VCV, A New Open-Source Virtual Modular System, To Debut At Knobcon

VCV, a new open-source virtual modular synthesizer system, will make its debut at Knobcon 6, scheduled for September 8-10, 2017 in Chicago. 

The system is expected to initially offer more than two dozen modules, including virtual versions of some open Euro module designs. VCV is designed in collaboration with Grayscale, known for their clear interface designs.

VCV is designed to be used as a complete DAW for creating modular synthesizer compositions or as an extension of hardware modular systems.

VCV will be available for Linux, Mac & Windows. Details are still to come at the VCV Rack site.

17 thoughts on “VCV, A New Open-Source Virtual Modular System, To Debut At Knobcon

  1. Softube modular part 2? The open source part is interesting. Reaktor Blocks is great but you lost something when dealing with a modular system in a software environment. And it got complicated with all the extensive programming capabilities but it also opened up a world of possibilities when others would just get crazy and started making their own modules to share. So again, the open source part is interesting.

  2. The interface looks great so far. Would be cool though if the site had an email sign up for more information when it becomes available.

  3. It’s the absence of any knob whatsoever that makes this debut release so interesting at Knobcon….Btw It’s funny how all these releases always choose an interface to highlight, never a sound.

    1. There have been a few software companies at Knobcon in the past years, and some part suppliers and case manufacturers. Knobcon definitely shouldn’t become another NAMM, but there’s a bit of divergence from the “having a knob” requirement. 🙂

      As for the sound, I’m against making audio teasers, because they always sound like overproduced presets and demonstrate 0.0001% of the sound capabilities. Instead, I’m presenting the tools and canvas and letting the artist decide what to do with it.

    1. Interesting that they say “in collaboration with grayscale” when grayscale only does panel design, parts and pieces for modules (as far as I knew) but if you follow the link posted by Fedor TTkachev, you’ll see many modules that are straight copies from known companies like Mutable Instruments and others.

      As you go further you can see that they have removed the Mutable Instruments branding, and some of the actual names have been edited.

      For example, Mutable Instruments Elements is named Modal Synthasizer

      Not saying anything is shady here, who knows who all their partners are, but if I was making a modular software, and had partners like noted above, I’d mention them over Grayscale

      1. They’re taking the code from various MI modules, and simply porting it over to work on their virtual modular system.

        If you look at Mutable Instruments’ source code repository, they explicitly ask people creating derivative works based on their code to not use their company name as it’s a registered trademark, and they recommend against using the original module names as well.

      2. Two words are of import: open and source …

        MI module code has always been open source, it’s one of the things Olivier has always stood by!

  4. I’ve been working with Wes from Grayscale personally since the start of this year. VCV is listed on his website.

    Olivier is happy with the project as long as I follow his guidelines at, which involves renaming the company and modules names. There are many Mutable-derived DIY projects that use the name Elements, Braids, etc, but these go against Olivier’s request.

    Befaco, on the other hand, is happy to allow the real names of their modules and brand to be used.

  5. Yeah, nothing shady going on. He got all the Mutable assets from me (with Olivier’s blessing). I guess Grayscale then gave everything the final face lift to make them all look more homogeneous. The code for the Mutable modules is all open source, and it’s actually cool to see them made into this virtual form (though this is not the first case, there’s already quite a number of software versions of the more famous modules like Braids, Rings and Clouds, for example you can get all the Braids algos for the Axoloti).
    The names on the Mutable modules in VCV are the descriptions of their functionality found on the euro panels. If you look on Modulargrid Elements has the “Modal Synthesizer” text on the panel. The names and the Mutable Instruments logo were removed because this is not an official Mutable product (same as with third party panels).

    1. You said “there’s quite a number of software versions” of the famous Mutable modules, but what is out there, except Axoloti?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *