After two years in the making, VCV Rack 2 is here.
A couple of months ago, we previewed VCV Rack 2 and discussed what users could expect from the highly-anticipated update. With some exciting new features in place, we are glad to say the wait is over, and VCV Rack 2 can now be all yours.
VCV Rack 2 will come in two versions, Free and Pro. The Pro version will have an intro price of $99 and return to a regular $149 in 2022.
When overhauling any software with such a large following, the maxim you can’t please everyone is always prevalent; this is often especially true of freeware.
VCV Rack 2 Free is an open-source, standalone application, as it always was. The software works in Standalone mode or as a VST2 plugin in your DAW with more plugin formats to follow.
As much as I love free plugins, I think it’s important to compare the Pro version to other paid plugins rather than wonder why it isn’t all free. Whether using VCV Rack 2 as an instrument or an effect plugin, the scope of use is vast.
It offers up to sixteen audio input/output channels (eight stereo/sixteen mono) that you can use for processing or performing. Using sequencer modules, you can generate MIDI for other DAW tracks via sixteen MIDI input/output channels.
There are over 170 official modules and over 2000 on the VCV Library; you can automate up to 1024 parameters and run multiple instances in your project. In terms of the number of creative options, it’s a monster.
This colossal upgrade comes with over 100 new features, including Dark Room Mode, an enhanced module browser, and a redesigned interface. The redesigned and now 3D interface doesn’t just look better; it makes it easier to see what’s going on with a busy setup.
One of my favorite new features is the ability to save/share groups of modules. Many modules come to life when coupled with certain complementary others, and VCV Rack 2 makes it easy to pre-arrange those selections for quick recall.
If you’re new to Eurorack, I highly recommend starting with the free version; it’s a fantastic musical and educational tool. If you’re already familiar with VCV Rack, I guess it’s a question of value for money, and I think the wide range of modules and features in convenient plugin form more than justifies the price tag.
VCV Rack 2 isn’t the only modular game in town; Voltage Modular is still reasonably popular, and AAS Multiphonics CV-1 is excellent. But VCV Rack deserves its legendary status, and this update looks fantastic.
You can grab a bundle including VCV Rack 2 Pro, VCV Drums, and VCV Sound Stage for $139 ($209 in 2022).
VCV Rack 2 is available for macOS, Windows, and Linux; source code also available for download.
More info: VCV Rack 2 (free – standalone, $99 – standalone, VST2 plugin, more plugin formats coming soon.)
I think its important to note that pro version is the only one offering VST functionality. Free version is standalone only.
Friendly reminder that VeeSeeVSTRack is still a thing if you don’t have $99 to spare. It’s most likely inferior but still it’s been easily my favorite VST plugin in my library.
Even then there is also Reaktor Player, which is free, fairly different but still in the same ball park