I must have been busy coding but a quick glance at the forums here give me a sense that people are anxious and there is a general weird vibe in the air. I just thought since spring has sprung (at least in my neighbourhood) it might be a good time to start a thread talking about all the good things we like about VCV Rack and tell our story about how we stumbled upon this as developers. Okay I’ll go first:
As primarily a hardware and embedded guy I have barely ever made any “apps” and although I studied a few plugin platforms, I never really felt like I could get excited about making non-hardware stuff. But I’ve always used simulations to explore ideas, whether it be doing DSP development, circuit simulations or whatever. Normally I end up making a lot of throw-away code to “try out” stuff that might become part of a hardware project later.
About a year ago my friend told me about VCV Rack… I’d heard about it before, but he said he wanted to learn how to make his own modules. I trust his opinion on music tools so I figured maybe I could help him out if I knew how to use it. Within a weekend I think I made about 6-8 modules! The platform was really easy to learn and the fact that I could use my normal design approach to making hardware: lay out a panel, decide on I/O signals, functions, etc. and then just sort of hook up my own code to the virtual hardware was very fun! Plus having built-in tools like oscilloscopes, access to the sound card, etc. made it very immediate. I’ve since released 28 modules publicly and have a bunch more that I’ve been playing around with.
Recently I started doing my first actual hardware product design to be completely developed and tested inside VCV Rack! The code is made to be portable to an embedded processor. Almost all of the fiddly stuff like the LCD screen, DSP algorithms, GUI, etc. are all working and I expect them to work exactly the same once the code lands on the hardware.
As for the community, I’m not really super active other than browsing for answers to some questions, but so far everyone seems helpful. Whenever there has been any kind of questions I have found Andrew Belt to be quite pleasant both on and off the list. I know some folks don’t really get how open source works, but as projects go, this seems a pretty good model for how to have openness while still maintaining control of a personal labour of love project. Had the source been closed or only available on Windows and Mac I would not have tried getting into it. A peek behind the scenes has many times helped me fix problems or make my code work better knowing how the core system is designed.
Anyway, I wish everyone well in their music and code explorations and hope that the future of VCV Rack is bright. Things take time and I’m completely confident that 2.0 will be awesome when it’s ready!