VCVRack virtual modular synthesizer

He’s proven to be a brilliant developer but sometimes a bit lacking in the “people” department. At least in the exchanges I’ve seen with others and I’ve had with him. Very helpful when it fits his scope, but terse with a direction towards gruff.

I will say, I don’t necessarily disagree with him in that the touch screen is a poor UX in the long run. But I also wouldn’t shut down the fact that my users would LIKE that functionality.


Smooth as silk, so far. I have a 2021 16-inch M1 Pro (16gb RAM, Monterey) and it’s been running great with Rack 2. I always struggled with Rack on MBPs because of glitching, battery drain, and constant fan noise. I think the problem was in large part to the graphics, because lowering the frame rate was always the best method for improving performance (at least for me). I think the 16-core GPU I think has made a big difference. I’ve been running multiple Racks in Ableton as VSTs and haven’t heard the fan once using Rack 2 on the new laptop.

Rack 2 uses Rosetta and doesn’t support Apple Silicon natively, so there’s probably room for improvement when there is native support (VCV 3?).

Haven’t tested using Rack 2 with my ES-9 yet, but I can’t imagine it’s any different than with the original. I create an aggregate device that combines the ES-9 with my normal audio interface and then it’s pretty straightforward to route audio and CV back and forth between Rack, Ableton and the ES-9.


VCV 2 has been running very well in Windows on my Ryzen 5 3600, both in standalone and plugin form.

VCV 1 was occasionally a little slow if I remember right, thought that may have been on my previous machine (a Core i7 from 2011).

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If and when they’re available in Rack for DAWs (VCV2) I’m gonna put the Vult Freak filters on every track


Thanks! Just what I wanted to hear.

This is something I’ve enjoyed a lot with Rack 1, with ES-8 and Tascam Model 12 as aggregate device.

I can imagine a lot of possibilities in VST use under Live, having specialized racks for varying purposes in one Live project.


All very strange considering this specifically mentions touchscreens:

I gotta jump back in and see if any of this has been implemented. I only just received a touchscreen for Bitwig, and it’ll be disappointing if it doesn’t work for VCV, as well. At least I could map some modulators onto the knobs and use touch on those. (planar should certainly be fun)

Those options are in there, but touch doesn’t work one bit; instead, touch input is recognized as a click and drag from whatever position in which the pointer happens to be.


Unless I’m misunderstanding you, the Vult pack has been out for a few days. I’ve been using Freak without issue!

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Not misunderstanding. Just haven’t had the time to dig in and was hopefull it would already be available. After the Instruo pack makes it, we’ll have most of what I use in VCV right now

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From Omri Cohen, this looks like a pretty thorough video (with timestamps) on how to use the VCV 2 plugin with Bitwig Studio. (Edit: and here’s a similar one for Ableton Live 11 Suite).


Ok after having spent some time with V2 I can say I absolutely love it !
I am starting to use the VST as well, it is nice indeed to be able to patch a synth, an effect, and then use it in a “regular” DAW, also it is really nice to be able to multitrack a big patch with cross patching between voices and still be able to mix afterwards with mono or stereo stems. Incredible !

I miss a few modules I used all the time in V1, like Tesseract, the Best modulation source out there (way out there in fact, self patching this one lead to almost alive behaviors, really good for feedback control), and also Orca’s heart ( @scanner_darkly thank you a lot for this one) ! I love that sequencer, I used it a lot and look forward to see it come back, it is so musical and easy to use (dear Santa, pretty please ?).

Right now it has completely replaced Reaktor for me, not that I won’t use Reaktor again, but I don’t feel the need to open it to do something I won’t be able to find in “normal” plugins anymore. Also VCV preset system and patching facilities is way easier for me than Reaktor’s…
It is not easy on my 2019 i5 MacBookPro, but then what is ? That CPU is not something to write home about.

Also, on a side note, I was kind of loosing myself in the end phase of writing / mixing / making sure everything is A-OK of a VCV made album, and having V2 helped me decide when to stop : now ! So thanks for the help of going out of that spiral.


Seeing various folks comments on cpu issues, is anyone running vcv2 on a 2015 MacBook Pro?

It sounds like I’m probably looking at a pretty tough slog on my machine…

Mine has this inside :

Capture d’écran 2021-12-13 à 13.10.51

I am sure your 2015 has a faster CPU…

It does not stop me from using it though.
You can try the standalone for free of course.
About optimization, mine runs at 44100 Hz, I set the thread use at “more modules”, the refresh rate at 10 Hz (the lowest…) and the buffer size at 4096 samples ! It is a lot but I don’t use it with a controller, so I don’t mind.

Edit : with those settings I can run this patch without problems

There is still some CPU room for a few stuff even.


thank you! i’ve updated orca’s heart for vcvrack2, just need to find somebody to help with testing on linux and macos. if you want to try it now, you can find the builds here: debug actions 3 · scanner-darkly/vcv-collection-one@3f8f995 · GitHub


I’m running Rack 2.03 on a 2015 MBP with an 2.8GHz i7. I haven’t had any issues so far.

In V1 I would have to dial back the frame rate to prevent my laptop from overheating. I have it set to 30Hz without problems at the moment. I haven’t bothered to run it at 59Hz because 30Hz seems quite fine to me. At 20Hz and below the LEDs can start to go out of sync, but if you do experience any CPU overloads and your laptop is very hot, I’d try this before upgrading your computer.

I haven’t really tried any monster patches in V2 yet, but I have been using higher sample rates to avoid aliasing (192KHz!) and surprisingly haven’t noticed any crackling or glitches.


I think my most used VCV 1.x modules were Teleport and 8Face.

There’s much to love in 2.0, but those are tough to live without, once you’ve experienced them.


Needs to be manually built, but v2 is here (not sure of library timeline): GitHub - mgunyho/Little-Utils at rack-v2


Instruo’s collection is back and updated for VCV 2.

And they’ve brought 3 new modules into the fold - neóni (through-zero oscillator), eãs (logic module), and [1]f (fader module).


Yeah, just saw them when I loaded VCV Rack this morning. How great. Just for some context for folks, here’s a link to my interview (also mentioned earlier in this long thread) with Instruō’s Jason Lim on the development of the VCV suite: “How Instruō Went Virtual.”


I just discovered a useful thing to do with the VCV plugin:

MIDI aftertouch → VCA input
MIDI gate → slew → VCA control
VCA output → MIDI modwheel out

Then in synths like Aalto or Arturia Easel, you can assign the modwheel instead of pressure to the LPG, and it will cut off after releasing a gate. Normally (at least in Bitwig), MIDI CC can get stuck after releasing all notes on a controller.


I believe I read this to be a bug but I wanted to make sure i’m not missing something.

with Rack pro standalone seems to be peachy king!

but in ableton 11.0.12 running VCV(2.04) as a VST im only getting the VCV modules to show up in my module section. None of my library modules are populating.

I was originally only getting the 9-12 IO core modules then I deleted the fundament file in Documents/rack2 for Mac and then I was able to get the 38 VCV base modules to show. (Audio/MIDI IO,LFO,Seq 3 etc.) But zero 3rd party modules seem to be accessible. even though they show up to date in the drop down. (and version 2+)

In the mean time, Can I place my vcv library plugins somewhere to get Ableton to recognize them? From the VCV community it sounds like they are aware of this and a fix is in the works.

+ableton 11.0.12 running VCV(2.04)+