Issue 93


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

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Full Bucket Music: MPS

A intuitive, free polyphonic software synthesiser.


6 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 Musical Parameter Synthesizer — or MPS — is a polyphonic synthesizer plugin with a small, intuitive set of parameters. This allows users to quickly and easily create sounds without needing to delve too deep into the technical side of things. It is the collaborative work of Wolfgang Kraus (idea and GUI concept), and Björn Arlt (DSP, GUI, and patch programming).

The MPS plugin is a 64-voice polyphonic instrument that consists of five individual sound generators that come in the ‘flavours’ of Wood, Glass, Metal, String, and Sine. Their output can be mixed using the XY Ball Pad control, and while it is not explicitly labelled, the Sine generator sits right in the middle of this pad. The mix balance can be continuously changed between the five generators by dragging the ball with the mouse. The more you deviate from the centre, the more harmonics will be created, and which harmonics these are depends on the orientation of the ball.

Besides the Ball Pad control, MPS features five more parameters, and that’s it.

Envelope Parameter: This controls the contour of the amplitude and brilliance of the sound. ‘Soft’ for smooth attack and decay, and ‘Perc’ for more percussive envelopes.

Vivid Parameter: This parameter adds modulation and life to the sound. Each generator has its own kind of modulation: an Ensemble-like effect for String; Tremolo for Metal; a Phaser for Glass; a combination of filtered Ring modulation and complex Tremolo for Wood; and a slightly detuned additional octave for Sine.

Air Parameter: This will bring some ‘air’ to the sound. Technically this is created with a double stereo Chorus.

Release Parameter: Release controls the length of the release time of the sound. Unlike the standard release parameter known from ADSR generators, the release time here cannot be longer than the decay time set via the Envelope parameter. This results in a more natural way of playing percussive sounds with short decay. 

Volume Parameter: This does exactly what you’d expect.

  • Unconventional sound creation approach
  • Fast & easy editing using just a few ‘musical’ parameters
  • Straightforward resizable user interface
  • 64 voices polyphony
  • Supports MTS-ESP by ODDSound dynamic micro-tuning
  • Resizable user interface (not N version)
  • MIDI Learn – all parameters can be controlled by MIDI CC
  • Plugin supports Windows (32 bit and 64 bit) and macOS (64 bit)

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Issue 93


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