Introducing VCV’s new website at https://vcvrack.com/. A lot has happened in the VCV world in the last two years, so it’s a great time for a new look. Check back here often for new featured modules, artist interviews, tutorials, and Rack updates.
Big improvement, looks nice.
Looks very nice!
Looks very nice! Both on desktop and mobile
What a gorgeous new look,foreground,and background.
Looking cool! Neat plan to no longer describe it as a DAW to avoid confusing terminology when the VST is out.
You’ve considered eventually having a page that goes “if you have no idea what’s a modular synth, here’s a super gentle intro and showcase of cool stuff you can do”?
Cool ! Well done. I like the new look.
it’s looking cool
maybe “Eurorack Virtulator” would fit bettter than a “Eurorack Simulator”,
as it is much more as only simulating something imho
Haha if only that was a word.
I agree. In many ways VCV is already much more powerful than the platform it simulates - and will only get more so over time.
A night mode button would be welcome on the website for when using the library. The white canvas is quite bright.
if you use it, it will be a word!
language is flexibel and always changing and words are made by humans and by their habits.
but maybe “Eurorack Virtualator” would even be better.
The new website looks excellent.
Re: simulator/virtulator, for whatever it’s worth, the best term along these lines that I can think of to describe Rack might be “fantasy console”. I first came across the concept via Joseph White’s PICO-8. Defined in his words:
A fantasy console is like a regular console, but without the inconvenience of actual hardware. PICO-8 has everything else that makes a console a console: machine specifications and display format, development tools, design culture, distribution platform, community and playership. It is similar to a retro game emulator, but for a machine that never existed. PICO-8’s specifications and ecosystem are instead designed from scratch to produce something that has it’s own identity and feels real. Instead of physical cartridges, programs made for PICO-8 are distributed on .png images that look like cartridges, complete with labels and a fixed 32k data capacity.
It could be said that VCV Rack’s relationship to eurorack is something sort of like the PICO-8’s relationship to the NES or similar video game consoles.
Speaking of which, a PICO-8 module in the RackNES style could be very cool.
Software has moved on past the point emulation is an honest alternative for the real thing, with its own advantages, anyway. Popular retro consoles like the Nes Mini and Playstation Classic are little more than single-board computers with an emulator, and so are a few physical eurorack modules.
As far as I’m concerned Rack is as real as it gets, since I have little interest in the underlying hardware, only in the process. To me hardware is more of an expensive prototype of something we can now make real in widely available software, like how having a real NES over emulated re-releases is more a collector’s thing than about the quality of the experience.
Totally agree,and I’m old enough to have lusted after Prophet 5’s and Oberheim’s etc. when they were current [I was only in my teens at the time - late '70s/early '80s ,but you get the point].
Couldn’t agree more. We can put together an incredible Rack system,for free,and even add a choice range of premium modules for a couple of hundred dollars/euros. Meanwhile,a hardware system of this quality would cost the price of a new car.And,as you say,there are some very real advantages to having it in software,aside from the price/cost,like multi-plug sockets and polyphonic cables,not to mention being able to have multiple instances of modules,at no,or no extra,cost,just to mention a few.
I think this “software advantage” is most likely to increase,with time,with more cross pollenation of ideas,especially,perhaps,as so many excellent open source modules offer ready-made code for those knowledgable enough to use it.[You’ve no idea how much I wish I was one of them.Maybe someday].
Still,there is a real appeal to having physical control,through knobs and dials,and,no doubt,many Eurorack users,and potential users,love to try out modules here,before splashing out on hardware modules.I think this is great for VCV,and I’m very glad it is.
I think hybrid VCV Rack/Eurorack systems are growing in popularity.At least,it seems so to me.I think this is a good thing for both systems.Andrew has done an amazing job with VCV,and so have the developers who don’t offer hardware,but I,at least,think it’s great to have the likes of the Audible Instruments,and other Eurorack,modules here,in VCV.
True, really VCV Rack is capable of emulating eurorack and then is capable of so much more on top.
My thinking was more along the lines about how there are constraints put on that additional capability, for example: only allowing 16 channels per cable, only 128 channels of I/O to an audio interface. This is sort of like the arbitrary constraints designed into a fantasy console like the PICO-8.
Like those involved with the PICO-8, I’m regarding “arbitrary constraints” as a positive thing or at least neutrally; fantasy consoles are an attractive concept to me as a developer and more broadly as a fan of “constrainted art”.
In the context of Rack’s core eurorack emulation, it doesn’t feel like much of a stretch to me to see the 16-channel polyphony constraint as being “hardware-ish” even though it actually isn’t.
There are also technical constraints inherent in Rack at a much more fundamental level, like needing to code modules in C++. Together with the Rack SDK, this creates the distinctive development tools for the “VCV fantasy console”.
Then there are “soft constraints” that are recommendations but not requirements, like: being limited to the visual space of a eurorack panel (you can also render in a new window like Host), leaving space around knobs for fingers to grab them, putting screws on panels. Enough module developers adhere to these guidelines that for me it has an impact on the whole experience feeling rather “hardware-ish” as far as software is concerned.
So, I’d like to revise my original analogy. If eurorack is NES hardware: VCV Rack is an N64 emulator with an NES emulator inside, in a universe where SNES and N64 hardware don’t exist.
Ironically(?), the preservation of classic video games seems to be moving past software and “back to hardware” via FPGA systems like Analogue’s Super NT, Mega Sg, and Pocket, or the MiSTer hardware. Though I suppose this is still emulation in any case, just hardware emulation rather than software emulation. And if you ask me, an FPGA-base SNES recreation isn’t good enough until the audio output can mimic the impulse response of the original circuitry. Plogue has me spoiled with their attention to detail in that area (see: chipsynth PortaFM, chipsynth MD).