.vcv patch files are not text

When I save any patch file I cannot read the contents. Here’s an example:

(µ/˝HÌ~ „à.@òGIPJJRÎ∞0@,“PÃ2Ä܈†ùÏ-Ô$"πçê4)õ±¨h«TH)Xî€2•îRíI∂à(•∫»è˙v@ÔÆúWàV”^ÿı◊4ˆCj÷&ÖI¨Ô%ÛƒßÊbTÑt•ø¶±C∞?8˚ºˆ¬ÆaflÑy-Çû¨Î∞Î/&äMDÕöaRò‘äÖ"8∫d∞1Ç›‰;®~u Leh›“Fæ±∆æQ‹í•≈≤n2seÊÚ¥πˆ œkkÕÕ6Wym¶ı≤àn´†)%îË˙Ç’≠\Ø≤ƒ´ Jg≈3[)•Ωÿn≥r∑nWfi*•ƒÛ≤dûu÷[∑Y•î2gΩ|)∫rÂùiÑ∫•U˘ÇƒA{∞NTÛ95*x¡¶ã÷-Ì{Í∂|.pˆyZ˜Íñ˚f Ô∫A|Úƒ#nÊniMÆLaåu/≠{g`ëìK|π¥niü’ïyâPZ∑¥ÿÎ√Æ…•u2ÿÿ-≠i≈ßò÷“∫±Û¥-WW∑˚∆–ë®ÇQë——a⨺71Å0≠WAtÎ’µU“

MacOS 10.14. I tried VCV Rack versions 2.0.0 - 2.0.4 with the same results.

Maybe some UTF setting that is not right in your text viewing app ? Try messing with it and see if it resolves it :slight_smile: . I definitely seeing a lot of characters here that i think aren’t UTF-8 . I haven’t messed with V2 yet though so i’m not sure

The v2 files are packed with zstd and are no longer readable.


You can unpack them with zstd (it might be called zstandard on windows).


Rack 2 patch files are tar archive files that are then compressed with zstd. If you have the appropriate tools you can extract the text file. The new file format allows additional files like samples to be stored with the patch.


In a MinGW window set up for building rack on Windows per the dev guide, it’s zstd.

The original JSON format could easily have contained samples (base64-encoded). They’d tend to get large and be slower to load, so probably an ok choice to go to compressed format.

perhaps the json parser don’t like large blob’s like that.

I think tar and zstd is a fine solution.

would be nice with a gui archiver/unarchiver for these .vcv = .tar.zst files - perhaps 7zip or others will catch up, if they didn’t allready.

there is a 7zip version with zstd included (at least for win and linux it should work)
Releases · mcmilk/7-Zip-zstd · GitHub

and there is a plugin for totalcommander :
GitHub - mcmilk/7-Zip-zstd: 7-Zip with support for Brotli, Fast-LZMA2, Lizard, LZ4, LZ5 and Zstandard


From https://github.com/VCVRack/Rack/blob/v2/CHANGELOG.md:

Use new .vcv patch format, an archive (POSIX tar compressed with Zstandard) of a patch.json file, module patch assets, and potentially other future files.

Cool! Pro-tip for Windows users: Total Commander - the best file manager ever made, possibly the best piece of software I’ve ever run, for 20+ years now. Ridiculously low price for a lifetime license, also shareware, always rock-solid. If you ever liked Norton Commander, Volkov Commander, Midnight Commander or the likes, this is for you!

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I’ve been using it for decades too :slight_smile: