Full Bucket Music has introduced FB-3100, a freeware synthesizer VST/AU plugin for Windows and Mac OS which emulates the KORG PS-3100 hardware analog synthesizer from 1977.
FB-3100 is the fourth Korg synthesizer emulation coming from Full Bucket Music, following the excellent Nabla (based on the KORG Delta DL-50 string machine), Stigma (KORG Sigma KP-30 emulation), and my all-time favorite Mono/Fury (a detailed KORG Mono/Poly emulation). Much like its predecessors, FB-3100 is a very close emulation of the original hardware. It provides the exact same controls and control behavior as seen in the KORG PS-3100 while adding several useful features like patch memory, an additional paraphonic envelope, and MIDI learn.
The user interface is almost an identical copy of PS-3100’s front panel, including the micro-tuning controls on the left and the modulation patch bay on the right. The patch bay is a joy to use, partly thanks to the modulation monitor display which shows the active modulation source and destination. The preset manager and MIDI learn controls are positioned below the main panel, along with the release envelope knob and the external input dial. The sound quality is quite good, with an interesting sounding filter and a lovely analog-like chorus. The filter doesn’t scream like Korg’s MS-20 filter, but instead reminds me of older Yamaha and even Roland filters.
The instrument is coded in C++ and optimized for low CPU consumption, something that we’re pretty much used to seeing in Full Bucket Music plugins. The CPU hit is indeed very low, staying below 8% (on our test machine, at least) even when playing 10 and more notes simultaneously. The current version of FB-3100 comes with 64 factory patches, one of which is an INIT patch. Most of the included presets sound quite nice, with a few truly exceptional ones, such as the Classic Rezo Bass patch. Being that FB-3100’s user interface might be somewhat too advanced for beginners, it would be great see more factory patches added in the future.
I haven’t run into any stability or performance issues while testing FB-3100, except for subtle crackling noise while modulating the oscillator volume with the mouse wheel. It’s a very minor issue, though, that will hopefully be fixed in a future update. The instrument is only compatible with Windows-based digital audio workstations at the moment, although both 32-bit and 64-bit hosts are supported.
UPDATE: The instrument is now updated to v1.1.0 which introduces Mac OS compatibility.
FB-3100 is available for free download via Full Bucket Music (2.2 MB download size, ZIP archive, 32-bit & 64-bit VST/AU plugin format for Windows & Mac OS).