Cable management (suggestion)

I’m new to VCV Rack and the whole modular world, so I’m still learning how most people use colors as their color code. One thing I would find useful would be to have a settings panel where we could add custom cable names so instead of seeing “New cable” when we right click an input/output:


we would see something like this, for example (names are just random, here, of course):

Screen Shot 2023-04-16 at 11.24.11 AM

Then when we drag a cable, it would have the text underneath with the type of cable being used (this could maybe be turned ON/OFF, in case some users would find it useless):

Screen Shot 2023-04-16 at 11.24.31 AM

I think this would make it easier for beginners to build that muscle memory when it comes to their color code. Even for non-beginners?

What do you guys think?


Everything is Voltage :pray:t3:

edit: I don’t use colour coding when I’m patching. Only, maybe, when I’m “done” and want to make a video of the thing. Or it’s at the point where I just want to listen and then occupy myself with tidying the patch. And I’m inclined to believe that thinking in absolute signal types might be detrimental to one’s journey through moodular.


that is a great sugestion , as Urs mentioned , everything is voltage, then is not mandatory to connect an LFO into a CV input, you could connect there audio signal for instance and it will work

however there is some plugins to allow to manage the cable color easily , I don have the name now, but omri use it a lot in his videos

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I don’t use the function specific colour cable approach because in the real world if I want to trace a cable from its target to its source and it’s one of six close together cables used for modulation then it’s easier to spot if the cables it’s close to are different colours.


Not sure if this is what you mean?

But this is just for colors and keyboard shortcuts, not the names, which is what I would like to have available.

And sure, you can connect anything using any colors, but I’ve seen a lot of people using certain colors for certain things and think that helps a little bit. For me, as a beginner, it would help if I could just see the name when I right click AND when I’m dragging the cable, because using this module I just shared, I can change the cable’s color without releasing the mouse.

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In the real world we also can’t save/load patches and add/remove modules in seconds… so I guess when we are working with VCV Rack, some real world approaches don’t really apply (or don’t necessarily have to apply).

I would guess that if some people use it and they say it helps them keep track of things, it must be useful? At least it would for me. And since this would be a setting that you could turn on/off, those who don’t find it useful could just have it off.

Thank you for the feedback

Wouldn’t it make sense that VCV Rack would have an option to set a single color for every new cable, for example? At least for those who don’t care much about the colors?

I’m still in the beginning of my journey, so I can’t really give my honest feedback, because only time will tell. I’m sharing my suggestion based on how I work in general, and using colors and names are always a great way to quickly understand what’s going on. Maybe I will change my mind along the way, I don’t know…

I’m interested in knowing different approaches and especially “why”, so I can understand how my workflow can be better and faster

Auto_coloring depending of output_type could be a good feature

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I think a lot of folks here are using Omri’s color code, he didn’t start it but he popularized it for VCV at least and I use the inklen and just think : audio=1, v/oct=2, mod=3, trigger/gate=4, it’s quick and tidy enough for me at least. But it is a good strong reminder that v/oct can be modulation and a trigger can be audio and an lfo can be my v/oct and audio can drive an envelope, it’s all relative in synth.

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I usually start out a patch with a strict cable colour scheme, but as it grows and the ideas start flowing, I couldn’t be bothered with the colour of the cables. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

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Sure everything is voltage. But the role of the voltage carrying cable is often “clock” or “modulation”, etc… so it’s not a silly or impossible suggestion at all.

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Yeah, ofc it’s crucial to understand those 4, 5 different building blocks and their shapes (speaking in scope-visualisations) and what they do and why but sometimes, it’s not what’s in the cable but what a module’s input makes of it. LFOs and gates/triggers become audio when they’re fast enough. Triggers can go into filters, audio can be shaved in Rampage, for instance. So to cling to the distinction and shape ones experience and learning by it, might be prohibitive. Dunno.

Just to be clear here, I do like to colour my cables but just not while I’m patching. If I understand you correctly here ( :arrow_up:) Submarine WM-101, which is what I’m using, lets you set up as many colours as you want and then cycles through as many as you’ve made active.

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yeah, it would be bad to label the inputs and outputs, for the reasons you outline. It wouldn’t necessarily be bad to let ppl label the cables for the roles that happen to be playing ATM, right?

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I would guess that the colors give you a quick idea of what is what, even if you use, as you said, V/OCT as modulation, etc. If you were to use a cable from V/OCT as modulation, then you would use the color “assigned” to modulation, so that would be visually clear. At least that’s what I think the colors are for, even if you are using them in unusual ins/outs.

I would assume that more often than not, a cable is used for a particular scenario, not the exceptions, so having the colors for 99% of what you use them for, it’s a great help. Then even if you use them for something else, just like you shared on those examples, it’s not a big deal.

I see this more of a thing for most case scenarios, if that makes sense? And since this would be a setting users could turn on/off (for the labels next to the mouse) or not customize the cable names at all, it’s not that people are forced to adopt a certain code/workflow. It’s more of a setting that can be useful for some and a way to improve the UX, in my opinion.

I am using VCV Library - Inklen Cable Colour Key which seems to be pretty similar to that one you shared. That also lets you click a cable and it will always create a cable with that selected color.

Yeah that’s exactly what I mean. It would be a feature that people could use or not, but it would be there, which I think could be useful, even if here and there a cable can end up being used for something else. But in that case, changing its color would make sense, so if originally it was a Modulation cable and it ended up being used on an LFO that’s so fast that ends up being Audio, then it would make sense to change it to an Audio cable, instead of the Modulation one.

And for example with that Inklen module, since you can assign keys to each cable and change them while you are still dragging them, seeing the name next to it would help. At least it would for me (for now, at least, while I’m still getting used to the whole thing.

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i use this module as well. however, i do also know that @ldlework has been toying around with an open-source alternative that implements more/extra features.

I pay no attention to cable colors. That is probably due to the fact that I cut my teeth on modular in 1973 and at that time everyone followed the Henry Ford model. “You can have any color you want as long as it is black”" :wink: