Sending audio from other software to VCV Rack

I think I asked on the Facebook group for ideas for bringing audio from other apps, like the browser, into Rack. I’m on Windows, and I’ve used Jack before with Reason. But it was confusing to set up. I was never quite sure what I was doing with it. I tried setting it up again this time with Rack and gave up. I didn’t have the energy to figure it out. When I posted on Facebook, folks suggested a couple of other “virtual audio cables.” I tried a two yesterday and today.

First, I tried Virtual Audio Cable from Eugene Muzychenko. It wasn’t too difficult to figure out, but Rack froze and crashed copiously as I attempted to configure the Core Audio module to use it. On a whim, today, I tried unchecking the options in the Sound Control Panel to “allow applications to take exclusive control” of both Virtual Audio Cable and my PreSonus ASIO drivers. That seems to have alleviated the freezing and crashing.

But then I uninstalled it and installed another product, VB-Cable to try it out. VB-Cable is only $5 for my purposes. Even though it hasn’t been updated in three years, it seemed happy enough on my Windows 10 box. And it offers 24bit options while Virtual Audio Cable topped out at 16bit.

Both of them do experience a weird behavior in Rack. For the Audio IN Core Audio module, I have to set the block size to the highest value, 4,096 or I get this weird vibrating, flanging-like effect. It is most noticeable at the middle settings like 256 and 512. At the lowest setting, 64, it is still audible. Only at 4,096 is it not particularly noticeable.

Maybe this is due to the way Rack processes audio chunks, which apparently is different from the way typical DAWs do so?

mmmm…Asio Link Pro

Usually it’s a matter of starting JACK with QJackCtl, starting up your audio software, then going back to QJackCtl to select Graph and connect them together. In a fully JACKified world it’s quite straightforward once you know the process.

I’m not familiar with doing ASIO routing through JackRouter, or passing virtual audio cables through to JACK. JACK usually prefers to work with only a single sound card and virtual cables pretend to be other sound cards. There is no ASIO on Linux :expressionless:

The author of that no longer sells the software :frowning_face:

Think he’s deceased.

I was constantly troubled by Jack also, so I switched to a combination of Synchronous Audio Router ( and the new audio routing capabilities of Win10. I can direct any audio signal flowing through my computer to any program running on my computer. I don’t use Reason, but it shouldn’t matter, as long as it’s looking for an ASIO driver (in which case, just switch it to S.A.R. ASIO).


Didn’t know about this. I’ll give it a try.

I couldn’t get SAR to work reliably with Rack. I guess you need another DAW to configure the virtual cables. I used to own Reason, but now I am DAWless. I downloaded and installed Reaper temporarily to do the configuration, following a YouTube tutorial, and that part seems to have worked, but Rack saw only SAW inputs, not outputs, and if I switched between my ASIO driver and SAW in the Core Audio module, Rack would freeze.

Guess I’m back to VB-Cable for time being …

I always have VCV running through SAR ASIO, so I tried switching to another ASIO after reading your response. Not only did VCV crash, but SAR crashed also (which left me without any sound at all, since I have everything specifically directed through various SAR paths)! It took a few reboots, but now I’m back to normal. Hopefully I can find a solution for VCV input, because I’ve been really happy with the SAR routing capabilities with every other program.

I’m beginning to think bringing streaming web browser audio into Rack is not possible without artifacts. At least on Windows — at least as far as my expertise goes. Using VB-Cable, streaming browser audio does make it into Rack, but aside from the weird flanging-like effect I wrote about earlier with the middle blocks sizes, regardless of sample rates or block sizes, the audio in Rack is somewhat choppy with dropouts compared to listening to it directly from the browser.

Maybe Andrew Belt has some ideas.

Did you try Jack?

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JACK is weird to set up and use on Windows.

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yes , jack is WEIRD to set up on windows but actually is not difficult to use, virtual cables and things like that is more difficult, and since is not planed ReWire support and the vcv bridge will be deprecated , in my humble opinion jack is the better option for a steady pipeline even on windows (I need clarify, I like windows but I m not windows user).

in other hand, the list of applications that support JACK in windows is small (microscopic)

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Propellerhead hates open source. They won’t certify any FOSS people to touch the ReWire SDK.

I use soundflower here with great success, not sure if it’s on windows though

Mac-only. Virtual Audio Cable and friends are the Windows equivalents.

They certified VCV, but I decided it wasn’t worth the time compared to a DAW plugin port. Of course, the ReWire SDK could not be part of Rack itself but distributed as a plugin.

Andrew, do you have any advice for sending streaming audio from another app like a web browser to Rack? On Windows, in particular. I feel like I’ve tried all the options except Jack, and I guess I will try that tonight, God help me.

I believe the best method is to use Rack as a DAW plugin, which is why much of this year will be spent on that goal.