I remember when I saw Jean Michel Jarre's famous convert in Houston in the mid 80s where he had that amazing laser harp. I was just blown away by the fantastic sound of that harp. Later on I learned that the sound was generated from a synth by the Italian company ELKA called Synthex.
The Synthex was one of those synths of my dreams. Just like the RFS Kobol and the EMS VCS 3.
Today many of those dreams became real thanks to the invention of software synthesizers.
Thanks to XILS-Lab I now have an amazing emulation of both the kobol and the VCS 3 in PolyKB II and XILS 3.
And now - also the Synthex.
Yes, it's true. XILS-Lab already had the Syn'X. And even though it's an emu of the original hardware it's so full of additional features so it got a bit to far form the original - IMO.
Although the miniSyn'X also has added features it's much more true to the original.
The sound of the miniSyn'X is absolutely amazing. And I think the miniSyn'X, just as the original, is very unique sounding.
One don't have to be a sound designer or a synth expert to use it. There are, of course, all the great factory presets. But on top of that - it's ridiculously easy to create one's own sounds with miniSyn'X.
XILS-Lab added an awesome feature called Smart Load. It's a little of AI that helps creating patches. The only eventual drawback of this function would be that it's very addictive. I always wonder what other cool sound will there be if I hit the button once more.
Additional to that there's also a more classic randomizer.
I found miniSyn'X pretty soft on the CPU, It loads fast too.
However some presets (pads) can be fairly heavy on the CPU when played on the higher end in double mode.
Worth mentioning here is that the miniSyn'X has 3 modes. Single, Double and split.
There are also some nice hotkeys that makes it easier to mannage the synth.
Something that I appreciate a lot since I don't really like to work with the mouse.
I'm not the tech guy. I approach and use synthesizers from an instrumentalist's and a musician's point of view.
So, for me the ammount of oscilators and LOF's is of less interest then how it sounds.
And it do really sounds lovely and unique. Especially the basses and leads.
And of course...Yes among the presets there is THAT Laser Harp Sound .Read Review
I've been keeping an eye on this synth for a long time before I finally decided to buy it. Now I only regret I waited this long.
PolyKB II is an emulation of the Kobol synthesizer from the French company RSF. The original hardware synth is very rare. Only around 200 where ever made. But thanks to XILS-Lab this emulation is now available for everyone.
An example of the use of Kobol in synth-pop music of the 80s can be found in Yazoo's song "Only You" where this synth can be heard in the intro of the song.
PolyKB II (player) has a very warm, round and soft sound. It could be compared to the Minimoog, on witch the original hardware synth is inspired by, but with more features.
The player is a cut down version of PolyKB II. But it's still very powerful. Although it don't provide any real in-depth functions it has just enough functions for my needs.
The presets includes leads, basses, pads, sequenzed stuff, FX and much more. And there are more presets available. The PolyKB II player can play all presets of the full version of the synth.
The settings panel is also very good. Here you can, among many other things, find a very nice and easy to use section for assigning your MIDI controller to varous functions.
But the best thing with PolyKB II Player is the sounds! They are very alive. When I play on it I really feel that I'm dealing with a real instrument. I'm really getting personal with this wonderful synth. This is a top favorite in my collection.Read Review
LX122 Premium – "THE" ITB Leslie Emulator
Many software developers have produced Leslie cabinet emulators for admission to the rotator roster: Amplitude's "Rotary 147", Native Instruments' B4 & Vintage Organs built-in Leslie sim, Guitar Rig's "Rotator", and "Spinner(LE)" from fxPointAudio are all worthy of mention. Most Leslie aficionados will nod in unanimous agreement that GSI's VB3fx has been "the bar" by which all other software Leslie clones must be compared with.
Xils Lab's new LX122 and LX122 Premium VSTs are, in this reviewer's opinion, the finest ITB virtual Leslie cabinet emulator(s) available to date. When I was first informed that this new heavy weight prospect was poised to enter the Leslie cabinet championship ring, I was dubious. As an ardent and faithful admirer of GSI's VB3, I was intrigued, whilst skeptical, that any product could possibly sound as good; let alone sound better. VB3's proven TKO record breaking run, due largely in part to it's built-in Leslie cabinet simulator, has struck a chord of wariness in any would-be contender.
Weighing in at the MSRP of 69€/$88USD, this upstart contender for the Leslie emu championship belt is available for a small introductory price of 45€/$58 USD. LX122 Premium is only available until December 5th, 2012, at this incredible welter weight price.
Stick n' stay. It will be exhilarating to see just how well this new entry into the illustrious championship VST ring fairs off. If you're a serious Leslie aficionado, you won't touch your browser's "back" button until you've carefully read this concise, 12 round review in its entirety.
My review exceeds the allowable word count, here on KVR. So I started a blog dedicated to this purpose.
Read the full review here: Reviewer's Revival - LX122 Premium Review
(Please right click and choose "open in new window" or "new tab" so you don't accidently leave the KVR web site.)Read Review
My review lacks specific details, but I must assert that to my ears: XILS-Labs' Synthix and U-HE's DIVA are the finest software-based analog emulations to date. This is not to argue with there being many other analog e-mu's on the market that meet aspects of a Gold Standard, but as of late 2011/early 2012, I have not heard any soft synth that come closer to truly emulating an analog synthesizer. And to me, That's what it's really all about: The SOUND. Yes, admittedly, there are issues with Synthix that make it's present incarnation less then perfect; primarily a somewhat sluggish GUI running in some environments (keep in mind that I'm evaluating a 1.0 release) to not-so-positive comments regarding the front panel-whilst the first issue will probably soon be resolved (XILS-Labs is deadly-serious about all aspects of their work-I know this from being a license holder of both their XILS 3 Full as well as their brilliant Polykb), the second concern may be regarded as one of personal taste-the front panel/layout/etc. poses no obstacle to me getting work done.Read Review