Ronan Fed releases Essence Plus, a freeware subtractive virtual synthesizer VST plugin for Windows.
Free synths are always a welcome addition to the great pantheon of freeware plugins. Ronan Fed has made Essence Plus available for Windows users.
Essence Plus is an advanced subtractive synthesizer with a fairly familiar and easily navigated interface.
There are five total oscillators in Essence Plus, three of which are devoted to your typical analog waveforms. Users also get the option of blending in sub-oscillator signals and a noise oscillator with stereo width control.
Each of the three main oscillators is multi-voice, capable of eight voices of unison, each with appropriate detuning and stereo controls.
Filtering is provided by a single multimode filter. While parallel filtering might be nice, the one implemented in Essence Plus sounds fine and functions as expected. Users can use it as a bandpass, lowpass, or highpass filter, so there is a degree of flexibility.
Filter modulation is provided by the prerouted filter envelope, but you can also use one of the two modulation envelopes or either of the LFOs.
The filter envelope and amplitude envelope have curve control, which is an excellent addition to a freeware synth. There are a good few effects on offer, which complement the core sound of the synth. Chorus, delay, reverb, compression, and distortion make for some versatile sound design.
Essence Plus’s overall design is quite nice, with it being very clear and offering a good amount of visualization of the output of the synth. This isn’t something seeking to reinvent software synthesizers, but it is a fairly nice little freebie.
Sure, it could have multiple modulation sources, but the two LFOs and two modulation envelopes can do quite a bit of work with some clever implementation.
Essence Plus is freeware and, unfortunately, only available for Windows users. Users have the option of using VST or VST3 for 64-bit clients. Ronan Fed has no stated plans for a Mac or Linux port as far as can be seen.
UPDATE: Ronan Fed’s plugins are no longer available. You can get more information on KVR Audio.