Featured KV331 Audio Synthmaster One by Synth Guru
Product: SynthMaster One
Developer: KV331 Audio
Formats: AAX 32bit: ProTools 10.3.6+, 64bit: ProTools 11+, Audio Units Logic, GarageBand, VST Host supporting VST 2.4 plugins, OS X 10.6+ and Win 7+.
Price: $79 Introductory
DRM: Computer hard drive with S/N site activation
KV331 Audio introduces SynthMaster One, an extremely powerful and versatile 16 voice wavetable based synthesizer consisting of two oscillators, two sub oscillators, two filters, four ADSR envelopes, two LFO’s, 16 step sequencer/arpegiattor, and a robust assortment of special effects. SynthMaster One was designed with semi-modular architecture in mind, giving this synth a stellar quality of sound. The factory presets do an exceptional job in showcasing the power and flexibility that this synth possesses, which by the way was composed by a team of top notch sound designers including Arksun, Bülent Biyikoglu, Gerçek Dorman, Ufuk Kevser, just to name a few.
Each of the two oscillators can be armed with the traditional waves that most synths share in common. In addition, there are dozens of analog and digital waveforms that can be loaded, each type has additional drop down menus where other waveforms reside. Combining these, result in an infinite amount of unique sounds which gives SynthMaster One its own character. There’s a large number of Wavetables that also including Basic, Additive, Digital, and Analog. The various types of Wavetables also include a menu dropdown for an even greater selection to choose from.
The two Sub-OSC’s can be armed with the same waveforms as the oscillators but also includes a wide range of noise types. There are volume controls and Mode types including Sub, Amp, Ring, Phase, and Frequency mods which can be tweaked via a Semitone control.
The two filters come with Ladder, Diode Ladder, State Variable, and Bite. Each type has several variations of the parent filter. Other controls in the filter section include Input Gain, Drive, Cutoff, Resonance, Volume, LFO 1 or 2, Mod Env, and KeyTrack. There’s also an Acid and Boost option here. Filter adjustments are graphically represented in the Routing section of the synth.
All four ADSR envelopes have Amount and Velocity settings that can be adjusted to taste as well as a OneShot option. The envelope section contains a feature that can exert even greater control over the Attack, Decay, and Release parameters via the use of a curve that can be shaped in an Exponential, Linear, and Logarithmic manner adding an incredible amount of character to the overall sound!
LFO’s come with similar waveforms that are available in the OSC section including Basic, Analog, and Digital along with corresponding variations.
The onboard effects sound exceptional and don’t sound thin at all unlike other software synths, they include Distortion, Lo-Fi, Ensemble, Phaser, EQ, Vocoder, Delay, Chorus, Tremolo, Reverb, and Compressor.
Arp – Sequencer:
The Arp – Sequencer section includes the following controls; Swing, Mode, Range, Duration, Steps, and Base Time to tailor your Arp & sequences just the way you want them. All you have to do is listen to a few presets to really appreciate what this powerful feature is capable of.
The Mod Matrix is very comprehensive and is broken down in two sections or pages, each containing 12 modulation routing slots. It’s very easy to set up either clicking on them with the mouse buttons or via drag and drop, which is extremely useful and a real-time saver. Here you can analyze existing patches to see how they are wired. Existing modulations are reflected in the knobs displaying a yellow ring around them for rapid identification.
Sound Quality – The sound quality is incredible, lush, and bursting with flavor! It’s difficult not to get excited about this synth, there’s a tremendous number of wavetables to choose from and when combined with the second OSC, they produce an astronomical range of exquisite timbres. All I can say is just wow! Music to my ears just took on a new meaning! I love this synth, it’s easy to get lost in the sound only to realize that several hours have gone by in what you thought was just minutes. The presets are excellently crafted and sound beautiful. The evolving pads are lush and filled with a surreal dimension eminence. There is a demo version available for SynthMaster One, so don’t just take my word for it, go ahead and try it. I’m confident you’ll agree.
Ease of Use – The user interface is well thought out. No complicated menu diving means you can spend more time designing your sound instead of spending a lot of time in learning how to use this synth. SynthMaster One treads incredibly light on the CPU so there’s no crackling or cut-outs in the sound.
Features – One of my favorite feature of SynthMaster One is the ability to route your modulations via drag and drop, this is a true time saver. Not many software synths have a drag and drop feature so to have it means a real breath of fresh air. You can import your own wavetables into SynthMaster One however, the file must be placed within the wavetable directory in order to use it. Another nice feature is the user interface skin color can be changed to suit your preference. The other day when I opened up my DAW, a message flashed across the screen informing me that there was an update available, a big thumbs up to the KV331 Audio team for implementing this feature!
Bang for buck – Great bang for the buck here, you get a high quality product that rivals even some of the top contenders in the market.
Overall – A great sounding wavetable synth! Great for learning wavetable synthesis and very easy to use. I own a substantial number of soft synths and SynthMaster One is rapidly becoming one of my favorites. Highly recommended for sound designers, producers, and electronic musicians looking for a high quality wavetable synthesizer.