VCV VCA-1 as a Compact Polyphonic Graphical CV Meter

The other day I wanted a compact polyphonic graphical CV meter, and I wasn’t having much luck finding one. If I don’t care about size, then the Nysthi GraphicMeter is excellent. But it is much bigger and more obtrusive than what I was hoping to find.

Then I suddenly remembered, the VCV VCA-1 has a built in graphic voltmeter, and it is polyphonic - perfect! The only downside is it is unipoler 0-10V only. So bipolar CV would have to be offset +5V, and excessively small or large voltage ranges might have to be scaled to get a decent representation.

When I first patched in the poly cable to the CV input, I was puzzled - it only showed one channel. Then I remembered that the IN input controls the polyphony. So I just have to patch the poly cable to both CV and IN. EDIT -Starting with Rack V2, only CV input is required.

Here is a trivial demo patch using Bogaudio 8FO with output offset +5V to get 8 unipolar signals. I skip every other channel in the VCV Merge module so that I get some separation between the channels in the display.

I hope others may find a use for this simple idea.


that’s a good idea.

I like this idea as well.


Starting with Rack 2, the VCA multi-channel display no longer requires input to the IN port. It works fine simply patching a polyphonic cable to the unlabeled CV input port.

oh, that’s pretty cool. Not a criticism, but my taste would be for something bigger that VCA, but smaller (and less ugly) than polyvu. although I guess with the VCA one even though you can’t really tell who is on which channel you can see if anyone is super loud or super quiet…

I have a module called

poly voltage meter (pvm)

that can use a poly cable and present 16 rms meter, or 16 voltage meters (uni or bipolar)

I’m mostly interested in the VCA as a meter when the patch has plugin constraints. For example, it served me well in my 2021 Day of the Dead entry. I had 6 independent voices that would randomly fade in and out at different times - and it was a convenient display tool to let me know what the state was at any given time. I found it easier to read than the VIZ module.

Yes - I think I noticed that when you released it (recently I think). I like that module.