Session 3

Presenters: Alex White

10:00am: Alex White Approaches to generative composition with modular synthesisers

A range of compositional processes unique to modular synthesisers including generative systems based upon analog circuits are a key factor driving the resurgence of interest in modular synthesisers (White, 2019). Using the freely available VCV software, which simulates a modular synthesiser environment, this hands-on workshop will support participants to try out a range of processes usually unique to a hardware-based modular synthesiser. The workshop will focus upon rhythmic systems using clock dividers, and boolean logic, then extend to stochastic and complex control voltage systems to generate musical structures.

I have organised and run a range of workshops over the past 15 years including at Elctrofringe, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Serial Space, LiquidArchitecture, UTS and MESS.


This workshop is designed to be interactive in that you can follow along using the free VCV software and try out the techniques as we talk through them. To prepare for this you will need to have VCV Rack installed and some of the optional plugins (also free).

Step 1 - install VCV Rack Download and install the VCV Rack software from the VCV Rack website:

Here is a tutorial on installing VCV Rack and installing plugins, the tutorial is a little outdated so the user interface may look a little different but the principles remain the same:

Here is an FAQ on installing VCV RACK:

Here is an FAQ on installing plugins:

Step 2 - Register for a VCV account and log in using Rack’s “Library” menu.

Step 3 - install (subscribe to) plugins Subscribe to the plugin bundles, relaunch Rack, and click “Library > Update all” in the menu bar.

Restart Rack and add the new module(s) to your patch.

Please install the following VCV plugins bundles:

Autodafe Autodafe - Drumkit Synthkit Step 4 - download and open workshop patch