Recommended Premium Modules for basic synthesis.

It seems like you can’t (or can you?) demo modules before you buy, so I’m wondering what modules people recommend. I’m not looking for Turing machine odysseys, I’m more interested in building “Frankensynths.” Think of Diva, without the limitations. What would a Model D sound like if it’s third oscillator was a wavetable oscillator and it had 4 envelopes? Someone recommended the Vult modules, and I’m totally loving them so far. More of that!

Auch a common belief - that the paid modules are better than the free ones. Glad every day that I stopped making (free) modules for VCV.


Well, I don’t necessarily think this, but I am a software developer (games) and I believe in paying for what I use. I won’t disregard something that’s great and free, but I don’t mind spreading the love when I have a bit of cash in my bank.

oh, it’s not you, it’s a very common opinion here.

Other than Vult, and there’s very little essential extra in the paid bundle, I’d only recommend one or two as must haves. For me that would be MindMeld Shapemaster Pro

and the Slime Child Substation bundle.

I also use the Oxidlab filters a lot, but there are many, many good free filters.

If you are using the free standalone version then I’d also add in VCV Host so you can use VST plugins for instruments or effects.


If i had money to buy something, I’d buy the Vult stuff and the fancy VCV reverb and then donated the rest to the developers of free stuff, I think. There’s a “donation” thingy in the menu of some free modules. So you can pay for what you use if you want to.


Yeah, I find that in software, price mostly has very little bearing on quality.

I’m not :pensive:

Many of the plugins have a donate option.


It’s not necessarily untrue though, some are better than free ones.

I second the nomination of HOST. That opens up an entire world of VSTs to Rack stand-alone. BTW, I bought most of the VCV premium plugins/modules for V1. In some cases like with HOST, it was the only game in town (mostly), but for others, it was my way of supporting VCV so Rack would not need to go commercial.


I might pick that up at some point, but I’m using VCV Rack Pro at the moment, as my studio really relies on my DAW (Bitwig, which has its own modular). With everything that VCV has, it didn’t seem to me that I’d be missing all that much, though I must admit I did use that feature in VAZ Modular, back in the day.

Thanks. I picked up the Oxidlab and Slime Child plugins. They did look like they’d be right up my alley. In what ways does the Pro version of ShapeMaster differ from the free version?

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If it does what you’re looking for - I second substation… its a lovely sounding thing with lots to play with.

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The biggest difference is that the Pro version has a very robust clock sync meaning you can set your cycle lengths to beat/bar divisions - anything from as fast as 1/128 to 128 bars long, with lots of dotted, triplet and other useful lengths like 5/16, 5/7 and 7/8. You can modulate these lengths while it is playing and it will stay locked in sync. The free version only runs unsynced with cycle time measured in seconds.

The Pro version also adds a poly CV expander to give CV control over pretty much everything and a Triggers expander for End of Cycle outputs and other triggers related to the position of the sustain marker. Pro also comes with a couple of extra utility modules: uMeld and ShapeTracker.


I have most premium modules, most of which I rarely use, and some never as there are better free alternatives.

What I wouldn’t be without are Vult, VCV Host & ShapeMaster Pro.

Entrian sequencers are nice too, but they don’t live in my template patch as I mostly do generative stuff.


yes, agreed, Host is only really essential if you are using VCV Rack standalone though it does make things a bit tidier if you’re saving a rack to have all your bits and pieces in one place. I’ve found I end up with DAW projects with loads and loads of tracks just to take care of processing each individual channel output from VCV.

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all that plus I’ve been using MindMeld’s mixer modules for years so it was a welcome chance to give back.


I would recommend:

  • Vult
  • MindMeld
  • Slime Child Audio
  • Doepfer/VCV
  • and the hopefully soon to be released Lindenberg Research

well, that’s almost true by definition! I’m sure someone could find a paid plugin that is less good than a free one, too. But I more or less agree with that I think you are saying. I believe that the average paid plugin is probably better than the average free one.

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IMO that’s the real problem for the OP.

For example, Reason Studio with its Rack Extensions has a similar single-point-shop-system as VCV Rack, but you can demo a Rack Extension (for 14 days or 30 days, I don’t know exactly the time).

@sine Maybe put a feature request on the VCV support page.