VCV Rack is the amazing open source virtual Eurorack modular system that just keeps getting better and better. Except for one thing – it is standalone and has struggled to run inside or alongside a DAW. Recently version 0.6 introduced “VCV Bridge” which allows for the routing of audio to and from your DAW on the same computer. It’s good but it’s not quite the same as running it as a proper VST plug-in. But now, thanks to KVR Audio Forum member bsp804, VCV Rack might have just got a VST wrapper in the shape of VeeSeeVSTRack.
This is a third party project and is not officially associated with VCV Rack in any way. But that’s the beauty of an open source project – development can come from all sorts of directions.
The Readme document states that VeeSeeVSTRack is an adaptation of VCV Rack for the VST2.4 format. It supports multiple instances, VST MIDI input, up to 8 audio inputs and outputs, VST sync and is saved within the project file. He says he had to do quite a lot of modification to the VCV Rack source code and the modules to get it to work. Because of the nature of the VCV Rack architecture, there’s no way to dynamically make modules compatible – each one has to be modded by hand. This means that any third party or paid for add-on modules for VCV Rack may not work.
It’s very much a work in progress and there are plenty of things that don’t quite work. Some are to do with the nature of VCV Rack, for instance, Reason 10 only allows for a maximum of 128 parameters for automation. VCV Rack has no real limit on this due to the potentially enormous size of patches and so reports 9999 parameters to the host. Reason interprets this as being no parameters at all. Some are imposed by the VST format, for instance, range normalisation on knobs. Many VCV Rack modules have different knob ranges due to what they are doing and so they do not get automated correctly. Also, automated knobs don’t move in response to automation.
The advantages of a VST version would be things like simplicity, saving patches within projects, better MIDI connection, multiple instances (particularly for playing polyphonically), supports multi-threading and a lower latency when compared to VCV Bridge. So it has a lot of things going for it although it is far from perfect.
bsp804 hopes to work with Andrew Belt, the creator of VCV Rack, to improve VeeSeeVSTRack and maybe get it an official nod. It’s a very interesting development and he would appreciate any feedback posted on the KVR Audio forum. Currently only available as a 64bit VST plug-in for Windows and it doesn’t require the standalone version to run.