Physical user interface in Eurorack format - suggestions?

I love VCV Rack and I love turning physical knobs. Instead of using an off-the-shelf MIDI controller like LaunchControl XL and the MIDI-to-CV Rack module, I would like to build physical hardware “twins” of selected VCV Rack modules’ user interface:

  • Turning physical knobs turns the software GUI knobs in Rack.
  • Patching physical cables between the hardware modules makes software patch connections between corresponding modules in Rack.

I would really appreciate design suggestions/requests.
The goal is to have it all sound, feel and look like a real hardware modular Eurorack set, but much cheaper.
The idea for hardware design is similar to Matt Bradshaw’s Polymod project.

Which modules would be best to start making physical twins for?
Any ideas on how to interface with Rack? I am prepared to get my C++ hands dirty :slight_smile:

Maybe you could have a look at this project…

I have no personal experience with it, tough.


Have a look at the Midilar controller. It’s a modular Midi controller designed for VCV Rack. I hope that it will be released when VCV 1.0 will come out…

Modiy looks interesting!
Although I’m not sure if making exact modules as controllers is the way to go. For me, a custom, mappable midi controller like Midilar seems like a better solution, as it makes the hardware more reusable, since the knobs would form general groups (modules) of 3-6 knobs/buttons that would map well to most modules, and could switch between target modules in Rack. Of course this doesn’t include the patching with real cables but I’m not sure that’s a bad thing.
If you want to go really cheap to try something out, you can use any arduino(or compatible) board and some serial-to-midi solution like hairless
a next step is to use something like a teensy or some of the more expensive arduinos that can work as usb-midi devices directly.

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Modiy looks very interesting, I will definitely try it out!
Update: tried it yesterday but it crashes Rack. Will troubleshoot but it might take a while…

Thank you @unlessgames. I guess preferences wary. I am a bit more nostalgic than practical so I’m kinda hooked on recreating the vintage modular synth aestethics, including the physical patch cables.

Sending midi from an arduino is not a problem. I have used Teensy for my projects so far. It has a built-in mode to make its USB port present itself as a midi device, together with a supporting midi message library. Very convenient.