16-colour cable palette

Here is a 16-colour palette for patch cables. It’s made from using HSL colour values and dividing the # of possible hues equally. You can just replace the bit in you settings.json file.

  "cableColors": [

Looks like:


I use palettes from here for pixel art, maybe they would look good as cables too :slight_smile:


A RGB color space that is purely arithmetically divided into equal distances does not correspond to the human perception of equally large color distances. This impairs the distinguishability of neighboring colors in certain areas, in this case especially in the green area. In order to avoid this inadequacy and to better differentiate the color values from one another, various standards have been developed. The DIN 6176 standard (DIN99 color space system) is the most modern one and closest to human perception. I have calculated a 16 hue palette below according to this standard and I’m of the opinion that it shows well that the colors are easier to distinguish than in the purely arithmetically divided model.

  "cableColors": [


I distinguish the originals a lot easier than yours. 8 and 9 look identical. 11 and 12 are incredibly close. Same with 15 and 16.

In the original, it’s just that same 11 and 12 pair that are particularly close to my eyes. Even then, less so than yours. Their 8 and 9 pair are oppositely miles apart, and their 15 and 16 just look as normal as the rest.

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Those are some nice palettes.

I normally use https://color.adobe.com/create/color-wheel for exploring colour palettes, it shows the hex colour values so should be easy to use to create cable colour lists.


Well, they are not values that I made up, I just applied them. The norm used is based on the average of the perceptions of a large number of test subjects, which of course means that it does not have to correspond to the perception of the individual observer. Apart from that, I find it interesting that you address certain color pairs that appear very close to each other in your subjective perception, though I don’t see it that way. However, I see a general significant improvement in distinctness, especially in area # 5-8.

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Interesting - this is either a perception issue or possibly a screen colour gamut issue because to me, cables 8 & 9 in the set ASMVCV are very different.

Although to be fair, 8 & 9 are perhaps slightly closer in DIN99 than in the original set. As ASMVCV stated, the original set has particular issues in the greens (5-8) and the DIN99 set is much better in that range.

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That’s a good argument! In any case, the colors should be assessed in the VCV RACK, not in the browser. In addition, the quality and proper calibration of the screen (color purity) surely play an important role in this context.

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It’s pretty amazing that in the sRGB colour space that has 16.7 million possible colours, getting 16 that look different enough from each other is a problem haha.


Good point. My screen is certainly not calibrated to a professional level. I’d put it down to that.


Regardless of personal preferences, I find it exciting to discuss the visual side of VCV RACK, in particular cable color systems. Ok, I know a lot of people don’t give a shit, but many (like me) care. They often have also developed their individual coloring systems with which they are satisfied (hopefully :wink:). For those who are still looking, I would like to present the system I use. It comprises white plus a 12 color palette based on DIN99. There are certainly a lot of other models which would be very interesting to see them presented here.

  "cableColors": [

Color allocation list:

Color allocation circle (to illustrate order and symmetry):

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I would request to take another colormap…
The reason is just color-blindness. Here a link with explanation how they did it in matplotlib including explanation: matplotlib colormaps. The PyCon video is fun to watch and add also some explenation.


Cool, I was hoping for something like this. I can see the differences better in your version. Thanks!

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In case of dichromacy (P/D/T), a computational adjustment of the color palette is possible in order to compensate for this CVD.

Ok, thanks go to the scientists who researched these relationships. :+1:

Btw, if you have a slightly different color perception than the average (almost everyone has, including me), no problem, just adapt the color tones to your color impression. Anyway, this palette is definitely a good starting point.

My thinking went like this: I thought 16 colours would be neat because it’s inline with 16-voice polyphony, Rack 2 is using cable colours in interesting ways like the scope colours, and it’s a bit of a throw back to old 16-colour VGA colour schemes from my youth. I also just like a seeing a variety of colours. I was tempted to take out colours like the orange, pink, cyan, and almost duplicate bright greens (since I don’t love these colours), but decided to leave them in since different people like different colours and it has a kind of pure math elegance for creating a colour scheme.

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For everyone who is interested in the scientific calculation of color spaces (as well as many other exciting topics):

The R Project for Statistical Computing - R is a free software environment for statistical computing and graphics.

RStudio - RStudio is an integrated development environment (IDE) for R.

“qualpalr” package for R - qualpalr generates distinct qualitative color palettes.

An introduction to qualpalr

I want hue - Great site for generating color palettes.

Coolors - Super fast color schemes generator.

All software is free.

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What about black, grey and white cables, maybe to companion the colors of my flying faders:


Could your faders take color from the cable - like the VCV scope ?

Actually no, because the fader caps are separate SVG graphics.

But theoretically it would be possible … but the fader module has 2 input ports and 2 output ports … which cable-color should be choosen?