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Full Bucket Music: The Deputy Mark II

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26 November 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 Deputy Mark II is a software-based polyphonic ensemble synthesizer, designed in the tradition of classic string machines and early ‘polyphonic’ synthesizers. It attempts to emulate an instrument that could have been built in the 1970s — in an era where technical and economical restrictions may well have have impacted the overall architecture. Production choices appeared as a compromise between which features musicians expected, what they were willing to pay, and what fitted in a single box. The result is the Deputy, which by today’s standards is a fairly limited instrument — but not without character.

The Deputy consists of three major blocks: the polyphonic Poly synthesizer section; the monophonic Mono synthesizer section; and the Main section hosting global effects, the mixer, and keyboard-related controls. On top of these, the Deputy Mark II has an additional section containing controls for program management and ‘tweak’ parameters.

Tweaked Parameters:
  • Number of Poly voices (12, 32, 61) to reduce computational load
  • Split point between the keyboard zones
  • Ensemble mode (mono or stereo)
Poly section:
  • Up to 61 voices polyphony
  • Two band-limited frequency divider-driven oscillator banks
  • Sawtooth and PWM waveforms
  • 2-pole multi-mode filter and ADS envelope per voice
  • Global ADSR envelope for paraphonic modulation
  • Resonator bank (3 zero-delay feedback filters)
Mono section:
  • Single VCO plus sub-oscillator and noise
  • 4-pole zero-delay feedback lowpass filter
  • ADSR envelope and LFO
  • Output of Poly section can be send to filter input
Features:
  • Polyphonic string/synthesizer (Poly) section and monophonic synthesizer (Mono) section
  • Built-in Ensemble and Phaser effects
  • Flexible keyboard assignment for Poly and Mono section
  • Resizable user interface (not N version)
  • All parameters can be controlled by MIDI controllers
  • Plugin supports Windows and macOS (32 bit and 64 bit)
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READ ONLINE NOW
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Issue 93

REVIEWED

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