How do you call ...?

Preface: Apparently there are different terms for different elements in Rack among users. This seem to confuse users and developers alike. I hope that these small pools can help determine what users call the various elements in Rack and to use the results to build a “naming convention”. This may be helpful to to avoid confusion in conversations and documentations.

Please read the questions of the individual pools carefully before your vote! You have only one vote per poll!

Please answer honestly and choose the option that you think applies, no matter what you heard from others or you might think others say!

1. What tells you the name composition VCV Rack?

  • VCV Rack is the name of the software application.
  • Rack is the name of the software application and VCV is the developer.

0 voters

2. How will you call the VST/AU version of Rack?

  • a plugin
  • a addin
  • a tool
  • a extension
  • I call it differently, namely … (Please write a comment. Thanks.)

0 voters

3. How do you call this on the following picture?


  • plugin
  • addin
  • module
  • device
  • pack
  • bundle
  • I call it differently, namely … (Please write a comment. Thanks.)

0 voters

4. How do you call this on the following picture?

  • a set
  • a bundle
  • a collection
  • a pack
  • I call it differently, namely … (Please write a comment. Thanks.)

0 voters

No need to “build a convention”, it already exists. Here are the correct answers:

  1. Both are true I guess? Kind of a weird question. iPhone and Apple iPhone are both valid, but most people call it iPhone because it’s a trademarked name and you won’t ever find an iPhone by another company. Rack on the other hand is not a trademarked name, so to avoid confusion with other “Rack” products in the world, it’s sometimes useful to be specific.
  2. VCV Rack for DAWs is the official name. It will be a VST2 plugin. AU is not yet confirmed.
  3. module or Rack module or module for VCV Rack
  4. plugin or Rack plugin or plugin for VCV Rack. The correct answer isn’t even an option, lol.

After reading some threads i had the feeling that namings seem to be a big thing and that some users and also you are confused about them. It isn’t my intension to build a convention, but i thought the polls are a good indicator on how the users call different things and maybe use the results for manuals and other documents.

VCV Rack for DAWs is a good example. How will you name/describe it in the manual? Will you always call it VCV Rack for DAWs or will you use a synonym like plugin?

Funny, i personally never call a collection of modules plugin and also never read the term plugin in this context. I will try to add it to the poll.

Edit: Seem that active polls cannot be edited.

Official documentation/marketing will always use official terminology, period.

It will be called VCV Rack for DAWs in official documentation/marketing. Why would I ever call it anything else?

I cannot stop VCV Rack users from calling things whatever they like. I will not ban them for using incorrect terminology. But when helping users on this forum and elsewhere, it is a good idea to use correct terminology so they are not confused when cross-referencing other materials.


Of course. If there is a official terminology, then there is nothing to discuss about.

Sure, the name will be the name. The software is called VCV Rack for DAWs, but this doesn’t tell a user what it is. If you call it a VST plugin (for example) most of the users will know what it is.

I will edit the first entry to make my intension more clear.

This has been discussed before:

Yes, the linked thread was one of the reasons why i created the polls. The thread also talks about plugins/modules for example, which isn’t the same in my understanding. For me, there isn’t a VCV plugin released yet.

For the people who were users of VCV Rack from the beginning (the old-timers) there was never any confusion. Andrew introduced the name ‘module’ for a module, because that’s what it’s called in modular synthesizer land and Rack is a virtual modular synthesizer. And he introduced the name ‘plugin’ to refer to a collection/bundle/pack/multitude of modules, because the plugin terminology is well-known in software land. And so, from the beginning we always spoke of “downloading the AS plugin” which contains all the “AS modules”, and confusion was nowhere to be seen.

I think what has happened is, that as Rack got popular it got a rapid infusion of new users who have previously made music with VST plugins in DAW’s, and who were not part of the beginning of the development and usage of Rack, and therefor did not absorb those fundamental words as a matter of course. Since a VST plugin is closer to a Rack module than a Rack plugin, and since probably very few new users read the official Rack manual, where the terms are used very consistently, the confusion of terms started to spread. That’s my theory anyway and I’m sticking to it.

I would say it’s quite simple: VCV Rack is a piece of software with an accompanying ecosystem, where certain simple and official terms have been established and described for the different pieces, and those are the terms we use and none other. Very simple. It’s not hepful to contribute to confusion by using other terms when communicating. The more we use the right/official terms the less confusion there is.


Anyone who is a content creator can help with this!

1 Like

Indeed! Just use the right terms and none other, and for newbies link to the manual. The manual could use a huge cleanup and build-out but that’s another matter.

1 Like

Makes totally sense, maybe i’m to much used to call VSTs plugins.

I use VCV Rack quiet a while, but never noticed that the term plugin is used for a collection of modules. To bad, i wish i had known and added the term to the poll.

thats not how language works. language evolves over time and usage is determined by users of the language. look into how dictionaries are made, especially the oxford english dictionary. dictionaries are documents of usage, not rules to be followed. there are some who wish there be static rules for language, determined by elite authorities, to be followed til the end of time, with appropriate penalties and social consequences for violating the rules. but those people don’t get invited to many parties.

1 Like

If your saying what I think your saying none of what you just proclaimed will be readable to anyone who see’s it, in a few hundred years. However a person reading the Oxford English Dictionary will still know what the reference to a Rack plugin is. If it is still available for download in 20 years they will still know what it is.

Alright, enough. This thread doesn’t help anyone. Closing.