Meta module runs VCV modules, is a DSP development platform, and more, says 4ms

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The new 4ms Meta module hosts and puts the free software modular Synthesizer VCV Rack in your Eurorack system.

At Knobcon 2023, 4ms previewed the new Meta module allowing you to bring VCV Rack into the Eurorack world. There is great interest in the module.

4ms contacted me to introduce the module in more detail. There are also some important corrections.

4ms Meta module

4ms Meta

Meta is an all-purpose module that lets you patch together various virtual modules to create a “Meta” module. It can be any of several hundred modules, a macro control for a custom patch, a hardware player for VCV Rack patches, a preset manager, and more.

4ms says it can also be a DSP development platform for custom applications (C++). It will be open-source from day 1.

Content can be brought into the module in a variety of ways. You can make them in VCV Rack and transfer them over USB, SD card, or WiFi. Creating and modifying patches using the Meta module is also possible. So my guess was wrong.

4ms Meta module

The module’s core uses a dual-core Cortex-A7 running at 800Mhz, with a Cortex-M4 co-processor. There is 512MB of fast DDR3 RAM. It runs bare-metal without an OS, so startup time and latency are blazingly fast. It’s among the most powerful processors found in Eurorack, says 4ms. They also share more about the interface:

There are 12 knobs, 8 audio or CV outputs, 1 USB MIDI jack, 6 audio/CV inputs, and 2 gate inputs, all of which can be mapped to any of the virtual knobs and jacks within the patch. You can map a physical knob to multiple virtual knobs and assign a different response range for each knob (including inverting the motion). In case that’s not enough, there are expanders to give you more knobs and jacks (and even buttons)!

The audio/CV jacks are DC-coupled and run at 48kHz, 24bit and can be mapped to any of the jacks in the patch. You can plug a MIDI controller into the USB jack to control knobs and jacks.

It can run hundreds of virtual modules and store/recall thousands of patch files, which is pretty impressive. 4ms will deliver the module with a huge number of modules, including virtual versions of Befaco, MI clones, and their own modules.

No Touchscreen

The user interface is very simple and intuitive: you can view the entire patch, zoom in on one module, or view/edit your knob mappings or panel connections using the rotary encoder and button. (It’s not a touchscreen!)

It’s a super exciting module, in my opinion, that makes a lot of things possible. And I think it’s fascinating that it’s not just a VCV Rack-only player but a DSP development platform. So you can go deep and create unique codes for it.


Article From September 10, 2023

Modular synthesis can be explored through various hardware and software platforms. One of the most popular is the Eurorack standard which was made prominent by Dieter Doepfer. There are now hundreds of module developers on the market, which is growing daily. The software counterpart called VCV Rack is just as popular. It relies on the same idea but is virtual and, for the most part, free of charge.

So far, both modular spheres have been running side by side in good company. But there are already many possibilities to bring both worlds together, for example, with virtual modulation signals and DC coupled interface. It goes more serious, says 4ms, with its new Meta module, announced at Knobcon 2023.

4ms Meta Module

4ms Meta

There is no official information yet, but the Barcelona-based module company Befaco has posted two photos of a new 4ms module on Facebook that was shown at Knobcon 2023.

Meta is an all-new module that allows VCV Rack to be hosted. It also brings the virtual world into the real modular world. You can experience almost modular inception. An active session can be seen on the screen.

The full feature set is not yet known. Since VCV Rack is super complex, I can’t imagine that you can create entire patches on it. It would be like pain in the a… for navigating. More for bringing individual signal chains or modules into the rack. For example, a multi-fx patch with which you can shape and filter your signals. Also, an option would be to route CV/gate signals out of VCV rack. The software is full of exciting generators.

It can also be particularly interesting to bring complete patches into the real modular setup. But here, probably without major patch modification options.  An operation, however, with macro controllers swould make sense here. But I could also be completely wrong.

Hardware side, the Meta module has six big color-coded knobs (A-F), each with a dedicated mini knob. You also get two gate ins, several audio ins/outs, and CV ins/outs. There is also a USB-c port.

A very special interest module in my opinion. I’m excited to see how it’s implemented and how easy it is to integrate VCV Rack into the real modular world.

4ms Meta availability and price: TBA.

More information here: 4ms 

Eurorack News


  1. Had a chance to play with this at KnobCon and was very impressed by how well the 4MS team managed to make navigating patches, adding cables and routing the hardware knobs to the virtual modules intuitive and quick. I feel this will be a real game-changer for folks taking the hybrid software/hardware approach.

  2. maybe this means that 4ms will bring some of there modules to vcvrack. I already got Softube modular but the dld for vcvrack would be nice.

  3. So is this standalone? I see a USB slot but no connection so is it kinda like the Aira eurorack modules and the Aira Modular Customizer? If so, that would killer. I miss those little guys. And by “little” I mean they were an “incredible burden on the power supply”.

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