Connecting VCV Rack to Ableton Live as cool as would be with VST

I was so happy to combine VCV Rack and Ableton and then I realized that I cannot wait for VST (Rack for DAWs) anymore just because I’m full of ideas! So I’ve decided to get an ultimate template so now it has completely reduced latency up to ZERO (!) ms with ANY buffer size, midi out from Ableton and midi in from VCV Rack, sending automation from Ableton to VCV Rack and finally recording VCV Rack modulation (even a bipolar CV signals!) to Ableton Live automation. So I hope it will be useful for you and if you have another ideas to combine these DAWs just write something in the comment section below please. Also you can find some useful info and links down in the description. Cheers!


Nice trick using the driver error compensation to negate vcv latency :slight_smile:

Only works if you do not mix VCV with other hardware though ,because changing this setting would mess with audio recording.

After many trials & errors, I ended up with the following setup

  • Ableton sends an audio pulse clock with negative delay to compensante latency of VCV via soundflower, and Midi tracks that matches this delay
  • VCV outputs 1-8 to ADAT 1-8 outputs of my soundcard, with an optical cable ADAT-OUT -> ADAT-IN, so I can use zero latency monitoring as if VCV was a hardware synth, in a way (I try to avoid monitor in ableton whenever possible)
  • Ableton records ADAT 1-8 inputs with monitor off

Interesting, and thanks for posting. So, if I’m following, your chain is:

Live CV Tools -> Soundflower -> Rack -> ADAT Out -> ADAT In -> Live

Is that correct? Are you combining this with any external modular or MIDI hardware at the moment, and how are you monitoring what’s coming out of Rack- just sending to a different set of outs on your sound card and monitoring from Rack directly?

It’s correct, just I don’t use CV tools, just a regular Simpler device with an audio pulse .wav.

It’s combined with both modular synths driven by VCV through DC coupled outputs, & midi hardware controlled by Ableton. And no, I just monitor the ADAT input in my soundcard mixer, Motu Cuemix for instance. Everything apart Ableton internal sounds are monitored this way.

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Ok, it’s just about different workflows and purposes!) In my case the point is in using ableton monitoring for adding effects, they are more efficiently spend my cpu and easy to setup and connect than in vcv rack (just obvious thing about cables and CPU)). And then resempling, arranging recorded clips, recording new ones from vcv rack and that kind of stuff. And I think there is no difficulties to connect asio inputs insude asio link rack instances to get the same latency compensation for the whole asio driver. But maybe it’s a different story for core audio, who knows


Yes it’s mostly workflow oriented, though I would gladly use ableton monitoring & effects and if its latency was acceptable… but adding layers/routing even compensated adds sensible delay to the monitoring no matter what, making it wonky to use with hardware instruments