2.5 months, anything new?

expectations only lead to disappointment

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yes, that.

Maybe (maybe!) there’s a default expectation here, but the first respectful step regarding contribution to any open-source project is to look at the guidelines for contributors, and:

If the above doesn’t set someone’s expectations about pull requests, I’m puzzled. Maybe it could be placed more prominently, but “Welcome to VCV Rack, where we don’t take pull requests; it’s virtual modular software” is a bit of a weird start.

On the other hand, if someone’s expectations persist in spite of the above, I think of that as entitlement, or at best an issue with boundaries.

“I’m writing my novel in public and giving it to you for free; you can make suggestions, comments, or requests; you can write your own work using the same characters and settings, and I will host and distribute it for you for free if it meets basic standards; if you want to sell it I will help you do that for a small cut of royalties; you can even take the novel, rewrite it as much as you want, and distribute your own version, as long as you don’t sell it, re-use the cover art, or stop other people from doing the same thing with your version; but if you write new parts or rewrite old parts, I will probably not put them into my version.”

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It is placed prominently enough - one could not miss it. In every article I’ve read about open source they recommend adding some easy to find info about contributing. I put mine in the main readme, and mine also states I don’t accept pull requests. Andrew’s is a little friendlier than mine, since he explains “why”.


This will be long and rambly writing as I just recieved my second does of Phizer yesterday and it’s kicking my butt, but I think It’s time I respond in this thread with what I know and try to chill everything out a bit. Before I do that though, I think some context is necessary:

I am not at all afiliated with the VCV project or Andrew. I have no published modules and have not made any money from VCV outside of ~$75 selling music made with it. I do run a quite large VCV and eurorack focused group chat on telegram, and Aria Salvatrice is one of the members of that chat. I helped her edit an early draft of her post before she released it. That said, I don’t agree with everything she’s said, and her thoughts are 100% her own. I’m not on ‘Team Andrew’ or ‘Team Aria’. I think the community splitting on the issue is reductive to both of their positions and feelings.

I started this thread because, simply, I wanted to know the status of Rack- Had the project/V2 port been abandoned or was it just around the corner. This is particularly relevent to me both because my system is heavily based around Rack, and because I would like to start developing modules. As for how my setup could be based around Rack, my ~6Ux126hp rack has no sequencers and lacks a lot of the modules you’d expect in a system of its size because VCV can act as a really good stand in when using the ExpertSleeper’s modules to interface the two. For module development, I’m hesitent to start learning or contributing to the platform both because I don’t want to have to just re-write all my code in a month (yes, I know V2 shold largely require no changes from V1) and because I do fear licencing in V2. It actually would sort of bother me that even if I made free modules for Rack, contributing to the platform, I’d have to pay to use the VST version. To me, that’s like paying someone for the right to mow their lawn, it’s just backwards.

After I had started this thread, it devolved into speculation pretty quickly. I don’t necessarily think there’s anything wrong with that; however, some of that speculation was probably unjustified and came at the expense of Andrew, and spread to the point of rumor- as with the ‘Who should VCV sell to’ reddit post (which, yes, is funny)

From there, this thread turned into a bit of a personal post, as I pointed out my frustration with the way in which my PR for the VCV Manual was closed and how that, in my view, was reflective of Aria and other developer’s experience of Andrew’s, erm, “Style of communication” with the community.

Finally, we’ve come full circle to this thread being about hating Andrew and the closed contribution nature of Rack. Regardless of anybody’s opinion on that, I don’t think any conversation about it will ever be productive

Alright, so that’s this thread, what else is there to know?

Well, that’s where Aria comes back into relevance. When she posted her piece, Andrew replied to my request on Discord to call from a few weeks back. I had sent that request because I know from talking to him previously that he’s particularly bad at communicating via text without saying things that will inevitably be miss understood, and I thought that given the large amount of money I had spent on VCV already, my activity in the community, my connection to Aria, and the declined PRs that I was owed at least some explanation. The fact that it took Aria’s post to get him to message me does slightly bother me, but that is what it is. We called and chatted for a good while. Because this call was a few days ago and I have been slammed by both engineering class finals and this second dose of vaccine, I don’t have a perfect memory of the call.

We began by discussing Aria’s post, why she posted it and I let him explain each point and provide his side of the story to me. I did invite Aria to join the call, but she wasn’t interested. I can understand that she just wants to move on, and I know that post was more so she could give herself closure on the situation than anything. That said, I still don’t think Andrew fully sees how his words hurt her, and to me that is frustrating. He did explain his view on the ‘shadow banning’ of posts, and while I still don’t agree with it, he does have a point- he pays to host this Disquis (the software running vcv community) server and ultimately he shouldn’t have to host things he doesn’t agree with. As someone with my own website (albeit w/o user generated content) I can totally understand this view, even if I think it’s flawed in some ways.

One of the points brought up in Aria’s post was that this community (both VCV and modular as a whole, I think) is pretty hostile to women. Andrew was pretty dismissive of this point, which I found rather surprising. I’m certain there wasn’t any malicious intent here, instead his reaction was more one of ignorance, as to me it seemed that he thinks that there is no problem with female inclusivity in the VCV/modular community. I asked him about the thead on the VCV forums on this topic that was locked despite the fact that all contributions to the thread seemed to be from males and polite, and his response was that he had been getting a ton of reports on posts in the thread and was dedicating a lot of time to moderating. This brought on a conversation on Disquis, and how moderators can see that a post has been deleted, but users can not. There is no [REMOVED] tag or something similar, it’s a bit of a blackhole. I think this problem with Disquis has actually been one of the core drivers of issues in the VCV community, as it’s hard to see why a thread would be shut down if everything there looks polite and reasonable. Of course, I have no way of knowing if this is truly the case- that the women in VCV thread was toxic- aside from Andrew claiming to have removed posts. This is a transparency issue that I think he would fix if he could, it just seems that Disquis doesn’t support it.

I was then able to ask him about my PRs to the VCV manual that he closed, and he said that there were just to many so he closed them in bulk, responding to each one quickly. To me, this response really doesn’t cut it. While I am sympathetic to development time and keeping an order of priorities, If you have written a commitment to accepting contributions then just don’t, That’s very not cool. Closing them lazily with “This PR is likely obsolete, closing” (implying he didn’t even look at it) instead of at least having a copy pasted message of “Sorry, I have been busy working on Rack2.0 and haven’t been able to get to these, which has resulted in a pile up of merge conflicts for which I simply do not have the time to resolve” to me is a big indicator of Andrew just not understanding how minor actions like that can have a huge impact on the attitude of the community. While I knew before talking to him that there was no malicious intent and he stated his reasoning in our call, I’m still left a bit dissapointed.

He also shared with me some of the history and future plans of Rack, most of which he repeated in the group call that we had on in the VCV discord server and in the development blog. I want to be cautious in what I say, as I respect Andrew enough not to say publicly things which he disclosed to me privately.

As for the history, one of Aria’s complaints in here post is that Andrew has ‘shut down forks of VCV’, and to some extent this was actually confirmed by him, as he did say that, yes, he had asked that VeeSeeVee (the VST fork of rack 0.6) not update to 1.0 for the sake of not hurting his sales. I find this really awkward, as I would think that part of having Rack be open source is acknowledging he’s giving competitors an ‘in’ of sorts, but also sort of implying that the original Rack (non fork) will be able to provide value and updates beyond what any fork could. He also shared some of his gripes with MiRack (the iOS fork) and how there has been some copyright issues there. I don’t think that’s hugely relevant to this discussion, beyond stating the obvious of Fork responsibly and don’t be a douche.

For the future, he actually seemed really excited about the future of rack, particularly in the visual advancements, as he said it really does look hugely better. He seemed committed to providing better support for those that pay for the commercial version of rack, though he did also state he’d be killing all the GitHub issues. This I don’t know that I support, as I think having the community support method wherein I can search though open issues to see if others have the same problem as me is valuable. For example, on Linux I have an issue where I have to use LibStrangle to prevent rack from rendering at like 3000+ FPS and crashing my graphics stack, something which I was only able to find the fix for because the discussion of the issue was public.

As he stated himself the development blog, his burnout is real. I can 100% understand this, and I think the community being less-than-kind to Andrew hasn’t helped. This really seems to be a negative feedback loop to me, as I think the burnout has resulted in doing things quickly (like closing aforementioned PRs) that then make the community upset. There’s no good solution here, We could all stand to take a collective chill pill and approach everything from a place of understanding and not taking things personally, and Andrew could stand to think about how his words may be misconstrued before he types them.

On that note, Andrew also expressed his desire to just not interact with the community via text, but possibly do more discord calls and twitch streams. In this particular case, I actually think this may not be a bad idea. He’s correct in that it’s a lot easier to say something that gets taken the wrong way in text than in voice, so I see this as a great move going forward to improve the health of the community should Andrew stick with it.

In the end, I don’t know what should be done or how the community should respond. It’s complicated. I’d love to say “Hey guys, cut out the drama and let’s focus on making music” but I also see how that is incredibly reductive of the experiences of others with different backgrounds than me, and how I can’t possibly know what it’s like to be a women or trans in this community. I also can’t speak for the developers who have left VCV or those that have found it to be their passion or those that have made a fair chunk of money working on modules. There’s a lot going on here, and I’m just one guy with some opinions.


Thanks for the post, @Vega (and congrats on the Pfizer btw!); sometimes it’s good to take a beat, open the blinds, and lower the temperature.

Lots for everyone to think about here; for my part I’m going to go quiet for a while on community stuff, as I think I’ve been a little too loud recently on those topics.

I did want to mention (regarding your “mowing the lawn”) point that this is in the devblog and hasn’t (AFAIK) been walked back:

In context I think “freeware plugins” must mean closed-source plugins in the Library or anything free outside the Library (and I can understand why discretion is reserved there, otherwise putting a free 1=>8 mult on your GitHub would be a pretty quick way to make $149!)

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Thanks Vega - that was a very balanced viewpoint.

From what I can see, more than anything else, it’s a communication problem.

More posts from Andrew like the one one today in the Dev blog would go a long way to helping the community understand where he is at and quashing rumours which thrive when there is no official information.


I am fairly new around here and since I do not know anything what’s going on around here (I read a lot and I think I scratched the surface) I am definitely not in a position to comment on anything related to those topics - but I want to say something about communication:

From my experience as a long-time-gamer and forum-nerd of many communitys there is a HUGE difference between the communication via text and via voice-chat. The toxicity of forums and facebook-groups nowadays is just sad. That said, the VCV-Community on the other side is a wonderful community as far as I can tell. Helpful, interactive, supportive, mostly open to constructive feedback. I really like hanging around here. But sometimes a thread like this pops up and I think “Why are they not talking with each other?”.

When I joined the forum of the game I am playing at the moment (MSFS2020, which has an astoundingly similar community structure - mostly older male tech nerds) I was appalled at the negativity around there. So much indeed, that I nearly stopped playing it. Then I joined the official discord for community flights and there were the same guys but totally different. We had lots of great constructive discussions about the game, bugs, workarounds, tech-assistance, and then life, the current situation in the world and so on…

What I want to say: If you (stakeholders, VCV, long-time-community-members, developers, listeners, …) want to get motivated and back on track again, then talk to each other! Don’t text. Establish a discord Q&A, or do a Talk on Twitch with moderated (a job for omri? ;-)) questions from the forum with changing guests from the community.

  • mo

Dear Rackers guys and gals, this one from me doesn’t make a point, but it doesn’t matter.
Should Rack stay here as it is, v1.1.6 and 2558 plugins to date, I’ll always be fond of the project.
I will build a special 2021-hooked machine to keep it as one of my instruments of choice, if needed, should the project stay here as it is. It’s like my acoustic guitar that’s 40 years old.
Think for a moment, tons of vintage instruments are today more desirable than ever. We have also vintage software, retro-gaming consoles, analog audio pro stuff which looks paleolithic, but don’t we tend to value these things more than the shiny novelties we cannot reach out, or we can’t keep up with?
When and whether more will come out, I’ll jump out of my pants, but I’d love to see us at peace with the world for a while, and be grateful to Andrew and everyone who helped and contributed the Rack ecosystem.
So, let’s trust this project, and let’s love it as it is now. If there will be more to come, that will be a blessing - ok this may sound a bit messianic, but it’s what I feel about it :slight_smile:


I get the burnout problem. I hope there are other folks helping on VCV Rack development and this isn’t strictly a one man show as it can seem on the outside. No one’s great at everything, and if there is more work that can be done by others, especially with VCV going commercial [maybe bringing in additional employees or contractors can help], I’d like to see a “VCV Team” that can tackle different phases of the development, support, sales, social, etc. My big fear is that VCV makes it to 2.0, we’ve got a great VST version working, and for whatever reason the project is ultimately abandoned afterwards - be it burn out or anything else.

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Oh yes. I’ve been out off running for the past 10 years, burned out and I wish it to nobody an really hope for Andrew that he has the proper support I had not.

Regarding your remarks regarding a 2.0 … It’s somewhat sad to say and I hope I’m wrong. Rewrites don’t work. Big steps don’t work. Examples, Perl6, PovRay4 and there are a lot more that got stuck. Small increments work. Setting reachable goals work. Guiding a process works (earning the BDFL ‘title’ wink wink wink). Accepting other paths works. An example is Python, despite the 3.0 hurdle. Then again, these are all fully open projects.

@gc3 Thank you for illustrating my point(s).

As a last word, I’m an old git. I don’t like the fragmentation of communities nowadays. Here we discuss this, but are not “allowed” to talk about bugs. Github is for bugs but no for chats. That’s discord or FB or …? A community needs a single point of communication/reference. Fragmentation sucks the energy out of you, doing the same discussions in many places or being called rude if you don’t.


Check out Andrew’s Dev blog post from today where he covers some of this.

Wow. Another 3.5 months. Could be a very costly delay when it’s all said and done. We might never know how costly.

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1.1.6 is good. The module development practice is much easier compared to the 0.x.x thing a few years ago. Excellent.

2.x.x? I’m not sure what beyond the published is problematic. The competition has grown, true, but it is all most all closed source, and will likely never get the open modules developed.

As a developer, the docs could do with some extra description but there are also many examples on the open-source sites.

If hardware is copied without extra menus and things I expect porting to 2.x.x to be very easy.

I was wondering about oversampling “cables” today. Like polyphony but monophonic oversampling?

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People are anxiously waiting for Rack 2 because it has been announced the VST plugin version will also be released then. I am not sure if anything will drastically change for people who would keep on using the standalone application version of Rack. I am hoping some changes/enhancements are going to happen, but who knows.

“People are anxiously waiting for Rack 2 because” … The release party !!!


I think of all those albums that have been “almost finished” and “due out soon” for years and years. The Wrens follow up “The Meadowlands,” Chromatics “Dear Tommy”, Ye’s “Donda” (ok, not really waiting for that)…at least The Beach Boys “Smile” eventually saw the light of day in some form. Just wishing that VCV Rack 2 isn’t going to be like those lost albums that are perpetually just about finished but never quite get over the line. :slight_smile:

You forgot Chinese Democracy, and Wu-Tang’s “oh btw here’s a fan made album we’ll sell for a million dollars” album lol

I’m excited for the supposedly better midi sync… I’d honestly pay for this feature if it could be in 1.6 sooner than later.