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DISTRHO Cardinal - A free plug-in based on VCV Rack 2 modular synth


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For those interested in a free taste of the plug-in version of VCV Rack.

From the Readme.md in https://github.com/DISTRHO/Cardinal/


Cardinal is a free and open-source virtual modular synthesizer plugin, available as JACK standalone and AU, LV2, VST2 and VST3 audio plugin for FreeBSD, Linux, macOS and Windows.

It contains over 900 of the free VCV Rack 2 modules.


Compiled binaries for all OSes are here.

On Windows, the installer exe is required. The zip contains plug-in binaries and redundant resource files. I skipped VST3 for now.

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Potential tip for people who get higher than wanted CPU usage with Cardinal due to "legacy" PCs: 

image.png.357c0dbc8304aef85ca29fc68cafcd15.png     --->     image.png.e08df007b774fbc178908c19afae86d1.png  

On my 2011-era PC 4x slows the refresh [draw] rate, and lowers CPU draw.  Closing/Minimizing the window also helps.  Based on the File > Demo / Example Projects, the audio quality doesn't seem to be compromised by the lower visual refresh rate.  (YMMV)

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FYI, a lot of the modules are polyphonic.

For example, to change the initial demo synth from mono to poly, right-click on the Cardinal Host MIDI module and increase the Polyphony channels setting.


The connecting cables increase in thickness to indicate polyphonic connections.

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