Loading... Please wait...

DEMO TRACKS

BUY NOW

NEWSLETTER


ARTISTS

     
    XILS 3 :
    "The sound of XILS 3 is amazing, finally we can have an EMS in the studio and fulfil all our BBC Radiophonic Workshop dreams"
     
    Evil Nine

History : Why two synthesizers for the XILS 4 ?
 

Tim Blake told us about his old "Crystal Machine" combo : two linked AKS machines with hard sychronisation between oscillators. One was connected to the keyboard, and the other connected to the sequencer.  And Peter Zinoviev also told us about a never released EMS prototype, the VCS 4 : two linked VCS3 !
We mixed both concepts, then added a lot of modules inherited from the XILS 3 V2.0 : the XILS 4 was born  !

History : XILS 4 combines Two XILS 3 synthesizers, that interact in many ways. To understand the genesis of the XILS 3, a recreation of the famous EMS synthi synthesizer, we have to go back to …. 1969.

1969 : The PIN MATRIX REVOLUTION ( No More Cables Anywhere )

In a modular synthesizer, you can connect any module to another one. Peter Zinovieff, the visionary synth Wizard, established with the EMS series a new way to connect modules : The Pin Matrix. Just plug a pin in the Matrix, and the connection is set.

Advantages of these techniques were obvious, breathtaking : More inputs and outputs for each module. No more cables cluttering the synth panel. Easy to operate, easy to read, visualize, and build, your patch . No more roadies : The analog modular synthesizer suddenly became portable. Add to this the first Vector Synthesis experiments.

The XILS 3-4 series offers the same advantages, and even brings a lot more on the table. Let’s now see the different modules

You will find here some details of the XILS 3-4 features : Main Synthesizer, Extended Modules, Sequencer, Effect sectionInput Processor, or DAW compatibilities.

No synthesis can be done without a good filter : the XILS 4 offers two multimode filters that were modeled to reproduce the analog character of the old machine.
The 18 and 24 db low-pass types can self-oscillate, and internal non linearities have been finely reproduced : It is faithful to the "zero-delay" behavior of real life to give you a big smile when sweeping it.

The PIN MATRIXES : As we saw, modules have to be connected through patch areas called Pin Matrixes.
The XILS 4 offers no less than 8 Pin Matrixes : 2* 256+256 points dedicated to the main audio synthesis, one for the trig connections, and 4 for the sequencer connections (one for the modulation and one for the trig connections) Experts will spot at once that, in the 2 extended Matrixes, you can freely define some sources and destinations in the last two rows of lines and columns, like S&H, or even Envelope Segments.

 
And, yes, that means even more fun, and ultimate tweaking possibilities !

Matrix Synthesizer :  

The core of the synthesis is based on the original audio modules :

XILS4_LeftModules.jpg
  • Six oscillators grouped in Three pairs
  • Hard synchronisation
  • One Low pass filter with 12, 18 and 24 db slope  
  • One spring reverb
  • One Trapezoidal looping envelop
  • One Polyphonic Ring Modulator
  • One Noise generator
  • Two output static filters

 

Oscillators : Beyond the digital limitation, in a true analog emulation, as in all XILS-lab instruments, the freedom of the sound which one has in mind when listening to hardware analog synthesizers, the analog spirit  have been preserved.

XILS 4 oscillators were modeled to reproduce as close as possible the original waveforms.

The following figures compare the different waveforms of the original AKS model and those of the XILS 4.

As you can see, the raising front is sharp, but as the signal reaches its maximum, it becomes slower. This gives XILS 4 Oscillators an unique analog sound and character : soft and warm, yet very rich in harmonics.

 

 Square 50 Hz AKS
 Square 50 Hz XILS 3

 

Rampe 500 Hz AKS
Rampe 500 Hz XILS 3


 

No synthesis can be done without a good filter : the XILS 4 multimode filter was modeled to reproduce the analog character of the old machine.

The 18 and 24 db low-pass types can self-oscillate, and internal non linearities have been finely reproduced : It is faithful to the "zero-delay" behavior of real life to give you a big smile when sweeping it.

The PIN MATRIXES : As we saw, modules have to be connected through patch areas called Pin Matrixes.

The XILS 4 offers no less than 8 Pin Matrixes : Two 256+225 points dedicated to the main audio synthesis, one for the trig connections, and three other for the sequencer connections (two for the modulation and one for the trig connections) Experts will spot at once that, in the extended Matrix, you can freely define some sources and destinations in the last two rows of lines and columns, like S&H, or even Envelope Segments. 

Thanks to these added matrix, the sequencer can modulate independently the "right" or the "left" core !

Last but not least, the Keyboard trig can be delayed : the envelopes can be trigged at two different time.

And, yes, that means even more fun, and ultimate tweaking possibilities !

Main Extended

XILS3_Main_Marix.jpg

XILS3_ExtendedMatrix.jpg

 

Trigs

Sequencer

XILS4_TrigMatrix.jpg

 

XILS3_SeqMatrix.jpg

 

Built Layers, Mix and Match different patches in a flash : Each of the Left & Right synth engines has its own patch browser, in addition to the general patch browser. So that you can load in any of the two synth engines ( Left & Right ), any L/R part of any patch present in your preset library.

It has never been so easy to layer two leads, or a Pad and an Fx. Together with the Vector Synthesis, this means that you can create your own patches in the XILS 4 very easily and quickly, in an intuitive way

The Extended Modules ( Augmented Matrixity ) :

To increase the sound design possibilities, we have added 5 other modules, intended to be connected via the Extended Matrix ( 2x225 new possible connections )

XILS3_ExtendedModules.jpg
  • Two additional envelopes (Trapezoidal or ADSR)
  • One Tempo syncable LFO
  • One Tempo syncable Sample and Hold
  • One voltage processor (with a delay feature)

 

The Polyphonic Sequencer :

The Sequencer has been inspired by the EMS 256 sequencer, a 3 layers/2 tracks powerful device with some unique features, like 3 independent slew rate knobs.

Here again a few things were added, like Sequencer Lines acting as Modulations Sources in a special Matrix. Interactions that you cannot reproduce in even the most sophisticated Daw.

 

Note : The sequencer can modulate or trig the both cores independently.


XILS3_Sequencer.jpg

XILS3_SeqEditor.jpg

6 independent Sequencer lines.

3 Record modes ( Live, Step, Edit )


Make sure to watch the tutorial video to learn fast how to use it.

 

Vector Synthesis :

The Pin Matrix and looping analog envelopes weren’t the only innovative features of the EMS series. Vector Synthesis should definitely be added to the list. The Joystick, with its numerous inputs and outputs, should be regarded as a giant step toward Vector Synthesis, and what is now known as Macro controllers.

With the XILS 4 Joystick duo ( yes each engine has its own Joystick ), you can not only make fascinating real time controlled evolutive sequences or performances, but also find a lot of interested variations patches nested in a single patch. Almost all XILS 4 factory library presets have been created to benefit of the Joystick and other real time controllers.

 

The Effects :

The XILS 4 provides three warn and wick sounding audio effects

XILS3_Effects.jpg

 

  • 3 Modes Chorus
  • A Delay (Tempo Syncable)
  • A Phaser (with enhanced analog behavior)

 

Using the XILS 4 as an effect Processor :

The XILS 4 can also be used as a terrific effect processor. The plug-in inputs can be used directly, feeding the filters, or as audio rate modulation sources ..... endless possibilities.

To increase a little bit the fun, we added this time 4  input audio process, making XILS 4 a fantastic mangling machine !

XILS3_Input.jpg

 

  • Transient Follower (which generates trigs or envelops)
  • Envelope Follower
  • Featured Gate
  • Pitch Tracker

 

This is only a very brief summary of what you can do with the XILS 4 Matrix Modular Synthesizer.

We are fully aware that nothing can replace direct experience, so now that you are a bit more familiar with the XILS 4 you might want to Try 

(dongle free demo with limited features or full featured but time limited license)

 

Warning : the XILS 4 is not a stand alone application, but a plug-in to be inserted into a music software application.

 

free mac VST host : http://arne.knup.de/?page_id=32

free windows VST host : http://www.hermannseib.com/english/vsthost.htm

 

The XILS 4 are available with the following formats (32 and 64 bits):

 

  • Mac OSX 10.5 and later : VST, Audio Unit,  RTAS (Protools 7.0 and later),AAX (32&64 bits, native)
  • Windows XP, Vista and 7,8,10 ; VST,  RTAS (Protools 7.0 and later),AAX (32&64 bits, native)

 

 mac logo  windows logo  vst logo  logo audiounit  rtas logo  rtas logo



    日本語