Frequently Asked Questions
1) What!? Is this stuff free ??
The KarmaFX software is Donationware and Shareware:
The KarmaFX Plugin pack is Donationware. This means that the software is fully functional without any restrictions of any kind. However, if you find these plugins useful please consider donating a small fee (e.g. 10$ to 20$ or so) to support future development.
The KarmaFX Synth Modular 2 is Shareware. This means that there is a downloadable Demo version of the synth, with limited save and update capabilities, which you can use to try out the synth. If you like it and want to continue using it, you should buy the fully functional, registered version (which also comes with a comprehensive User's manual).
2) Wow, where did this stuff come from ?
Development of KarmaFX Synth Modular was started back in 1998.
At that time it wasn't just a synth, but a standalone application for making music and included
a sequencer and a tracker, among other things.
The inspiration for this work came partly from Propellerheads Rebirth and later the release of Jeskola Buzz. However, the project grew too big, and it was decided to convert the synth into a plugin; first for Buzz, and later as VST.
It was bascially finished in the v0.85 state back in 1999, but was unfortunatly never released. That is, until 2004, where - after many requests - an attempt was made to try and finish it...improving the sound, updating the graphics, and fixing those last annoying bugs.
The KarmaFX effect plugins (Filter, Deelay and Reverb) are simply spin-off projects of the Synth. That is, they are separate easy-to-use effects that use the same code as the Synth but with an extra twist.
3) Hey, is there a forum to ask questions, discuss issues, share patches, report bugs, etc. ?
4) Where can I find the documentation for the plugins ?
A User's Manual of 120+ pages is included with the Registered version of KarmaFX Synth Modular 2.
A Preview is available here: https://karmafx.net/pubs.
The KarmaFX Plugin Pack includes a 15 page User's Manual in PDF format, which can be found here: https://karmafx.net/pubs.
If you have any questions feel free to contact KarmaFX by email or consult the KarmaFX Facebook Page, the KarmaFX Forum or the KVR Forums.
5) Is there a Mac version of the plugins ?
Yes, an Audio Unit and VST version of KarmaFX Synth Modular 2 is available for Mac/OS X!
The KarmaFX Plugin Pack is currently only available for PC/Windows.
6) So if the plugin pack is "free", can I distribute the plugins on my site or distribute or sell them with my own software?
No. The Software is protected by copyright laws of the international community. In downloading the Software, you are not obtaining title to the Software or any copyrights! You may not sublicense, rent, lease, convey, distribute, copy, modify, translate, convert to another programming language, decompile, or disassemble the Software for any purpose. You may only redistribute the Software with prior written permission from KarmaFX. Where redistribution is authorised in writing by KarmaFX, the Software must be redistributed in its original archive format, and must not be modified in any way. All such authorised redistribution must be accompanied by clear messages stating the origin of the software as a product by KarmaFX, this license, a link to the Website, and a further message saying that updates of the Software are available from the Website.
Frequently Asked Questions, KarmaFX Synth Modular Specific:
1) Can I get a version that doesn't time out ?
Yes. The Registered version does not time out. Plus, it comes with extra patches, more skins and a User's manual.
2) I've just ordered KarmaFX Synth Modular 2. When and how do I receive my registered version ?
Thanks for your order! Your registered full version of KarmaFX Synth Modular 2 will be provided by a direct download URL sent to you via e-mail. We aim to deliver your order as quickly as possible, usually within a few hours, but in rare cases please allow up to 24 hours for us to handle your order.
The KarmaFX software is only available in electronic form via the internet.
The e-mail is sent to the email address registered with PayPal, so be sure to check the right mail account. If you still havn't received your registration e-mail, please contact us. Also be sure to check your spam folder. In some cases the registration email is wrongfully detected as spam.
If you have payed by e-Check (non instant payment), please be patient, as your payment will take PayPal some time to complete.
3) I've just downloaded KarmaFX Synth Modular, but the file is corrupt / incomplete. What should I do?
Likely the download failed for some reason and that is why the file is corrupt.
Please be sure to clear your browsers cache and then click the link again.
Click just once, and then wait for the server to respond.
If your browsers cache is cleared the download should start again.
Contact us by e-mail if this does not fix the problem.
4) I want to buy a KarmaFX Synth Modular license, but I don't have a credit card nor a PayPal account.
If you cannot use the PayPal system or don't have a credit card, we offer an alternative direct bank transfer payment option. Please get in touch by e-mail and we will supply you with our SWIFT/IBAN account number.
5) How do I load patches ?
1) Click on the Control Panel's display to open the Patch Browser, then select patch from there.
2) Right click on the background in the synth and select "Load Patch".
3) Use the Control Panel's up and down arrows to browse through patches.
4) Click on the "Load Patch" button in the Control Panel.
6) How do I load a sample into the "Sampler" ?
Click on the "Load Sample" button just below the waveform window or right click on the background in the Sampler module, e.g. on the area just below the waveform display and select "Load Sample...". Alternatively, simply drag and drop the sample file onto the module.
7) How do I connect one module to another ?
There are three ways:
1) Click on the connect icon (the cross in the top right corner) on the source module's titlebar and a cross will appear. Then click on the target module that you wish to route the signal to.
2) Hold Ctrl - then left click on the source module's titlebar (a cross will appear). Then click the target module that you wish to route the signal to.
3) Alternatively, right click on the target module's titlebar. Select "Input" and choose the name of the source module.
8) How do I route a module to modulate a knob or slider ?
There are three ways:
1) Click on the connect icon (the cross in the top right corner) on the source module's titlebar and a cross will appear. Then click a the knob or slider in the module that you wish to modulate.
2) Hold Ctrl - click on the source module's titlebar (a cross will appear). Then click a the knob or slider in the module that you wish to modulate.
3) Alternatively, right click on the knob or slider you wish to modulate. Select "Input" and choose the name of the source module.
9) Help. When I reload the synth in my DAW, all my patch changes have disappeared !?
Patch saving is disabled in the DEMO version.
If you want to save your work we suggest that you buy the registered version.
10) I have a suggestion for a new feature !
Well, there is a long list of planned features, but by all means, please send requests by email. If the ideas are really good, chances are they will be put into the synth sooner or later.
11) Next to the wave display you can choose between Time/Frequency and Modulation. What does the "Modulation" button do ?
The modulation display is there to show modulation of specific knobs or sliders. After selecting it, you need to left click on a modulated knob or slider and the display will show the modulation signal.
12) Modules (e.g. Filters) loose their routings (connections) when switching module type. Why is that ?
Filters have the same set of knobs (e.g. Cutoff, Resonance...) but in the general case modules have their own unique set of knobs/sliders. Hence, in KarmaFX Synth Modular v1.x, routings were not retained when switching between Filters. However, this was changed in KarmaFX Synth Modular 2, so all routings and knob settings are now kept intact when switching between different Resonant Multimode Filters.
13) How does the synth handle MIDI signals ? I don't understand how the Controller changes the pitch of the oscillators ?
Each module can read MIDI events. The synth has several internal midi busses, one for each Controller instance. In addition Controllers can also write and alter MIDI events. A Controller's main job is to produce a frequency, and a trigger control signal. It can optionally also produce a phase control signal. These signals are not necessarily shown, but passed on to all modules whose output is fed into that Controller. Filters use the frequency signal for Keyboard Tracking while oscillators use it to change pitch. Amplifiers, and Envelopes use the trigger control signal to signal note on/off, while Generators use the phase control signal for phase modulation. In polyphonic mode, there is a trigger, frequency and phase signal for each voice and the Controller determines which MIDI events should go to which voice and alters each signal appropriatly. The internal signals can be seen and optionally used for modalation using the "Control" module.
14) Is it possible to resell KarmaFX Synth Modular once you have purchased it?
No, currently the license is "non-transferable", i.e., you cannot resell the product once it has been purchased.
The reasons for this are mostly technical, since the name of the registered user is burned into the synth so to speak.
You can read the full software license agreement
15) When registered, am I allowed to use the synth on more than one computer?
Yes, you can use KarmaFX Synth Modular on up to two computers which are under your control.
16) I once purchased the PC version but have since switched to Mac. How do I get the Mac/OS X version?
17) How will I know if the Synth works with my PC or Mac host application?
The best way to find out is to try it. If in doubt, please download the demo first and see if it works as expected.
KarmaFX Synth Modular has been tested in many different host applications, especially the most popular DAWs. It has been tested and verified to run in DAWs such as Steinberg Cubase, Ableton Live, Image-Line FL-Studio, Cockos Reaper, Apple Logic, Bitwig Studio just to name a few. A lot has been done to fix issues related to certain hosts. However, we cannot test all working scenarios, versions, etc. If it doesn't work as expected, please let us know so it can be fixed.
18) I have the registered version, but I cannot seem to find the manual?
A User's Manual of 120+ pages is included with your Registered version of KarmaFX Synth Modular 2 in PDF format.
If you already have the synth started, the easiest way to open it is by clicking on the background inside the synth, and then choose "Manual" from the popup menu.
You can also find it directly in your installation folder:
[VST plugin folder]\KarmaFX\KarmaFX_Synth\Manual\KarmaFX Synth Modular.pdf
/Library/Application Support/KarmaFX/KarmaFX Synth/Manual/KarmaFX Synth Modular.pdf
19) Should I uninstall version 1.x before before installing KarmaFX Synth Modular 2 ?
Yes! If you already have version 1 installed, and want to upgrade to version 2 or try out the demo,
please be sure to uninstall the old version 1.x before proceeding.
First, be sure to backup any user-patches you have made, then:
On PC/Windows: Simply run UninstallSynthModular.exe located in the installation directory:
[VST plugin folder]\KarmaFX
If the directory still exists after uninstall completes, please remove it manually.
On Mac/OSX: Manually remove the KarmaFX components in
and the folder
Then proceed to install KarmaFX Synth Modular 2 !
20) Can I have KarmaFX Synth Modular 2 (demo- or full-version) installed alongside version 1.x ?
No. Version 2 is backwards compatible and a direct replacement for version 1.x.
Hence, it is not safe to have them installed at the same time. Even if they are installed in separate folders, they still share the same plugin-ID.
It is therefore recommended to uninstall version 1.x before installing version 2.
21) I'm a registered user. How do I upgrade to KarmaFX Synth Modular 2 ?
For registered users of KarmaFX Synth Modular 1.x, KarmaFX Synth Modular 2 is a paid upgrade.
However, there is an exclusive upgrade-offer sent out via e-mail. If you havn't received it, please get in touch!
This discount lasts for a limited-time only (until 30th of June 2021), so don't miss out on this opportunity.
22) Does KarmaFX Synth Modular 2 ship with VST support on Mac/OSX ?
Yes! VST is supported on Mac/OSX, but only in 64 bit! Audio Units are supported on Mac/OSX in both 32 and 64 bit.
23) My KarmaFX Synth Modular (1.x or 2) Audio Unit fails to load correctly on Mac/OSX ?!
Sometimes Audio Units can be a bit finicky. First, be sure to clear your Audio Unit cache.
Open Finder and locate and delete the folder:
Then reboot you Mac, open a Terminal and run this command:
auval -v aumu KSYN KFX!
Including the exclamation mark (!). That validates the Audio Unit.
If it fails, please send the output to KarmaFX via e-mail.
If it succeeds please re-run your DAW and try again.
In case this does not fix the issue, please contact KarmaFX via e-mail and attach a crashlog if possible.
Please include which DAW and which version of OSX you are running.
24) Help. My newly registered version of KarmaFX Synth Modular 2 fails to load on start-up?!
Please make sure that your are installing from a freshly downloaded installation file, and that the installation completed successfully.
Please do not change the filename of the installation .exe or .pkg file before installing. That may corrupt the installation.
If the synth fails due to a different reason, please contact KarmaFX via e-mail and attach a crashlog if possible.
Please include which DAW and which OS version you are running.
25) Is KarmaFX Synth Modular 2 compatible with the new Mac M1 ?
Yes, the Mac/OSX version (AU/VST) will run on Apple Mac M1 using Apple's Rosetta2 technology.
There is no native support yet for M1/M2 Apple silicon.