Free the Modular!

Incase you missed the news yesterday VCV Rack has launched – when I read their URL I grok it as CV Crack.. and as per the image below, it felt confirmed after my first jam with it last night…

Think of it as virtual Eurorack modular, with the initial free release providing basic modules plus a set of Mutable Instruments modules based on the same code as their great Eurorack modules..

At present it is a freestanding app, but there is a plan to provide a VST bridge and I can easily predict this future: there will be a similar explosion of new modules as per what has happened IRL over the last many years. They likely wont be free, but I applaud the long term thinking of the developers to provide the platform for free, to encourage innovation.

Will this detract from real modular ie IRL? I doubt it – I think more the reverse will happen. This will be a gateway drug for people who have been interested in modular eurorack but have never had the opportunity to try it themselves, or the funds to take the leap of faith. While there are modular plugins already in existence the advantage this system has, is in its relationship to real available modules… For example not sure if you want to sequence from a real modular? Try experimenting with the SEQ-3 module (and no doubt there will be many new sequencing modules soon) and time will tell whether is inspires you or not.

The aspect I liked the most is that it made me think & experiment in a similar way to using my real modular… I started this patch knowing nothing about VCV & ended up with a constantly evolving rhythmic patterns, simply using multiple SEQ-3s with different sequence lengths… I own 3 Rings modules IRL and love them as an easily accessible harmonic pulse generators, so it was a pleasure to just keep adding more of them…

Modules I was most reaching for but could not find: an interesting LFO capable of very slow speeds, a clock divider and a stereo mixer. No doubt these will be coming soon, along with modules I could not predict. Exciting times…

This patch got up to about 45% of my CPU (iMac 5K iMac w 4GHz i7 & 64GB of RAM) and that CPU button is handy as it shows what % of CPU each module is consuming. Not sure how my poor old laptop will cope… YMMV

Congrats to the developers

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