Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I have a mountain to be thankful for. I’m healthy, working and making music often. It’s only 1:30 but so far I demoed some software synthesizers I had my eye for a while. I tried the Madrona Labs Aalto, UH-E ACE and the XILS-3. They were all interesting and if your a soft synth person I could recommend them all. I did the the XILS-3 the best though. That said, they don’t compare to my new AS Telemark so I zapped them from my hard drive. I uploaded an “old” demo to Soundcloud as an apple pie was being created in my kitchen. I’m off to my mother’s house soon for the big eating. I really do appreciate everyone who visits Wire to the Ear so that’s one more thing I am thankful for in 2011.
“I celebrate Thanksgiving in an old-fashioned way. I invited everyone in my neighborhood to my house, we had an enormous feast, and then I killed them and took their land.” – John Stewart
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