name the free version of VCV Rack v2

clearly the guy making the decision disagrees

Andrew, to whom I agree, rejects the designation “VCV Rack Pro” because “Pro” has “Amateur” as its opposite, which is actually not very attractive. “Complete”, on the other hand, does not evaluate, but only expresses that what is missing in the free version (namely the DAW integration as a plugin) is present there. So the “Complete” version can be considered complete in this sense.

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ok, dude, you clearly love those names. we get it. :slight_smile:

From my experience (from a company that spent years trying to get users to refer to our product with the correct name), I think that those types of awkward/confusing conversations are going to occur no matter what you call it (considering how similar the two are), and changing it from VCV Rack adds confusion straight away. I would think that the pros for keeping the name for the product that it already is would outweigh the cons. :slight_smile:

This I understand, but it’s difficult not to do this, because:

  1. You want to differentiate the two products in a way that makes users want to upgrade (I presume).
  2. One version actually is superior (you get the VST and support - and naming it should probably indicate this).

Perhaps my presumption is wrong. I expect that Andrew would like to sell as many of the commercial licenses as possible (and he should, to benefit from the work that he has put into this project - and I think that we all probably want that as well). I think that naming them in a way that makes people want to pay for the commercial version should be encouraged. “Studio” is ok, but definitely softer in terms of marketing.

Anyway, no matter what it is named, I look forward to it and hope that it’s successful. :slight_smile:


The problem I have is that this turns into a judgement of the user. To me, this is unacceptable. Maybe it’s my being raised by a depression baby and seeing how marketing is repeatedly used to bilk people, but I strongly value substance over flash, and I take a very dim view of marketing. Things should sell because of their inherent quality. I think VCV Rack has a lot of this, but I groan every time things drift toward marketspeak.

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I just can’t quit this thread :slight_smile:

I agree that “Studio” is softer marketing than something like “Pro,” but I think in this unusual case that’s definitely better (even from a market value standpoint).

The differentiation between these two products is very unusual in that (tech support aside) the paid version adds a single feature which makes no difference to some users (studio integration). There’s no other improvement, unlike almost all other products with free/paid tiers.

I suspect that Andrew would prefer that users who wouldn’t use studio integration save that money and ideally put some of it towards paid modules or module crowdfunding. So there’s no sales pressure to drive users who don’t need DAW integration up the product line.

The cost of seeming to differentiate the products based on quality, however, is paid up front in confusion and ill will, which does the far more harmful thing of driving potential users away from the community entirely. The Internet has already ginned up a lot of baseless suspicion about VCV’s business model, open source bona fides, and intentions, and while I’m sure that you’re right and there will always be confusion, I think that quality names like Pro/Plus/etc. are going to invite a thousand conversations about how the Pro version only adds one feature, and cause a lot of potential users to get mad about something they’ve imagined because YOUR SO-CALLED “PRO VERSION” WAS BUILT ON THE BACKS OF MISLEADINGLY ALIENATED LABOR when the work of all Rack module devs is going to stay as free as they want forever and literally the only new code in the paid version will be Andrew’s.

No that was my doing as the topic starter, it seemed he’d made a decision based on the feedback so I marked it as the solution, though I don’t see it hurting for the thread to continue.

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Is that true though? I wasn’t aware all Andrew’s premium VCV modules were going to be included in the plugin version.

Ah, OK, no worries. Just didn’t want anyone to miss Andrew’s comments.

Well, I think if he offers the version for good money (as “Complete”, “Professional” or whatever …), then it would be appropriate to include his VCV Rack Plugin as a whole. Only then it would be a package that deserves such an ambitious name. Otherwise it would be more honest to sell simply an upgrade to (VST/AU/…) plugin (e.g. as a “DAW Integration Addon”).

Names are just smoke and mirrors, but it’s interesting and entertaining to talk about them. However, it would be much more important to know the intentions and strategies behind the names. In my opinion, too little was informed about this in advance and, with the discussion of the name, the horse was effectively bridled from behind.

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whats a about of VCV Rack Suite it include the standalone and the plugging

and VCV Rack for the standalone only

(I must to say I really like VCV Rack and VCV Rack CE names)

Give people something to talk about and they will chat endlessly.

From my perspective, every music software (especially a VST) needs a try-before-you-buy version and the so-called ‘VCV Rack CE’ may do this job just well. The goal is to get people to buy the paid version and to support the developer so that future development will be possible.

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I think VCV Rack Suite could be a very good competitor to the studio version. The word Studio can have a “better than the not studio version” connotation with the music producing folks. I think Suite has a widely accepted understanding, that it isn’t necessarily better, just containing a greater variety of tools – which is exactly what the vst version would do.

I agree with you regarding the “try-and-buy” option. But I think that the free BASIC version lacks the decisive feature, namely the DAW integration, which therefore cannot be judged in advance. However, this is the main function why it is necessary to pay for the COMPLETE version.

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I’m not sure if this is the information you mean, but as far as I can remember the relationship between the plugin version and the free, open-source product has been basically stable, and openly discussed, for over two years now.

As far as I can see, the name change is the only way this differs from the structure announced in the development blog on June 2019:

And here’s what the FAQ said in April 2019, the earliest capture of that page on the Wayback Machine:

Shortly after Rack 2.0 releases, Rack will also be available as a 64-bit VST2 plugin for around $99. VST3/AU/AAX versions might be released afterwards. All Rack v2 plugins will be compatible with the plugin version of Rack. The primary “standalone” version of Rack v2 will continue to be free/open-source.

Looking this up, I was a little surprised, as I had forgotten that even the VST2-first release was planned!


Thanks for the refresher. It has already been published a lot about V2 and maybe I missed one or the other. With “intentions and strategies” I actually meant the marketing. The naming plays a significant role when it comes to potential buyers. Technically, the name is quite no matter.

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Ah, got it :slight_smile:

I agree that the naming is quite important (hence my apparent addiction to this thread :sweat_smile:). Names can also be pretty sticky: here’s GearNews announcing Rack Community Edition even though the VCV announcement said the name was tentative…

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It is often said in software engineering (at least in my experience, as a sort of joke-meme that stems from a universal truth) that the two hardest problems are caching & naming. In this case you have both, trying not to invalidate the cached name of “VCV Rack” and trying to think of a name for the evolved product. As is common in life you may have to make a compromise, lest your pursuit of perfection impedes your improvement.

oiow; I think Community & Studio will work just fine


I thought the two hardest problems were caching, naming, and off-by-one errors?

Anyway, well put :slight_smile: