Friday, July 16, 2021

REVIEW: Full Bucket Music WhispAir. Freeware VST Wavetable Synthesizer Plug In.


Full Bucket Music Whispair: Powerful Wavetable Synthesis in a Single Page GUI.



Many of Full Bucket Music's synthesizer plug-ins are digital recreations of vintage Korg synthesizers, so it's no surprise that many of them have the dark blue stylings of late seventies/early eighties Korg keyboards. The MonoPoly and the Trident spring instantly to mind, with the same type of coloured switches with the built in LED lamps. 

But whilst WhispAir may have the looks of a vintage Korg synth, this is very much a new and original creation. 

I'll talk about how Whispair sounds shortly, once I've taken a tour of the controls, but what I also like about it is how everything takes place in a single screen, or GUI. This is quite unusual for a wavetable synthesizer. All the ones I can think of utilize a separate screen with a 'table' for modulation routings. I really like the way Whispair's modulation routings are all accessed via pull up menus on the same GUI which makes things quick, easy and accessible. Great for programming and sound creation.  

Looking at the bottom half of the GUI (graphic user interface) you have all the things you would find on a classic analog synthesizer; a filter, envelope generators and modulation generators (LFOs), but taking a look at the top section and the three oscillators and you'll immediately see that here we have something rather different. 

Rather than switches offering the standard waveshapes of virtual analog oscillators, each is a wavetable generator with multitudes of available wave 'groups' with additional variations within each group as well as starting phase from 0 - 359 degrees. So whilst 'standard' analog recreations are available there's a whole lot more going on here. 

In addition, oscillators 2+3 can be frequency modulated from 1+3 and 1+2 respectively. 

After the waveform generating section, things get a little more 'conventional' with the 'middle section' of controls offering an oscillator mixer, resonant filter with LP24/12 db/oct and HP 24 db/oct filtering with four stage envelope generator. Four stage amplifier EG and a Chorus effect. 

The third row of controls include two Modulation Generators (usually called LFOs) with 6 waveshape types and two more assignable envelope generators. 

The final row deals with keyboard modes which include poly and a unison for fat bass and lead sounds, and patch storing and retrieval. 

A vibrato section allows you to quickly add a little pitch modulation to sounds.

How Does It Sound?

Well in the brief opportunity I've had to have a play with WhispAir, I'd say pretty good. 

In a short space of time I was able to develop some fat, squelchy bass sounds, as well as some nice thick pads. 

Given the number of waveshapes, the complexity of the oscillators, and the number of them, I think it may take some time to get to know these, and to develop a sense of which combinations and  what functions produce the sort of results you are looking for. Time spent playing around with these I feel will be rewarded. 

The 'factory' presets offer a pretty god representation of what the synth can do. Other than the chorus, there are no on-board effects so it my be worth firing it up in your favourite DAW and adding some reverb and delay to some of these sounds. This might offer you a better idea of what it's capable of. 

Conclusion and Download Link:

Head over to Full Bucket Music and check it out via the link below. Whilst you're there you might want to check out their other products, some of which have become classic freeware products. 

If you do like WhispAir and use it in your music, then you may wish to consider a donation. 

Hope you like this post. 

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The information contained within this blog post is offered on an informal basis and is correct to the best of my knowledge. I accept no responsibility for outcomes arising from the mis/interpretation or use of this information and/or associated download files. Always download files via security/scanning software. 


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