Air Music Technology originally created Xpand! as part of the Creative Collection of instrument plug-ins included as part of Avid Pro Tools. With the release of Pro Tools 8, this widely popular workstation was given new controls, improved features, an additional Gigabyte of sounds, and a new name: XPand!2. As the popularity of Pro Tools grew, more and more musicians and producers came to rely on the incredible sonic firepower of this amazing workstation. XPand!2 continued to evolve, and demand grew. Finally, XPand!2 is now available on its own, available to anyone who hungers for the finest sounds—instantly.
Four on the Floor
XPand!2 is a multitimbral workstation offering four active sound slots, or parts, per patch. Each part is provided with its own MIDI channel, Note Range (Zone), Mix, Arpeggiation, Modulation, and Effects settings—an excellent method for creating individual parts. Harnessing the four parts together to build one amazing Patch is where XPand!2 reveals its true power. The Voice Mode for each part can be set to polyphonic or monophonic. Polyphonic parts can have up to 64 voices; monophonic parts offer First, Last, Highest, or Lowest priority making it easy to designate a bass, lead, or solo instrument.
Using everything from wavetables and FM synthesis to sample playback, the expert sound design team at Air Music Tech has carefully created thousands of ready-to-play XPand!2 patches. Creating your own is easy, too. Parts can be quickly browsed and are conveniently sorted into 29 categories, offering a simple path to find just what you're looking for.
Smart Knobs and Easy Edits
Six smart knobs are provided for custom-tweaking your XPand!2 sounds. Each knob changes function depending on the part selected, offering hands-on control of the most critical sound elements. Select the Easy mode, and all six knobs now control all four of the common parts in a patch simultaneously for quickly performing those crucial edits. And of course, all of your edits can be saved for instant recall.
Express yourself with powerful performance features. Pitch Bend wheel and Aftertouch (pressure) modulation assignments can be made independently for each part. Modulation rates can be tempo sync'd or free-wheeling. Numerous modulation destinations are provided, and the WAVE destination parameters are different from part to part, providing unique XPand!2 sound-shaping capabilities.
Keep things moving with advanced arpeggiation. Simply set the Rate—including dotted and triplet values—and then select the Mode. Using the Latch switch allows the arpeggiator to continue to play, even when your hands leave the keyboard. Each XPand!2 part is provided with its own arpeggiator. Many parts such as Action Pads and Loops will automatically activate the Arpeggiator, as it forms an integral part of the sound.
Dynamic Effects Duo
XPand!2 includes two independent effect processors with fifty studio-grade effects, ranging from rich reverbs to the mind-bending Chaos Delay. When selecting a new effect type, XPand!2 will instantly change the edit knob functions to provide accurate control of every effect. The output of FX1 can be fed into the input of FX2 to create advanced "cascade-style" effects.
There seems to be an issue with Mixcraft 9, Windows 10 and Xpand2
The plugin will not receive and MIDI from either the keyboard or MIDI file play back
I have tried everything.
Any suggestions would be very welcome.
Update ....problem found and fixed....Lanes.Read Review
As with AIR's other synths, don't let the low price fool you. This is a powerhouse.
It's a virtual ROMpler, a "workstation," great for sketching out ideas.
The thing is, the sounds (over 2000 presets) are so good that I often start out "sketching" with Xpand!2 and end up using it in the final mix.
Great basses, pads, polysynths, leads. Some very usable drum machines. Excellent arpeggiator.
It's not without a few (slight, IMO) weaknesses. The orchestral sounds are not something I'd ever use in a final production, but that's to be expected. Orchestral samples take up a huge amount of space. Still, they are sometimes usable when layered with synth sounds.
The GUI is not resizable, so if you're on a 4K monitor, it'll look pretty small. Not a big issue because it's a ROMpler, you use the presets.
The underlying code hasn't been updated in many years, but this actually works in its favor: it's very resource-friendly.
A smashing deal whenever it drops below $10. I think my licenses (I have multiple for my various DAW systems) were purchased for $5. Whatever, it's worth many times that.Read Review
Xpand 2 is pretty insane for what it is. I can make big and intricate sounds very quickly, and I appreciate the selection of onboard effects (although I would really like to have more than just two slots for them.) I am kicking myself for not getting Xpand sooner, because there was a time when I was very heavy into the slightly more cheesy, Ocarina-of-Time-esque sounds, of which Xpand has PLENTY.
A valid issue is that there are very little options for shaping the sounds individually, or for shaping the overall sound. And admittedly, given how I eluded to Xpand having a lot of voices fit for a SNES (or N64), it does not easily have a strong sound. It remains an inspiring tool to use. I do recommend it, because it will get you very far.Read Review
Recent xpand2 update (Xpand!2_18.104.22.16800) is broken.
After installation, no sound is coming out in Reaper, Waveform11 and Ableton Live...
Just like the other recent update attemps: DB-33_22.214.171.12400, MiniGrand_126.96.36.19900 and Velvet_188.8.131.5200.
I have been using Air Music plugins for a long time but lately all updates have issues...
UPDATE: After uninstalling and clearing windows registry, re-installed and the plugin now makes sound !Read Review
An impressive plugin - especially for the price.
The designers have done a good job providing loads of "stock" sounds, playable instruments & rhythm loops - the ability to combine up to 4 parts - each with level, 2 sends to built in FX with control, Arpeggiator and Filter.
Obviously a tad out of date, but nevertheless certain to find plenty of use.Read Review