Barriers to Plugin Adoption

I’ve actually combed all of the plugins and grabbed that data to show how “old” they are, I just don’t know how to best display the correlations (and abberations)…

yes, remember I said “I had a vague idea about modular” so I did not know exactly what the modules do.

at the time I knew modular, perhaps one and half year ago most of the modules had a
sloppy image , that is an opinion, of course you can disagree

I really thank the developers to make the things for free, but that something is free does not excuse to look like unfinished

and I not said “All” some of them look great

however, after I knew more about modular , I made my visual filter less strong and I start to chose them by the purpose, but I still try to avoid the visually dissonant modules

1 Like

It is worth bearing in mind that these stats are for plugins download, but as previously mentioned, not necessarily used or loved. In my case, I’ve got all of the modules downloaded onto my computer, but that doesn’t mean I use all of them; there are modules the I use in every patch, and others I’m aware of, and have used previously, but there are also modules I’ve used only once, as well as some that I’ve never used at all. I just have them all downloaded because it is easier to find a module for a specific function that way (using the plugin manager) than download one if, and when, I need it. Also, I like discovering new modules in my plugin manager either by mistake or choosing one then building a patch around it.

In terms of why people use certain modules more than others, I think it is a mix of factors. If you stumble across a module that you find “works” for you, you’ll carry on using it in patches. Between different patches, they’ll be common elements, so the same module will be used. Equally, I you see someone using a module on YouTube, for example, and - again - it “works” for you, you’re likely to use it again. I think this is why people use certain modules over others, both on rack and in real life modular


Blockquote Wait. Lemme get this straight. You base your picks for modules on looks instead of sound ?

There are a huge number of modules in a large number of packs. It’s really hard to know what is worth downloading. It seems like a bad idea to just download everything, so how do you decide? You can’t base your judgement on the sound of a module you haven’t heard.

Or even “sloppy”? (to which I highly disagree, I can count the number of “sloppy” plugins on one hand). :triumph:

“Sloppy” is unfair but some developer’s modules definatly look more finished than others.

@alikins here’s a link to the spreadsheet i was working off of…

of note is the column showing the deviation of rank from project start

-50 nysthi ? cool! number one in deviations !!

oh glob, let’s not derive the derivations too much now… :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


you weren’t distributing on the PiMgr for a while, right?

1 Like

yep I think I started later, around (my version) 0.6.20

This is my approach about the VCV Rack Modules:

Personally i have all the available modules, downloaded in my system (including those not free) … On the other hand, as a beginner, besides my own experimentation, i watch all the videos i can, related to VCV Rack (tutorials as well as music-only videos) …

So, more videos i watch more i see that most of the Gurus use almost always the same modules: Befaco’s, Audible Instruments, Fundamental + Core, Impromptu Modular, Bogaudio, ML Modules, AS, and a few others … BUT from time to time, i see that some use also some strange and unknown module(s) in the chain, which makes me investigate it looking for any video or info about it, and if i can’t find any info i start experimenting with it.

Also, if one makes a ‘tagged’ search within VCV Rack one can find some equivalent modules … For instance, if one searches for “VCO” with all modules installed, VCV Rack shows 119 possibilities, so one can try different oscillators with an already made patch, which can bring about a lot of experimentation and new sounds discovering.

But i’m afraid that many people, especially those who watch many videos from the VCV Rack’s Gurus (not me, since i could be one of the exceptions), end using the same modules those Gurus use and never go beyond that … So this could be to me, the reason why Befaco’s, Audible Instr., and so on are the most downloaded modules …

But this behavior is comprehensible nowadays, in that we want everything immediately so there’s not much time left for experimentation and exploration of the new horizons that some strange modules (including those with a not-so-nice UI), can bring to us … And this is also one of the reasons why most of the nowadays’ music (and VCV Rack is not an exception), sounds always the same (and not only rhythms, but the sounds used also … You know already, “Presets/Usual Modules killed the Music Star”).

So to me, Modular Synthesis means total experimentation all the time, which means investigate and try any available module and see what one can take out of it (something that VCV Rack allows us to do, on the contrary of real and expensive EuroRack modules)

BUT above all, marvel at the incredible ability that human being has to create things, which in turn will serve other human beings to create new things (or new sounds in our case) … And also marvel at the wish to share the created with other human beings that surely will take that creation one step further (like all those wonderful modules we all can enjoy, just because someone created VCV Rack and shared it with all of us for FREE!).

So i’m sure there’s a magic and wonderful module hidden somewhere that still nobody has discovered except his/her creator … simply because most of us prefer to be ‘beautiful clones’, than being actually creative.

My 2¢!
(i hope nobody feel upset somehow because some of my words :hugs:)


I have mostly all free modules installed. Of the paid modules I onl have Host for now. The few free modules I don’t have are because I don’t find any utility for me (e.g. Holonic Systems or Nocturnal Encoder). For the rest I have tested every single one at least one time, but there are so many that learning how to actually use them is a long process. Some days I take a module totally unknown to me in my patch and read the manual to try and figure out what to do with it, other days I just grab a random module and see what I can connect so it will make some nice sound.

I think that just as in the hardware world, there are a lot of modules and is hard to start without being familiar with basics first.

1 Like

Another consideration that is best addressed by @Vortico… Back in 0.5.1, in the midst of the Great Plugin Manager Pause, was there a large uptick in Rack downloads?

I’d go for a combination of the advice on the first page of the Manual (if anybody does RTM? - Andrew will have the stats).

At this point, you are ready to learn the rest of the Fundamental modules to build your own unique patches. I personally recommend that you attempt to push the Fundamental modules to their limits before moving on to other official or third-party plugins. They are more capable than they might appear, and learning how to use them effectively will give you more power and understanding when installing more modules later. When you are ready, install more plugins with the Plugin Manager.

Followed by ‘I want the shiny things on the front page of’

(Possibly ?) followed by Sartre’s Autodidact: ‘I’ll start my learning with A and work my way from there’ (explaining Amalgamated instruments).

Then: ‘I see what the cool kids are using in the YT tutorials/pieces’.

and finally: ‘Stuff it, I’ll just install the lot’.

All that affected by:

  1. Age in the plugin manager.
  2. The tendency of some (ie Me but I am not alone) to want to collect everything (I am sure I am very popular with certain VST developers :wink: ).

A bit of dubious spreadsheeting and I end up with the graph on Sheet3 of:

Which mostly sort of corresponds with ‘older plugins have more installs… kind of’.
Not exactly an earth shattering revelation, but figured I should share the graph now that I have it ;->


Cheers Adrian. As you say there is a rough correlation to age but many exceptions too.

When Rack has taken over the world somebody can write their masters dissertation on an analysis of the stats :wink:

1 Like

As commented on above, the number of downloads really should not be confused with quality/utility; the freakishly large number of downloads for the AH modules comes from the old age of a rather niche and fiddly-to-use module series and the default alphabetical ordering of the Plugin Manager. I imagine that they are not in wide day-to-day use.

Maybe if the Plugin Manager allowed user to upvote module series and the the Plugin Manager would allow people to sort by total number of votes and the last ten days of votes, then the best-in-class and new contenders would surface. I think that could be much more useful than the downloads statistic.

Ultimately this forum could be very useful for module promotion, much more than FB which vanishes interesting information very quickly.


I imagine that they are not in wide day-to-day use.

I use them occasionally but i know Dronehands (a Twitch streamer) uses one of them all the time. They probably get more use than you think.

why? if it’s free i’ll try it. well, i may check the description, and if it is something i likely won’t use (interfacing with hardware, or drums), then i don’t bother.

1 Like

why? if it’s free i’ll try it. well, i may check the description, and if it is something i likely won’t use (interfacing with hardware, or drums), then i don’t bother.

I’m putting myself in the position of a new user. Even if you download every module you still have to decide what to try. Remember that many people have no idea what modular synthesis is when they start (VCV was certainly my introduction to all this). It’s quite a bit easier to download one or two packs and get used to them rather than be overwhelmed by the number of choices, particularly when there are so many unfamiliar ideas to learn. So, a lot of people will just use what looks cool and ignore what doesn’t. I think that’s fine. Also remember that we’re working in a form where arbitrary limitations are routinely used to provoke creativity, why not just download the “coolest” looking modules and use those?



I have a bit of the OCD when it comes to this too. I still use what is available, but I would really prefer to have a uniform looking system, I LOVE the way the core modules and mutable modules look, so clean and silver lol. Truly thankful for those that include a “light mode.”

I did the same thing with eurorack hardware, all matching panel colors, grayscale if needed, sometimes even with brands, it was fun to me and made some interesting patches.