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XILS-lab releases XILS 201 vocoder and vintage multi-effect plug-in
Old 1 week ago
  #1
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XILS-lab releases XILS 201 vocoder and vintage multi-effect plug-in

XILS-lab releases XILS 201 vocoder and vintage multi-effect plug-in-unnamed-2020-07-02t131336.387.jpg
XILS-lab releases XILS 201 vocoder and vintage multi-effect plug-in

XILS-lab turns to Seventies-vintage sensation as iconic inspiration for XILS 201 vocoder and vintage multi-effect plug-in par excellence

GRENOBLE, FRANCE: virtual instrument- and effect plug-in-specialising software company XILS-lab is proud to announce availability of XILS 201 — following in the virtual (instrument) footsteps of its XILS 505 paraphonic string machine exacting emulation (earlier this year) as another ‘numeric namesake’ plug-in par excellence, this time inspired by a certain headphone- and microphone-manufacturing German giant’s sensational Seventies-vintage VSM 201 Vocoder, an ultra-rare (and ultra-pricey) sound effect device designed to take the human voice into the electronic sound world, widely appropriated by German techno-pop trailblazers Kraftwerk (throughout The Man Machine album in 1978, including its classic cut ‘The Robots’) and also (some say) voicing the Cylon robot race in that same year’s Battlestar Galactica TV series amongst other notable users and uses of the time, including influential American jazz keyboardist Herbie Hancock, before being given a new lease of life by French electronic music duo Daft Punk (on 2013’s chart-topping Random Access Memories long-player, playfully rebooting late-Seventies and early-Eighties American music), and now realistically rebooted itself in software (at a much more realistic price) by its fellow French creators — as of July 2…

An appreciation of its iconic inspiration is virtually vital to truly appreciating the excellence of XILS 201, XILS-lab’s vocoder and vintage multi-effect plug-in par excellence, so stepping, briefly, back in time is inevitably of historical help. Let lessons begin: Vocoder — a portmanteau of voice and encoder — is a category of voice codec that analyses and synthesizes the human voice signal, invented in 1938 as a means of synthesizing human speech by Bell Labs’ Homer Dudley, whose work was developed into the channel vocoder for telecommunication transmission purposes, permitting speech transmission with very low bandwidth that results in somewhat distorted yet intelligible speech. Subsequently applied to musical signals, the results sound more or less like robotic speech or singing — think Teutonic techno-pop trailblazers Kraftwerk’s 1978 classic cut ‘The Robots’ (from The Man Machine album) and ‘Autobahn’ (a surprise international hit as a radio edit of the title track from the 1974 album).

And following the burgeoning breakthrough of electronic instruments, a certain headphone- and microphone-manufacturing German giant sought to take the human voice into that wonderful world of electronic sound with its VSM 201 Vocoder in 1978. Bolstered by several SPEECH AND SIGNAL INPUTS and REPLACEMENT SOUND INPUTS intelligibly indicated on its 470 x 260 mm front panel, this hopeful machine made musical sense in vocoder terminology, taking a carrier sound — synth waveform or any other sound containing sufficient harmonics — and articulating that sound with the human voice, much in the same way as a mouth articulates the sound coming from vocal cords, by detecting frequencies in the voice section and opening the corresponding frequencies in the carrier section. Since the VSM 201 Vocoder featured 20 frequency bands spanning a 100 Hz to 8000 Hz spectral range — remembering the more bands used, the better the resulting effect — it sounded sensational. Indeed, its creator succeeded in taking one of the original 12 units to Kraftwerk’s Kling-Klang studio in Düsseldorf — despite commanding a five-figure price tag — in time to make an appearance throughout The Man Machine album, but barely made it into double-digit sales figure territory thereafter. The sensational-sounding VSM 201 Vocoder was destined to remain ultra-rare and ultra-pricey, as evidenced when Kraftwerk’s musically-modified example — custom-controllable by an external Telefunken 16-band MIDI-to-CV/gate unit for live performance purposes — showed up on an UK online auction site with a starting price of £8,214.00 GPB (plus 21% VAT for European Community-residing bidders) almost 40 years later! Little wonder, then, that XILS-lab set its inventive software sights on accomplishing an exacting emulation since the Seventies-vintage VSM 201 Vocoder still sounds sensational today, thanks to its unsurpassed intelligibility, while the few surviving examples clearly command sky-high prices.

Put it this way: with the much more realistically priced XILS 201 vocoder and vintage multi-effect plug-in, anyone can effectively buy in to the ‘missing link’ between the likes of Kraftwerk and its vocoder-voiced Cylon contemporaries in the original Battlestar Galactica TV series and, appropriately, French electronic music duo Daft Punk. Putting XILS 201 into its rightful context in its user manual, XILS-lab extols its virtual virtues as follows: “XILS 201 is a virtual effect based on the architecture of one of the coolest vintage vocoders out there. One of the best vocoders ever created, XILS 201 can take you back in time to when sound was so important for the great artists who started the electronic music revolution, such as Kraftwerk, Herbie Hancock, and others.”

On the face of it, XILS 201 looks the part, paying homage to the sensational Seventies-vintage VSM 201 Vocoder’s distinctive appearance — all the way through to replicating its tolex-covered casing and convenient carry handle, albeit only onscreen courtesy of a photo-realistic GUI (Graphical User Interface)! It also accomplishes XILS-lab’s stated goal of being true to the original in sound and adding features that were just not previously possible. Fanciful features worth highlighting include its two (VARIABLE CHANNEL EMPHASIS and SPEECH ADDITION/MULTIFILTER) filter banks, each offering 20 frequency bands and capable of processing the incoming signal — voice or any other signal, such as drums — or carrier signal; the inbuilt (modelled) analogue SYNTH can be used as a carrier, immediately imparting XILS 201 with its characteristic (and readily recognisable) sound — as can any other incoming signal, such as an external synthesizer or another voice; the exotic-sounding SILENCE BRIDGING section hosts a multi-band frequency-dependent envelope follower engine that shapes the signal gain according to its harmonic content — very useful for processing percussive or rhythmic sonic material, or adding a contour to the sound. Saying that, ‘internal circuitry’ parameters that were not available on the original hardware unit have been effectively exposed, making it more versatile and powerful, with several vintage analogue-modelled effects — CHORUS, DELAY, and PHASER — and an early ‘digital’ REVERB also added with custom-configurable routing and order options.

One relatively straightforward scenario when working with a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) would be to record a voice — not necessarily singing, then choose the XILS 201’s inbuilt SYNTH as the carrier and send MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) notes to that carrier to make the voice ‘sing’ those notes — or chords (since the synth engine itself is polyphonic)... et voilà! It is also perfectly possible to use XILS 201 more simply — as a filter bank/chorus/delay/phaser/reverb multi-effect plug- in. Try it on a Rhodes, Clavinet, or string machine patch to rediscover those once-coveted organic sounds that required a long chain of vintage effects.

Sensational-sounding in its own right, XILS 201 is inherently musical — without necessarily needing to sound like a robot, though that, of course, can sound equally enticing, as ably demonstrated by Kraftwerk over 40 years ago during the burgeoning breakthrough of electronic instruments... back when men were machines!


XILS 201 is available to purchase as a USB eLicenser or iLok (1, 2, and 3 dongle hardware or software) protected plug-in at an introductory promo price of €89.00 EUR until July 31, 2020 — rising thereafter to an MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) of €149.00 EUR — from XILS-lab here: https://www.xils-lab.com/products/xi...der-p-165.html

XILS 201 is also available as part of the Analog Vocoders bundle together with XILS 5000 (as exacting emulations of two of the finest vocoders ever created, available as a single license) at an introductory promo price of €119.00 EUR until July 31, 2020 — rising thereafter to an MSRP of €199.00 EUR — from XILS-lab here: https://www.xils-lab.com/products/an...dle-p-166.html

Note that owners of XILS 5000 can upgrade to the Analog String Machines bundle at an introductory promo price of €39.00 EUR until July 31, 2020 — rising thereafter to an MSRP of €59.00 EUR — from XILS-lab here: https://www.xils-lab.com/products/an...ade-p-167.html

XILS 201 can be directly downloaded as a multi-format AAX, AU, and VST (Mac OS X 10.8 and later) and AAX and VST (Windows 7, 9, and 10) plug-in from here: https://www.xils-lab.com/products/xi.../download.html

Watch XILS-lab sound designer Le Lotus Bleu paying tribute to Daft Punk in this XILS 201-focused tutorial video: https://youtu.be/I9modOKZdRM
Attached Thumbnails
XILS-lab releases XILS 201 vocoder and vintage multi-effect plug-in-unnamed-2020-07-02t131336.387.jpg  
Old 1 week ago
  #2
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Aziak's Avatar
XILS 201 Vocoder (Sennheiser VSM 201 emulation)

Have been demoing this one today and i love it to bits!
Emulation of the Sennheiser VSM 201....enough said!

https://www.xils-lab.com/products/xi...er-p-165.html#

XILS-lab releases XILS 201 vocoder and vintage multi-effect plug-in-xils-201-61.png

Cheers!
Attached Thumbnails
XILS-lab releases XILS 201 vocoder and vintage multi-effect plug-in-xils-201-61.png  
Old 1 week ago
  #3
Gear Maniac
 

ah damn you! Had to get it. Love the sound on Neil Young's Trans (as is obvious from my signature
Old 1 week ago
  #4
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baslotto's Avatar
Amazing pricing if you already own the 5000! I need to get it too. We need more sound demos by XILS

Last edited by baslotto; 1 week ago at 06:10 AM..
Old 1 week ago
  #5
Gear Maniac
 

Can't find the installer for the full version though, only the demo. I've written to support, hope they fix it soon.
Old 1 week ago
  #6
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Aziak's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy Pilgrim View Post
Can't find the installer for the full version though, only the demo. I've written to support, hope they fix it soon.
From the product page, click the Download icon (pointed with the arrow).
It is located on top of that page. The download USB e-lisencer and download iLok links.

XILS-lab releases XILS 201 vocoder and vintage multi-effect plug-in-screenshot-2020-06-28-07.48.58.jpg

Cheers!
Attached Thumbnails
XILS-lab releases XILS 201 vocoder and vintage multi-effect plug-in-screenshot-2020-06-28-07.48.58.jpg  
Old 1 week ago
  #7
Lives for gear
 

Unfortunately, there’s no side chain option in Tracktion Waveform 12 for the 201, making it impossible to use your own signal.
Old 1 week ago
  #8
Gear Head
 

MBP late 2013
OS 10.9.5
Bitwig 3.0.3

Demoed it on Bitwig. First the vst - for a short time it worked, but then crashed Bitwig, and crashed it everytime I tried to reload it,
Then tried the vst3. That worked better, but: after a few switches between presets the sound went off, and I had to reload the plugin everytime to get the sound back again. And also huge CPU spikes from time to time.
And:
while with the vst3 I could hear what each preset is supposed to sound, none of the knobs (volumes, effects, filterbanks etc) where working. (MIDI IN was working, EXT SYNTH IN not).
Is this a bug or on purpose?
If it is the latter than it would be unuseful for me as a demo.

And could you please clearify whether authorization with iLok manager only is possible or not?
I looked up the manual but it does not make this clear for me.
Old 1 week ago
  #9
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dwuw View Post

And could you please clearify whether authorization with iLok manager only is possible or not?
I looked up the manual but it does not make this clear for me.
Its right there at the top of the product page just above the Buy button:


iLok (iLok1,2,3 and Soft)
USB-eLicenser
Old 1 week ago
  #10
Gear Maniac
 

If you already own some Xils products check your Customer Area as a discount coupon was deposited when this was released. I have a 5% coupon
Old 1 week ago
  #11
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Aziak's Avatar
Works fine as AU in latest Logic Pro X 10.5.1 on Mojave MacOs 10.14.6 here...
Someone else with Bitwig Studio can confirm the issues? Might help the developer to fix the problems...
Yes, it can be authorised by iLok without the need of an iLok key.


Quote:
Originally Posted by dwuw View Post
MBP late 2013
OS 10.9.5
Bitwig 3.0.3

Demoed it on Bitwig. First the vst - for a short time it worked, but then crashed Bitwig, and crashed it everytime I tried to reload it,
Then tried the vst3. That worked better, but: after a few switches between presets the sound went off, and I had to reload the plugin everytime to get the sound back again. And also huge CPU spikes from time to time.
And:
while with the vst3 I could hear what each preset is supposed to sound, none of the knobs (volumes, effects, filterbanks etc) where working. (MIDI IN was working, EXT SYNTH IN not).
Is this a bug or on purpose?
If it is the latter than it would be unuseful for me as a demo.

And could you please clearify whether authorization with iLok manager only is possible or not?
I looked up the manual but it does not make this clear for me.
Cheers!
Old 1 week ago
  #12
Lives for gear
 
Aziak's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by VarikusBrainz View Post
If you already own some Xils products check your Customer Area as a discount coupon was deposited when this was released. I have a 5% coupon
Have more that one of Xils Labs products and have no discount coupon in my account, as we speak. How to gain one? I suppose i am eligible as a customer of them.


Cheers!
Old 1 week ago
  #13
Here for the gear
 

wow looks super cool - going to try this right away. Thanks for the news.
Old 1 week ago
  #14
Lives for gear
 

Working here Windows 10 Cubase 10
https://soundcloud.com/strangeattractor/closer
Old 1 week ago
  #15
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kelvyn's Avatar
Big fan of the XILS 5000 which is probably the best virtual vocoder on the market.
The 201 has a slightly warmer sound than the 5000 and takes a little more tweaking to get something intelligible. But I’m really loving both the 201 and the 5000 right now. It’s interesting to use both with their different characteristics on the same vocal track
The only thing I would critique is that there are too few presets. It’s good to have a starting off point and the Vocal and FX presets aren’t really giving you that on the 201. But hey! It’s early days.

Oh! Generally working fine in Logic Pro X...
Old 1 week ago
  #16
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aziak View Post
From the product page, click the Download icon (pointed with the arrow).
It is located on top of that page. The download USB e-lisencer and download iLok links.



Cheers!
Thanks! Xavier was fast writing back as well. I know understand where my brain was failing me: I thought those where download links to the ilok license manager or elicenser control center, not for the product itself! I understand now that you got two versions, depending on the install options. My bad...
Old 1 week ago
  #17
Lives for gear
 
Aziak's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy Pilgrim View Post
Thanks! Xavier was fast writing back as well. I know understand where my brain was failing me: I thought those where download links to the ilok license manager or elicenser control center, not for the product itself! I understand now that you got two versions, depending on the install options. My bad...
You're welcome!

To be pretty honest, i don't think it's entirely your fault.
Xils labs website needs an absolute overhaul IMO. It looks like something from 1995 and a bit abandoned to me... Sorry Xils, i love the products but truth to be told.

Cheers!
Old 6 days ago
  #18
Gear Addict
 

Until when does the intro price last?
Old 6 days ago
  #19
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kisame View Post
Until when does the intro price last?


Until July 31st 2020
XILS 201 Intro Price: 89€
Analog Vocoders Bundle Intro Price: 119€
Analog Vocoders Bundle upgrade intro price (if you already own the X-5000 vocoder): 39€
Old 6 days ago
  #20
Lives for gear
 

A fast 'a la Daft Punk demo' + 'how to use the X201 in Cubase' covering the standard vocoder case (Harmonize/add melody to a recorded spoken human voice')

Old 5 days ago
  #21
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dwuw View Post
MBP late 2013
OS 10.9.5
Bitwig 3.0.3

Demoed it on Bitwig. First the vst - for a short time it worked, but then crashed Bitwig, and crashed it everytime I tried to reload it,
Then tried the vst3. That worked better, but: after a few switches between presets the sound went off, and I had to reload the plugin everytime to get the sound back again. And also huge CPU spikes from time to time.
And:
while with the vst3 I could hear what each preset is supposed to sound, none of the knobs (volumes, effects, filterbanks etc) where working. (MIDI IN was working, EXT SYNTH IN not).
Is this a bug or on purpose?
If it is the latter than it would be unuseful for me as a demo.

And could you please clearify whether authorization with iLok manager only is possible or not?
I looked up the manual but it does not make this clear for me.
I forwarded your message to Xils and they told me :
1/ They could not reproduce the problem with the Ilok version and Bitwig v 2.3.4.
but
2/ The are investigating the problem.
Old 5 days ago
  #22
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aziak View Post
Have more that one of Xils Labs products and have no discount coupon in my account, as we speak. How to gain one? I suppose i am eligible as a customer of them.


Cheers!
I asked Xils and the answer is :

You'll have to :

1/ Login, then go to the MyCoupons page.

Additionnaly, since last year, the coupon cumulated ammount can also be viewed in your invoice (if you made recently a purchase on their site) Also, if you have purchased some Xils instruments via 3rd party vendors, there's no coupon generated.
Old 4 days ago
  #23
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by LotuZia View Post
A fast 'a la Daft Punk demo' + 'how to use the X201 in Cubase' covering the standard vocoder case (Harmonize/add melody to a recorded spoken human voice')

is it me or did that sound terrible. a friend uses the stock ableton one and he sounds great with it,

https://cygnusat.bandcamp.com/track/...in-relax-pt-ii
Old 4 days ago
  #24
Lives for gear
 
baslotto's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by user i477533222 View Post
is it me or did that sound terrible. a friend uses the stock ableton one and he sounds great with it,

https://cygnusat.bandcamp.com/track/...in-relax-pt-ii
I have to agree with this. That's the reason I asked for more audio samples by XILS.
Old 4 days ago
  #25
Lives for gear
 

Something a bit different : Processing a Rhodes track with the X201.

Old 4 days ago
  #26
Lives for gear
 

Cool track with Xils 201, by Hallifax

The Door Is Hard to Find
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