VCVrack on Raspberry Pi

No, I don’t use it with the modular - I use it for experimenting with complicated modules so I can find how they work (mostly before buying/building eg Braids). I also use it extensively as a ‘hardware synth’ in my DAW so midi from laptop to pi and audio from pi to laptop. I can’t figure out how to do this with mirack as atm I’m using it as a temporary measure until I can get back my full build of VCVrack on the pi (sd corrupted :frowning_face: ). I know mirack doesnt work with some 3rd party modules for VCV, but the few that I do need play along nicely.

Okay… I’m keen on Pi etc for sound processing, and using as sources or filters. I just don’t get on with desktop music software :man_shrugging:t3:

I like to knob twiddle and do stuff. Plus I like the organic noise you get from ropey potentiometers

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With full VCVrack it is not so good, 15ish modules seems to be the limit for me at least. But @BratAttack there’s a limit to how many modules you can fit on 7 inch screens right :smiley: .
ETA: New instructions now live!

With a relatively small processor you might have more fun using Pure Data, or even Max on Wine.

A hidden advantage here is that you can run Linux applications (including Wine) on a headless Pi and tap in using a laptop over X11. Connect some knobs and buttons to the Pi’s GPIO pins for extra tweaking fun.


Beat me to it! Haha.
(Re: twiddly knobs =D)

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Okay, so Norns and Teletype by Monome are both opensource, and can run on Pi. They also use Supercolider for sound processing… I would be surprised if many VCVrack modules didn’t use Supercolider.

They’re more interesting to me, as components in a rack vs emulating a rack


I made a small patch with 18 modules including audio out and recorder. It was a bit laggy when I added the last couple of modules, and recording was very laggy, but the final file turned out flawless. It didn’t help that I had firefox open at the same time though.

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Yeah, by the time i got to 7" screen my thinking had already shifted to individual VCV guest modules in the rack. I hope they come out with that multi-soundcard support so we can just jam a bunch of cheap USB soundcards into a mini hub and spam the bottom of panels with jacks under a screen.

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Sweet it runs!
To make life easier for myself I created a script on my Desktop to run VCV Rack at a double click.

To do this, Navigate to the directory you want the script. For me ‘Desktop’ was the best place.

cd /home/pi/Desktop

Now, create a Nano text file with .sh as the extension.

sudo nano

In this created file, enter the following:


cd /home/pi/VCV/vcvrack
./Rack -d

NOTE: The file path for you may vary depending on where/how you extracted it.
The goal here is to locate and run ‘Rack’

Exit and save by pressing Ctrl+X.

Now we can turn ‘’ into an executable.

sudo chmod -x

Run your lazy script either by:-
Changing directory through terminal.

cd /home/pi/VCV/vcvrack

And using ONE of these:

** OR **

Just double click your newly created script from the Desktop =D BAM!

Who needs to waste time typing things anyways… right?
Hope this helps you save time and get to Bleeping them Bloops faster =)

If it didnt work… have a look through this guide and give it another ‘Bash’ :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Pfffffffffft typing is the way to go for music making!

You could always put VCVrack into /usr/local, and then add the paths to your ENV. That way it’s just “rack” from the command line…

Also, if you’re running just vcvrack on a Pi, and you want the extra processing power, then a few things you should do:

  • ditch whatever windowmanager you’re using and install openbox
  • ditch your loginmanager
  • in openbox’s X11 config, you can configure what the window manager does and has (it’ll just have a background, a toolbar and you can right click for stuff). You can set the path for vcvrack to automatically open when openbox starts.

I do this with things I build professionally, so that when you start the machine it just opens your app, with nothing else running. Reduces memory consumption etc, but also simplified things to just whatever apps/functions openbox has been configured with (ie shutdown, open terminal etc). Beauty of Unix/Linux is that it’s all modular, and you don’t actually need a billion things that a normal desktop would have.


Nice! My pi is a Retroarch box primarily, a research/experimenting machine second and now a virtual modular box!
Versatility over performance for me, I havent even thought of overclocking it yet =D
Going to need an Ice Tower for cooling =P

Im still trying to complete Kid Chameleon and Toejam & Earl on Mega Drive. Never did manage it as a kiddo.
Now I have more distractions haha!

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Well, I’ve just picked up a Mutable Instruments CV-Pal…

My thought is that I can use a Pi or even an Arduino Pro to generate MIDI using whatever formulas/functions I want, and use CV-Pal to generate the corresponding CV’s.

Shame there’s no input, BUT, maybe can generate the clock signal and be the master as well :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

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I use an Argon One case(won it in a prize draw) and it uses the whole metal case as a heatsink. My Pi 4 isn’t over locked but when it does run hot the case fan turns on automatically and I sometimes put a jar of ice cubes on top for ‘water cooling’ :laughing:

This is a good idea( openbox and no login manager), but last time I tried this I messed stuff up - no idea how! Are there any guides online about how to do this?

I’m no Linux guru, I just copy bits of one example code into another, with a heavy dose of Stack Exchange :slight_smile:

I have one too! I use a Pi 3+ as the host to connect my midi keyboard to the Cvpal. I used the code here:

There’s more info in a Reddit comment, Google “raspberry pi midi router”.

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Awesome, very cool!

I’ve got a stack of Pi’s, so need to find one to hijack for this. Think I’ll get an LCD display, and mount it in a Eurorack. It’ll be the only thing running off 5V in the rack as well :joy:

I like the tip on that project as well, to make the filesystem read only, so you can yank the plug. Whatever UI I’ll have, will be via the LCD plus buttons, and/or SSH. Maybe even Teletype style, and just be a command line and use a keyboard :heart_eyes:

Not even sure what I want it to do yet, but maybe sequencing…


As I understand it, it wasn’t so much a dispute as a realisation that their original licence didn’t fit their business needs. Even with the new licence the other company could still use their code for commercial purposes, as long as any derivative works were also GPL-licensed. They were wise to reengineer the architecture soon afterwards, but their claim that they relicensed in order to avoid splitting the community rings hollow.

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Incidentally I tried installing VCV Rack on my ThinkPad x230i running Windows 10. At first it crashed with a complaint about my graphics card not supporting OpenGL 2. It appears that this is due to Lenovo switching from an Intel HD graphics chipset to some other chipset and then deciding not to support Windows 10 on ThinkPads with the old chipset. For anybody suffering similar problems, there a fix that worked for me here:

Look for the file VCV-Rack.cmd and double click on it to execute. You’ll have to tell Windows that it’s okay to do that. This is a potentially dangerous thing to do, so think carefully before taking the risk. You’re basically letting a script you downloaded from a random website perform unauthorised changes to your system.

I ran the latest version from the GitHub archive. It’s a run-once fix, and after that VCV Rack ran without problems, in that it started up and let me configure the sound card and play with the demo patch.


Another thing to consider is Hexen, an Android app that’s designed for modern touch screen devices. I’m not sure whether you can export MIDI through the USB port.

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you should be able to with an OTG cable.


Automatonism, a modular synth written in Pure Data.