The XILS Lab XILS 3 is a recreation of the EMS VCS synthesizer. It comes in two flavors. There is a LE version for $37 and a version with more features for $181. There is a demo. All versions including the demo require an iLok. There is an extended review of the XILS 3 in the August issue of Sound on Sound: click here. Basically they say it’s not a spot on emulation but a very interesting plug-in. Hardware lust and purism aside is the XILS 3 in the realm of the TimewARP 2600, UHE ACE and the Korg Legacy Collection?

“Given the DSP power available nowadays, you might think that it would be possible to emulate the VCS3 in software. You could imitate its unstable oscillators, model its unpredictable filter, recreate its loopy envelope generator and all its other facilities, iron out its idiosyncrasies, add a few enhancements, and then stick a pretty GUI on the front that forces players to approach it in the same way as the original. So, what is XILS 3? On the surface, it’s a soft synth designed to look, feel and sound like a VCS3. However, as we delve deeper, we’ll find that it’s much more than that.” – Sound on Sound

For more info: xils-lab.com/pages/XILS-3.html

photo credit: The Standard Deviant

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Oliver Chesler

"Hello my name is Oliver and I'm going to tell you a story." I have been recording music since 1989 under the name The Horrorist. I have released over 60 singles and 4 full length albums. To hear my music please go to: thehorrorist.com

6 thoughts on “XILS Lab XILS 3”

  1. have it and love it! It’s not a VCS3, but it’s a really fun and vintage sounding synth to play with! I really like the idea of taking an old synth and bringing it into the virtual realm, adding and changing some pieces, more re-interpreting than emulating.

  2. Nice to see xils3 getting some love. Putting it in TimeWARP2600 territory is praise indeed!

    A small correction though – neither the full nor the demo LE version require iLok.

  3. I have the LE version and it runs without a dongle… just enter the serial and you’re done. But I agree all this ultra-paranoid DRM stuff is really not solving the problem, just causing annoyance to those who legally buy the software.

  4. “Is the XILS 3 in the realm…?” In a word, YES. The osc. & filters sound great and the architecture makes you think of sound construction in very different ways. Set up a complex patch, assign some physical knobs, and you’re in for hours of sound exploration. iLok issues? Really!? Yeah, I’d like my car to start simply by getting in it, but having to use a key is not going to stop me from driving. ;-)

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