Dead Duck Deducktion VST Synthesizer Released (KVRDC18)

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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.

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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).

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About Author

Tomislav is a journalist, music producer, and web designer from Belgrade, Serbia. He is also the founder and editor-in-chief here at Bedroom Producers Blog.

16 Comments

  1. only thing i can say about KVR DC18 is im quite disappointed by the lack of real original approaches to making new sounds
    so when i scrolled through the list of entries seeing this particular one i suddently thought ‘boring’
    only the built in effects make it stand out from other, similar plug-Ins

    as you mentioned, a Modulation Matrix that makes those effects routable would be great

    as for the Approach to it MPS by Full Bucket Music is definitely my favorite

    • Nah it’s a great little free synth!
      There are a few other KVR DC 18 goodies that I’m falling in love with too :)
      Sure, none of the entries are guilty of pushing boundaries, but damn there’s some great stuff being offered for free. Complaints are just plain silly.

    • Well, I thought the same when I first scrolled through. But then I began to play around with some of them. Have you tried Gogodze Phu? I think it makes my music unique and modern-sounding and inspires me to get things done in a different way. I can say the same of some of the other pluigins. I think DC18 is alive and strong!

  2. What a great little synth! :D

    And so flexible! I mean…4 LFOs? Nice! That reverb needs work though. YUCK. Other than that, I love it!

    • Sure the reverb is nothing special but “yuck”? Gotta disagree, it’s definitely servicable. To each his / her own! :)

  3. I’m one of those some users who find’em boring, but I really like it ease-to-do controls. The accessible lfos matrix makes the setting up a pleasure; by the way, who don’t like lfos?

  4. Wow, all the complaints here are just sad. Boring? Seriously? Man, I.guess I’m just easier to please because I think this synth is awesome and there are plenty of other fun goodies on offer in the KVR DC 18!

  5. For me its between Full Bucket MPS, Beat DRMR Drum Rompler and Karoryfer Gogodze Phu Vol II. Full Bucket probably deserves the win due to his consistent output.

    Nice post, i will check this little synth out.

  6. Karoryfer made great lib indeed , but my personal fav is TinyQ. It looks like 1 to 1 eq strip from cakewalk (sonar x3) but with very functional large-small button. Works great with T7 – and to be honest it’s very versitale.

  7. dead ducks plugins are great, i love this guy and every single plugin from him! hope he get a place at the top! all thumbs up

  8. i first said no. not again one more synth in my already huge download list. after your article here i gave it a try and i admit, its a really neat synth. i rarely expand my time to fiddle around for new stuff, but here i did for who knows why and what reason.^^

  9. Dang, I love this thing! Especially the clean looks of it! Some companies bring something like that as their “DAW feature of the year”, literally. ;)

    Keep working on this and I’ll pay money for it. 3rd Oscillator! Parallel Filters! Maybe some nice ideas like step envelopes or a random modulation source are always great. Make sure that all Envelopes (except Amp) and LFOs can be chosen to run free without retriggering with each key stroke, very important for complex patches. Lots of developers overlook that although I think it’s probably easy to build.

    You have my vote!

  10. Where are the Osc PW controls? DAW shows that each oscillator does have a PW control but I don’t see it in the UI.

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