Menu Close


Screenshot Basic Patching

Cardinal | Audio plugins for free


  • Modular synth | Synth

    “Cardinal, the Rack!

    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 is based on the popular VCV Rack but with a focus on being a fully self-contained plugin version.

    More specifically, this is a DPF-based plugin wrapper around VCV Rack, using its code directly instead of forking the project, with the target of having a proper, self-contained, fully free and open-source plugin version of Rack.
    See the why section below for the reasons Cardinal exists, also for frequently asked questions check this FAQ document.

    Cardinal contains Rack, some 3rd-party modules and a few internal utilities all in a single binary.
    All “Core” modules from Rack have been replaced by Cardinal equivalents, simplified to better work for an audio plugin.

    Cardinal does not load external modules and does not connect to the official Rack library/store.
    All VCV branding has been removed (to the best of our knowledge) in order to avoid any trademark issues.

    The VST3 version is in progress, already part of the build but still experimental.
    Prefer to use other formats if you can.

    Current status

    Cardinal should be considered stable, if you spot any bugs please report them.
    Currently the following should be noted:

    • VST3 support incomplete/experimental
    • Windows 32bit builds do not work well

    Stable release

    Cardinal releases have official builds for Linux, macOS and Windows.

    There are Linux builds for various architectures (armhf, arm64, i686 and x86_64), macOS “universal” (arm64 + intel) and Windows 32 and 64bit builds. Both macOS and Windows builds have an installer.
    Install instructions are available here.

    Note: Neither the macOS or Windows builds are signed, so expect warnings saying they are from an “untrusted developer”.”

    Visit: Cardinal

    Leave a Reply