VCV Rack, the software Eurorack modular you can use standalone for free, has four handy modules for your patching enjoyment.
For all the dizzying array of modules that work in VCV Rack, VCV’s own modules are often essential as a starting point. These were originally dubbed the “Fundamental” collection, and that’s still a good description. (Think Doepfer-style aesthetics – bread and butter, but with lots of potential and flexibility.)
Now you’ve got four more likely to see everyday use, all free to use. (Rack is free in its standalone version with an array of free modules from VCV and other developers; you can pay to add some additional VCV-developed modules or a “Pro” license to use Rack as a plug-in. It’s a great value either way.)
Here’s what’s in there. I included links to the documentation, as it’s exceptional, complete with pictures.
Push is just a button with gate/trigger outputs – the gate output generates signal as long as you push the push button. Simple, but useful while you’re building up a patch, and of course you could also MIDI map this.
Sample & Hold Analog Shift Register is eight channels of sample and hold. S&H works the usual way – feed in a signal, and each trigger captures the signal’s voltage level at that snapshot in time. The shift register part is, each trigger sent to any row is sent to all the rows beneath. Anywhere you patch in a new trigger, you trigger just that row and any rows below it. There’s a randomization button and a push-button trigger, plus clear to set everything back to 0. I’ll say the same thing someone said in comments; I wish I had this in hardware. (Maybe that exists? Readers?)
Random Values is a simple random generator – send a trigger (or again, hit PUSH), and you get seven random fixed voltages. That’s distinct from a noise generator which will create constantly fluctuating values, though you could achieve the same result by feeding a noise generator into the new S&H module. This is just a simple shortcut.
Rescale is the one I’ve been wishing for, actually. Input a voltage, and you can scale with offset, minimum and maximum values, and a master gain. Scaling inputs to outputs is sort of one of the fundamental things you do with values in any interactive context – musical or otherwise – so this is a big deal, compositionally. (Or a small deal if you scale it… uh, yeah. Sorry.)
I also want this in hardware badly, but maybe that exists already? Eurorack heads, you know?
Note that those buttons you could also MIDI map, for instance, so this is all really handy.
All you have to do to get the new stuff is update VCV Rack or VCV Rack Pro, and it’s there. Seems like it’s time to do some patching.