lead to issues due to mismatching library versions.)

Just clone MOD Plugin Builder and follow the instructions.

In summary:

$ cd
$ git clone git://
$ ./

This process should take at least 1 hour, probably more depending on your CPU. When it finishes you'll be able to build plugins for Duo.

Using docker

Alternatively if you're familiar with docker you can also use our mod-plugin-builder image which already includes a fully built SDK. The only command you need is:

$ docker run -ti moddevices/mod-plugin-builder

Get source code and create a .mk file

In case you haven't started your LV2 plugin yet just please follow through the links above in [[#LV2 Basics] LV2 Basics]. We have a few plugin examples available here. For this guide we'll use the eg-amp.lv2 example.

Assuming you have a working LV2 plugin code, you'll now need to create a buildroot mk file to build it. Buildroot requires you to create the new mk file as plugins/package/NAME/ - using the same name for both the folder and mk file.

The documentation for this file type is quite extensive, so it's not possible to cover everything here. On the mod-plugin-builder repository (that you should have cloned before) there are many mk file examples under plugins/package/.

TIP: The eg-* "packages" have their plugin code stored locally instead of downloading from external sources.

Compile it

We're all set to compile.

$ cd ~/mod-plugin-builder/
$ ./build eg-amp-lv2
$ ls ~/mod-workdir/plugins/

Success, the plugin has been built.

Deploy it

We can deploy the compiled plugin to the MOD using MOD-SDK or manually using curl (advanced).

If you have mod-sdk installed start it up using the target plugin dir as LV2_PATH, like so:

$ export LV2_PATH=~/mod-workdir/plugins/
$ modsdk

Then open a browser at localhost:9000, select a plugin from the list and use the "deploy" tab to push the selected plugin's bundle to the Duo.

For advanced users, you can push a bundle to the mod by running this: (adjust as needed)

$ cd ~/mod-workdir/plugins/
$ tar czf eg-amp.tgz eg-amp.lv2
$ cat eg-amp.tgz | base64 | curl -F 'package=@-'

Few things about the build script and Buildroot

Buildroot is based on packages to build things. An LV2 plugin becomes a package and because of that it must comply with Buildroot rules.
A few important notes:

  • The package name is defined by the folder name and cannot contain '.'
  • There must be a <packagename>.mk file inside the package folder
  • Inside the .mk file all defined variables must start with the package name replacing '-' with '_'
  • Browse through other examples so you get an idea of other variations of the makefiles (how to use waf for example)
  • If your code has dependencies you need to fill in the _BUNDLES variable with a list; you can check the available packages here

Alternatives to retrieve source code

The .mk file will define how your source code is retrieved. In the eg-amp example the .mk file tells Buildroot to download it from github. Alternatively you can use a local tarball or point directly to the source code.

Point directly to the source code

Just replace the top section called 'download source code' with the following:

<PACKAGE_NAME>_SITE = /path/to/source

It's important that you replace the section, a _VERSION variable cannot exist or it will fail. If you try changing the eg-amp example don't forget to remove the trailing path from the make command. It should look like this:


If you place the source code in same folder as the .mk file you can set the _SITE using $($(PKG)_PKGDIR)/ as a relative path. You can find a working example of such setup here.

Point to a local tarball

Assuming you make a tar.gz file and put it in the same folder as the .mk file then you must replace the top section called 'download source code' with the following:


If you want to use an arbitrary path just replace the _SITE variable.