Synthtopia

Open-Source Virtual Eurorack Modular Synthesizer, VCV Rack, Now Available

At Knobcon 2017, developers launched VCV Rack – an open-source virtual Eurorack modular synthesizer that’s available as a free beta download for Linux, Mac & WIndows.

The system features software versions of some of the most popular Eurorack modules, including virtual versions of modules from Mutable Instruments, Befaco and Synthesis Technology. Many of the module are direct ports of the code from the hardware modules.

The system is based around VCV Rack – a virtual Eurorack case. You can add modules, edit parameters, and save/load patches. Patches are created by making connections with  your mouse. The basic rack comes with 8 analog-modeling modules.

You can perform by connecting a MIDI keyboard controller or sequencer to VCV Rack. There are also plans for a VST/AU version.

In the Rack, control voltages and audio signals are equivalent, so you can modulate parameters with sonic-range VCOs to create customizable FM synths or chaotic wave-shaping oscillators.

If you already own a hardware modular synthesizer, you can use VCV Rack to expand your system virtually by connecting your hardware via an audio interface that supports CV signals or a CV-MIDI-CV interface module.

You can expand your rack by downloading virtual versions of some popular Eurorack modules:

Audible Instruments – Based on the Mutable Instruments Eurorack modules, Audible Instruments gives you a collection of complex sound generators, modulation sources, sound modifiers, and signal utilities. All modules which are based on real digital modules are ports of their original source code, so generated signals are faithful to the hardware.

E-Series – The E-Series plugin features a port of Synthesis Technology’s E340 Cloud Generator, a VCO capable of fat, chaotic, and swarming sound with up to eight combined saw and sine oscillators detunable with a spread parameter and filtered noise.

Befaco – Includes Befaco’s EvenVCO, A*B+C, Spring Reverb, Mixer, Slew Limiter, and Dual Attenuverter modules, with DSP measured from hardware. Virtual versions of Befaco’s Rampage, VC ADSR, and Hexa VCA are also in the works.

Pricing and Availability

VCV Rack is available to download now for free, and is available for Linux, Mac & Windows. Source code is also available at Github.

If you’ve used VCV Rack, leave a comment and share your thoughts on it!