by Robin Vincent | Approximate reading time: 3 Minutes
Instruo VCV Rack

Instruo VCV Rack  ·  Source: Robin Vincent


17 Instruo modules arrive on VCV Rack breaking the hearts of hardware fans everywhere and putting modular joy into our season of disappointment.


Instruo hand out the goodies in this ‘festive’ season

Instruo modules, designed in Glasgow, are some of the most elegant, sought-after modules in the Eurorack game. They are modules of beauty, depth and innovation. My plan was maybe to get one a year to slowly build up a collection of these fabulous boxes of voltage. Then without any warning the entire catalogue (almost) descends onto the virtual Eurorack environment of VCV Rack and makes them available to everyone for free.

For free!? What an awesome thing to have done. For me it brings mixed emotions. On the one hand this is an extraordinary opportunity to play with desirable modules that I can’t currently afford in hardware and on the other it somehow feels unfair, that my aspirations have been undermined or subverted. Instruo modules feel exclusive, like to own them is to declare that you understand Eurorack, you have a handle on it and are buying boutique and elegant modules that reflect your awesomely cool personality. But if everyone gets to play with them and therefore form an opinion on their sound and functionality then I’ll feel less special when I actually get to own one.

This is, of course, a load of elitist nonsense, but allow me to feel those things for a fleeting moment before getting on with enjoying this amazingly generous gift from Scotland.

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Will this ultimately harm their hardware sales? I don’t think so. While I think they could have sold these modules individually on something like Softube Modular you’re never going to get the reach that VCV Rack can give you. This gives us the chance to try the modules out before we buy them in hardware and could hook us into that idea much quicker. Great as VCV Rack is it’s different to patching in hardware and one doesn’t replace the other.

So if you’re stuck at home wondering what to do with yourself go and download VCV Rack and subscribe (no money involved, this just means the modules from that manufacturer are delivered to you and kept updated) to the Instruo modules. I imagine a rapid collection of patches will emerge from the community and I’ve no doubt that this will encourage seasoned hardware modular artists to come and contribute as well. Instead of sharing mince pies we can be sharing Instruo patches. It’s the best sort of conversation to be having right now.

Just to note that if you’re new to VCV Rack and modular then exploring other peoples patches is exactly what you need to do. Otherwise, you might struggle to find the sounds you’re expecting. Modular isn’t simple, take your time.

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The list includes:

  • troika – triple oscillator
  • tràigh – ladder filter
  • harmonàig – quantizer
  • tòna – oscillator
  • cèis – ADSR
  • vincâ – VCA
  • tanh – 3 channel waveshaper, limiter, overdrive and feedback controller
  • Tš-L – oscillator
  • Cš-L – complex oscillator
  • I-ō47 – multimode filter
  • athrú – wavefolder
  • f – voltage generator
  • tágh – Sample & Hold
  • øchd – 8 LFOs
  • tàin – bi-directional switch
  • lìon – matrix mixer
  • saïch – quad oscillator

Noticeably absent are the arbhar granular processor and the Lúbadh 2-channel recorder, two of their most recent and innovative modules. Maybe we’ll see them in a forthcoming release. Also SCION is missing but that’s probably because it needs a plant-based electromagnetic input.

Thank you Instruo for the opportunity to explore your wonderful modules and for encouraging us into spending time in the extraordinary VCV Rack environment. Merry Christmas!

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Instruo VCV Rack

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3 responses to “Instruo saves Christmas by releasing their modules on VCV Rack for free”

    spacef says:

    arbhar not inside 🙂

    Over the past year and a half, I’ve acquired Tš-L, Cš-L, I-ō47, arbhar, Lúbadh and øchd – and produced hundreds of recordings with them. They are masterpieces of sonic experimentation, ergonomic workflow and elegance at every level. To have them in VCV is fantastic. In the short time I’ve had with the VCV versions of these modules – the simulations do not disappoint. They sound an function right on the mark. I don’t think having them freely available in virtual form will diminish the exclusivity of the real thing, and I think it will only serve to generate more publicity and sales for INSTRUō. I certainly will not be letting any of my prized Scottish modules leave my modular system!
    I wonder if they are thinking of putting Lúbadh and arbhar out later as a purchasable option…

    Marvelous Mixin Miguel says:

    Awesome. More companies should do this. I hate to buy something and find out it’s not for me. Or I don’t buy high ticketed modulars because I won’t take that risk. I don’t want to getting stuck with something I hate and will never use.

    The fact that I could test before I buy makes me consider them first before anyone else because I know what to expect.
    Watching videos on YouTube is nice, you get an idea what it does, but nothing beats your own experience with the modular.

    Some of us may need time to test & learn how to use the module. With more time to experiment the more you see if this is right for your setup.
    I use modular in vcv that I could physically purchase.

    I don’t waste too much time online. I go to 2-3 sites to find out about gear, takes me less then 10 minutes. Nothing catches my eye I leave and go make music.
    I also limit how many times I purchase gear. I purchase gear twice a year. Fall/Winter in the States (black Friday) is the best time to get gear on discount. Then next time I purchase is usually between March-May. If I purchase a high ticketed item only one purchase is allowed that year. If I pay big money for something, it must do multiple things for me to consider it. I give myself time to master the piece. Why buy something you don’t plan on dedicating time to master.

    Companies that promote through ads I never notice them. Because I block all ads when I surf, (the IT Guy in me). When it comes to euro rack module, I will only know your (company) if I see your product used in the scene, if you’re available in vcv or sites like gearnews.

    What I want to see…..
    I’m a Dj / Producer. I love to make house, techno, hard techno, dubstep and edm. Dj-Producers are always looking for sounds. Consider making modular that would get them out of the box and using hardware for fx. One modular I’m considering is the ModBap 4Fx Performance. I love their effects and the performance aspect. At that price, I would like to assign the effect to the modular. See I could purchase the Z-DSP Digital Signal Processor, but I hate the fact that I must use their media card. Why not an SD or Usb? You would have sold more units. When companies get too greedy, I say away. I’m not saying anything bad about TipTop. I love their product and I have their modular in my rack but there are plenty of Media Cards one could have use that’s affordable. Catalyst Flow Macro Controller is another unit I’m looking at now. Doing some research to see if it will work in my setup.

    I don’t think we will get rid of hardware. At least not in my life time. Remember that the only reason Daw are popular is because it is affordable to make music compared to the record companies.


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