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Xils Lab XILS 5000 Vocoder Plugin




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XILS Vocoder 5000

The First and Last step for Vocoding

A Legend is Reborn !


Inspired by the EMS Flagship Vocoder ( EMS 5000 -1976-), XILS-lab used his knowledge acquired during the emulation of both the VCS3 synthesizer and the VP300 VocoderPlus to develop the XILS Vocoder 5000 Model



A Vocoder is a synthesizer which accepts an external sound source, a musical instrument or prerecorded signal, so that you can process it, with or without the keyboard, into a huge variety of sounds.

Human voice, the most variable sound of all, can be fed into the Vocoder, so that you can alter its pitch, Tone, Vibrato, and all its characteristics, allowing you to synthetize a Choir from a single voice, or to create melodies from ordinary speech.

You can also process Drums, percussive elements, or Guitars and … every kind of synthesizer itself, to breathe some analog life into them, or completely reshape them.  You can even derive some pure synth patterns from …. drumloops. Everything is possible


XILS Vocoder 5000

Clarity, Purity : The XILS Vocoder 5000 emulates the sophisticated filtering techniques and incredibly complex circuitry of its analog counterpart to achieve the same organic sound, precision and … clarity.

Easy to use for beginners, yet incredibly powerful for Veterans : The user interface offers a standard single panel view. Everything is there, right under your hands, with a lot of presets to get you started. Should you want, or need, to go further, the Logo Center Panel will switch to a vast choice of advanced panels displaying the advanced parameters of the module of the Vocoder 5000 you wish to explore and experiment with. And there are dozens of advanced parameters, for your joy.

Back in 21st Century : Because it’s a Xils, it offers many advanced features that its ancestor could not have offered in its time :, Bands number, Filter types, Filter’s Emphasis and Emphasis ponderation, more Slew Rate mods, more Freeze mods, 2 LFOs ( Original had none ), Detailed FM and PWM, more Oscillators Waveforms, an improved Input detector ( Sibilants), Gate input etc, etc.


 The XILS 5000 Vocoder uses the same filtering techniques than its real analogmodel  to achieve the same sound, precision and clarity.

It has been designed to be easy to use, but behind its simple interface, it features many advanced settings for those who really want to tweak the sound. Each module has its own advanced setting panel, so it can be tuned separately and quickly.

For a quick start, just insert the XILS 5000 Vocoder in your vocal track and let the pitch tracker follow the original pitch of the voice.


A Vocoder, What is this ?

A Vocoder is an effect which uses two signals to produce one output signal. The first signal is called the Modulator and the second signal is called Carrier. 

Usually vocals are used as the modulator, but it can also be drums, percussion, or any other musical signal. Synthesizer are used as Carrier (the sound can be made from Sawtooth chords, white noise, etc, anything with a rich harmonic spectrum)

A bank of bandpass filters is splitting the modulator into several frequency bands and do the same with the Carrier signal. The level detected in the modulator spectrum are then applied to the carrier spectrum giving what we commonly know as "Robot Voices" when a vocoder is used in his simpler manner.

For a good result and an understandable synthetic voice, 22 bands are used in our legacy EMS 5000 model, but less bands are also commonly found on other vocoders.


The quality of a vocoder is depending on the following components:

The filter bank : it must provide a good analysis spectrum, for which every band isequally measured (without any digital artifacts)
The band level analysis : the way each band level is measured and analyzed gives the key of a good vocoder with clarity and precision. 
The synthesis band modulation : the way each synthesis band is modulated is also part of the vocoder sound, its quality, its smoothness.
Synthesizer carrier : Without a good synthesizer feeding the vocoder filters, the result wouldn't be as good as expected.


The XILS 5000 provides these qualities for an incredible Vocoding result

Synthesizer sound is based on our acclaimed VCS 3 oscillators emulation
The 20 or 22 bands filter bank is based on our analog like, zero-delay behavior filters, ensuring that all bands are equally measured. 
Level analysis and spectrum followers were developed during several years and are now at the top of the state of art, as you can see in our VP-330 emulation. 


But what makes the XILS 5000 Vocoder incredible is the Matrix patch area : You can connect each band of the modulator to any band of the carrier. This means that endless sound possibilities are in front of you !

Not only a "simple" vocoder, the XILS 5000 Vocoder is also a wonderful synthesizer tool with aVoice/Unvoice detector, a Pitch Tracker and a Frequency Shifter which can give you a lot of fun, manipulate voices, drums, bass lines or anything!


The XILS Vocoder 5000 Modules and features in a glance

The XILS Vocoder 5000 provides all the modules of its legendary ancestor and more: 

A Matrix Patch Area (22x22 or 20x20)
Two Synthesizer core
Two oscillators per core, modelled from the EMS VCS3 oscillator
One noise per core
Two LFOs per core
One VCA-ADSR per core
One 22 bands filter vocoder.
One 20 bands filter vocoder
Stereo analysis and synthesis available
Side chain for adding external audio source to the carrier
A virtual keyboard, which can be saved within your presets.
A finely tweak analog-like pitch tracker.
An input gate for reducing the noise
A Voice/unVoise detector
A full output mixer applied to any of the internal audio path
A huge Frequency shifter effect. 
All parameters are MIDI controllable
Presets for using quickly the XILS 5000 in all is glory


The Matrix Patch Area

The patch area allows you to connect any band of the analysis filter bank to any band of the synthesis filter bank.

It is very easy to edit the formants, replacing a man voice by a child’s one, make some special effects, or get the weirdest electronic voices

This patch area is also very useful to sculpt sound in a vey precise way when you use other signal as modulators, such as drums

Fats use : We added a preset manager dedicated to the patch area : It provides some init configurations (formant +1, formant -2, inverted, ....) or you can save your own Matrix patches. 


XILS Vocoder 5000 Heart : the Filter Bank

A Vocoder global quality depends heavily on its filter bank quality

Thanks to its deep experience in filtering algorithms (  Analog like, un-wrapped , zero-delay behavior filters are already used in Xils synthesizers for many years ), XILS-lab has developed a very accurate filter bank which splits both Modulator and Carrier signals into bands with an EQUAL width ( Which is quite difficult to achieve in the digital domain ). 

Resulting in the most accurate software vocoder ever done, almost 100% identical to its model. We added some new features :  you can tweak the emphasis, and add a ponderation curve. 

The ponderation curve allows you to adapt the filter of each Filter’s Bands so that it can deliver some very smooth and warm bass frequencies, while totally preserving clarity, without the "tube" effect.
More possibilities : you can choose the number of bands (22 or 20 bands and  the filters order (12,18 or 24 db/oct) 


At the power of the XILS Vocoder 5000 : the Oscillators and the Noise

 Inspired  by the EMS VCS3 oscillators, already emulated in the acclaimed XILS 3XILS 4 synthesizers, theXILS Vocoder 5000 provides two arm sounding, clear and transparent oscillators.

Oscillators Frequency ( FM) and Shape ( PWM) can be modulated ( Vibratos etc). Oscillators frequency can be fixed, or use Keyboard Tracking (The key to nice vocoding chords effects). It can also follow the input voice/signal frequency via the Pitch Tracker module.
Next, we have the Voice/UnVoice module : Oscillators levels are automatically adapted to match the input voice behavior, sibilant or voiced.
Clicking on the "Advanced" icon opens, as it should, the Oscillator Advanced Parameters Panel  : Here, you can choose the Oscillator Waveform (Saw, Pulse, Triangle, Sine), specify its shape, and select the FM and PWM sources (LFO1, or LFO2).
Finally, the Noise Generator : is also full part of the synthesizer sound, and, like the oscillators, can be driven by the Voice/unVoice module.

Vocoding clarity : the Voice/Unvoice and Slew Rate modules and freeze function

Voice or Unvoice : Based on our exclusive DeeS algorithms ( Xils-Lab transparent Deesser device ) which separates smoothly but firmly the sibilant from the voiced part of the input voice, the XILS Vocoder 5000 is providing an easy but accurate way to choose which generator must be used as Carrier when while vocoding : the Oscillators or the Noise.  


 Voice or Unvoice : a very simple and easy module with a Threshold, a Frequency and a Smoothness knobs. That's all !
Slew Rate : This module analyzes the input filter bank, then apply the result to the Synthesis filter bank. Without this module’s advanced algorithm, the vocoding voice wouldn't be as understandable and smooth. 
For a better result and clarity, you can add a ponderation curve to the various bands, allowing a smoothness in the low part of the spectrum, for a warmer sound as well as a fast answer in the upper part of the spectrum more a better clarity.


 The -Midi controllable- Freeze switch will, as you could expect, freeze the spectrum (or any part of the internal algorithm, pitch, slew, voice/unvoice), allowing to use the XILS Vocoder 5000 as a great and huge resonator filter.


The Frequency Shifter

Like its analog ancestor, the XILS Vocoder 5000 offers a particular effect called Frequency Shifter.
As its name implies, this effect shifts the whole spectrum of the incoming signal(s) by a certain frequency.

Depending on the set frequency, the result can be anything from a simple subtle level modulation to huge ring modulator like effects. 

There are several components in this effect. Each comes with its own Level and Panoramic, to achieve wide  stereo processing. The Advanced Settings Panel gives you more options.
This effect can be simultaneously applied on any of the XILS Vocoder 5000 audio paths. The frequency shift can also be driven and controlled by the Pitch Tracker Module for even more fun !

See, and control, what you hear : The Mixer and the Vu-Meters

When listening is not enough the Vocoder 5000 will give you some great visual feedback.

All the 22 or 20 bands are displayed by led based Vu-Meters in the Bands mixer.
Input Speech/Signal ( Modulator ), internal synthesizer ( Carrier ), Vocoder  and global output levels are displayed by needle based vintage Vu-Meter.

Finally, the level of each band can be smoothly adjusted in the Mixer (and ….. MIDI controlled)


XILS Vocoder 5000 is available with the following formats :

Mac OSX 10.4/10.5 (32 bits powerpc and intel eLicenser/iLok), 10.6 (32&64 bits Intel) and later : VST2.4, VST3, Audio Unit,  RTAS (Protools 7.0 and later), AAX (32&64 bits, native)
Windows XP, Vista and windows7/8 (32&64bits) ; VST,  RTAS (Protools 7.0 and later), AAX (32&64 bits, native)

XILS Vocoder 5000 is 32 bits and 64 bits plug-in.


Minimum system requirements: 1 Gigabyte of RAM and a 2 GHz processor.

The XILS Vocoder 5000 is a plug-in and is not yet available in a standalone application.