I’m probably going to keep adding to this thread periodically until someone tells me to shut up or put a hotdog in my chocolate starfish, so to speak.
Full Bucket ModulAir
This one is actually freeware, and I don’t know where the hell I was when it came out because it’s jampacked with features including sequencers (linkable, too), insane amounts of filters and filterbanks, amps, EGs, LFOs, and pretty much everything to help newbs learn the ropes without overwhelming them (cough, vcv rack).
Also, it loads wavetables and samples. I forgot to mention those important details.
I wish I had started with this because it has just the right amount of features, such as a master amp to bus everything through and not a whole hell of a lot of CV mixing or anything to really confuse the hell out of newcomers to modular plugins. It’s like a semimodular, but not; more like a modular without wires.
(Also, you can’t confuse audio with CV in this which makes it the perfect level of ‘training wheels’, but still powerful enough to go full-speed if you understand the metaphor I’m going for here)
I’ve been playing with it for days and I still haven’t discovered all of its beautiful quirks and abilities, but I’ve discovered a lot of the crazy shit that’s packed under the hood and it’s all pretty insane, especially for freeware.
As a cool bonus, you can modulate pretty much every parameter from the ‘outside’ (that’s your daw, or possibly another modular VST host if you’re as sadistic as me) so if something isn’t covered as a mod source or destination, you can just go ahead and make that happen anyway.