Orca's Heart / Collection One is now available

my first module, Orca’s Heart, is now available in the vcvrack library as part of my Collection One plugin.

it’s an algorithmic sequence generator - you select scale notes and it creates a sequence out of them. the most basic usage is: use CV and Gate outputs from the Notes group on the right as you would on any sequencer (CV to 1V/Oct oscillator input, gate to trigger an envelope). adjust various parameters using knobs until you get something you like. then try adding modulation for creating more complex sequences.

it supports up to 4 voices, and it’s designed to create complimentary sequences. it also loves modulation - try plugging a slow LFO into Shift input, for instance. self patching can also make for interesting complex variations - try using the Mod outputs on the left.

more detailed documentation here: https://github.com/scanner-darkly/vcv-collection-one/wiki/Orca’s-Heart

will try to expand the manual soon and add various patches / tips. any feedback greatly appreciated!


this is such a fine module, thank you very much :+1:


This is what I’ll be playing with. I have been listening to some great patches where Orca’s Heart has been in use and I was super excited to see it hit the library yesterday. Thank you for all the hard work!


thanks for kind words!

for those using eurorack - i’m also porting it to my multipass framework, so it’ll run on any of the monome eurorack modules (white whale / earthsea / meadowphysics / ansible / teletype):

it will require a monome grid 128 in order to select notes / change parameters. the multipass version also includes 2 8x12 modulation matrixes which i might add to the vcvrack version as one of the future expanders:


somebody asked if it’s possible to use a MIDI keyboard to control scale notes - it is with the help of MIDI-GATE and @stoermelder’s super handy CV-MAP modules. map MIDI notes to gates, add CV control over the scale buttons with CV-MAP and then connect the gates to the buttons:

for this to only output notes when any keys are pressed will require a small change - not outputting gates when no scale buttons are selected - this will be included in the next update!

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My MIDI-CAT module allows mapping of note messages the same way as CCs, this should make it even easier mapping keys to the scale buttons. It even has a toggle mode. Haven’t tried it though…


perfect, will give it a try!

edit: yep, that works!

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added a little section on tips & tricks: https://github.com/scanner-darkly/vcv-collection-one/wiki/Orca’s-Heart#tips--tricks

will continue expanding it with some patch examples as well.


I used Orca’s Heart in my vcp entry and one thing I tried was having the melody line kind of disappear by turning the space knob up (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28wxP6Ft2AA about 5:40). What’s not clear to me is the relationship between space and gate len. Really i wanted to decrease gate len but that didn’t seem to work.

space and gate length are completely independent.

gate length controls how long the Notes gates are held high for after a note triggers (the range is 0.1s to 4s edit: it’s actually between 0.1 to 4 multiplied by the master clock, not seconds). this is more for convenience of being able to control all 4 gates at once as you can just use AD style envelopes instead of ASR or ADSR, and control gate length on the envelopes themselves.

space is probably what you want, it introduces gaps in sequences (although in a slightly weird manner - i was going to change but several people commented they liked the effect it produces). it works well especially when being slightly modulated, this can bring more dynamics to a sequence.

i’m curious, how did you change space and/or gate length in the video? looking at the gate outputs it sure looks (and sounds) like gate length is being reduced around that time mark but i don’t see anything plugged into Gate Length input and the knob isn’t touched. great patch, i can almost hear bagpipes!

I increased space rather than decreasing gate length. It just got to the point where I thought it was good enough as it was.

Thanks! I really apprecia…bagpipes?

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ha, some of the timbres reminded me of bagpipes (i love bagpipes).

weird, i’ll check what’s going on. space shouldn’t have an effect on gate length.

how did you patch gate outputs? also, how are you changing space there, i don’t see the knob moving and looks like nothing is plugged into Space input?

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Okay, it looks like I totally forgot what i actually did and i’ve got the speed cv patched instead of the space cv. I am foolish. I’m using Jooper through a slew limiter so the value goes from 0 to 10 slowly. I don’t really know why that shortens the gate length.

edit: clarification

ah that makes sense. i was actually incorrect: gate length is between 0.1 and 4 multiplied by the clock interval, so when you reduce speed it reduces the gate length proportionally.

strange that this would introduce gaps though. this will happen if you had gate length large enough so that notes overlap, and if you reduce it you’ll get to the point where you can hear more separate notes. changing speed shouldn’t have this effect (the main reason for having gate length be based on clock interval), i’ll check and see what’s going on!

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orca’s heart has been updated for v2, however the version currently available in the library (2.0.3) can cause a crash when loading a saved patch.

i believe it should be fixed now, if you want to update before waiting for the new 2.0.4 version to be available in the library you can grab the build here: update version · scanner-darkly/vcv-collection-one@70a282a · GitHub


Lovely news! This was always one of my favorite modules, thanks for updating.

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thank you! i’m considering further improvements, is there anything you’d want to see added/changed?

Honestly, I really like it as it is- the interface is very clean and the module is just ridiculously powerful. If there was one thing that I think would be an interesting twist, it would be a multi-octave transpose for each Note CV output. If those were then modulatable to allow CV control over octave shifts for each note, I can imagine some really interesting possibilities. To keep things clean, that might be an interesting option for an expander instead of jamming it into the main module.

What I’m thinking is being able to layer octaves to create chord-like patterns that change over time or shifting in and out different oscillators to take on the role of bass lines or plucks. Having that in addition to the octave shift for the A and B sections would be really nifty.

Something like a +/- 5 octave transpose range, a rotary switch for octave shifts, and a CV in for note octaves would be really slick. I’m thinking something a little bit like the Repelzen Re-Win quantizer, but with CV control over the octave shifts.

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the version 2.0.4 (that includes the bugfix) is now available in the library. it also includes some minor improvements (better labels and stepped controls for some of the parameters).