17 Instruo modules arrive on VCV Rack breaking the hearts of hardware fans everywhere and putting modular joy into our season of disappointment.
Instruo modules, designed in Glasgow, are some of the most elegant, sought after and aspiration modules in the Eurorack game. They are modules of beauty, depth and innovation. My plan was maybe to get one a year to slowly build up a collection of these fabulous boxes of voltage. Then without any warning the entire catalogue (almost) descends onto the virtual Eurorack environment of VCV Rack and makes them available to everyone for free.
For free!? What an awesome thing to have done. For me it brings mixed emotions. On the one hand this is an extraordinary opportunity to play with desirable modules that I can’t currently afford in hardware and on the other it somehow feels unfair, that my aspirations have been undermined or subverted. Instruo modules feel exclusive, like to own them is to declare that you understand Eurorack, you have a handle on it and are buying boutique and elegant modules that reflect your awesomely cool personality. But if everyone gets to play with them and therefore form an opinion on their sound and functionality then I’ll feel less special when I actually get to own one.
This is, of course, a load of elitist nonsense, but allow me to feel those things for a fleeting moment before getting on with enjoying this amazingly generous gift from Scotland.
Will this ultimately harm their hardware sales? I don’t think so. While I think they could have sold these modules individually on something like Softube Modular you’re never going to get the reach that VCV Rack can give you. This gives us the chance to try the modules out before we buy them in hardware and could hook us into that idea much quicker. Great as VCV Rack is it’s different to patching in hardware and one doesn’t replace the other.
So if you’re stuck at home wondering what to do with yourself go and download VCV Rack and subscribe (no money involved, this just means the modules from that manufacturer are delivered to you and kept updated) to the Instruo modules. I imagine a rapid collection of patches will emerge from the community and I’ve no doubt that this will encourage seasoned hardware modular artists to come and contribute as well. Instead of sharing mince pies we can be sharing Instruo patches. It’s the best sort of conversation to be having right now.
Just to note that if you’re new to VCV Rack and modular then exploring other peoples patches is exactly what you need to do. Otherwise, you might struggle to find the sounds you’re expecting. Modular isn’t simple, take your time.
The list includes:
- troika – triple oscillator
- tràigh – ladder filter
- harmonàig – quantizer
- tòna – oscillator
- cèis – ADSR
- vincâ – VCA
- tanh – 3 channel waveshaper, limiter, overdrive and feedback controller
- Tš-L – oscillator
- Cš-L – complex oscillator
- I-ō47 – multimode filter
- athrú – wavefolder
- f – voltage generator
- tágh – Sample & Hold
- øchd – 8 LFOs
- tàin – bi-directional switch
- lìon – matrix mixer
- saïch – quad oscillator
Noticeably absent are the arbhar granular processor and the Lúbadh 2-channel recorder, two of their most recent and innovative modules. Maybe we’ll see them in a forthcoming release. Also SCION is missing but that’s probably because it needs a plant-based electromagnetic input.
Thank you Instruo for the opportunity to explore your wonderful modules and for encouraging us into spending time in the extraordinary VCV Rack environment. Merry Christmas!
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