Full Bucket Music released Oxid, a freeware virtual string machine plugin for Windows and macOS.
I don’t know about you, but I love the sound of the classic string machines. There is something about that ethereal tone that just makes me feel like making a bunch of ambient-tinged krautrock.
The good folks at Full Bucket are back at it again with another sterling plugin, shortly after the recently released Ny Polyphonic Ensemble (also freeware). Oxid is very much in line with the sounds of yesteryear, and it might just be one of the finest free instruments released this year.
So, what is Oxid? Just another virtual string machine?
Oxid is taking inspiration from the ARP Omni-2 string synthesizer, a notable departure from their usual Korg emulations.
The interface is that very familiar ARP color scheme with orange, white, and black all over the place. There are quite a few controls as a whole present too, meaning you’ve got some means to shape and tweak the sound to your heart’s desire.
You’ve got the standard feet section with an 8 and 4-foot option for the main string synth. Beyond that, there’s an additional 8 and 16-foot section for the bass voicing of the synth. You can certainly reach down deep and make some truly rich pads when mixing them together.
In addition, there is a wonderful chorus that has all of that washiness you might expect of an old-fashioned BBD chorus. You also have a phaser and delay, which sound fantastic in conjunction with the sound sources.
Overall control of the synth is fairly simple, with a single ADSR filter on the filter, a resonant low-pass filter, and a LFO for modulation purposes. The sound itself is killer, and you can definitely coax some nostalgic sounds out of the Oxid.
The amplitude has a single AR envelope, which works just fine for my purposes. You can change the panning of the synth, strings, and bass voicings if you really want to as well.
All said, this is a splendid addition to the Full Bucket oeuvre. I downloaded it as soon as I saw it come across because I’m too stubborn to go VSM-3 from GForce while it’s on sale.
You’ll need a Windows or Mac computer to run Oxid. It is Apple Silicon native; I used an M1 machine to test it. Full Bucket provides a universal binary, so Mac users should be well covered.
Download: Oxid (FREE)