Introduction to Modular Synthesis and VCV Rack

Sound Design Foundations
Rating: 4.2 out of 5 (15 ratings)
697 students
Concepts and Techniques of Modular Synthesis
Designing Synthesis Patches in VCV Rack
Design Patterns and Case Studies for Synthesized Sounds


  • Students should have some basic familiarity with using audio software


This course is for those new to modular synthesis, new to VCV Rack, or new to both. It covers foundational modular synthesis concepts illustrated with downloadable patches made in the standalone application VCV Rack. VCV Rack is a free open source cross platform software environment that emulates the Eurorack hardware synthesis format. You can use VCV Rack by itself, or integrate it with external hardware or even your digital audio workstation.

Learning modular synthesis with VCV Rack can be a good first step towards developing your own hardware modular synthesizer systems, will help you make better use of the many functions available in other software synthesizers you may own, or you may just want to become a VCV Rack aficionado.

If you’re a developer, you can develop your own VCV modules by using its API which you can find on its GitHub page. There are thousands of modules available for VCV Rack created by dozens of developers, many if not most of which are free. So if you’ve been interested in diving deeper into modular synthesis or VCV Rack, this free course will cover the key concepts and techniques you need to be well on your way.

No previous experience with modular synthesis or VCV Rack is required.

Who this course is for:

  • Musicians
  • Sound Designers
  • Media Artists
  • Music Producers
  • Audio Artists

Course content

4 sections58 lectures58m total length
  • About the Instructor
  • How this Section Works
  • Starting From Zero with Modular Synthesis and VCV Rack
  • Starting with the Starter Patch
  • East Coast vs West Coast Synthesis | a bit of history
  • Adding Plugins to VCV Rack
  • 100 Starter Modules Reference & Plugin Documentation Matters
  • Voltage Control Visualization
  • Gates and Triggers
  • Gates and Envelopes
  • Visualizing Polyphony Arrays
  • Cabling Conventions | a user interface note
  • Attenuverters
  • 8VERT
  • Triggers and Gates from Clocks
  • Clock Output Signals
  • Omri Cohen’s Beginner Patches


Interdisciplinary Art and Design
Michael Filimowicz, PhD
  • 4.0 Instructor Rating
  • 20 Reviews
  • 3,160 Students
  • 3 Courses

Dr. Michael Filimowicz is Senior Lecturer in the School of Interactive Arts and Technology (SIAT) at Simon Fraser University. He also makes electronic music and videos as Myk Eff, produces performance visuals as VJ Loop Zone, and publishes web development books as Mike Ludo (given the generally unmarketable quality of long Polish last names!).

He has a background in computer mediated communications, audiovisual production, and new media art. His research develops new multimodal display technologies based on audiovisual colocation, exploring novel form factors across different application contexts including gaming, immersive exhibitions, telepresence and simulation-based training.