Please Help me Improve the Module Browser Search Function (Feedback Request)

Dear plugin-developers, and vcv-community at large,

I am looking into improving the module browser search function. (The one circled in red below)

In this quest I’d like to get some inspiration from all of you with what queries gives bad results.

Did you ever fail to find a module using the search-function?

Was it because of a subtle spelling issue that seemed “close enough”?

Did you find something but the order of the results looked odd ?

I would love to collect a list of queries that generates bad or unexpected results!

Many Thanks,



My favorite fail:

Typing „fmop“ doesn’t show the FMOP module from bogaudio. Not just not as the first search result but not at all.

Same goes for typing „S&H“ and other exact versions and variations of module names.


Good thread - I will certainly keep an eye out.

Not exactly what you are asking but I have noticed that selecting “Switch” in the Tags menu does not show the two VCV Seq Switches 4>1 and 1>4.


And changing the sort method (last updated, most used, etc.) does not work “after performing a search”. so you can’t type “filter” and the sort how you want.

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I would like to see a literal search capability with double quotation marks.

Personally, I feel that the fuzzy search algorithm needs some work. I’m no expert on fuzzy search, but, I do know that I often cannot find what I am looking for as well as I get back results that are not at all what I was looking for.

Boolean search would also be great.


I should know the answer to this question, but I do not. How would you be able to improve the Rack search engine? Do you develop for VCV? Would you submit your requests to VCV as feature requests? Or would you be doing your own library browser?


If there’s a new module browser in the works, I’d like to be able to input my own tags and other metadata, to a local file would be fine in the first iteration - later with sync to the library private and public.

text based boolean field seaches, like a good library search system (autor=abc AND title=xyz )

fuzziness as an option.

(it’s not)


Ah, good question! I could have provided more context.

The fuzzy-search is (already) implemented (by yours truly) in a library that is used by Rack.

So my mission now is to improve that library and show Andrew the new version is better and he would update Rack to use the new version.

This also mean I’m not looking to change anything else with the browser, only specifically what results come back from searching.


In my experience, most of the disappointing results are due to plugin developers:

  • not tagging their modules well,
  • inconsistent module names (panel graphic doesn’t match “proper” name),
  • failing to put obvious “search bait” in the module’s description (e.g., “Plaits” in “Macro Oscillator 2”)

We should encourage developers to be more thoughtful (esp. via Github issues). Or somehow “share” ownership of search metadata with the community, so that the developer’s choices are respected, but others can add missing/alternate tags, etc.


Indeed, one glaring example is VCV Sequential Switches are tagged Utility Polyphonic so don’t show up if you select Switch in the browser.


I wonder where some search terms should be exempt from fuzzy search? For example, a search for VCA returns all VCAs and all VCOs. A search for VCO returns virtually the same set of modules as VCA.

They are sorted sensibly with the matches for your term at the top, but it’s still arguably undesirable for such specific well-defined terms to be fuzzed together.


Another annoyance, even on a huge 4k monitor there are now so many brands in a vertical list that you have to scroll, it would be much nicer if this was presented as a grid like the module browser thumbnails.

Outside the scope of this project though.


Thanks for the feedback. I’m adding “fmop”, “s&h”, “switch” to my tests…

While I can’t speak for all developers, I would welcome thoughtful expansion of the descriptions in the Surge XT modules, especially if someone did it in the next day or two via an easy to review pull request before first library submission.

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One example of a fuzzy search that appears to generate too many results is ‘VCV’ - i get over 700 modules returned for that:

Some I understand why - a plugin name or description like “Strum’s VCV modules” for example.

But some not so clear as to why - like all the Vult modules for example.

I think if users are typing ‘VCV’ in to the search box they are probably only looking for modules released by VCV. There may be good reason to include some others, but probably not over 700 of them.


I think the thing that gets me about the fuzzy search is it applies no weighting based on what you tend to use and I use VCV Octave a lot. When I type OCT, it’s the 8th thing returned even though I use it and none of the others before it and (as has been noted before) it says OCT on the module itself.

Now maybe others would prefer weighting it against things you use a lot, but for me I’m generally using the browser to find things I use a lot rather than an exploration into the unknown.

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The fuzzy logic I think searches for VCV and VCA and VCO so there will be VCAs and VCOs

But it could have been worse :

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Yeah, in my original isolated tests, I looked mainly at the top results, to make sure that they were decent… recently when I started testing in Rack (locally) I realized that bad matches further down is more distracting/annoying that I first thought…

Regarding “vcv”, about 190 modules contain “vcv”… so it’s hard to severely prune. I’ll get it down to below 700 though :slight_smile:

Thanks for all the feedback!


Hi Jonas!

How much of the search feature is connected to the most used modules? Are you also working on that?

Hi Omri, I’m currently only looking into the search box. No plans for anything else (besides more Modules). I feel a bit obligated to improve the search function since I wrote the first iteration.