KV331 Audio has released SynthMaster FREE!, a freeware synth that combines additive synthesis, subtractive synthesis, ring modulation, amplitude modulation, frequency / phase modulation, pulse width modulation, osc sync and waveshaping.

SynthMaster FREE! is identical to the standard version of SynthMaster except three limitations: 2 plug-in instances per project, 5 voice polyphony per plug-in instance and 10 bits audio input resolution.

That’s still pretty good for a free version (although you might reach 5 voices quite quickly), but unfortunately this FREE! version has some buggy features as well.

The installer is a bit tricky if you’re just looking to get the plugin .dll files. According to the manual it should install all the files in <program files>\VstPlugIns\Kv331 Audio but it seems this does not work for some users. What you could do to just get the .dll files you need is use archiving software like WinRar to extract the .dlls directly from the installer.

Also note that the randomize function can cause the CPU to go nuts and freeze your system or produce presets that are very loud (some of the regular presets already are very loud), so be careful with your ears/equipment.

The FREE! version is an introduction to the commercial standard version that will be released shortly and I’m hopeful these little bugs will be fixed by then.

SynthMaster Features

  • 64 voice polyphony.
  • 3 Additive Oscillators per voice: Each multi-waveform oscillator has its own volume / frequency (pitch) envelope.
  • 3 Multi-mode Stereo Filters per voice: Each filter has 23 filter types and 18 distortion types.Filters can be connected in three different configurations: Series, parallel and split.
  • 4 Modulators per voice: The modulators can be used as LFOs (low frequency oscillators) or audio rate oscillators to modulate other modulators, multi-mode filters or the additive oscillators. Each modulator has its own envelope.
  • 2 MIDI LFOs: These 2 LFOs are used to generate MIDI CC messages to modulate instrument parameters. Since each CC can be linked to 16 instrument parameters, it is possible to modulate 32 different instruments parameters at the same time using the MIDI LFOs.
  • 2 32 step Patterns: The patterns could be used as waveforms for modulators or MIDI LFOs. Since the number of steps is user adjustable, it is possible to generate patterns in rhythms other than 4/4, such as 9/8, 8/7, 5/8, etc.
  • 16 Step Arpeggiator: The arpeggiator in SynthMaster is like no other arpeggiator you have seen before. Every step has its own volume, length and delta. The number of steps is user adjustable, so it is possible to generate arpeggios in rhythms other than 4/4, such as 9/8, 8/7, 5/8, etc.
  • 8 Band parametric EQ: The EQ could be constructed in different combinations such as parallel, series, or input + series. Each band in the EQ could be bypassed, which makes it possible to construct a very flexible parametric EQ.
  • Stereo Echo / Delay: The echo effect has feedback and filter cutoff parameters, and its delay size is tempo synced.
  • 16 Band Vocoder: The vocoder uses analog modeled bandpass filters. Either the synth output or the audio input can be used as carrier/modulator signal for the vocoder.
  • Stereo Chorus / Flanger: The chorus effect in SynthMaster has separate delay and rate controls for the left and right outputs, which widens the stereo width of the effect output.
  • Stereo Reverb: The reverb effect in SynthMaster is based on physical modeling. You can specify physical parameters such as the room size, the distance of the left & right sound sources, and the width between the sound sources.
  • Microtuning: Each plug-in instance can have its own custom tuning specified.
  • MIDI Controller Links: Plug-in parameters can be easily linked to MIDI controllers. Each plug-in instance has its own parameter-controller link settings.
  • “Partial” Presets: Plug-in parameters for various parts of SynthMaster can be saved independently, which makes it very easy to create complex presets by combining different “partial” presets.

SynthMaster FREE! is currently available for Windows as standalone (ASIO/MME), VST, VSTi and RTAS. Mac OSX support (VST/AU/RTAS) is expected to be added in spring 2007.

The standard version of SynthMaster will be available for sale in December and will cost $99.

Visit KV331 Audio for more information.