miRack, ‘VCV Rack For iPad’, Now Available

Vitaly Pronkin has released miRack, a new software modular synthesizer platform for the iPad.

miRack started out as a fork of VCV Rack – a multi-platform software synth that’s inspired by Eurorack modular synthesizers. The original goal was to improve performance and make it usable on cheap computer boards like the Raspberry Pi.

Along the way, Pronkin decided that the iPad would be an ideal platform for the project:

“It was clear that a touch screen is much better suited for dragging virtual cables between modules and for using knobs and other controls than a mouse, and also that there’s no need to build hardware when there are iPads with big screens and fast CPUs.”

Here’s an unofficial video demo, via VCV Rack Ideas:

Update: As TheVimFuego notes in the comments, miRack is not a port of VCV Rack, it’s a new app that began as a fork of the VCV Rack code. Because it’s a fork, it has features that are not available in VCV Rack, and vice versa.

Also, CDM’s Peter Kirn raises the question of licensing. We reached out to VCV Rack developer Andrew Belt for comment, and he told us, “I believe his project is kosher now, although he had to resolve a few IP issues with graphics and assets from Grayscale, Befaco, Synthesis Technology, and others.”

Pricing and Availability

miRack is available now for US $7.99 in the App Store.

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

39 thoughts on “miRack, ‘VCV Rack For iPad’, Now Available

  1. Yeh,it’s out and a marvel with cool updates promised. The dev would rather it not be referred to a as “VCV Rack for iPad” though due to licensing issues. It’s a fork of the VCV Rack v0.6 code. Love the desktop version too.

  2. This does not appear to be legal. He’s forked the VCV Rack source code, and modified the LICENSE.txt file to replace the original license (GPL) with a different, less restrictive one (BSD) that allows him to do things like sell the app on the iOS App Store.

    Unfortunately you can’t do that. The GPL is very explicit that any code derived from GPL-licensed code must remain under the GPL. What he’s done is like going into a store and writing a different price on an item to make it cheaper.

      1. Just adding a bit more information. On the VCV Rack Official User Group (on Facebook), the question of legality came up in a shared link on September 16. Andrew Belt, the VCV Rack developer, replied in the thread to say there were some issues with the Grayscale Component Library license, and then added of the miRack developer: “I’ve talked to him before and he’s a great developer, so I fully believe that we’ll quickly come to an agreement that makes this 100% fair for everyone.”

    1. Admin: We checked with the developer of VCV rack and he told us he had no licensing issues with miRack. We have updated the post to reflect his comments.

  3. In love with this creation. I already have several racks of hardware
    In my studio. Omg…Mutable instruments!! I am loving this virtual system ! Thank you for all the work
    You put into this. I can be anywhere and create! An answer to my dreams!

  4. According to Brandon Dorris (YouTube and windcontroller Facebook group), the latency was pretty bad in the first version. Haven’t tried it with my own windcontrollers (or other controllers; just did a couple of simple drone-ish patches). But I’m guessing latency won’t bother me too much. And it’s not typically something which affects listeners so, if the player can get used to it, the result is fine.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-3yvCeTyZw

    Of course, most (mi)Rack users are likely to do generative music, like the example embedded. That can be a lot of fun.

    I really hope miRack can add AUv3 support, at some point. Even better, it could add the MPE support from VCV’s most recent versions of Rack. Then, I’d have a piece of virtual gear which would stop me from asking for more MPE synths… Wait… Who am I kidding? I’d still clamour for more MPE. Always MOAR!

  5. Day 2 w MiRack n I’ve created some awesome undulating Krell patches!! I’m in heaven!! Thank you folks for an awesome App that will keep me hooked for a very long time! Need I say ‘this is my go to App’!!!

  6. I don’t know about you but I’ve been waiting so long for a VCV like app to come to the iPad. To be able to patch cords with your finger is so much more intuitive than using a mouse. Well done Mr developer!

  7. Maybe I finally have to go Apple at last….
    Can someone tell what the minimum second hand iPad would be needed for this (and what adapter to connect it with MIDI and audio into the DAW)?

    1. I’m using an old iPad Air 2 and it works great. To connect a USB audio/MIDI interface you need the “Camera Connection Kit” – There are 2 versions, make sure to get the one that allows you to still charge the iPad while using it.

    1. Why? It’s the free modules. You pay for the platform not the modules. And since there is no way Apple let you download exe in app he had to include them since its impossible to download them

    2. No you wouldn’t – because it would only be included if you open sourced your code with the intent that it could be used in commercial apps. You’d be excited to see your work being made available to new people in new formats.

  8. This surely has to be the announcement of the year on Synthtopia!
    I’ve just bought it. It’s so awesome….a dream come true. To see Mutable as welll……and it’s so cheap. Amazing.

  9. Makes me feel like a simpleton. Was interested when I saw an article about this on Google so downloaded it from the App Store. Didn’t realize the developer assumes you already know how to work with it because there is no documentation or sample patches to examine. How simple would that’ve been?

    1. Like with a lot of the Music Apps, Documentation has to catch up with the App.

      Oh, btw …when I downloaded the app 2 days ago, I saw 2-3 examples/patches.

    1. 2 main reasons:

      1) It’s a fork – a new app, with roots in VCV. The VCV guy doesn’t have plans for an iOS version, so this guy took the time to make it work. From what I’ve seen, he did a good job.

      2) VCV 1.0 uses a different license, GPL3, that is thought to be incompatible with publishing in the App Store.

  10. While I thrill at the possibility in sounds creation, the reality of patching with limited visibility software GUI patch cords is tiresome, the window is like the menu system in early digital synths; you can’t see everything at once. It might sound sick, but if I had a scripted interface and emacs I could program a modular faster! LOL!

  11. I read the VCV community forums and FaceBook pages and it seems like more than a few coders are displeased about their contributions to a free opensource system being bundled up into what is obviously a money grab from a dude that never even wrote a single plugin for VCV Rack. Even if it’s “legal” nobody was asked about their work being used before the app popped up for sale on the Apple Store.

    1. If you open source something and allow for commercial use, you can’t be surprised and offended when people do exactly what you told them to do.

      This is how open software works. You contribute something to the community, and that can include business users, if you allow it.

      Also, it’s delusional to call developing and debugging an iOS app like this a ‘money grab’. A ton of work goes into something like this, and the developer deserves to be compensated if you think his app is useful.

      Judge miRack by its merits, not by sour milk complaints. I bought it, and so far think that it’s pretty cool.

      1. Check the VCV forums. Not every single part of VCV is free for commercial enterprises. Some coders have asked for their noncommercial works to be removed from miRack and he won’t do it because it would break the patches of his paid customers. That is not “sour milk” it is theft. He should have asked other coders before charging money for their noncommercial works.

  12. I was in love with VCV Rack since day one and thought this would be fun because of touch but performance was quite bad on this 9″ iPad Pro. Vitaly has not responded to the support request since three days, I guess he can’t worry with the few dollars he gets after Apple takes their profit.

    After I read the comments here it seems like he has made some shortcuts with the selling of other people’s ideas, wish I read this first because I can’t support that. I think I just ask for my money back and keep using Rack on my computer where it works perfect.

  13. Paid for this, tapped the icon for the first time, software crashed immediately after showing a black screen. Restarted the iPad several times, updated OS, it just fails infinitely. Wasted an hour on this garbage. Requested a refund, not even worth the cheap €9 price. Does Synthtopia even try these things first, or just hype?

  14. I’m going to speak up with a vote *for* Vitaly, I called out an issue a few days ago, he acknowledged it and said a fix was coming – the latest update corrects that behavior plus adds another module set; a few days turn-around is pretty good for an iOS dev! it IS a brain-shift going from desktop to iPad but no worse than Notion, to name just one.
    Now if I could have multiple-module copy and paste …! 😉 ( and if I get it on iPad I’ll just continue to whine for it on desktop- oh the humanity …)

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