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Ableton Live 12
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Full Bucket Music: Kern

A free synth plugin with minimal parameters for clean mapping to modern MIDI controllers.

By

8 December 2023

German programmer and software engineer Björn Arlt began building VST plugins under the name Full Bucket Effects in 2010. Being a musician, and a synth enthusiast from a young age, he was drawn to analysing and building software synths. He now offers both synth emulations and effects as freeware through his website.

The Kern is a stripped back, polyphonic performance synth plugin. ‘Kern’ is German for ‘core’, and as such has a condensed range of parameters. The intention of this plugin is for it to be compatible with the growing minimalism of modern MIDI controllers — so being designed with only the parameters that are absolutely necessary.

There are two user panel ‘view’ options available: The regular ‘standard view’ is in line with the architecture of subtractive synthesizers; while the second ‘alternative view’ reflects the typical layout of the sliders, knobs, and buttons of today’s MIDI hardware controllers. This view should prove useful with devices such as the Novation Impulse as it visually maps the hardware controls to Kern’s parameters.

Features:
  • Streamlined to be used with MIDI keyboard controllers
  • All parameters can be controlled by MIDI CC
  • MIDI Learn
  • Two alternative user panels
  • 32 voices polyphony including portamento
  • Two band-limited oscillators including Hard Sync
  • 4-pole zero-delay feedback lowpass filter (two types)
  • Two envelopes, one LFO
  • Chorus effect
  • Double precision audio processing
  • Plugin supports Windows and macOS (32 bit and 64 bit)
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READ ONLINE NOW
Online
Issue 93

REVIEWED

Ableton Live 12
What’s in. What’s out. What to expect.