From Knobcon 2023…
It doesn’t “host” Rack, it’s a very special build of a specific set of modules.
Spoke to them at Superbooth, and it’s a very neat setup none the less. They were still very doubtful if this will ever be a real product (and there’s all the issues of non-commercial clauses in Rack that make it impossible to include certain things).
It’s great! I’ve been working with the prototype for a few weeks and have HetrickCV and Nonlinear Circuits running on it without much effort.
It’s a lot like a Nord Modular in that you build patches on your computer (inside of VCV) and upload them to the module. 12 knobs (all mappable to multiple parameters with multiple ranges), 2 gate ins, 6 audio/cv ins, 8 audio/cv outs. It’s fun to create mini-systems of multiple modules and use it as a standalone system with all of the patch points.
Yes cool, now it is official!
I had a lengthy discussion with them at Superbooth this year (and a sneak peak the year before) and they told me that it maybe might be ready Superbooth next year.
Very very excited for this!
Oh hell yes. I was just about to post in your announcement thread that we need Hetrick in hardware… now it looks like it will come true.
I’ll be all over this when it’s released!
I’m guessing it’s a Pi CM4 behind the scenes? It’ll probably need a lot of +12V… Do you know if it’ll record to the SD card?
It’s an ARM Cortex of some sort. The whole thing is heavily optimized and boots in about two seconds, while patches load almost instantaneously. It’s pretty bare metal, so I had to make some minor code adjustments on HetrickCV (but nothing too heavy, pretty much removing some OS dependencies from Gamma). No adjustments were needed for the NLC stuff since it doesn’t depend on Gamma. It will be easy for any developer to port their stuff if wanted.
I’m not sure about recording as I haven’t asked yet, but that would be really cool. I have it sitting in a small Pod, so that would make it a perfect standalone system if I had a headphone module next to it.
Dan has some pretty insane stuff planned for it or already in development, but I’m not going to be the one to spill the beans on that.
Virtual modular in…hardware modular. I’m confused.
Dan posted more detailed info over on MW:
The Meta Module is an all-purpose module that lets you patch together various virtual modules to create a “Meta” module.
It’s a macro controller for a custom patch that you create. It’s a hardware player for VCV Rack patches. It’s a preset manager. It’s a versatile utility module that lets you save and recall complex functions which you re-use from patch to patch, so you can focus on the more interesting parts of your music. It’s a DSP development platform.
Patches are typically created on the computer using VCV Rack and then transferred to the Meta Module over USB, SD Card or WiFi. In case you don’t have a computer handy, you can create and modify patches using the Meta Module itself. The Meta Module can run hundreds of virtual modules and store/recall thousands of patch files.
There are 12 knobs, 8 audio or CV outputs, 1 USB MIDI jack, 6 audio/CV inputs, and 2 gate inputs, all of which which can be mapped to any of the virtual knobs and jacks within the patch. You can map a physical knob to multiple virtual knobs and assign a different response range for each knob (including inverting the motion). The audio/CV jacks are DC-coupled and run at 48kHz, 24bit and can be mapped to any of the jacks in the patch. You can plug a MIDI controller into the USB jack to control knobs and jacks.
Computational power: It uses a dual-core Cortex-A7 running at 800Mhz, with 512MB of fast DDR3 RAM. It runs bare-metal without an OS, so startup time and latency are blazingly fast. It can handle somewhat complex patches, but of course there are limits. For example, we recently ran a Meta Module patch with four physical model Djembe modules, stereo reverb, six clock dividers/multipliers, some FX, and a mixer, and had plenty of processing headroom.
We are still adding new modules. The 4ms modules will be available as well as Befaco’s modules and some Mutuable Instruments clones. We’re adding the HetrickCV and Nonlinear Circuit modules now, and more are planned. If you are a developer running your own VCV Rack Modules or custom DSP code on the Meta Module is fairly easy.
Release date: 2024; exact date and price to be announced.
Sounds pretty insane. So they made a Rack-OS, hat’s off. If they can make this work without power going through the roof I’ll be amazed and very impressed. Something to look out for, could be pretty spectacular if they actually pull it off.
I’m just realizing - since the 4ms modules will be availble in it, that might mean that the 4ms modules would be coming to VCV Rack, which would be pretty exiting to say the least.
Link for those who want to read along in the Muffwiggler forum:
Is this a Eurorack module we want in VCV?
Now there’s an official thread on modwiggler (the previous thread was from an unofficial photo)
The thread also confirms other 4ms modules are coming to VCV Rack
And a sneak peak page on the 4ms website
Holy cow batman they’re serious. And 4ms modules coming to Rack, that’s pretty awesome. I look forward to playing with Ensemble Oscillator and SWN in my patches
They did say “almost all”, so fingers crossed.
I was looking for a way to use one (or a few) of Rack’s sequencers without having to work with a laptop, this looks like a solution for that.
luckily in VCV Rack there’s the Headless Mode, it’s been a while since I don’t use it, but I remember that it’s more CPU efficient than the standard one with the graphics on. You just need a controller and your laptop can lay somewhere with the lid closed
btw I already like this device, it’s a very good idea, and I hope it can manage pretty heavy patches
You are right, but it’s still a computer, and I would like to perform without one. Have seen too many computer failures on stage.
I wonder how they are going to deal with shipping non-commercial assets in this commercial product, though.