7 Best Modular/Eurorack Emulator Plugins

Modular synths and eurorack systems are a nifty piece of hardware. They allow you to build a system, adding or taking out as many different modules as you want.

However, these aren’t accessible to everyone. They are expensive and require some technical skills.

👉 CHECK OUT THE LATEST DEALS AND DISCOUNTS ON VST PLUGINS AND DAWS

With that in mind, here are the best 3 software alternatives to these systems.

Softube Modular

Softube Modular is the only official software that emulate modules by Doepfer, Intellijel, Buchla, 4ms and Mutable Instuments.

I have compared several times Softube with tue real Eurorack modules and it is really hard to notice the difference.

Doepfer modules sound incredibly close to its hardware analogs. Buchla 291e oscillator is probably one of the best sounding software oscillators. 4ms SMR, Mutable Instruments Braids, Rings and Clouds – all those modules sound very similar even if you do audio rate emulations.

The only downside is the CPU load. Once you have added lots of modules and do complex modulations it becomes CPU heavy.

To get an idea of how the interface looks like, check out the video below:

It is by far the best sounding modular emulation.

Get Softube Modular

Voltage Modular

Voltage Modular is a pretty new fast growing platform. Even though analog emulation doesn’t sound as authentic as Softube Modular, the power of this platform is an open API for modules.

Other developers have the ability to develop their own modules and sell it via modules marketplace.

The most interesting thing here is a set of 30 PSPaudioware modules. PSP is a well known company in VST world.

And we already have seen them porting their plugins to rising platforms like Auria for iPad. This time they made a re-engineering their plugins and made their famous effects to be available as modules. And they’ve added some cool new modules to the collection.

Get Voltage Modular

Voltage modular vs Softube

After utilizing extensively both voltage and softube, it is my opinion that softube is the superior eurorack/modular emulator.

Voltage has the key advantage of having an api, thus offering a wide selection of modules, but in terms of sound quality and closeness to the original hardware versions, softube takes the prize.

Get Softube Modular

u-he Bazille

u-he has an amazing track record on recreating best analog synth in software.

U-he Bazille is not an attempt to emulate Eurorack but rather 5u modular systems that are famous for its fat analog sound. Want it in software? Give Bazille a try!

Get u-He Bazille

Other Options

While this article was focused on best-sounding emulations, it is hard to miss several other options.

VCVRack – became a huge platform where tens of developers are releasing their new modules weekly. Most of the modules are free.

Though there are several problems with VCV:

– it doesn’t sound as good as plugins mentioned before

– it is still unstable – you can have sudden CPU spikes and even crashes

– it is not a plugin but standalone software, that you can integrate in your DAW with a VST adaptor

NI Reaktor Blocks – another great platform with hundreds of free modules. Again, it doesn’t sound as authentic as Softube or u-He. But it has few modules that are getting pretty close. And of course, Reaktor is a must-have for any music producer.

Reason Complex-1. Propellerhead Reason by its nature is a modular environment and probably first software that brought an idea of CV modulations in software. Complex-1 is their recent synth designed around Buchla-style synthesis. It doesn’t sound like Buchla but it still sounds good and workflow is amazing – you can get cool sound pretty fast, modulate it with the sound from other Reason devices and combine with other Reason synths.

Arturia Buchla Easel – I had a chance to play with two different Easels but Arturia doesn’t sound close to that. Though its user interface and workflow is amazing. You can say same thing with their emulation of Moog modular system.

Get FREE Buchla Emulation for Reaktor – Cloudlab 200t V2

Cloudlab 200t V2 is beautiful recreation of modular Buchla 200/200e synth. It is second version of Reaktor ensemble we were writing about one year ago – Buchla 200 system for NI Reaktor

Credits:
Original concept based on Donald Buchla’s 200 and 200e system.
Ensemble programming – Trevor Gavilan.
GUI – David Frappaz, check out his work here: https://davidf-3d.deviantart.com/gallery/
Technical advisor – Jesse Voccia.
Hardware notes – Jesse Voccia, Antonio Isaac and Leonardo Mendez.
Snapshots by Trevor Gavilan.

Get free Reaktor ensemble at Native Instruments Reaktor User Library: https://www.native-instruments.com/en/reaktor-community/reaktor-user-library/entry/show/11077/

 

Check also:
Softube Modular

Ableton Link and Turing Machine for VCV Rack – FREE New Modules

Stellare Modular released 2 super useful modules for the free modular synth – VCV Rack.

Music Thing Turing Machine

The Turing Machine module is based on the amazing Music Thing’s Turing Machine Eurorack module by Tom Whitwell. We recreated the modules based on the original schematics of the Mk2 version. Besides the main module we also created the two Mk2 expanders: Volts and Pulses.

 

Link

The link module is a very simple module which provides a ‘link’ connection with a link enabled application like Ableton Live. It will allow you also to connect two or more VCV rack instances on different computers together which are connected in the same WLAN or LAN. In order to sync perfectly we added a Offset control so you can compensate for any latency introduced in the Link connection.

Download modules from GitHub

See also: Softube Modular

Ripplemaker – 0-coast-like iOS synth

There are not so many truly modular synths for iOS yet. And while all the iPad-sound-designers are waiting for Reaktor, Softube Modular it is really nice to see a new app that was inspired by one of the latest semi-modular synths – Make Noise 0-coast. It is not accurate emulation but rather taking the concept of 0-coast and taking this concept further. 

And it is a great app to get into west-coast style modular synthesis – , FM, low pass gate – things that you don’t find on your normal VA synth… 

Comparing to 0-coast – Ripplemaker adds nice sequencer (available at the standalone app, not AU), noise section (0-coast has only one random s&h output that is hardwired to tempo), LFO and delay.

AU works as an instrument, as it is thing I wish it would operate as an effect as well for some nice FM synthesis or taking advantage of LPG of Ripplemaker. 

It is a really nice app for those who just start with modular synthesis and advanced crazy modular heads 🙂

And here’s Ripplemaker next to 0-coast:

[appstore id=1207806723]

Get Buchla 200 system for NI Reaktor FREE

Some amazing news here for all the modular synthesis lovers.

While we are waiting new modules for Softube Modular and new blocks for Reaktor Blocks – NI User Library got a great FREE ensemble – Buchla 200 and 200e emulation. 

Though it doesn’t follow Blocks specification – it is great recreation of Buchla. If you wanted to try 200 -system but didn’t have $10K – you can get it free for Reaktor. 

It was developed by Trevor Gavilan. Here’s how he describes it:

“Most emulations now a days try to replicate original and existing hardware but the reality is that so much things are put into the mix when soldering components and letting electricity do its work that to me the concept might be very very far away from where we are right now. Another factor that plays along is the human interaction with an interface that could easily re-shape our workflow and in the case of a Buchla system that concept comes naturally since many composers and synthesists around the world continue to redefine the way of working through the philosophy that designers like Donald put into their modules and their system’s interface. I believe that’s one of the main reasons a hardware interface will always continue to be the preferred way of working.”

Here’s the main look of the synthesizer – it looks pretty cool:

Exit mobile version