Midilar is a range of MIDI controller modules in Eurorack size that’s designed to control software modules in VCV Rack or other software-based modular synthesizer.
That seems initially a bit confusing. These are MIDI controllers for your computer, but they are designed to sit amongst the modules of your Eurorack so that they can give you the feel of modular hardware over your virtual synthesizers. They don’t interact with your Eurorack modules in any way, there are no CV or gate connections and they don’t even connect to the power bus. They are purely MIDI controllers for VCV Rack that fool you into thinking VCV Rack is part of your hardware modular setup. It seems slightly mad but also completely genius.
VCV Rack YouTuber Omri Cohen has released a video (below) of the final product as it gets close to an official release.
The Midilar system works by using a Midilar Core board which sits in the bottom of your Eurorack case. This provides the connections and power for the other modules. There are two sizes of Midilar Core, one supports up to 32 knobs/switches/buttons and another that supports up to 64. That’s around about up to 16 Midilar modules which is quite a sizeable MIDI controller.
Currently, there are 3 modules ready to go. The “It’s Working” 4HP red panel module gives you front panel indicator lights that MIDI and USB are working plus a micro USB port for connecting the whole system to your computer. Next is The Starry Night which offers 5 control knobs in 8HP. It’s designed to be matched with VCO, LFO, VCF and mixer type modules in your software. Finally, there’s Totem which is a neat 2HP module with 4 knobs perfect for ADSR or effects modules. You can, of course, use them for whatever you like.
The release of Midilar is being held back for the release of VCV Rack 1.0 because it brings with it some new MIDI mapping features and that should be any time now, probably, really soon, possibly.
Midilar is slightly brilliant in the way it can pull together your hardware and software environments with low impact modules that appear totally in place in your rack. If you are likely to have virtual modular permanently mixing in with your Eurorack modular then this seems to offer an ingenious workflow. You could just have a Eurorack case full of Midilar modules and give yourself that Eurorack experience without having to spend a load of money on real modules!