Dead Duck Software has released Dead Duck Deducktion, a freeware virtual analog synthesizer in VST plugin format for digital audio workstations on Windows. It is one of the entries in KVR Developer Challenge 2018.
Our regular readers know that I’m a big fan of simple subtractive synthesizers. While some users find them boring, I thoroughly enjoy trying to get the most interesting sounds possible out of a plain old virtual analog synth. It’s no surprise that I still use Charlatan as one of my go-to virtual instruments, along with PG8X. Well, it seems like there’s another great freeware VA synth on the block, as Dead Duck Deducktion pushes all the right buttons.
The instrument’s front panel is separated into two sections. The top section features two panels, one for the oscillator, filter, and envelope controls, and the other one hosting additional ADSR envelopes and four LFOs. The bottom section comes with separate panels for the 12-slot modulation matrix, the performance controls, and the FX section. Despite featuring multiple panels, the interface is well-organized and easy to operate. The design is also on point, with a subtle color scheme and clearly labeled controls.
As for the sound quality, Dead Duck Deducktion won’t blow you away with fancy analog modeling, but it does sound very good while maintaining a low CPU hit. It is versatile enough to cover different types of presets, from deep bass sounds to analog strings and pads. The synth’s coolest feature, though, is the modulation matrix. With a multitude of modulation sources on offer, creating complex evolving sounds is a breeze. You can even modulate the intensity of the existing modulation connections. For example, use the modulation wheel to adjust the filter envelope amount. One thing I feel is missing in the current version of the instrument is the ability to modulate the built-in effects. The provided reverb, delay, and chorus modules sound good, and it would be fantastic to see them listed as modulation destinations in the matrix.
We first heard about Dead Duck Software when they released the Dead Duck Effects Bundle, a collection of freeware effect plugins made to handle the most common mixing tasks. These were very well received online and reminded us of the classic Kjaerhus effects bundle which seasoned VST plugin users will surely remember. The developer also made a couple of synthesizers based on MDA’s old synth VST plugins, but Dead Duck Deducktion is their first original virtual instrument creation. And it is a great one, indeed.
Let us know what you think about Dead Duck Deducktion in the comments section below. Is it one of your favorite contenders in KVR Developer Challenge 2018? Do you prefer any other plugin in this year’s contest? We’d love to hear your thoughts!
Dead Duck Deducktion is available for free download via KVR Audio (1.1 MB download size, ZIP archive, 32-bit & 64-bit VST plugin format for Windows).