Xils Lab KaoX is an FM Synthesizer plugin that is inspired by the Yamaha GS-1 but upgraded with an organic twist in terms of sound and features
The FM synthesizer renaissance is in full swing. Whether hardware (opsix, MEGAfm, preenFM3…) or software (Reason Studios Algoritm…), FM synths are sprouting up. The joy of twisting sine and other waveforms with FM algorithms is great again. Facinating. Recently there was no getting around wavetable synths, now FM is the must-have.
Xils Lab from France also announced a new FM Synthesizer today. KaoX inspires heavily on the Yamaha GS-1, but develops the core idea further in many places.
Xils Lab KaoX
The KaoX architecture features two independent layers, each with an FM oscillator with up to 8 operators. These are divided on each layer in two banks that can be played in single, double, or split mode. On the left side of the almost majestic-looking interface is an FM matrix in which you can set the operators individually and design custom algorithms. Each operator also comes with one LFO, envelope, a lowpass filter, and other parameters.
They joined by two analog-style oscillators and two chaotic oscillators that give the synth its name. According to Xavier Oudin (Xils Lab), these unique oscillators are capable of generating very organic timbres. Plus, you get on every layer two zero-delay analog modeling filters, 4 D-ADSR envelopes, and 4 outputs (VCAs). Besides classic FM synthesis via the algorithms, KaoX also features cross-modulation, available in the matrix.
There is also a special kick in the modulation section. In addition to simple LFOs, envelopes, the synth also hosts two chaotic modulators for more organic modulations. Further, you a 4-track sequencer, two independent arpeggiator units, and four assignable effects to round off the sounds. The plugin ships with over 500+ factory presets from well-known sound designers like Nori Ubukata, Soundsdivine, Zensound, and others.
There are many FM synth plugins out there. Often these are based on the legendary Yamaha DX-7. KaoX, however, has interesting features that freshen up the FM topic, especially through the VA and chaotic oscillators and modulator options.
Xils Lab KaoX is available now for an introductory price of 99€ (regular 179€) until May 15, 2021. It runs as a VST, AU & AAX plugin on macOS & Windows and requires an iLok account for registration (Hardware Key or software).
More information here: Xils Lab