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Bennett Moore
Bennett Moore

XILS 4: Explore the Features and Benefits of This Powerful Plugin that Simulates the EMS VCS4





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XILS-lab XILS 4 v1.5.2 VSTi, AAX x86 x64: A Review




Introduction




If you are looking for a versatile and powerful virtual instrument and effect plugin that can emulate the sound of vintage modular synthesizers, you might want to check out XILS-lab XILS 4 v1.5.2 VSTi, AAX x86 x 64. This is a plugin that emulates a prototype of the EMS VCS4, a modular synthesizer based on two interlinked VCS 3 cores. It also includes a poly-sequencer, a chorus, a delay, a phaser, and a spring reverb.




XILS-lab – XILS 4 v1.5.2 VSTi, AAX x86 x64



In this article, I will review the main features and benefits of XILS 4, as well as its system requirements and compatibility. I will also explain how the synthesis engine, the poly-sequencer, and the effects section work, and how you can use them to create amazing sounds. I will also provide some examples of presets and sound demos that you can listen to and download. By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of what XILS 4 can do for you and your music production.


So, let's get started!


The Synthesis Engine




The heart of XILS 4 is the synthesis engine, which consists of two VCS 3 cores and several additional modules that can be used to modulate and shape the sound. The VCS 3 is a legendary analog modular synthesizer that was designed by Electronic Music Studios (EMS) in the late 1960s. It was used by many famous artists and bands, such as Pink Floyd, Brian Eno, Jean-Michel Jarre, The Who, and many more. The VCS 3 has a unique sound and architecture that makes it very flexible and expressive.


The Dual VCS 3 Cores




The VCS 3 has three main components: an oscillator bank, a filter, and an output section. The oscillator bank has three oscillators that can generate sine, triangle, sawtooth, square, and pulse waveforms. The filter is a 18 dB/octave low-pass filter with resonance. The output section has a noise generator, a ring modulator, a reverb tank, and a volume control.


One of the most distinctive features of the VCS 3 is the pin matrix, which is a grid of sockets that allows you to connect any input to any output with pins. This way, you can create complex modulation routings and patch cables without using patch cables.


XILS 4 gives you not one, but two VCS 3 cores that can be used independently or together. You can choose between three modes: mono (one core), duo (two cores with separate outputs), or stereo (two cores with mixed outputs). You can also link or unlink the parameters of the two cores with a single click.


Having two VCS 3 cores gives you more possibilities and flexibility to create rich and complex sounds. You can use them to create stereo effects, detuned sounds, layered sounds, or even polyphonic sounds (with some limitations). You can also connect them with the pin matrix in various ways, such as parallel, serial, cross-feedback, or split.


The Additional Modules




XILS 4 also adds several modules that are not present in the original VCS 3. These modules are designed to enhance the sound and modulation capabilities of XILS 4. They include:



  • Two envelopes: one ADSR envelope and one trapezoidal envelope. The ADSR envelope can be used to control the amplitude or filter cutoff of the sound. The trapezoidal envelope can be used to create percussive or plucked sounds.



  • Two LFOs: one sine LFO and one ramp LFO. The LFOs can be used to modulate any parameter of XILS 4 with low-frequency oscillations.



  • A sample and hold module: this module generates random voltages that can be used to modulate any parameter of XILS 4 with unpredictable variations.



  • A voltage processor module: this module allows you to modify the incoming voltages from other sources with various functions, such as invert, offset, scale, lag, or mix.



  • A pitch tracker module: this module allows you to track the pitch of an external audio signal and use it to control any parameter of XILS 4.



  • A transient module: this module allows you to shape the attack and decay of the sound with various curves and modes.



  • A gate module: this module allows you to trigger the envelopes or sequencer with an external audio signal or MIDI note.



You can access these modules from the interface by clicking on the tabs at the bottom of the screen. You can also use the pin matrix to connect them with other sources and destinations.


The Poly-Sequencer




XILS 4 also features a poly-sequencer that can be used to create and play polyphonic sequences with up to 16 steps and 6 tracks. The poly-sequencer is inspired by the EMS 256 sequencer, which was an analog sequencer that could be connected to the VCS 3.


The Analog Poly-Sequencer




The analog poly-sequencer is a module that allows you to create and edit sequences with knobs and switches. You can adjust the pitch, duration, gate, and glide of each step, as well as the tempo, direction, loop, and sync of the sequence. You can also transpose, copy, paste, or randomize the sequence.


The analog poly-sequencer has six tracks that can be assigned to different parameters of XILS 4. For example, you can use one track to control the pitch of the oscillators, another track to control the filter cutoff, and another track to control the delay feedback. You can also use different tracks to control different cores or modules.


The analog poly-sequencer has four modes that determine how the sequence is played. They are:



  • Normal mode: the sequence is played in a linear fashion from left to right.



  • Reverse mode: the sequence is played in reverse from right to left.



  • Alternate mode: the sequence is played alternately from left to right and then from right to left.



  • Random mode: the sequence is played randomly with each step having an equal chance of being played.



The Sequencer as a Modulation Source




The sequencer can also be used as a modulation source for any parameter of XILS 4. You can use the pin matrix to assign the sequencer tracks to any modulation destination. For example, you can use the sequencer to modulate the pitch of the oscillators, the filter cutoff, the LFO rate, or the effects parameters.


You can also use the sequencer to create complex rhythmic patterns and melodies with XILS 4. You can use different tracks to create polyrhythms, chords, arpeggios, or counterpoints. You can also use different modes to create variations and changes in the sequence.


The Effects Section




XILS 4 also features an effects section that consists of four effects modules that can be used to enhance and enrich the sound. The effects section includes a chorus, a delay, a phaser, and a spring reverb. Each effect module has its own parameters and modes that can be adjusted and modulated.


The Chorus




The chorus is an effect that creates a thick and rich sound by adding slightly detuned copies of the original sound. The chorus in XILS 4 has three modes that determine how many copies are added and how they are detuned. They are:



  • Single mode: one copy is added with a fixed detune amount.



  • Dual mode: two copies are added with variable detune amounts.



  • Quad mode: four copies are added with variable detune amounts.



The chorus also has a rate parameter that controls how fast the detune amount changes over time. You can also sync the rate to the tempo of your host or sequencer. The chorus also has a depth parameter that controls how much the effect is mixed with the original sound.


The Delay




The delay is an effect that creates echoes of the original sound by delaying it by a certain amount of time. The delay in XILS 4 has three modes that determine how the echoes are repeated and filtered. They are:



  • Normal mode: the echoes are repeated with a fixed feedback amount and no filtering.



  • BBD mode: the echoes are repeated with a variable feedback amount and a low-pass filter that simulates a bucket brigade device (BBD).



  • Tape mode: the echoes are repeated with a variable feedback amount and a high-pass filter that simulates a tape delay.



The delay also has a time parameter that controls how long the delay is before the first echo. You can also sync the time to the tempo of your host or sequencer. The delay also has a mix parameter that controls how much the effect is mixed with the original sound.


The Phaser




The phaser is an effect that creates a sweeping and swirling sound by adding a phase-shifted copy of the original sound. The phaser in XILS 4 has three modes that determine how many stages are used to create the phase shift. They are:



  • 4-stage mode: four stages are used to create a subtle and smooth phase shift.



  • 6-stage mode: six stages are used to create a more pronounced and deep phase shift.



  • 12-stage mode: twelve stages are used to create a very intense and dramatic phase shift.



The phaser also has a rate parameter that controls how fast the phase shift changes over time. You can also sync the rate to the tempo of your host or sequencer. The phaser also has a depth parameter that controls how much the effect is mixed with the original sound.


The Spring Reverb




The spring reverb is an effect that creates a natural and warm sound by simulating the sound of a spring tank. The spring reverb in XILS 4 has three modes that determine how many springs are used to create the reverb. They are:



  • Single mode: one spring is used to create a simple and short reverb.



  • Dual mode: two springs are used to create a richer and longer reverb.



  • Quad mode: four springs are used to create a very dense and spacious reverb.



The spring reverb also has a decay parameter that controls how long the reverb lasts. You can also sync the decay to the tempo of your host or sequencer. The spring reverb also has a mix parameter that controls how much the effect is mixed with the original sound.


Conclusion




XILS-lab XILS 4 v1.5.2 VSTi, AAX x86 x64 is a virtual instrument and effect plugin that emulates a prototype of the EMS VCS4, a modular synthesizer based on two interlinked VCS 3 cores. It also includes a poly-sequencer, a chorus, a delay, a phaser, and a spring reverb.


XILS 4 is a versatile and powerful plugin that can create a wide range of sounds, from vintage analog sounds to modern digital sounds. It has a unique and flexible architecture that allows you to connect and modulate any parameter with the pin matrix. It also has several additional modules and effects that can enhance and enrich the sound.


XILS 4 is compatible with Windows and Mac OS X, and supports VST, AAX, and AU formats. It requires at least 1 GB of RAM and 300 MB of disk space. It also requires an iLok account for authorization.


If you are interested in XILS 4, you can download a free demo version from the official website of XILS-lab. The demo version has some limitations, such as limited presets, limited polyphony, limited modulation targets, and occasional silences. However, it will give you an idea of what XILS 4 can do for you and your music production.


I hope you enjoyed this article and learned something new about XILS 4. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below. I would love to hear from you!


FAQs




Here are some frequently asked questions about XILS 4:



  • What is the difference between XILS 4 and XILS 3?



XILS 3 is another plugin from XILS-lab that emulates the EMS VCS3, which is the predecessor of the EMS VCS4. XILS 3 has only one VCS 3 core, while XILS 4 has two VCS 3 cores that can be interlinked. XILS 3 also has fewer additional modules and effects than XILS 4.


  • How can I get more presets for XILS 4?



XILS 4 comes with over 450 presets that cover various genres and styles. However, if you want more presets, you can purchase additional sound banks from XILS-lab or third-party developers. You can also create your own presets and save them in XILS 4.


  • How can I use XILS 4 with my MIDI keyboard or controller?



XILS 4 supports MIDI input and output, and can be controlled by any MIDI keyboard or controller. You can use the MIDI learn function to assign any parameter of XILS 4 to any MIDI controller. You can also use the MIDI out function to send MIDI data from XILS 4 to other devices or plugins.


  • How can I use XILS 4 with my DAW or host?



XILS 4 can be used as a plugin in any DAW or host that supports VST, AAX, or AU formats. You can insert XILS 4 as an instrument track or an effect track, depending on your needs. You can also use XILS 4 as a standalone application, without any DAW or host.


  • How can I update XILS 4 to the latest version?



XILS-lab regularly releases updates for XILS 4 that fix bugs and add new features. You can check for updates from the interface of XILS 4, or from the official website of XILS-lab. You can also subscribe to the newsletter of XILS-lab to get notified of new updates and offers.



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