XILS Announces KaoX, The Love Child Of FM + Analog Synthesis

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XILS-lab has introduced KaoX, a new virtual instrument that they say is inspired by “a legendary FM (Frequency Modulation) synthesizer”, but augmented with virtual analogue sound synthesis and additional chaotic algorithms in a two-layer architecture.

It’s like the wild love child of FM synthesis and analog subtractive synthesis.


    • Two layers, Four effects, Easy to tweak
      • The layers can be played Single, Double or Split
      • Two independent Arpeggiators, Playing mode or Unison
      • Easy access to Vibrato or Tremolo
      • Four effects with independent routing
    • All main parameters at a glance
      • One Advanced Panel for tweaking the various modules
      • FM Algorithm Matrix, always available when needed
      • Contextual help windows
      • Global view with active modules illuminated
    • FM Synthesis
      • 8 operators
      • 2 outputs
      • The 8 operators are grouped in 2 banks with independent pitch. This typical architecture is useful for creating chorus like FM sounds or punchy stereo presets.
      • Each operator features:
        • One LFO
        • One envelope
        • Wheel and After touch access
        • Two user define external modulators (to be assign to any KaoX modulation sources)
        • Keyboard follower 2D pad
        • Ratio or absolute frequency
        • Low pass filter
  • Analog Synthesis – two layers, each with:
    • 2 continuous waveform analog oscillators
    • 2 zero-delay like analog filters
    • 4 envelopes D-ADSR
    • 4 outputs VCA
  • Chaotic Algorithms
    • 2 chaotic oscillators and 2 chaotic modulators
  • 4 tracks sequencer
    • Each track can be assigned to the lower and/or upper layer
    • Each track can have independent sustain/gating
    • Each track can be used as a source of modulation
  • Preset Manager
    • Single Window integrated Preset Manager: Find the right patch in seconds, manage presets, soundbanks and create your own tags.
    • More than 500 presets created by Nori Ubukata, Soundsdivine, Tom Wolfe, Zensound, Mikael Adle, Xenos, Status, Yuli-Yolo and others….

Pricing and Availability:

KaoX is available now with an intro price of 99,00 €. Note that iLok (iLok1,2,3 and Soft) is required.

Polyend Medusa Updated With New 6-Voice FM Synth Engine….And Discontinued

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Polyend has announced the discontinuation of the Medusa Hybrid Synth, but has also released a major firmware update for it that adds a 6-voice FM synth engine.

The company says that “Medusa has played a very special role in Polyend growth and maturing, and its maintenance and technical support will be continued.”

Here’s what’s new in Medusa v4.0 firmware:

  • Added a 6-voice 3-operator digital FM synth engine,
  • Reworked pitch bend and glide,
  • Better “Channel per Voice” mode,
  • Added MIDI Program Change,
  • LFO Synchronization with MIDI Clock,
  • Additional bug fixes.

Audio Demos:

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The update is available now via the Polyend site.

Reason Studios Intros Algoritm, A Modern Take On FM Synthesis

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Reason Studios has introduced Algoritm, a hybrid FM synthesizer Rack Extension that’s designed to be powerful and fun to use.

Here’s what they have to say about it:

“With nine operator slots that you can connect any way you want, Algoritm takes FM synthesis to a new level.

Classic FM operators are at the heart of Algoritm, but each slot can also house a wavetable oscillator, shaper, or filter for a wealth of both familiar and new sounds. This is an instrument designed to make it fun and easy to explore the world of FM, a type of synthesis known for being unapproachable and obtuse for anyone but the most invested.

Algoritm comes stacked with modulation capabilities and sound-shaping effects to finish your sounds. With the three built-in LFOs and two flexible Curves, you can add complex movement far beyond the classic envelopes of FM. The effects include key ingredients to sound great, like reverb and delay, but also a unique unison section for a thicker sound and a resonator with loads of character.

If you don’t want to dive head first into the depths of frequency modulation, you can still reach the deepest levels of sound complexity by rolling the dice with the Randomizer. Just drag it to morph the chosen synth parameters into an endless source of new sounds. Or use any of the over 250 expertly crafted patches for a taste of the incredible sounds you can make with Algoritm.”


  • Nine operator slots each configurable as an FM operator, wavetable oscillator, multi-mode filter, or shaper
  • Freely connect the operator slots to create your algorithms
  • Create both classic FM sounds and brand new hybrid tones
  • Randomizer function to morph any patch into new sounds
  • Expansive set of modulation sources and effects
  • Over 250 patches

Audio Demos:

Pricing and Availability

Algoritm is available now for $99 USD.

Sonicware Intros Liven XFM, A $200 Multi-Timbral FM Groovebox

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Sonicware has introduced the Liven XFM, a new multi-track FM synth & groovebox.

The Liven XFM is a battery-powered groovebox that offers 4 FM synth engines, a 4-track sequencer and effects.

It comes with over 300 presets, for leads, keyboards, strings, winds, basses, pads, chords, drums, and sound effects. And it offers 16 physical control knobs, parameter locking for each sequencer step, a looper, and SYNC IN/OUT and MIDI IN/OUT connectors to make synchronized performance with other equipment easy.



  • 15 physical control knobs
  • Optional LATCH function prevents jumps in value when knob position and parameter values do not match.
  • LCD dot indicates when a parameter value matches the saved value, or when the value has been changed.
  • One physical encoder.

Audio output

  • Stereo line out (stereo 3.5mm mini jack)
  • Headphone out (stereo 3.5mm mini jack)
  • Compatible with Teenage Engineering Pocket Operator2 Series SYNC OUT
  • Speaker

Audio in

  • LINE IN (stereo 3.5mm mini-jack)
  • ‘Compatible with Teenage Engineering Pocket Operator 2 Series SYNC IN


  • MIDI IN connector (5-Pin DIN type)
  • MIDI OUT connector (5-Pin DIN type)
  • SYNC IN jack (monaural 3.5mm mini jack)
  • SYNC OUT jack (monaural 3.5mm mini jack)

Synth Engine

  • Four FM synth engines, X-LAB, XFORM, X-LFO, and LIBRARY
  • 6-note polyphonic
  • Voice mode
  • 6-note polyphonic mode
  • Mono mode
  • Legato mode with adjustable glide time
  • Arpeggiator modes (Up, Down, UpDown, DownUp, Up&Down, Down&Up, Up+1, Up+2, Down-1, Down-2, Random, Play Order)


  • Low Pass
  • High Pass
  • Band Pass
  • Each track has its own filter envelope.


  • Chorus
  • Flanger
  • Send Delay
  • Insert Delay
  • Bit Crusher
  • Reverb
  • Distortion
  • Low Pass
  • High Pass
  • Isolator


  • Each track has one LFO which can affect both pitch and filter cutoff.
  • Adjustable LFO Shapes.
  • Adjustable start time delay for each LFO.

Sound memory

  • 512 FM sound memory slots (16 x 32 banks)


  • 4 tracks
  • Up to 64 steps per pattern
  • 128 patterns
  • Step length can be set from 1/1 to 1/32
  • Enter longer notes (Tie)
  • Track level and pan can be set independently
  • FX send amount can be set independently for each track
  • Pattern BPM / Global BPM can be set
  • Step copy and paste function
  • Track copy and paste function
  • Transpose function
  • Real-time recording
  • Directly enter notes for each step when sequencer is on or off
  • Parameter lock function
  • Random playback function (Playback step size can be set)
  • Stutter function
  • Note Trigger probability can be set between 25% and 100%
  • Pattern chain function
  • Metronome and pre-count function
  • Swing function


  • Notes, control changes, clock input/output
  • IMPORT/EXPORT of user data
  • Firmware update via Sysex

Pricing and Availability

The Sonicware LIVEN XFM is available now for pre-order for about $200.

Korg OPSIX Review

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In his latest Sonic Lab video, host Nick Batt takes an in-depth look at the Korg Opsix, a new keyboard that they call an “altered” six-operator FM synthesizer, because its sound engine goes far beyond traditional FM synth capabilities.

Topics covered:

00:00 Overview
07:15 Sounds demo 1
14:45 Synth engines
16:38 Filter
18:20 Envelopes and LFOS
20:25 More sounds
23:20 FX
28:05 Bass patch
30:35: DX7 patches
33:48 Sequencer
35:35 More Sounds
39:50 Summary

Check it out and let us know what you think of the Korg Opsix!

FM Synthesis With Python

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FMSynth.py is a module which implements basic real-time polyphonic FM synthesis in Python.

Python is one of the most popular programming languages currently used, but is most commonly used for data analytics and web applications, not audio.

FMSynth.py has the following features:

  • Controllable by MIDI. Note that this is very CPU-intensive;
  • Configurable polyphony;
  • AD envelope (no sustain yet); and
  • Dispatches MIDI IN events like NOTE_ON and NOTE_OFF events to the synthesizer.

You can preview an example of how FMSynth.py sounds above.

FMSynth.py is available via Github.

New Plugin, ‘Node’, Puts An FM Synthesizer Into The Korg Prologue, Minilogue XD & NTS-1

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Sinevibes has introduced Node – a four-operator FM synthesis engine for the Korg Prologue, Minilogue XD and NTS-1 synthesizers.

Node features four sine oscillators (operators), which are connected together via multiple different algorithms that let them apply frequency modulation onto one another. The plugin packages a total of 24 FM algorithms and lets you set operator frequency ratios within an extremely wide range, delivering nearly 90,000 possible combinations – and opening a huge range of both classic and modern timbres.

Node’s engine runs 2x oversampled and employs a filter to suppress unpleasant aliasing frequencies, enabling a cleaner sound even in the higher octave range.

Node also offers a flexible modulation generator that can be configured in a number of ways: exponential or linear envelopes, multi-waveform LFO, sample & hold, or random triangle.


  • Genuine four-operator FM synthesis engine
  • Internally runs at 96 kHz sample rate with an anti-aliasing filter, delivering superior audio quality even in the higher octave key range
  • 24 total FM algorithms: 12 base configurations plus two variations each – with and without self-modulating feedback
  • Individual frequency ratio selection for operators 2, 3, and 4, plus variable operator detune
  • Flexible modulation generator with 24 modes: exponential envelopes, linear envelopes, multi-waveform LFO (triangle, saw, square, pulse, trapezoid, peak), sample & hold, and random triangle
  • Built-in lag filters for noise-free, ultra-smooth parameter adjustment and modulation


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Pricing and Availability:

Node is available now for $39.

Korg Opsix Synthesizer In-Depth Review

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In his latest loopop video, host Ziv Eliraz takes an in-depth look at the new Korg Opsix keyboard synthesizer.

While the Opsix has a six-operator FM sound structure like classic FM synthesizers, it goes much further, featuring new operator modes, 11 filter options, 30 effects, a polyphonic step sequencer and more.

The video starts with an overview of the Opsix, and then digs into the details of the synth engine, effects, performance options and more.

Topics covered:

0:00 Intro

0:50 Overview

4:55 Randomization

5:30 Connectivity

5:50 Operator basics

9:05 Algorithms

12:10 OP envelopes

13:30 OP params

14:50 Ring mod

16:05 Filter mode

17:50 Filter FM mode

18:25 Wave folder

19:20 Voice filter

20:30 Effects

23:00 Arp, sequencer


25:55 Bi-timbral split

28:25 Tri-timbral seq

28:55 Velocity mod

29:30 More arps?

30:30 LFO key sync

30:50 Massive chords

31:20 Chord trigs

31:40 Seq to arp

32:00 Fake hard sync

32:30 Cutoff knob

34:40 Pros & cons

37:25 All 250 Presets

Check out the video and share your thoughts on the Korg Opsix!

Korg Opsix Altered FM Synthesizer ‘Reimagines’ FM Synthesis

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Korg today officially introduced the Opsix, described as an ‘expansive reimagination of classic digital synthesis’.

The Korg Opsix is described as an “altered” six-operator FM synthesizer, because the keyboard’s sound engine goes far beyond traditional FM synth capabilities.

Although the instrument has a six-operator FM sound structure like classic FM synthesizers, the Opsix goes further, featuring new operator modes, 11 filter options, 30 effects, a polyphonic step sequencer and more.

The Opsix was originally previewed at this year’s NAMM Show. At that point, the prototype that they showed was more of a flagship keyboard design:

The Opsix that they are introducing, though, is closer in design to the recently introduced Wavestate. And that’s how they are positioning the new synth:

“Much like Korg did when bringing wave sequencing back in a more powerful, more musical, and more immediately accessible way with wavestate, so was the approach to FM sound generation of the opsix, resulting in another incredibly flexible and unique synth.”


  • True six-operator FM synthesis
  • Full editing with the DATA ENTRY knobs
  • Five operator modes that expand FM synthesis
  • 40 preset algorithms and user algorithms
  • Three EGs, three LFOs and 12 virtual patches offer an extensive range of modulation
  • Eleven powerful filters, including MS-20 and Polysix
  • Three series of 30 types of high-definition effects
  • Visual editing with a spectrum analyzer and oscilloscope
  • 16-step polyphonic sequencer
  • Add unpredictability to sounds with the Randomize feature
  • Favorite and smooth sound transition (SST) functions
  • Compact design featuring a 37-key keyboard

Korg Opsix Audio Demos:

Pricing and Availability

The Korg Opsix is expected to ship in December, priced at £699/€799. See the Korg site for more info.