A roadmap to Apple M1 and VCV2 playing nice?

It feels like I got tossed back 8 years, into the time before VCV Rack made modular accessible to all.

(my actual question is at the bottom in bold, it reiterates the same one in the topic name: so please scroll down if you’re not in good mood)

Let me catch you up…

Some of you don’t remember but before VCV Rack - u either had 30K to drop on physical modular racks, or u were locked out.

And then in 2017, around August I think, Andrew Belt gave us a key to unlock the door to modular, but also a pill that calmed our hardware anxieties.

Since that day, if I came across a modular gear I NEEDED, I had to ask myself, have I even been using Rack lately. The answer didn’t matter: if not, then my gear anxiety was misplaced. And if I was playing, then I didn’t need the gear.

Imagine my excitement when I went to download the gorgeous looking new VCV Rack 2!!! (btw Congrats on your release Dev TEAM!!)

BUT STOP. Here’s where I was shoved with two huge arms, backwards through the years. When I caught my breath and confirmed the reality, it was undeniable. I was right back where I started. No access to the modular world. Even the Virtual Modular World, I grew to love more.

ALL of this to ask on bended knee: Is there a roadmap to M1 macs using VCV2 standalone or VST? Please let me know. Happy Holidays!



well said re: Rack and its significance, and welcome back to the forum! :slight_smile:

Not a Mac user myself, but I thought V2 worked fine on M1 Macs?

both per the official site and user experience e.g.:


Works like a charm on my Mac Mini M1. Both VST and Standalone are rock solid. On Big Sur for me.


Rack 2 running great on my 2021 M1 Pro (16GB RAM, Monterey). Incredible improvement over using Rack with non-M1 MBPs, which often glitched, sucked battery power and triggered the fan constantly.

Or is the question about when VCV will support M1 natively?

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That’s probably what the question should have been? Since they do, in fact, play very nicely together, but V2 is not M1 native. There for sure has been some discussion in the past. I get the idea “soon-ish, but not immediately” is the consensus? But don’t quote me on that.

Or sorry,

I read this on the site:

Apple Silicon (ARM, e.g. M1, M1 Pro)

Rack 2 standalone can run on Apple ARM via Apple’s Rosetta 2. Rack 2 plugin versions require an Intel 64-bit DAW or an ARM DAW that supports loading Intel 64-bit plugins.

Yes, I guess I should have said natively - but logic pro is 64bit, so all good.



One last follow up question.

When I try to use rack free on my M1, the audio device says none, is that because this version only will work with rosetta?

And so if I want native I need Rack Pro?

Screen Shot 2021-12-03 at 9.40.23 PM

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There is no native M1 version of vcv. Period.

So I need rosetta, yes sir?

M1 native is planned for V3, source: Andrew live stream.

Until then it works fine under Rosetta.

Is there any guarantee? No :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes: But Andrew also confirmed he bought a M serie macbook… so :sweat_smile: fingers crossed.


Sorry if I’ve missed this is it just the Stand Alone rack2 that will run fine on Rosetta or VsT too?

Thanks Lee

I had a quick go at compiling the Rack2 source for arm on an M1 mac. I didn’t have many problems with the dependencies, just minor configuration issues. The Rack simd code relies on the SSE intrinsics though, so they’ll need a NEON version, or even just a generic C version.

But it all seems to work well anyway, Rosetta is amazing, the new macbook pro’s run Rack way better with Rosetta than my year old XPS runs it natively.


Does Bitwig work with M1/VCV2?

Is this a version of “it’s so easy, why doesn’t VCV just do it”? If so, you may fork it and do it yourself, yes?


You’re not pressuring me into making an M1 port!

I didn’t mean it to sound like VCV could just easily do it, VCV have a more complex problem than me. I’m happy compiling the free version of rack and recompiling just the plugins I care about so I can see what the performance difference is. VCV has to worry about working well with other DAWs, convincing plugin developers it’s worth supporting another architecture and extending their own infrastructure to another architecture.

I can see why it’s not worth them worrying about yet.

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Yes, it happens completely automatically the first time you try to run an Intel program on your M1 machine.

Ooohh… Nice :slight_smile: The trouble here will be the (few?) closed-source plugins, that are delivered to Andrew/team as binaries, they will have to be supplied in ARM format to work as well.

To sum up my understanding:

  • Intel programs (DAW’s, Rack, …) running on M1: No problem, runs seemlessly under Rosetta2, which you get automatically the first time you try and run it. Hassle free.
  • Intel programs running on M1 trying to load a ARM library (i.e. a plugin), or ARM programs trying to load a Intel library: Probably not, unless special provisions are made.

So, everything same architecture: No problem, which means since Rack and its plugins are Intel you’ll be fine if the DAW is also Intel. But the mixed architecture thing, not so much, but I have read reports of certain DAW’s of one architecture being able to load plugins of another architecture, but for that scenario you definately need to check the fine print on the manufaturer pages.

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correct, Rack VST won’t show up in Ableton native for M1 (which is currently beta).

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Good point! And of course any open source ones that don’t build correctly for arm would need to be fixed. But that’s manageable (hopefully?)