Any Rack users "graduated" into eurorack hardware and regretted it?

Splitting this into a few a paragraphs would work wonders. The content is worth it! :slight_smile:



Indeed! It had paragraphs in my text editor but something went wrong with the LFs when I cut and pasted it. I have added an extra LF now!


I had a medium sized .com system 20 years ago, and am really liking the limitless expanding nature VCV has. Oh need another LFO? no problem! I used to fight over which modules would get those few limited LFO or envelope generators… Multiples? What? You mean I don’t NEED 5 banks of multiples to make my patch work? which did of course teach me ways to be creative and efficient. I am glad I learned with limitations.

I love not having to run out of patch cables, play cable twister under them, or have the smell of dust on my hands as much.

I love being able to work on 10 or 20 different builds at the same time, save as version 2.51 and come back next week.

Sure there is an organic feel that the modules have in person. But there is also a cost to productivity on the other side. I have plenty of foot controllers, and the Midifighter twist is amazing for knob assignments.

Long term, I hope to have a hybrid system with a rack again in the future. I am not complaining too much right now. As of now, I do have a significant guitar pedal board wired into VCV, so it is hybrid, just not true Eurorack hybrid. :slight_smile:


Good thread, you are asking the right question, and I’ve got to say, from the limited amount your thread reveals about your preferences/experience etc, it actually sounds like hardware is probably not going to add anything for you, or rather, it’s going to add little enough not to be worth the investment.

Now, that said, I absolutely love my hardware and enjoy the physical interaction with the modular, and I’m not an anti-DAW or anti-computer guy - I often use it with Live via an ES-9, which to me is the perfect mix, the modular does what it’s good at, the DAW helps organise and structure it all and does the stuff it’s good at.

I sort of want to encourage you to get an ES-9+ES-5 and maybe ESX-8CV and 8GT as well, or an ES-8 and ES-6 which is a better combination if you have (or want) an ADAT capable mixer or interface as then you can merge everything into one interface. It’s just so sick, the value is incredible, however there’s no value if you don’t need or really want it at all.

Of course, there’s stuff you can’t get in software, but none of it is particularly relevant, since you can either use something broadly equivalent or you can just accept the limitation like you would in hardware which is often a constructive choice.

Wiggleability of physical modules is really important IMO, at least for certain modules, like having physical filter cutoff knobs, physical ADSR/AD/AR controls, physical timbre controls on VCOs etc, those things IMO really benefit from physical knobs, whereas others don’t really need it and you just end up CVing them anyway. Bear in mind, you can actually recreate those physical controls really easily by MIDI mapping stuff from a control surface anyway, again reducing the “need” for hardware.

Again, on a pro-hardware note, the hybrid setup with a DAW or VCV is really nice in that you can choose not to buy physically large or expensive modules that are better done in the virtual/digital domain, so once you account for a few hundred HP of bulky VCV modules in the patch, a small physical rack with feature-dense small modules can really come alive and all the limitations that would impose if you insisted on going computerless become moot.

I’ve got a few modules I’m considering selling because of this factor, they take up a lot of rack space, are expensive and honestly are better in software in some cases, for many of the reasons you already noted - you can put 2/3/4 of them in a patch, you can dump 30hp of accompanying utilities etc next to them in software which would bulk out the rig in hardware a lot etc etc. On the flip-side, I tried Mutable Elements in VCV for the first time recently and immediately ended up buying a hardware clone of it, so for me at least I don’t feel like software makes me regret any hardware, although over time my guess is that it will play a part in me downsizing my physical rig a bit, which is something absolutely everyone seems to end up doing after the initial frenzy of module buying.

In conclusion, realistically you’re looking at $3k to get started at a minimum IMO, to get a nice interface and expanders like an ES-9, a case, and enough physical modules to fill out like 84hp or 104hp. In the longer term, it’s probably a slippery slope to at least $5k and likely more. So IMO it boils down to how much you value this compared to other things you could spend approx $5k on.

I think you are realistic that it won’t actually give you any musical capability or results that you can’t already achieve, so it’s really down to how much you’d enjoy the hardware and whether that much money could be better spent on other leisure items.


Thanks for all of the thoughtful feedback everyone! I’ve resolved to keep my modular adventures inside the box for now, but the allure is still there of course. But I just came to music as a hobby at the start of the pandemic, and ended up buying way more stuff/software than I need to make music already, so probably best to take the wise advice of “learn to better use what you have” first!


I wish I had NOT invested as much as I did in physical modular before I discovered the joys of VCV Rack. In tandem with Omri’s tutorials, and buying virtually every VCV Premium module I can get my hands on (not that I need the modules - I wanted to fund and encourage developers to develop further), I’ve been infinitely more productive with VCV …

For me, recall is everything! I have numerous MIDI controllers so getting physical with knobs, etc is not a problem.