Make Orig­i­nal Mu­sic With VCV Rack

Maximum PC - - R&D - –ALEX COX


VCV RACK Down­load it from FOR FANS OF BEAU­TI­FUL ELEC­TRONIC MU­SIC and brain-melt­ing honk­ing noises alike, there’s noth­ing quite like a mod­u­lar ana­log synth. The con­cept be­hind them is rea­son­ably sim­ple. Start with a sig­nal volt­age, gen­er­ated by an os­cil­la­tor. Send that volt­age through a bunch of mod­ules, each of which sub­tracts or al­ters the orig­i­nal wave­form, chang­ing its sound. By the time your adul­ter­ated volt­age reaches the speaker out­put, you’ll (the­o­ret­i­cally) have made it into some­thing unique, and the pos­si­bil­i­ties af­forded by mod­u­lar syn­the­sis—the in­puts, out­puts, and ex­pand­able struc­ture—mean there’s an end­less vari­a­tion of pos­si­ble re­sults.

VCV Rack faith­fully em­u­lates proper ana­log synth equip­ment, to the ex­tent that some man­u­fac­tur­ers of real-world mod­ules have cre­ated their own vir­tual equiv­a­lents, so close to the orig­i­nals that patches—con­fig­u­ra­tions of knobs and switches, which cre­ate a par­tic­u­lar sound—can be faith­fully recre­ated in Rack from the phys­i­cal hard­ware. That said, noth­ing’s ever 100 per­cent ac­cu­rate with ana­log syn­the­sis, and noth­ing’s ever set in stone. You may never find the same sound twice, but the jour­ney to get there is great fun. Just be care­ful of your speak­ers, be­cause you never know what noise you’re go­ing to make....

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