VCV Rack 2 is the best free virtual Eurorack studio

Image Credit: VCV Rack

After two years of development, VCV Rack release the major update to their virtual modular platform based on Eurorack synthesizers.

VCV Rack is a free open-source crossplatform software modular synthesizer. After being announced in September, version 2 is finally here. VCV Rack 2 offers the full flexibility of a Eurorack modular synthesizer, with the convenience and portability of DAW software.

With VCV Rack 2 producers can perform sounds in real-time, process live audio and record complete multi-track pieces. Compose unique rhythms and melodies with algorithmic and generative techniques. Rack 2 lets users extend beyond hardware limitations with polyphonic cables module preset sharing, total patch recall and more. Coming in Free and Pro models, VCV Rack 2 is one of the best ways to learn the basics of modular synthesis without spending a penny. Experienced users will be able to improve techniques and design their own advance synth patches.

Video Credit: VSV Rack

New features:

  • Dark room mode to save your eyes at night with adjustable room brightness.
  • Module selections to save, share, edit, and move around selections of modules. (New .vcvs selection format.)
  • Enhanced module browser to zoom, favorite, and sort your module collection.
  • Redesigned UI and built-in modules.
  • Port tooltips, context menu, and key commands for faster control of patch cables.
  • Optimized real-time engine with multiple audio interface support (if supported by manufacturers’ drivers).
  • Add/remove individual modules from the VCV Library to fine-tune your module collection.
  • See all 100+ new features in Rack’s changelog.

Rack 2 Free is open-source, available standalone with community support. Rack 2 Pro comes standalone or as a VST2 plugin for full integration into your DAW, with more plugin formats coming soon. With Pro, buyers are also offered professional support. Here are some of the top features of Rack 2 Pro:

  • Save patches inside your DAW project.
  • Instrument/effect plugin.
  • Up to 16 audio input/output channels.
    • Process vocals, guitar, etc. with Rack as an effect plugin.
    • Perform Rack as an instrument plugin with 8 stereo (or 16 mono) outputs.
    • Send recorded or live DAW tracks directly into Rack using 8 stereo (or 16 mono) “sidechain” inputs.
  • 16 MIDI input/output channels.
    • Generate MIDI for other DAW tracks with Rack’s sequencer modules.
    • Record and play back notes, gates, and CV with MIDI clips in your DAW.
  • Parameter automation of up to 1024 knobs, sliders, and buttons in your patch so you can record, play back, and tweak your modular performance.
  • Multiple instances with low processing overhead.
  • Offline rendering when exporting your project mixdown or pre-rendering tracks.
  • Resizable plugin window.
Image Credit: VCV Rack

Integrate with hardware and software:

  • Multi-interface input/output for audio or CV.
  • Polyphonic MIDI input/output for hardware control.
  • VST plugin for hosting VCV Rack in your DAW (Pro only).
  • Host VST plugins inside Rack and control parameters with CV using VCV Host (purchased separately).

Modules:

  • 30+ built-in modules with all the tools you need to get started.
  • 170+ official modules from Eurorack manufacturers.
  • 2000+ modules available on the VCV Library.
  • Develop your own modules with the C++ VCV SDK.
Image Credit: VCV Rack

VCV Rack is available on Windows 7 or later, macOS 10.9 or later, Linux or as source code on GitHub. Your system must be 64-bit, with at least 1GB of RAM and 1GB of disk space.

Download VCV Rack 2 Free and Pro here. Rack 2 Pro costs $99 until 2022 and $149 after that. Or pick up Rack 2 Pro with VCV Drums and VCV Sound Stage for $139 until 2022, then $209.

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